How Do Citi ThankYou Points Work?

How Do Citi ThankYou Points Work? loading="lazy"

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Like other credit card issuers, such as American Express and Chase, Citi has its own rewards program called Citi ThankYou Rewards. Citi ThankYou points are among the most versatile credit card rewards out there because of how easy it is to earn and redeem them.

You can earn Citi ThankYou points by using a Citi credit card for everyday spending. Once you rack up enough Citi ThankYou points, you can redeem them in a variety of ways, from statement credits and cash back to Amazon purchases and even some great travel options—depending on the specific Citi credit card you carry. Here's how Citi ThankYou points work, and how you can make the most of them with a credit card from Citi, an Experian partner.

What Are Citi ThankYou Points?

Citi ThankYou points are a type of rewards currency, like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, that you can earn by making purchases with one of the Citi credit cards that participates in the program. You can also accrue points in a number of other ways, such as by earning credit card welcome bonuses and transferring cash back from another Citi card.

To redeem the ThankYou points you earn, you will need to log into the Citi ThankYou Rewards portal using your Citi banking credentials, including a username and password. Once logged in, you should see your points balance. Among the options for redeeming them are:

  • Cash back as statement credits, direct deposit, or check by mail
  • Gift cards
  • Travel bookings
  • Shop or pay with points transactions
  • Sharing or transferring points to other accounts
  • Charitable contributions
  • Payment towards mortgage or student loans
  • Transfers to partner airline frequent-flier programs

The number of ways you can redeem Citi ThankYou points and the value you get from them will vary depending on the specific cards you have. If you have more than one card that earns Citi ThankYou points, each account will have its own balance of ThankYou points, which you can combine with the others.

ThankYou points earned with Citi credit cards will not expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. However, ThankYou points do expire within 90 days of closing an account, even if you combine them with those from another card that remains open and in good standing, or if you share them with someone else's ThankYou account.

How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points

The main way to earn ThankYou points is to carry a Citi credit card that participates in ThankYou Rewards. You can expect to earn anywhere from 1 to 10 points per dollar you spend based on the specific cards you have and the types of purchases on which they earn bonus rewards.

Citi Credit Cards That Earn ThankYou Points

There are three main credit cards that earn ThankYou points:

The Citi Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and the Citi Rewards+® Card are usually classified as cash back cards, though they actually earn ThankYou points that you can redeem for other rewards as well.

The Citi Premier® Card, on the other hand, is more like travel rewards cards because it earns ThankYou points that you can also transfer to 16 airline partner programs. You can also pool points from your Citi Custom Cash℠ Card or Citi Rewards+® Card and open up those transfer options.

There are also promotions offered by Citi that allow you to earn ThankYou points for things like opening a new checking account, but credit cards are far and away the fastest and best way to rack them up.

For example, folks who apply for the Citi Premier® Card can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. The card also accrues 3 points per dollar on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and travel; and 1 point per dollar on everything else. So you can really rack ThankYou points up quickly on your everyday spending. The card has a $95 annual fee.

Another option, the Citi Rewards+® Card, earns 2 points per dollar on supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 spent per year and then 1 point per dollar after that. The card earns 1 point per dollar on everything else. Each transaction is rounded up to the nearest 10 points, so if you spent even just a dollar on something at the drugstore, you'd earn 10 points on that purchase. It is currently offering 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

How to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points

Part of what makes Citi ThankYou points so useful is the sheer number of ways in which you can redeem them. Among the best options:

  • Cash back: ThankYou points redeemed for cash back, including as a statement credit against purchases, for a deposit into an eligible bank account or as a mailed check, are worth 1 cent apiece.
  • Pay With Points: With this option, you can select specific charges to redeem points toward for a statement credit. Eligible purchases include dining, groceries, gas, clothing and department stores, utilities, entertainment and drugstores. Pay With Points transactions only take two to three business days to post. Beware that you typically only get 0.8 cents per point in value this way.
  • Gift cards: Exchange your points for gift cards with more than 100 merchants ranging from Apple to CVS Pharmacy, Home Depot, Petsmart, Target and more. The conversion rate is 1 cent per point, and you must usually redeem points in increments starting at 2,500 for $25.
  • Book travel: You can use your points to book travel—including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and activities—directly through ThankYou.com. Points redeemed this way are worth 1 cent each.
  • Shop with points: Alternatively, you can simply cash in your points as you shop with six partners—Amazon.com, PayPal, 1800Flowers.com, BestBuy.com, BP-Amoco and Shell. Points are usually only worth around 0.8 cents each this way.
  • Charitable contributions: You can currently donate to seven organizations using points instead of dollars, including the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund and UNICEF USA. Points are worth 1 cent each and can be redeemed in increments starting at 2,500 for $25.
  • Mortgage and student loan payments: You can also help pay off student loans and mortgages using ThankYou points at 1 cent apiece and in increments starting at 2,500 points for $25, up to a maximum of $1,000 for 100,000 points.

Transfer to Airline Partners

Don't forget, if you have the Citi Premier® Card, you can transfer ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio to the following 16 airline frequent-flier programs:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Jet Airways Intermiles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

(As a side note, you can also transfer ThankYou points from the Citi Rewards+® Card Card to JetBlue TrueBlue on a 5:4 basis.)

You can sometimes get great value from your ThankYou points by transferring them to one of these frequent-flier programs and then redeeming the miles you end up with for otherwise expensive tickets in business or first class.

Before initiating a transfer like that, check the price in points on ThankYou.com for any itinerary you're interested in booking and then see if you can find award availability through the partner program to which you would transfer those points. Then, go with the option that requires the fewest points—whether that's ThankYou Rewards or a specific frequent-flier program.

See if You're Matched With a Citi Card

The best way to earn Citi ThankYou points is by getting and using a Citi credit card. The Citi Rewards+® Card is a great entry point for folks who are just getting started with credit, or who don't want to pay an annual fee. Those looking to focus more on travel rewards should consider the Citi Premier® Card instead since the points earned with them are more versatile and both cards offer excellent travel-related perks. You can use Experian CreditMatch™ to be paired with a card suitable for your needs and credit profile.