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CitiBusiness ThankYou® Credit Card Review

By Christina Majaski

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On January 20, 2014
Last modified:May 6, 2014

citibusiness thankyou cardThe CitiBusiness ThankYou® Card is one of Citibank’s credit cards that targets small businesses and sole proprietors, and offers ThankYou points and rewards in exchange for purchases. Instead of focusing on one specific reward, such as cash back or airline miles, the CitiBusiness card rewards business purchases with ThankYou points which can be redeemed for travel certificates, gift cards, or cash back. The CitiBusiness ThankYou card offers a flexible rewards program and no annual fee.

Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. You receive 15,000 bonus ThankYou Points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account, which equals $150 when redeemed for gift cards.
  • Fees. There is no annual fee for the Citi Business ThankYou card, and no fee for additional cards. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Balance transfers are 3%, with a $5 minimum.
  • APR. There is an introductory APR for purchases of 0% for six months from the date the account is opened. After that, the APR is 13.24%. There is no introductory APR for balance transfers.
  • ThankYou Points. The Citi Business ThankYou card rewards purchases with ThankYou points at the rate of three for each dollar spent on quarterly rotating business categories that you are automatically enrolled in each quarter. For example, the April-to-June category rewards three points per dollar spent with computer equipment, software, and telecommunications merchants. You also earn one ThankYou point for each dollar spent on everything else. You are able to earn unlimited points that do not expire. They can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or cash back.
  • Anniversary Bonus. At the end of each membership year, you receive an anniversary bonus on the ThankYou points earned from purchases that year. The membership year begins as soon as you become a member and resets each year on that date. For the first year, the anniversary bonus is 1%; for year two, the anniversary bonus is 2%; and each year after is 3%.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. There is no annual membership fee for the CitiBusiness ThankYou card.
  2. Introductory APR. If your business needs to make a large purchase, you have six months to pay for it before you start to pay interest. This could save you money as long you as make sure you pay off the purchase within the introductory period.
  3. Sign-up Bonus. The sign-up bonus is equal to about $150 in gift cards, which is a nice bonus, especially for a card that doesn’t have an annual membership fee.
  4. No Cap on Earning Rewards. There are a number of cards that cap the amount of points or cash back that you are able to earn for each quarter, which can mean that businesses that spend a lot miss out on bonus points. For example, the Chase Ink Cash Business Card rewards 5% cash back on purchases made at office supply stores, but only on the first $25,000 spent per year. After that, you only earn 1% on purchases. The CitiBusiness ThankYou card allows you to earn an unlimited amount of points which do not expire.
  5. Automatically Enrolled In Bonus Categories. Most rewards credit cards with quarterly bonus categories require that you enroll or sign up for the category every quarter. If you forget, you only earn 1% on purchases made in those categories. The CitiBusiness ThankYou card automatically enrolls you in those categories so there is no worry of forgetting and possibly missing out.

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Disadvantages

  1. Rotating Categories. Because of the rotating categories, you need to manage your spending and plan ahead in order to make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to earn bonus points. Although you are automatically enrolled in the rotating categories, if you are unable to plan your spending around the quarterly categories, you may end up only earning only one point per dollar for big purchases. If this is the case, a rewards card that provides a flat-point structure or a flat cash-back rate may be better for your business. Additionally, a card that awards the entire year for business-related purchases or purchases your business frequently makes may suit your business better than a system of quarterly categories.
  2. Low Return for Cash. ThankYou Points are worth about one cent each when redeemed for gift cards or travel certificates, but are worth slightly less if you prefer cash back or a statement credit in which case the points are worth around 0.625 cents each. For merchandise, the value of points could be as low as one-half cent each.
  3. No Introductory Balance Transfer APR. The introductory period only applies to purchases made within the first six months. It is fairly uncommon for a business credit card to provide an introductory APR on balance transfers, but if you are working on eliminating debt and need to transfer balances from high APR cards, there are various personal consumer credit cards that offer 0% on balance transfers for 12 to 18 months, such as Citi Simplicity (0% for 18 months) and Chase Freedom (0% for 15 months).
  4. Foreign Transaction Fee. Foreign transaction fees range from 1% to 3% and Citi cards are generally at the highest with 3%. If you travel frequently outside of the United States, you should use a different card for your purchases; otherwise, you’re going to end up paying an unnecessary 3% fee on everything you buy while overseas.

Final Word

The CitiBusiness ThankYou card is a no-annual-fee credit card that provides a great opportunity to earn ThankYou Points for either cash or the next-best reward, gift cards. However, if you prefer to earn straight cash back on general purchases and do not want to rely on rotating categories, you should opt instead for a business card with flat, all-year rewards. Additionally, the foreign transaction fee of 3% keeps the CitiBusiness ThankYou credit card from being an ideal choice when overseas.

Verdict

The CitiBusiness ThankYou® Card is a basic, no-annual-fee rewards card for small businesses. The rotating categories that provide bonus points each quarter on purchases could be a hassle for small business owners.

Score

4.0 out of 5 stars: There is no annual fee for the CitiBusiness ThankYou card, and you are able to earn a large amount of ThankYou points, but rotating categories for bonus points and low redemption rates on most options prevent it from being a truly great business credit card.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Christina Majaski
Christina Majaski has written for online and print publications since 2003 on topics related to personal finance, legal matters, parenting, and careers. She lives in the Minnesota tundra, where in her free time she enjoys reading, writing, interacting via social media, and hanging out with her daughter.

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