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Rewards Programs

Earning and using Citi ThankYou points

Everything you need to know about earning Citi ThankYou rewards and redeeming them for the maximum value

Summary

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. Most include a variety of bonus offers as well as flexible points redemption options. But how refreshing is it to find a program that actually thanks you for choosing its team in its name? Here’s our analysis of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program and some best practices for using your points.

What are Citi ThankYou points?

Citi ThankYou points are the rewards currency offered by the Citi bank loyalty program. In gratitude for your business, Citi allows you to collect points by making transactions with one of the designated rewards cards. The points can be used for a variety of rewards. Some include purchases through Amazon or Best Buy, buying gift cards, receiving a statement credit, as well as travel rewards.

Once approved for one of the Citi ThankYou credit cards, cardholders can immediately begin earning points. The customer’s Citi account can be managed via the Citi online credit card portal. And the Citi Rewards can be managed through ThankYou.com.

How to earn Citi ThankYou points

Using your Citi credit card for everyday spending is just scratching the surface when it comes to acquiring ThankYou points. Here are some other ways to maximize your earning capabilities.

Sign-up bonuses

Sign-up bonuses are one of the obvious ways to earn ThankYou points upfront. While bonus offers for new card members change periodically, they are often competitive and fairly easy to attain. Here’s what Citi currently offers for each card:

CardSign-up bonus
Citi Double Cash

Citi Premier® Card

Earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in first three months of account opening
AT&T Access

AT&T Access from Citi*

Earn 10,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first three months of account opening.
Citi Rewards+ Card

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Earn 15,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first three months of account opening.
Citi Prestige

Citi Prestige® Credit Card*

Earn 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in first three months of account opening.

According to Citi, sign-up bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Category bonuses 

Spending is the name of the points earning game. But, if you can earn bonus points by spending more in certain categories, why not do so? Citi offers ThankYou bonuses for spending in the following categories:

  • Gas – Earn 3x ThankYou points with the Citi Premier Card. Earn 2x ThankYou points with the Citi Rewards+ Card (up to $6,000 per year in combined gas and supermarket purchases, then 1 point per dollar).
  • Travel – Earn 3x ThankYou points on air travel and hotels with the Citi Premier. Earn 5x ThankYou points on air travel and 3x points on hotels and cruises with the Citi Prestige.
  • Groceries – Earn 3x ThankYou points at supermarkets with the Citi Premier. Earn 2x ThankYou points on supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year in combined gas station and supermarket purchases, then 1 point per dollar) with the Citi Rewards+ Card.
  • Restaurants – Earn 3x ThankYou points with the Citi Premier Card. Earn 5x ThankYou points with the Citi Prestige.
  • General purchases – Earn 2x ThankYou points on every purchase (1x when you make a purchase and 1x when you pay off your purchase) with the Citi® Double Cash Card.

Banking bonuses 

Citi is offering some extra icing on top of helping you organize your bank accounts. If you have a Citibank account, you simply need to register with ThankYou Rewards to begin earning bonus ThankYou points. You can earn up to 1,600 points per month by enrolling in direct deposit and bill payment, as well as by making at least one debit or credit transaction.

  • See the Citibank monthly rewards points breakdown here.
  • If you don’t have a Citi checking account, you can open one here.
  • Once your checking account is open, you can manage your ThankYou points through this calculator.

Cards that earn Citi ThankYou points

Let’s take a look at the Citi ThankYou rewards cards, which is best for what sort of cardholder and how their rewards rates compare:

CardAnnual FeeRewards rateBest for
Citi® Double Cash Card$0
  • Up to 2% cash back on every purchase (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay off those purchases)
  • Transfer your cash back to Citi ThankYou points at a rate of $1 cash back to 100 ThankYou points.
Flat-rate cash back
Citi Prestige® Credit Card$495
  • 5 points per dollar on air travel and restaurants
  • 3 points per dollar on hotels and cruise lines
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Luxury travel
Citi Premier®
Card
$95
  • 3 points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and air travel
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Travel and dining
AT&T Access Card from Citi$0
  • 2 points per dollar on online retail, travel websites and AT&T products and services
  • 1 point per dollar other purchases
Online shopping and AT&T customers
Citi Rewards+ Card$0
  • 2 points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1 point per dollar)
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Every purchase rounded up to nearest 10 points ($2 soda earns 10 points, $13 movie ticket earns 20 points)
Supermarket purchases

Comparing ThankYou Rewards with other rewards programs 

Citi’s closest rewards program competitors are American Express, with its Membership Rewards program and Chase, with its Ultimate Rewards program. Each program has a very similar point value and allows you to transfer points for travel miles. While it can be tough to distinguish these three at first glance, they do have a number of differences:

Rewards programTravel point redemption valueBonus point offersTransferring points to other accountsPoint expiration
Citi ThankYou Rewards1.25 cents per point value toward airfare, hotels, cruises, and car rentals with Premier card (valid through 4/10/21)Bank accounts that offer ThankYou points can be redeemed for rewardsMove points to anyone’s ThankYou account, with transfer limit of 100,000 points per calendar year. Points expire 90 days after transfer.ThankYou points earned expire 60 days after card cancellation.
American Express Membership Rewards1 cent per point value for airfare; 1.35 cents per point value for eligible flights when you have The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressOffers bonus points through Uber and Amex Offers programPoints cannot be moved to other accounts, but you can transfer points to another person’s frequent flyer program if the recipient is an authorized user on your Membership Rewards credit card account.Membership Rewards points do not expire as long as the card remains active.
Chase Ultimate Rewards1.5 cents per point value with Chase Sapphire Reserve; 1.25 cents per point value with Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire PreferredOffers bonus points through Chase Offers programMove points from/to spouse or significant other living at the same address only. Recipient must also have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points.Points will be lost if the account is closed.

How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?

The value of ThankYou points will vary considerably depending on how you redeem them and which rewards card you use. For example, a travel redemption with the Premier card gets you a value of 1.25 cents per point (through April 10, 2021), while the same redemption with the Prestige card only gets you 1 cent per point in value. Here’s a look at the average ThankYou point value by redemption category:

RedemptionAverage point value
Shopping0.83 cent
Pay with points0.8 cent
Cash back0.5 cent
Amazon/Best Buy0.8 cent
Statement credit0.5 cent
Flights1 cent
Gift cards1 cent
Select and credit0.75 cent

How to use Citi ThankYou points

After you’ve had some practice collecting your ThankYou points, next comes the really fun part – redeeming them. However, here’s where the real strategy comes in. Due to the average point value with trying to redeem through normal means, such as shopping or cash back, better rewards value will be found through the Citi travel portal.

You can directly book travel with ThankYou points through the Citi travel portal found at the ThankYou rewards center. The benefit of booking directly is that your points are worth more booking than other third-party vendors – but exactly how much more depends on the card you have.

The Premier card gets the highest boost in value – 25% through April 10, 2021. Other cards, such as the AT&T Access card, still carry a 1 cent point redemption value within the travel portal. Often, the most valuable and flexible way to redeem ThankYou points for travel rewards is to transfer them to one of Citi’s travel partners.

Transferring ThankYou points 

Most of Citi’s transfer ratios are a straightforward 1:1, with a transfer time ranging from instantly to about one week. There is an expiration period after 90 days, so you should be strategic when taking advantage of bonus periods and redeeming your points in time.

Citi ThankYou Transfer PartnersTransfer Ratio1,000 ThankYou Points =
Aeromexico1:11,000 Premier Points
Asia Miles1:11,000 Asia miles
Avianca Lifemiles1:11,000 Avianca miles
Emirates Skyward1:11,000 Emirates Skywards miles
Etihad Guest Miles1:11,000 Etihad Guest miles
Eva Air1:11,000 Eva Air miles
Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)1:11,000 Flying Blue miles
JetBlue TrueBlue1:11,000 TrueBlue points
JetPrivilege1:11,000 JetPrivilege miles
Malaysia Airlines1:11,000 Malaysia miles
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:11,000 Qantas miles
Qatar Privilege Club1:11,000 Qatar Privilege miles
Singapore Airlines1:11,000 Singapore Airlines miles
Thai Royal Orchid Plus1:11,000 Thai Royal miles
Turkish Airlines1:11,000 Turkish Airlines miles
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:11,000 Virgin Atlantic miles

Compared with Chase and American Express rewards programs, Citi’s ThankYou program has fewer airline partners (Amex has the most at more than 20), and a few more restrictions on members. These restrictions mainly include the length of time it can take to transfer points. The Chase and American Express rewards programs allow instantaneous points transfer, while Citi points can take up to seven days to transfer.

Citi perks and benefits 

In addition to flexible rewards options offered by Citi ThankYou credit cards, there are plenty of other perks that come with being a Citi cardmember. Explore more of what Citi has to offer when it comes to travel, shopping, credit protection, dining and entertainment benefits.

See related: American Express Rewards guide, Chase Ultimate Rewards guide

*Information about the AT&T Access from Citi and Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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