20K Bonus with No Annual Fee or Spending Requirement on a Card with Amazing Retention Bonuses

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thankyou preferred 20K no spending

ThankYou Preferred 20K Bonus Offer

Earlier today I wrote about my experience getting the NBA Amex card with its 20K ($200) bonus and no annual fee. That card has some amazing benefits like 5X everywhere earnings during specific time periods, but there is another no annual fee 20K bonus that just got better as well.

The Citi ThankYou Preferred has long had one of the better bonuses on a no annual fee card. Typically the bonus is 20K ThankYou points after $1,500 in spending during the first 3 months, however Citi has made it better. Currently the $1,500 spending requirement has been eliminated, meaning you should get 20,000 points after activating the card. (I would probably still use it once just to be safe.)

The Offer

Here is the exact offer on the Citi ThankYou Preferred credit card:

Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after making $0 in purchases within 3 months of account opening

Direct Application Link


This card earns 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Not the greatest earning structure, unless you get some sort of retention bonus.

thankyou preferred 20K no spending

My Amazing Retention Offers

My wife has two ThankYou Preferred credit cards. She received the first after applying for it and the second one came when she converted an AAdvantage Executive card over. Both of these cards have received identical retention offers over this past year. Here is the offer:

Earn 2 extra points per dollar on all spending for 6 months with no cap! (See the full details here & here.)

3X Everywhere & More!

With this offer we have been earning 3X ThankYou points on all spend and 4X on dining and entertainment for much of the past year. (And have been loving every second of it!) The latest reports are that Citi is now capping similar offers at 35K-50K bonus points, but that is still tremendous. I know people who have even received great offers within months of opening their account.


Now that the spending requirement has been eliminated, this is a very easy card for people to pickup without having to worry about how to spend the $1,500. I think the 20K bonus is amazing for a no annual fee card, but I think the potential down the line for retention offers is almost as exciting. Remember too that those 20K points may be worth 1.25, 1.33 or up to 1.6 cents each for travel depending on which other ThankYou cards you have. (Premier and/or Prestige.)


I think this new spending requirement is noteworthy both as a deal and as a reminder that the ThankYou Preferred card is very valuable in a number of ways. Yes the ThankYou Premier and Prestige cards are also tremendous, but if you are looking to pickup a decent bonus with minimal spending, then this card is definitely one to look at.

Shawn Coomerhttps://www.milestomemories.com
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. I am still waiting for my 20k points after “0” spend to post. It is one more month until the 3 months is up so I haven’t given up all yet. I just finished the spend for the 50k Explorer card and I was just approved yesterday for the Ink Plus so since all my spending will be going towards that one now, I don’t feel like I can afford to try to do the $1500 on the TY card. So I guess I’ll just wait and see. Does anyone have any new data points? Has anyone been successful in actually getting the bonus with “0” spend? Please let me know.

      • Shawn I used your link and the landing page said “0” spend. I was also able to go to the Citi website and see the offer on the credit card page. I took screenshots of everything. I feel like I got duped by a bait and switch. Do you think there is any chance I can get them to honor the offer? This question is specifically directed to Shawn, so can others (Frank) please refrain from commenting.

        • Yes I think you should be able to get them to honor it with the screenshots. I would contact them via secure message and ask that it is escalated to a supervisor. They are under strict regulations regarding their advertising practices, so I would assume they would want to honor what was displayed on their site although I am not an attorney so I don’t know if they are legally obligated or not.

        • Gail,
          Did you get this issue resolved? I just got my card today and sent a secure message mentioning that I applied when the offer was 20,000 TYPs for $0 in purchases.


          • No I haven’t yet but thanks for the idea of sending a secure message. I could not find an email address or fax number for their customer service anywhere, including going to the bank and having a banker try to help me. I had letter all ready to mail today, complete with screen shots. I just now copied and pasted my letter onto secure messageas follows:
            “I recently applied and was approved for the Citi Thank You Preferred credit card. Since I already have the Thank You Premier card, I did not need another Thank You card. The main factor that enticed me to apply was this offer: 20,000 Thank You points after $0 of purchases. (I have screenshots which I can send if you tell me where). When I received my approval letter I was very disappointed to see a $1500 spending requirement within 3 months.. I am hoping that you will do the right thing and honor the offer that I applied for.”
            Do you think I need to send the letter also or just a secure message? I wasn’t able to include the screenshots in the SM, but ‘m hoping it will be enough to do the trick. Thanks

          • I just sent my secure message today and it looks like they haven’t read it yet. I’ll let you know when I get an answer.

  2. This card has had a 40k sign-up bonus in the past (granted, with minimum spend requirements). Given that and that some people are having trouble getting the offer to work (e.g. Gail), I’ll pass on this.

  3. I applied and was approved for the card. I called to just to confirm the offer and they said there is a $1500 spend requirement. I told them about the offer I applied forwith no spend requirement and they put me on hold to check. When they came back they told me there is a glich in the system and that there is no such offer. Now what do I do? the only reason I applied was because there was no spend requirement to get the points. I am in the middle of completing another min spend on another card so this really puts a burdon on me. Is there any way I can get them to honor the offer?

    • Jeez, Gail….

      doing $1500 in MS is easy.

      WORST comes to worst, get a paypal account, and then a paypal HERE card reader, and swipe 3x $500 transactions.

      You will get $15 in points, and pay about $40 in CC fees. But you will have the $200 bonus, so you will ahead about $175….

      • Yes I know it’s not a lot. But it’s not what I signed up for. As I said the main reason I signed up for the card is that there was 20k points with NO MINIMUM SPEND. I’ve never done the Paypal card reader thing. I’m not that much into MS. My reason for the post was that other people may be in the same boat and I wanted to give them a heads up.

  4. I gather this card will not hold thank you points that can be transferred to travel partners? I am looking for a way to reduce the number of cards my husband and I pay fees on. What strategy would you suggest if he has thank u preferred and prestige and I have thank u premier?

    • Call them when your annual fees are due and see if they will wipe at least one out. They are pretty good at giving you something. If not then I would have you apply for the prestige or your husband for the premiere and then the opposite the other year. Keeps the bonuses coming and the annual fees down!

    • You would need either the Prestige or Premier to transfer to travel partners. Only one of you needs to have a premium card and then you can transfer points into that account and then out to travel partners.

  5. Shawn,

    Chuck thinks that you found out that you are eligible for this bonus even if you currently have a Preferred card. Is that correct? The terms say “Bonus ThankYou® Points not available if you have had a Citi ThankYou Preferred card opened or closed in the past 18 months.” Now that I think about it I actually opened it over 18 months ago and didn’t close it. So I guess technically I should be eligible.

  6. What do you say on a retention call for a no annual fee credit card for the reason you are thinking of cancelling?


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