Citi® Double Cash Card Cash Back Transfer to ThankYou Points: How to Get the Most Rewards

The already popular cash-back credit card now provides even more value. Here’s what you need to know to maximize your card’s potential. (Citi is a FinanceBuzz partner.)
Last updated May 25, 2023 | By Ben Luthi
Citi Double Cash Transfer to ThankYou Points

We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

In September 2019, Citi announced that Citi® Double Cash Card holders could begin converting their cashback rewards into ThankYou Rewards points with the card issuer’s flagship rewards program. This presents a huge opportunity for Citi cardholders given the Citi Double Cash Card’s ability to earn you 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases unlimited on all your purchases.

If you have the Citi Double Cash and another Citi card that earns ThankYou Rewards points, you can now get much more value out of your rewards than if you were to just get cash back. But there are some things you need to understand about how to maximize the Citi Double Cash transfer to ThankYou Points.

Here’s everything you need to know about the process of transferring Citi Double Cash rewards to Thank You Points, and how to take the most advantage of the options available to you.

In this article

How the Citi Double Cash transfer to ThankYou Points works

Historically, Citi Double Cash cardholders have had three redemption options: a statement credit, a direct deposit to a bank account, or a paper check. With all three, you need to have $25 in your rewards account before you can redeem your cash back.

With the new transfer option, however, you now also have the opportunity to convert your cashback rewards into ThankYou points in $1 increments. You’ll receive 100 points for every dollar transferred to your linked Citi ThankYou rewards account, putting the value of each ThankYou Point at one cent.

You can request a Citi Double Cash transfer to ThankYou Points through your rewards dashboard in your online account. Once you’ve transferred your ThankYou points, they never expire. However, you won’t have the option to convert them back to cash back. So avoid making the transfer to points unless you’re sure that’s what you want.

After you make a transfer, you’ll have several new redemption options that weren’t previously available with the Citi Double Cash. These include booking travel, shopping with points on, purchasing gift cards, shopping online with PayPal, and more.

You’ll also have the chance to transfer your ThankYou points to the JetBlue TrueBlue program at a 1:0.8 ratio. JetBlue points are worth roughly 1.3 cents a piece on average. This means if you transfer 5,000 ThankYou Points (worth roughly $50), you’d get 4,000 JetBlue points worth $52 at an average redemption value.

If you have another card that offers ThankYou Rewards points, such as the Citi Premier® Card, Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available for applications), or Citi Rewards+® Card, you can pool your converted points in with points earned from those cards. And, if you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, you’ll also be able to transfer your points to additional airlines, all at a 1:1 ratio (or sometimes better when there are promos running).

The actual redemption value of a ThankYou Rewards point can vary based on how you use them. For example, travel arrangements, gift cards, and statement credits all offer one cent per point, but you might get more value for transferring rewards to a travel partner.

View more details at our Citi Rewards+ Card Review.

How to get the most value out of your Citi Double Cash rewards

If you just have the Citi Double Cash, your rewards are worth roughly the same whether or not you convert them into ThankYou points.

If you’re looking to squeeze more value out of this great cashback credit card, pair it with the Citi Premier Card or the Citi Prestige Card. With both of these cards, you can transfer your ThankYou points to any of the following:

  • Accor Live Limitless
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Privileges
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Shop Your Way
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Wyndham Rewards

What’s more, each of these airlines has its own set of partners, including many domestic airlines like American, Delta, and United.

The Citi Premier offers a big welcome bonus — whereas the Citi Double Cash doesn’t typically have one — and also allows you to rack up more points on select bonus categories.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi Premier® Card Citi Prestige Card (no longer available for applications)
Welcome bonus Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.99% - 28.99%, based on your creditworthiness Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening; Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024 N/A
Rewards rates 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases N/A

By pairing the Citi Double Cash with one or even both of these other credit cards, you can accelerate your earnings on certain spending categories and use the Citi Double Cash for everything else to ensure you’re always earning the most rewards possible.

If you are interested in further maximizing your rewards by transferring them to one of Citi’s airline partners, be aware that redemption values can vary based on the program you transfer them to and how you redeem them once you’ve moved them. In general, though, international business and first-class flights typically provide the best redemption rates.

If you were to use your ThankYou Rewards points to book the flight through the rewards program platform, you’d get 1 cent per point. But if you were to transfer your points to Flying Blue, you’d get a whopping 5.32 cents per point. (To get that figure, subtract the $377 in taxes and fees on the award ticket from the cash ticket to get $6,895, then divide by the 129,500 miles required for the fare.)

While getting that kind of value is possible through ThankYou Rewards transfer partners, it’s not guaranteed you’ll get it every time. Regardless of where you’re planning to travel, consider doing some test bookings with several airlines on the list so you can compare their redemption value. Always run the math to see which actually gets you the most value per point.

Also, keep in mind that business and first-class flights typically give you more value than the main cabin fares. But if you don’t have enough points to cover a more expensive ticket, it may still be worth it to transfer for a seat in economy if it gives you more value than what you’d get booking the flight through Citi.

How stacking Citi cards compares to other rewards credit cards

Although the new Citi Double Cash transfer to ThankYou points option is a massive win for ThankYou Rewards points enthusiasts, stacking the card with the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige won’t always give you the best bang for your buck.

For example, let’s say you have the following annual budget:

  • $6,000 on travel
  • $4,000 at restaurants
  • $2,400 on gas
  • $30,000 on non-bonus spending

Here’s what you’d earn with the Citi Double Cash and Citi Premier vs. the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases (which is transferable to Chase Ultimate Rewards). 

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases. (We're assuming below that not all travel would be booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. If that were the case, the Chase pairing would earn 30,000 points in the travel category.)

Citi Double Cash and Citi Premier Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Preferred
Travel 18,000 points 12,000 points
Restaurants 8,000 points 12,000 points
Gas 7,200 points 3,600 points
Non-bonus spending 60,000 points 45,000 points
Total points 93,200 points 72,600 points

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 25% more value on all travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The bank also has its own set of transfer partners, which includes several airlines and hotel brands. Even so, the Citi pairing provides roughly 23% more points than the Chase pairing.

But now let’s say you’re considering pairing the American Express® Gold Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. The Amex Gold Card offers 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on, and 1X on all other eligible purchases. The Blue Business Plus offers a flat 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that.

With this comparison, let’s say you spend the following annually:

  • $7,000 on groceries at U.S. supermarkets
  • $2,000 on airfare
  • $2,500 on hotel stays
  • $4,000 at U.S. restaurants
  • $30,000 on non-bonus spending

Here’s how it works out between the two duos:

Citi Double Cash and Citi Prestige Amex Blue Business Plus and Amex Gold
Airfare 10,000 points 6,000 points
Hotel stays 7,500 points 5,000 points
U.S. restaurants 20,000 points 16,000 points
U.S. supermarkets 14,000 points 28,000 points
Non-bonus spending 60,000 points 60,000 points
Total points 111,500 points 115,000 points

In this scenario, the Amex cards narrowly beat the Citi cards, and as with Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to several airline and hotel rewards programs.

So the lesson is: If you’re hoping to maximize the value of your rewards, take a look at your spending and break it down into categories. Then choose the credit cards that will allow you to earn the most rewards based on your personal spending habits.

Tips on applying for your Citi credit cards

If you already have the Citi Double Cash and want to pair it with another Citi credit card or you’re thinking of opening two Citi cards to maximize your rewards, it’s important to understand the card issuer’s credit card application rules before you start the process.

Citi doesn’t limit how many credit cards you can have from the bank, but it does have some rules on how often you can apply. For example, you can get approved for one personal card every eight days, two personal cards every 65 days, and one business card every 95 days. The first two rules are the most important in this scenario because the Citi Double Cash and Citi Premier are personal cards.

So if you’re planning on applying for more than one card, space out your applications by more than eight days, and avoid applying for any other Citi credit cards for at least 65 days after you get approved for your first one.

Bottom line

The Citi Double Cash transfer to ThankYou Points option is one of the best cashback credit cards if you are looking to maximize your rewards, especially for travel purposes. If you have the Double Cash Card or are thinking of getting it, consider also getting the Citi Premier Card so you can maximize the value of your rewards through transfers to airline partners.

Also, take some time to categorize your spending and pick the card combination that will give you the most rewards over time. Be sure to compare the Citi cards to credit cards from other card issuers to make sure the ThankYou Rewards program is where you want to focus your efforts. How to earn and how you redeem rewards is a personal matter — so pick what’s best for you.

Earn Cash Back Twice

Current Offer

Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.99% - 28.99%, based on your creditworthiness

Annual Fee


Rewards Rate

2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Luthi Ben is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people achieve their money goals. Along with FinanceBuzz, his writing has also been featured on U.S. News, NerdWallet, Experian, Credit Karma, and more.