Citibank wants to lure more business owners away from American Express and Chase with a credit card that cribs from its competitors’ playbooks. Like the original Platinum Card, the CitiBusiness ThankYou℠ Card streamlines expense reporting and adds significant purchase protection benefits. While its APR and rewards offers don’t stack up to Ink from Chase, strong service features could make the difference for professionals who don’t intend to carry a balance.
Small spending plateau triggers Citi’s signup bonus
According to Citi’s website, a new CitiBusiness ThankYou Card cardholder can earn 15,000 bonus ThankYou® points after making $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of cardmembership – enough for $150 in gift cards. New Chase Ink Cash Business Card members have to spend $3,000 within the first three months of card membership to qualify for a bonus $200 cash back.
Like Chase, Citi offers its ThankYou members bonus points for purchases in a variety of rotating, seasonal categories. Qualifying purchases earn three ThankYou Points per dollar spent at eligible merchants in rotating categories that include computer stores, advertising companies, airlines, restaurants, and phone companies. You’ll earn one ThankYou Point for every dollar you spend elsewhere on the card. Citi also kicks in bonus rewards for managing your account online and registering for paperless statements.
Earning awards gets easier if you share your personal ThankYou balance
ThankYou points carry the most value when you redeem them for merchandise or for gift cards. For instance, at a penny per point, an Amazon.com gift card reward can let you earn the equivalent of a 3 percent rebate on featured category purchases. Because every employee using CitiBusiness cards earns points, your company’s balance can grow fast.
Chase and American Express both offer stronger redemption rates on their business rewards cards. However, Citi offers a feature that can make the ThankYou program more appealing. Carry both a CitiBusiness card and a personal Citi credit card, and the bank will let you swap points between your accounts at no charge. If you choose to keep all your points for yourself, merging your earnings can help you reach higher rewards levels faster.
Citi makes up for average account terms with extraordinary protection
At the moment, the CitiBusiness ThankYou Card offers a six month, no interest teaser, on purchases after the introductory period the purchases APR will vary with the market based on Prime Rate and is currently above 13 percent. There’s no balance transfer teaser in effect. With no annual fee and no charge for issuing employees their own cards, CitiBusiness makes a decent card for cash flow management. This card really shines for companies that take advantage of money-saving features, including:
- Extended warranty. Add one year to the manufacturer’s U.S. standard warranty of one year or less on each eligible purchase.
- Retail purchase protection. You’re covered on eligible purchases for up to $10,000 in loss or damage for 90 days after each transaction.
- Auto rental insurance. Never pay for a collision damage waiver again.
- Travel assistance services. Around-the-clock help desk to keep you safe.
Personal Business Assistant
Concierge services have quickly become the must-have benefit for elite business credit cards. Citi skews the trend with its team of Personal Business Assistants, specialized service professionals who can perform high level tasks on behalf of companies instead of cardholders. Like other cards’ concierge desks, the Citi PBA team can book you a reservation at a hot restaurant or confirm your next travel itinerary.
These assistants add even more value by researching supplier costs, sourcing vendors, and handling more complex requests related to meetings and conferences. Issuing a CitiBusiness ThankYou Card to each employee on your team gives them the power to offload routine tasks and busywork via a secure, online portal. That could be the signature feature keeping this card in the competition for space in your wallet.
If the above features appeal to you, apply for a CitiBusiness ThankYou Card today to receive the 15,000 bonus ThankYou points opportunity.
Photo: Kien Wai
Updated January 15, 2013 and originally published May 24, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.