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Just Say No To Teaser Cashback Offers

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I’m not a fan of credit cards that offer promotional cash back offers because, let’s be honest, they charge their interchange and processing fees regardless of what their reward program is, so why not kick as much back to the cardholder in Month 1 as you would in Month 7 (or 13)? So, when Citi announced that the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card would now be offering 5% cash back on purchases at gas stations, supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores, and utilities for only 6 months, I thought that was a joke. I’m sorry, that particular Citi card isn’t going to get a coveted share of wallet with a promo rate like that, especially since Citi just reduced the rewards from this 5% to the current 2% rate [3]. (here are some of the best cash back credit cards [4] available today, don’t settle for promotions)

Listen Citi, you won’t get people applying for your card and putting it in their wallet if they only get 6 months. Make it permanent. Consumers, don’t get duped by these types of offers. Applying for new cards all the time, chasing a few measly percentage points on cashback is going to be brutal to your credit score. Find a card that won’t play these cashback games, apply for it, and stay loyal to it so the card companies know they can jerk people around by adjusting the rules as they see fit.

It’s clear that Citi regrets their decision to reduce the rate from 5% to 2% (otherwise why offer the promotion?) and it’s clear that they also enjoy the added revenue from not paying out as much (otherwise why make it 6 months and not permanent?), so don’t give them a reason to herald this offer a success by clamoring back for 3% extra for six months.