Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students Review

Build credit as a college student with the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students Review

When you get into a college, an entirely new world opens for you. There are so many things to think about. You have to plan your classes, daily schedule, and meet your new roommate. You should also think about starting to build a strong financial history. Having good credit is essential to doing well later in life. It’ll help you get lower insurance premium, better loan terms, and maybe a lower apartment down payment. The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students can help build credit while in college.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider getting a student credit card. Lenders designed these cards to help you establish your credit history. If you have no or a thin credit profile, this could be an excellent building tool. However, there are many student credit card applications to choose from. We’re going to talk about the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students. Also, we’ll go over pros, cons, eligibility requirements, and alternatives to having a student credit card.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students Pros

No Annual Fee

An annual fee is a yearly fee you traditionally pay for having a credit card. If your card is a rewards card, this annual fee is usually higher. With the Citi ThankYou Preferred card for College Students, you won’t have one. This freedom lets you only use your card when you absolutely need it and not feel guilty about it. You’ll never have to try and justify having this card. You’ll won’t have to worry about making the rewards outweigh your annual fee price.


A reward credit card for people with low or no credit history is very rare. This student credit card is changing this trend. If you dine out or visit a lot of concerts, this card may be the perfect compliment to you. You’ll get two ThankYou points for every dollar you spend on entertainment and dining. Also, you’ll get one ThankYou point for every other purchase.

Flexible Redemption

You have the option of redeeming your rewards every time you hit 25 ThankYou points or higher. Also, you have several redemption ways to choose from as well. You can redeem for gift cards to popular stores, electronics, travel rewards, charity donations, books, social media, and more. They’re also unlimited, and they never expire as long as you have an account open. This makes it easy to stack points and earn huge rewards.

Promotional Bonus

As a bonus for having this card, you can earn an additional $2,500 ThankYou points. To do this, all you have to do is spend $500 in the first three months. So if you do this, the bonus points will show up on your statement. You can then redeem them any way you choose, or let them sit and stack them.

Citi Price Rewind

The Citi brand has their Citi Price Rewind. This program will give you the difference in your purchases if they find a lower price. So all you do is register the items you bought. Citi will start searching for a lower price online for 60 days. If they find it, you’ll get the difference in the form of a statement credit.

Citi Private Pass

The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students gives you special access to dozens of events each year. So you’ll get access to presale tickets, VIP packages, complimentary movie screenings, and more. All you have to do is have this card in good standing and go to to see your offers.

Comparing Student Credit Cards

Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One®
Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students Cons

High APR

Although you won’t have to pay APR for the first seven months, it’s higher. The price you pay will depend on your credit score, and the APR is variable. You’ll pay 13.99%, 18.99, or 23.99%. However, this isn’t so bad considering this is a rewards card.

Lower Rewards Rate

The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students has a slightly lower rewards rate. This is true for people who don’t spend a lot on entertainment or dining out. Even people who dine out frequently will only get 2% back. Some cards offer rotating categories with up to 5% back, plus 2% back on gas purchases.

Introductory APR Isn’t for Balance Transfers

The promotional 0% APR only applies to purchases you make. If you transfer a balance from an existing card to this one, you’ll pay APR right away. So this can quickly add up to an unpleasant amount.

Foreign Transaction Fee

If you plan to travel, look for a card with no foreign transaction fee. The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students has a 3% foreign transaction fee. Furthermore, this means that every purchase you make outside a US-based bank will get this 3% fee.

A Citibank student card such as the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students helps build credit.

College Student Credit Card Eligibility Requirements

Credit card lenders used to temp college students to sign up for credit cards. In 2010, the government formed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure act to limit the number of credit cards for students available. It restricted the amount of perks a lender could offer a student to sign up like free key chains, t-shirts, and frisbees. It also made it harder for a student to take out a credit card. For anyone under 21, a lender could only give a person so many pre-screened offers. The student also had to prove they had a steady source of income.

Alternatives to the ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students

Ask Your Parents About Being an Authorized User

An authorized user is someone a person adds to their existing line of credit. Often parents add their teen as an authorized user. The authorized user will have the same line of credit the account holder has. Also, the account holder is responsible for paying the bill if you don’t pay it. So many times, simply being added as an authorized user can increase your credit score.

Get a Secured Credit Card

Secured credit cards let you pay a deposit, and that deposit is your line of credit. This is especially useful if you’re just starting out. If you use it responsibly and pay it off each month, you can increase your credit score. People usually use this card for a year, then switch cards. If you’ve paid everything, you’ll get your deposit back. CreditFast recommends either the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® or the Discover it® Secured Card. These cards only require a security deposit and both have no annual fee. You can find most secured offers in the category of bad credit card applications.

Bottom Line on the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Credit Card for College Students

In conclusion, a student credit card like the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students is an excellent credit-building tool. You’ll learn how to use a credit card responsibly. You’ll also have the chance to earn decent rewards along the way. If this card isn’t for you, look at the alternatives. Building your credit history takes time, but the payoffs are huge.

CreditFast has reviewed the best student credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each college credit card. We have chosen student credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

Monica Kowollik


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