Who: This post is for people who are looking to build their credit history, want a credit card that rewards you for getting good grades, or those of you who want to rack up tons of Thank You Points for spending money on what you already spend money on.
What: This post is a product review for Citi’s mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card. This post will discuss the pros, cons, and some general facts about this credit card.

A Word from our sponsors:
Before you settle on that student credit card you should compare credit cards. Make sure you are getting the best credit card deal. Credit card guide can help you compare all the major credit cards. They make it easy.

The Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card is a credit card geared towards college students. Many of the categories which earn bonus points are things that students spend money on anyway (restaurants, book stores, movie stores, etc). There are many other benefits that students and non-students alike can reap from this card.

Cons:

  • You have to be a student to get approved for this card. I have heard of occasions where they ask for proof of enrollment from friends that I have recommended this card to. I was never asked for such proof, however.
  • You cannot get direct cash back from your purchases. Instead, the purchases accrue Thank You Points. The value of the Thank You Points will vary based on the rewards that are redeemable at any given time, though they are usually on par with or better than most other reward programs.
  • As with most student credit cards, the credit limits given out with this card are not very stellar. However, I have found it pretty simple to re-allocate credit lines from other cards to this one.

Pros:

  • 0% APR on purchases, balance transfers, AND cash advances for 6 months. This isn’t anything shockingly fantastic, but it does allow you to freeride on some bills for a few months, until you have a chance to get your finances back in order after the holiday season.
  • You can earn Thank You Points for good grades. You can get up to 2000 points (roughly $20 value) up to two times a year for getting good grades. All you need to do is send in your transcript and your account gets credited.
  • 25 Thank You Points for paying on time! Every time you make at least the minimum payment (but you should pay your entire balance if you don’t have 0% APR), you get 25 Thank You Points credited to your account. Granted, this isn’t much at all, but it is basically free points.
  • You get 5 Thank You Points for every dollar spent at stores in the special categories. The special categories include restaurants (fast food too!), bookstores, record stores, movie theaters, and video rental stores. Most places I have been expected to be credit at 5x Thank You Points have been.
  • For me, this seals the deal… Under “bookstores,” AMAZON.COM purchases count for 5x points. I am not certain if some purchases are excluded but all of my recent Amazon.com purchases have been credited 5x. Does anyone out there know specifically what is excluded, if anything? Think about it… 5% off on EVERYTHING at Amazon.com, PLUS whatever other coupons and special deals you want want to use.
  • You receive 1 point per dollar spent on everything else that you buy. That’s a standard 1% cash back equivalent
  • The student requirement, while strict, is very, very broad. I have known people to sign up for a swim class or something of that nature at a community college to become eligible for this card. It is that good. Master’s students, undergraduates, and PhD’s are all eligible. You just have to be a student, SOMEWHERE.

Notes on Thank You Network

A lot of people are skeptical about point networks and poor redemption structures and I do not blame them. However, I must say that the Thank You Network is one of the best rewards programs that I am currently a member of.

  • There are many, many ways to earn Thank You points including multiple credit cards, checking, savings, and other banking products at Citi.
  • The Thank You Points at lower levels are worth slightly less than 100pts to $1, but starting at 10000 points, many $100 gift certificates are available, making it competitive with, and better than most other point systems out there.
  • Finally, my favorite use of Thank You Points is for free domestic flights. Hopefully they will not phase this out, but last time I checked, any domestic flight in the contiguous 48 states can be purchased through Expedia for 25000 points (Roughly $250). The great part is that this includes $400+ tickets. The best I have ever done is a $428.00 ticket for 25000 points! That is equivalent to 58 points per dollar, almost unheard of in rewards systems nowadays.

Final Thoughts

I am a very harsh grader, as you will come to notice. However, the mtvU Citi card is one of most useful cards in my wallet and probably my favorite. I earn thousands of points a month and redeem them on a regular basis for flights and gift certificates. At this time, with my knowledge of the credit cards out there, there is not a single other card that I would recommend to any college student and there are very few cards that I would recommend to ANYONE over this.





Final Verdict: A-
Note: This verdict reflects a highly complex algorithm which determines how awesome a financial product is. This is not limited to credit card products.

Popularity: 21%