New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Discussion of Credit Cards that offer Cashback bonuses. Sample cards include Discover, American Express, Citibank, Household, Stockback, etc.
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joelmeu
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New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by joelmeu » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:46 pm

The new Citi Forward card has rewards that are better than the Citi mtvU card, and you don't need to be a college student to get it.

In addition to earning 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants, movie theaters, book stores (including Amazon.com !), music stores, and movie rental stores and 1 ThankYou point at all other venues, you get:
  • 6000 TY points after making $50 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • 5000 TY points for signing up for paperless statements within the first 3 months
  • 100 TY points per billing period if you pay on time and stay under your credit limit
  • 0.25% APR reduction for paying at least your minimum amount due and staying under your credit limit for 3 billing periods in a row
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months (3% BT fee)
  • Earn up to 75,000 TY points per year
You can achieve the full 5% reward value of your TY points by redeeming them for:
  • $100 gift cards (for 10,000 TY points) at stores such as Sears, JC Penny, Macy's, Overstock.com, Bloomingdales, Dillards, LL Bean, Cabelas, etc.
  • $25 student loan credits (for 2,500 TY points)
You can learn more about the Citi Forward Visa and apply at:
http://www.citiforward.com/

(You can also compare the rewards you'll earn from your monthly spending with the Citi Forward card to other rewards cards using the rewards calculator at http://www.creditcardtuneup.com/ .)
Last edited by joelmeu on Sun May 17, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:58 pm

Thanks, Joel. This card would be a perfect addition to me, spending a lot on restaurant. :)

Allocate some existing line from Dividend Plus and get a line for $12K. I am good to go. Thanks again, Joel!

Does anyone here have experience of those thankyou points? It looks like Macy's GC is an attractive option for us. Reading from FWF, I am also worried about the state of Citi and the devaluation of thankyou points. With my Chase Professional, I get the 3% cash rebate plain and simple.

joelmeu
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by joelmeu » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:00 am

hh wrote: With my Chase Professional, I get the 3% cash rebate plain and simple.
It's also worth noting that you can get $50 cash for 8000 TY points to effectively earn 3.125% cash back.
Similarly, you can get a $250 statement credit for 35,000 TY points to effectively earn 3.57% cash back.

It's also noteworthy that the Citi mtvU card counts Amazon.com as a "book store", so purchases at Amazon earn 5 points per dollar. It's likely that this new Citi Forward card will do the same.

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:20 pm

Thanks Joel, but "TY Net" is an additional step for a very minor gain. What's the best route? They used to have Amazon GC, but gone. Macy GC is also hard to aquire. Student loan needs to apply to primary card holder account. I can not think of any benefit for my situation yet. :(

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:51 pm

The Macy's GC seems promising for conversion to cash (via Macy's Visa card); but when I asked the customer center they said it could not be done at all. Student Loan rebate check seems flexible enough to be directly deposited into checking, but a bit dishonest. It's no right to cheat, especially when the gain is only an extra 2% rebate.

Eric
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by Eric » Fri May 15, 2009 11:05 pm

I'm satisfied with the Citi Forward Visa (though I'm decades past being a student). Its 5 thank-you-points on restaurants, movies, books and music good for a little over 3% in benefits complement my true 5% EDP cards, even if they are not big parts of my monthly bill, they still figure.

Warning: However, they've had problems on implementation. My first payment by web was rejected "by my financial institution", a surprise since I was logged into my overall Citi account where I had specified my bank and had had no problems paying other cards since 2006. By phone Citi accepted a direct payment and reversed the bounced cheque fee. Then, the second month's payment was rejected by the computer because (I subsequently learned by phone) my previous one had been invalid; again I straightened that one out over the phone and they again waived fees. Too much time on the phone, even with a pro-active agent concerning their error, for me!

Good card, real hassle.

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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by quiznut1 » Mon May 18, 2009 1:09 pm

Hmm...no issues with online payments for me. I have been using the same payment account for quite a while, HSBC. Always posted on the day I tell it to.

I like the Citi Forward as well. I had the MTVu Visa before this, and got the Forward for 2 reasons.
- Signup bonus
- More rewarding for good behavior - 100 points every month you pay on time and don't go over your limit (MTVu is 25 points)

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Mon May 18, 2009 4:39 pm

I signed up for 5000 thankyou points for paperless feature... ha, I never received any e-mail notification that the statement was ready, got a late fee for $15 and a shock when I paid for my coffee (card rejected due to the $20 unpaided bill). I called and complained, the fee was reversed. I think that Citi did it deliberately. Now I watch this account like a hawk! Citi is most sneaky in those aspects in my experience, using every opportunity to get their customers to pay for more.

In addition, their thankyou points program is a joke now, severely downgraded. I may go back to my 3% (restaunrant, stationaries, hardware) Chase Professional card.

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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by quiznut1 » Tue May 19, 2009 10:50 am

hh,
I may have signed up for e-mail notification when statements are ready. Although I don't remember receiving notification recently.

What helps for me is keeping all my receipts, and then logging into my account regularly to make sure the charges post correctly. I use the card frequently enough so there's almost always something pending. In the midst of my online session, I try to take note if a statement has cut or my bill is coming due.

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Fri May 29, 2009 11:25 am

I think that Citi is sneaky to cause poeple late fees, as simple as that. Now I check every month and PIF ASAP. No e-mail notification again. I am beginning to be "pissed off."

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:24 pm

Citi is closing in on thankyou points (e.g., SLR), very few trades are worthwhile now with Citi thankyou points. Thus the Forward card is walking backward into my drawers to collect dust from now on.

Eric
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by Eric » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:22 pm

As long as they keep giving 3.1% (if the cashback is applied to the statement balance) this is still marginally useful for restaurants, movies, books and music which aren't given special benefits by other cards. I'm not sure it's worth the space in my wallet, though, when a 2% card and a 5% EDP card together cover most things.

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:04 pm

Yes, Macy's is still a good trade. I am usually deciding between Forward vs. Chase professional (3% for restaurant) for restaurant bills. I will use Forward more.

joelmeu
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by joelmeu » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:49 pm

joelmeu wrote: ...
[*]$25 student loan credits (for 2,500 TY points)[/list]

You can learn more about the Citi Forward Visa and apply at:
http://www.citiforward.com/

(You can also compare the rewards you'll earn from your monthly spending with the Citi Forward card to other rewards cards using the rewards calculator at http://www.creditcardtuneup.com/ .)
Note that the $25 student loan credit for 2,500 TY points option is no longer available, but there are still dozens of $100 gift cards for 10,000 points.

Eric
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by Eric » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:00 pm

ThankYouPoints has added a cashback offer which is actually a little better than their "credit to your Citi Forward account", that turns those 5% TYP for restaurants, movies, bookstores, music (plus the difficult-to-understand-points Citi adds for paying on time etc and what you receive if you book on Expedia) into a 3.1% cash payment (16,000 TYP for a $100 cheque). I tested it late last month and today received $100. Not bad.

hh
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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books, etc

Post by hh » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:45 pm

Got my $200 Macy's GC; they say that you can put it in our Macy's Visa card and get a refund check for the overage; but I do not have the time/energy to do that. We buy Macy's stuff very regularly.

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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books,

Post by creditcardrays » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:25 pm

You can earn $100 gift cards and $25 student loan credit. Kindly read a fine print and visit website. It's a matter of points.

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Re: New Citi Forward Visa: 5% at restaurants, movies, books,

Post by CreditGoByeBye » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:47 pm

Now THOSE are deals that I can appreciate. I feel like the best cards (for me, at least) are the small rewards. I like having multiple rewards to spend like on coffee, movies and other outings. Despite the fact that I'm using my credit card, I'm saving money in the long run by using the reward points as opposed to cash. I think I've probably saved myself about $200 this year alone!

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Eric
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Citi Forward Visa: 5% continues to degrade

Post by Eric » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:15 pm

I went to redeem some Thank You Points and discovered that for cash (whether for cash or an account credit) they have cut the return to 1/2 of the point value (20,000 points -> $100, etc). TYP were already depreciated, but previously yielded the equivalent of around 3.2% on the 5% categories, now it's 2.5%. Forward still awards those curious gift points for payments made on time etc. that increase the yield a little or a lot (I earned only 44 points last month but was awarded 100 of the mystery points for good behavior). Curiously you get the best cash-back rate (3.1%) by requesting a Citi prepaid card. (I'm of the "cash is king" school, and I know that some contributors to this thread appreciate the higher return offered by some dedicated retailer gift cards, so this is not for you).

Except for the special, limited, difficult-to-follow quarterly 5% category specials offered by some cards, this still is not a bad deal for restaurants, movies, books etc, just not as good as it used to be.

Eric
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Citi restores full purchasing power to Forward

Post by Eric » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:57 pm

Nearly a year ago I lamented that Citi has continued to depreciate the cashback on this card from 63% to 50% of the thank-you point (TYP) redemption, so the 5% TYP rebate on restaurant, cinema, bookstore purchases only yields 2.5% cash--not bad in today's environment, but not as great as you would think from the "5%" boast. CCG members who like retail store gift cards correctly pointed out in this thread that you can get full or near-full value if you accept a gift card for one of the recognized partners. While I accept that attitude for those who love Macy's or whatever, in my book Cash Is King.

Today I received an announcement that TYPs can now be used to generate a temporary virtual credit card number for online purchase anywhere VISA/MC are accepted. In their example on-screen, 10,000 points is good for $75 credit, so this is at 75% of TYP redemption.

The caveats? The points used (1) are only for online or telephone purchases; (2) must be used before midnight on the day generated (but can be used for multiple purchases during that time, and anything not used reverts to your account, as I understand the FAQs); and (3) as these are virtual, they cannot be used for purchases for which you must present the card you used to pick up the goods, such as theatre or airline tickets. Citi also will not honor a cash advance attempt, but this is next best thing.

There is a FAQ page at http://www.thankyou.com/yourreward .

Addendum a couple of days later: Sorry! looking at the Citi Forward site the 5% benefits are no longer available to new accounts, even while Citi continues to promote the card specifically for restaurants, movies, books. That's dishonest. So for those of you who are grandfathered, go for it! Apologies to new applicants: You might also look at their extra points awarded for things like paying on time, which might raise this for you to more than 1%; I don't understand the system and while I appreciate whatever extra points I receive, don't modify my credit card use to seek them.

Eric
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A once-good card depreciated away

Post by Eric » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:08 pm

Citi has cut the benefits on this card from 5% to 2%. Since Thank You Points are worth less than 1% (see previous postings) unless used to purchase gift cards from associated retailers, this card is no longer as good as the many alternatives, even for these special categories.

They have retained the curious addition of 100 bonus points for each month you pay on time.

joelmeu
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Re: A once-good card depreciated away

Post by joelmeu » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:13 pm

Eric wrote:Citi has cut the benefits on this card from 5% to 2%. Since Thank You Points are worth less than 1% (see previous postings) unless used to purchase gift cards from associated retailers, this card is no longer as good as the many alternatives, even for these special categories.

They have retained the curious addition of 100 bonus points for each month you pay on time.
Yeah, that was a real bummer for me. I guess I'll add one caveat that the Citi Forward's new 2X earning rate can still be compelling if you (or your spouse) also have the Citi Prestige card or Citi ThankYou Premier card and you want to redeem your ThankYou points for travel. (This is because Citi ThankYou points are worth *more* with the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards and you can redeem the ThankYou points you earn from other Citi cards *through* your Citi Prestige or Premier card and get the higher point value that way.)

With the Citi Prestige, your ThankYou points become worth 1.33 cents apiece for travel, so the Citi Forward's 2X is worth 2.66%. (Or, special case, if you happen to be interested in American Airlines flights, the TY points are worth 1.6 cents apiece with with the Citi Prestige card, making the Forward card's 2X worth 3.2%.)

With Citi TY Premier, your ThankYou points become worth 1.25 cents apiece toward travel, so the Forward card's 2X is worth 2.5% toward travel.

I've been working on a new reward card calculator that takes many nauances like this into account. So, for example, you can specify that you're interested in Travel Rewards (in addition to Cash Back and/or Gift Cards) and it will adjust its point valuations accordingly. You can try it out at:
SiftSwift.com Reward Credit Cards Calculator
(Turn on the Filters and Inputs switch to take advantage of these nuanced calculation abilities.)
Last edited by joelmeu on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Eric
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Forward continues to slip backward

Post by Eric » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:37 pm

For those who still use the Citi Forward Visa card, or the many more who may have it sock-drawered, a new update from Citi. In January 2018 it will be converted to a Citi ThankYou Preferred Mastercard.

The current 2 points (worth less than 2% in cash) on restaurants, music, movies and books will be expanded to "dining out an entertainment, including restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, bars and lounges, concerts, live performances, museums, amusement parks, sporting events, movie theaters, music downloads and more," 1 point for all else.

The 100 bonus points per month for paying on time and remaining under the credit limit will be abolished, eliminating any residual advantage of this card over a 2% cashback card for those who might charge less than $300 monthly to the card in these categories.

I'll leave the new card in my sock drawer, ThankYou.

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