Our Citi ThankYou guide gives a full overview on the best ways to earn and redeem ThankYou points.
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Credit card rewards programs are designed to vie for your attention and leading travel rewards cards compete through bonus offers as well as various benefits and flexible redemption options. One impressive credit card rewards program is the Citi ThankYou Rewards program.
Keep reading for our analysis of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program and some best practices for using your points.
Citi ThankYou points Rewards Program basics
With one of the Citi credit cards, you can earn rewards from the issuer, Citi ThankYou points, just by making transactions. The points can then be redeemed through various avenues, including purchases from Apple or Best Buy, gift cards, statement credits and travel reservations. Some cards that offer Citi ThankYou points even allow you to transfer your rewards to airline miles.
|Type of currency||Miles|
|Average point value||1.9 cents|
|Redemption options||Statement credit, direct deposit, check, Pay with Points, Shop with Points, gift cards, travel, transfer to partners, share with another ThankYou member, charitable donation|
|Minimum required to redeem||Minimum $5 for checks|
|Do rewards expire?||Rewards expire if card inactive for 12+ months|
|Transfer partners||16 partners|
Who is Citi ThankYou points rewards best for?
If you fly frequently, you may find that the wide variety of airline transfer partners Citi cards can have will make it easy to redeem your points. For example, holders of the Citi Premier® Card can transfer their points (including points earned with other Citi cards) to frequent flyer miles with 16 different airlines. In fact, after transferring, your Citi ThankYou points may become worth even more than the standard 1 cent per point value.
How to earn Citi ThankYou points rewards
The fastest and easiest way to earn Citi ThankYou points is to use a Citi credit card on everyday spending. However, that’s only one of multiple avenues to acquire rewards. Here are some other ways to maximize your earning capabilities.
Welcome bonuses are one of the easiest ways to earn ThankYou points right away. While bonus offers for new cardholders change periodically, they are often competitive and fairly easy to obtain. Here’s what Citi currently offers for each card:
|Citi Premier Card||80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||$200 cash back if you spend $1,500 in first 6 months|
|Citi Custom Cash℠ Card||$200 cash back if you spend $750 in first 3 months (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points)|
|Citi Rewards+® Card||20,000 points if you spend $1,500 in first 3 months|
We should note: According to Citi, bonus ThankYou points for new accounts aren’t available if you have had a Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, ThankYou Premier Card or Citi Prestige® Card* opened or closed in the past 24 months.
A less widely known, but still useful, method of earning points is that Citi also offers extra points by helping you organize your bank accounts. Depending on the type of Citibank account you have and the types of banking actions you perform monthly, you can earn some ThankYou points. You only need to enroll your Citibank account into the ThankYou Rewards program and complete one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment each statement period to earn points every month.
How to redeem Citi ThankYou points rewards
After you’ve had some practice collecting your ThankYou points, next comes the fun part — redeeming them. Redemption options are where the real strategy comes into play since it’s always better to redeem your points for the most possible value. However, in truth the best way to use Citi ThankYou points depends on your goals.
For example, if you redeem 10,000 points for a statement credit (which renders your points 0.5 cents apiece), you’ll only receive a $50 value from those points. But if you choose to redeem the same 10,000 points for a home mortgage or student loan payment (which makes your rewards worth 1 cent per point), you’ll yield $100 in value.
When redeeming for travel, you can directly book trips with your points through the ThankYou travel portal. With cards, like the Citi Premier Card, that earn bonus points on travel, you must book your travel directly with Citi to earn those points. The good part is that the Citi travel portal offers all kinds of travel — flights, hotels, rental cars and more — and you can find all your bookings in one place this way. Plus, booking directly is simple and gives consistent value to your points at 1 cent per point.
Transferring ThankYou points
Cardholders of premium Citi travel cards, which include the Citi Premier Card and the now discontinued Citi Prestige Card, can transfer their ThankYou points to one of Citi’s 16 travel partners at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments. These partners include JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.
The only exceptions to the 1:1 ratio are JetBlue and Wyndham Rewards, which offer 800 points for every 1,000 ThankYou points redeemed for cards that earn basic ThankYou points like the Citi Rewards+ Card and Citi Double Cash. However, when transferring points from Citi travel cards, the transfer ratio is 1:1. Occasionally, Citi may offer bonuses that return a more favorable transfer ratio.
Compared to both the Chase Ultimate Rewards and the American Express Membership Rewards programs, Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program has fewer domestic airline partners, as well as no hotel partners.
Citi perks and benefits
Other than the flexible rewards options, Citi rewards cards no longer offer any travel insurance or purchase protection benefits. In contrast, American Express, Capital One and Chase continue to provide travel benefits such as rental car insurance, trip delay and cancellation coverage and theft and damage benefits.
Nevertheless, Citi does include cellphone protection on a few cards, as well as access to Citi Entertainment, which offers presale tickets to concerts, sporting events and cultural events. A partnership with DoorDash also grants some cardholders a free DashPass membership for a few months.
How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?
The value of Citi ThankYou points varies considerably, depending on how you redeem them and which rewards card you use. For example, travel redemptions offer you 1 cent per point in value, whereas a point is worth 0.5 cents when redeemed for statement credit.
Here’s a look at the typical ThankYou point value by redemption category:
|Redemption||Average point value|
|Shop with Points||0.83 cents|
|Pay with Points||0.8 cents|
|Cash back||0.5 cents|
|Statement credit||0.5 cents|
|Gift cards||1 cent|
|Home mortgage or student loan repayments||1 cent|
How do Citi ThankYou points value compare?
Citi’s closest rewards program competitors are American Express’ Membership Rewards and Chase’s Ultimate Rewards, as well as the Capital One miles program. These days, with the competition so thick, the distinction between each rewards program blurs, making each program’s average point value equally high.
Nevertheless, they do have some differences, which we detail in the table below. Note: the point values listed below are based on Bankrate’s point valuations for 2022.
|Rewards program||Average point value||Bonus point offers||Transfer options||Point expiration|
|Citi ThankYou Rewards||1.9 cents||Eligible bank accounts earn ThankYou points||Points expire 60 days after card cancellation|
|American Express Membership Rewards||2.2 cents||Amex Offers||No expiration|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||2 cents||Chase Offers|
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|Points expire if account is closed, but may be transferred to another active account beforehand|
|Capital One miles||2 cents||N/A||Miles expire when account is closed|
Citi ThankYou transfer partners
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Citi transfer partners to which you can transfer your points to.
You can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to the following airline programs:
|Citi ThankYou transfer partners||Transfer ratio||1,000 ThankYou points equals|
|Aeromexico||1:1||1,000 Premier points|
|Asia Miles||1:1||1,000 Asia miles|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1:1||1,000 LifeMiles|
|Emirates Skyward||1:1||1,000 Skywards miles|
|Etihad Guest||1:1||1,000 Guest miles|
|EVA Air||1:1||1,000 Infinitely MileageLands miles|
|Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)||1:1||1,000 Flying Blue miles|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1:0.8 or 1:1||800 or 1,000 TrueBlue points|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1:1||1,000 Qantas points|
|Qatar Privilege Club||1:1||1,000 Avios|
|Singapore Airlines||1:1||1,000 KrisFlyer miles|
|Thai Royal Orchid Plus||1:1||1,000 Royal Orchid Plus miles|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||1:1||1,000 miles|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1||1,000 Virgin miles|
Citi recently added two hotel loyalty programs, Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards, to its list of travel partners.
|Citi ThankYou transfer partners||Transfer ratio||1,000 ThankYou points equals|
|Choice Privileges||1:1.5||1,500 Choice Privileges points|
|Wyndham Rewards||1:0.8 or 1:1||800 or 1,000 Wyndham Rewards points|
Top credit cards that earn Citi ThankYou points
The following credit cards are great picks for those looking to earn Citi ThankYou Points.
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Enjoy a $0 annual fee and earn up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase (1 percent when you buy and 1 percent when you pay off those purchases). Though marketed as a cash back card, the rewards are actually fulfilled as ThankYou points (100 points for every $1).
- Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: Each billing cycle, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on up to $500 in purchases in your top spending category. On all other purchases, you’ll get 1 percent cash back. This card’s rewards are also fulfilled as ThankYou points.
- Citi Rewards+® Card: For a limited time only, you can earn 5X points at restaurants for the first 12 months, for up to $6,000 in spending a year. You’ll also get 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations, also up to $6,000 a year. All other purchases earn 1X point, and every purchase you make earns points rounded up to the nearest 10 points.
- Citi Premier® Card: For $95 a year, the card provides 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and airfare. For all other purchases, the card gives you 1X point.
Frequently asked questions
Do Citi ThankYou points rewards expire?
Yes, ThankYou points rewards do expire and these expiration dates vary by card type. For example, with the Citi Double Cash, points expire 60 days after card cancellation or 90 days after you transfer them to another Citi ThankYou account. However, with the Citi Premier Card, your points never expire.
Can I share points with friends and family members?
You can move points to any other active ThankYou rewards account, with a transfer limit of 100,000 points per calendar year.
Can you buy Citi ThankYou points?
You can purchase Citi ThankYou points, but usually these points cost more than they’re worth. Right now, these points cost 2.5 cents each and you must buy them in increments of 1,000. This option is only useful if you’re a handful of points away from getting a free flight or free hotel stay. In that case, buying some ThankYou points won’t dent your wallet too much.
*All information about the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.