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Citi ThankYou Preferred For College Student

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By : Mr Credit Card

Quick Introduction

The Citi ThankYou Preferred for College Student is a rewards card that will make a good starter card for any college student. International students can also apply for this card at a Citi Branch if they have a Citi banking account.

Card Details

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: 0% APR on purchases for 7 months

APR: 14.74% to 24.74%*(v)

Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%

Rewards: 1.5X on every purchase. Earn 10% more points if you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account.

Sign Up Bonus : Earn 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within first 90 days.

Peer Comparison

Card Annual Fee
FX Fee
Score Monitoring
Citi ThankYou Preferred Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 14.74% - 24.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 2X dining out and entertainment
1X everything else
Score Monitoring = N.A.
Capital One Journey Annual Fee = $0
APR = 20.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.25% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = Vantage 3.0 TU
Discover it Student Annual Fee$0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 5% rotating categories
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Discover Chrome Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 2% gas and dining
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Annual Fee = $0
APR = 11.9% - 21.9%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1% cash back
Score Monitoring = Bankcard Score 2 - Experian
BankAmericard Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 3% on gas and 2% on grocery & wholesale club for first $2500 in these spending a quarter
1% on everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 15.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.5X
Score Monitoring - FICO TU
State Farm Student Visa Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.24% - 19.24%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1X for every $2
3X for State Farm Insurance Payments (up to $4000 a year)
Score Monitoring - N.A.
SelfScore Classic Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = N.A.
SelfScore Achieve Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = N.A.

Like consumer credit cards, student credit cards come in three flavors. They either are simple vanilla cards with no rewards, or they come with some form of cash back or reward points program. This card is a rewards card and the the nice thing about it is that they give more points (2X) for spending on dining out and entertainment. This fits right up the alley for most college students. You could earn unlimited reward points (though you will most likely never be given the credit limit to earn too much!) and they never expire. The other card that is most similar is the Discover Chrome, which gives you 2% cash back for Dining out and gas. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards is also quite similar in that they give you 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale club and 3% on gas for up to $2500 in quarterly spending on these items. Citi ThankYou Preferred does not impose such caps.

Unlike cash back rewards, the reward points can be redeemed for a variety of things like gift cards and merchandise. Many card holders also like the fact that you can redeem points at

There are a couple of features that this card lacks versus other cards. For example, while this card has great travel insurance features, they do charge a 3% foreign transaction fee. I feel that this is quite an important feature since many colleges offer students the chance to study abroad.

Another feature that it lacks is the ability to monitor your FICO score. Both Discover and BankAmericard's credit card all come with FICO score monitoring. This is a feature that students could use to educate them about where they stand with regards to their credit score.

Pros and Cons

  • 2X Dining Out and Entertainment
  • Reasonable APR
  • 0% Intro APR for 7 months

  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee
  • No Credit Score Monitoring


Our Take

The Citi ThankYou Preferred for college student is a good starter card from one of the mainstream banks. While building up your credit, you could also earn reward points, which you can redeem for a variety of things. In fact, many card holders love that you could use them at

Since most college students use their cards for dining and entertainment, the fact that you can earn double points on these expenses will also help you with earning more points.

The only issue I have with this card is that they charge a foreign transaction fee, which isn't ideal if you want to use your card abroad for your international semester or vacation. Citi does not offer any credit score monitoring (which other issuers do).

One little known fact about Citi is that international students with no SSN (or who have not gotten it) can apply for the card. You would need to have a bank account with Citi and apply at their branch. You would need your passport and I-20 forms.

Overall, this is a good card to get if you are a student. Having a credit card and using it responsibly is one of the keys to building a credit history and with Citi, you would never really go wrong with this card.