Citi ThankYou Premier Retention Call

I signed up for the Citi ThankYou Premier credit card in July of 2015, when it still had its 50,000 ThankYou point sign-up bonus. Now that my one-year anniversary has come around, it was time for my Citi ThankYou Premier retention call to make the decision we all face at this juncture: keep, cancel, or downgrade. I called in this morning and asked for either a retention offer or a waiver of the $95 annual fee. The representative presented me with three possible retention offers. Here are my offers, along with the pros and cons for each:

1) Spend $1,000 per month for 3 months, get a $95 statement credit and 1,000 additional bonus ThankYou points in addition to those earned on spend. Pro: Effectively waives the annual fee. Con: Hassle of tracking monthly spend, and very small additional point bonus.

2) Spend $3,000 total in 3 months, get 5,000 bonus ThankYou points in addition to those earned on spend. Pro: Easier to track over a longer period, and bigger bonus. Con: 5,000 is still somewhat paltry compared to offers from other banks, and 5,000 points is likely not worth the $95 annual fee.

3) Make 5 purchases of $10 or more in 3 months, and get a $50 statement credit. Pro: Very easy to achieve. Con: Only effectively waives half of the annual fee.

And obviously the other two possibilities would be 4) Downgrade to a free card, such as the ThankYou Preferred and keep my points alive; or 5) Cancel completely.

All three of the presented offers are good enough to be worth considering, but none are amazing enough to be a no-brainer. I was actually a bit disappointed, having previously heard of so many better offers by other banks.

What would you do in the face of these three offers?  Have any of you had better, worse or similar luck on a Citi ThankYou Premier retention call?

Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.

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  1. Did you ask if there’s a bonus to downgrade? I got offers 1 and 2 when I called, but after declining them, I was offered 6000 points to switch from Premier to Preferred.

    • Oh very interesting! No, I didn’t ask about that in my initial call. I just told them I’d think about it and call back another time. I think I’d prefer 6,000 more points to downgrade over everything else, though. Good suggestion!

  2. I called a few weeks ago with annual fee approaching at the end of my first year. Told the rep I intended to cancel and asked if any retention offers were available. She said no. I then asked to downgrade to the Thank You Preferred. She countered by offering to apply a credit in the amount of the annual fee if I agreed to keep the Premier. I took it. Only $7,000 or so spend on the card in year one.

  3. Does downgrading count as “opening or closing” a new ThankYou Points account? In other words, does it reset the 24 month clock to when we can apply for a new card in the ThankYou Points portfolio?

  4. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
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