If you’re thinking of applying for a Citi credit card, you may have heard about ThankYou Points, a robust program that allows you to earn points and redeem them for gift cards, statement credits, travel arrangements, and more. Here’s what you need to know about Citi ThankYou Points to maximize their value.
- What are Citi ThankYou Points?
- How do you earn ThankYou Points?
- Cards that allow you to earn ThankYou Points
- Earn more ThankYou Points by using Citi bank accounts
- How do you redeem ThankYou Points?
- How do ThankYou Points compare to Chase Ultimate Rewards?
- How do ThankYou Points compare to Membership Rewards?
- Who the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is a good fit for
What are Citi ThankYou Points?
Citi ThankYou Points is a rewards program offered by Citi that allows you to earn points through your banking and credit card accounts. While Citi has many different credit cards available, including co-branded options with airlines, only a select number of cards qualify for the ThankYou program.
As you earn ThankYou Points, you can redeem them for gift cards, travel arrangements, cash rewards, or even to make charitable contributions.
How do you earn ThankYou Points?
With the ThankYou Rewards program, you’ll earn points on every purchase you make with your eligible Citi credit card. Depending on the card, you could earn up to 5X points per $1 spent in select spending categories, such as travel.
When it comes to Citi’s ThankYou Points program, there’s a distinct difference between the cards in terms of redemption values. The Citi Premier card allows you to redeem your points for a higher rate of return when you redeem them for airfare through ThankYou.com, giving you up to 25% more in value. For example, 60,000 ThankYou Points would be worth $750 in airfare instead of just $600 with other redemption methods.
The other four cards — the Citi Prestige Card, the Citi Rewards+ Card, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card, and the AT&T Access Card — only offer basic ThankYou Points, which aren’t eligible for the higher value on airfare.
However, there’s a workaround. If you have more than one Citi card eligible for the ThankYou Rewards program — such as the Premier and the Rewards+ cards — you can combine your points together and redeem them at the higher level.
Cards that allow you to earn ThankYou Points
There are five different cards that are eligible for the ThankYou Rewards program. Having multiple Citi cards can be a good idea as you can pool your points together when you redeem them, helping you maximize their value.
||Citi Prestige||Citi Premier||Citi Double Cash||Citi Rewards+
||Citi Rewards+ Student||AT&T Access Card|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening||Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months||None||Earn 15,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||Earn 2,500 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months||Earn 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months|
|Reward rate||5X points on airline purchases and restaurants; 3X points on hotels and cruise lines; and 1X points on all other purchases||3X points on travel, including gas; 2X points on restaurants and entertainment; and 1X points on all other purchases||up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay, that can be converted to 2X ThankYou points||2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 in purchases per year, and 1X points on all other purchases||2X points at supermarkets and gas stations for first $6,000 in purchases each year, and 1X points on all other purchases||2X points on AT&T purchases and online purchases at eligible travel and retail websites; and 1X points on all other purchases|
|Redemption rate||1.25 cents per point for select travel arrangements
One cent per point for gift cards, travel arrangements, and statement credits
|1.25 cents per point for select travel arrangements
One cent per point on all other redemption methods
|One cent per point for gift cards, travel arrangements, and statement credits||One cent per point for gift cards, travel arrangements, and statement credits||One cent per point for gift cards, travel arrangements, and statement credits||One cent per point for gift cards, travel arrangements, and statement credits|
|Special benefits||Complimentary fourth night hotel stay
VIP airport lounge access
$250 annual travel credit
|No foreign transaction fees
Access to Citi Concierge
|0% intro APR for 18 months||Get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year
The card rounds up automatically to the nearest 10 points on every purchase
|0% APR on new purchases for 7 months
Get 10% points back for the first 100,000 Thank You Points you redeem per year
The card rounds up automatically to the nearest 10 points on every purchase
|Get access to Citi Entertainment to get presale tickets and special events|
|Points transferable to travel partners||Yes||Yes||Only transferable to JetBlue’s TrueBlue program||Only transferable to JetBlue’s TrueBlue program||No||No|
Although the Citi Prestige has a high annual fee of $495, it comes with significant rewards and benefits. You’ll earn 5x points on airline purchases and restaurants; 3x points on hotels and cruise lines; and 1x points on all other purchases.
You can also earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening — a $500 value.
The card also offers some premium benefits, including:
- Complimentary fourth night hotel stay: After booking at least four consecutive nights through ThankYou.com, you’ll get your fourth night free up to two times a year.
- VIP lounge access: Get access to airport lounges through Priority Pass Select.
- $250 travel credit: Use your card to pay for eligible travel purchases and you’ll automatically receive a $250 statement credit.
The card doesn’t have a promotional APR (annual percentage rate) for new purchases or balance transfers. Your APR will be 16.99% to 23.99% (variable), depending on your creditworthiness.
The Citi Prestige is one of the few cards in the ThankYou Rewards program that allows you to transfer your points to travel loyalty programs, such as Avianca LifeMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Qatar Privilege Club. In most cases, your points will transfer at a 1:1 rate.
With the Citi Premier Card, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Redeem those points for airfare through ThankYou.com, and those ThankYou Points are worth up to $750.
While this card has a $95 annual fee, it offers generous rewards. You’ll earn 3X points on travel, including gas; 2X points on restaurants and entertainment; and 1X points on all other purchases.
There’s no promotional APR offer, so your rate will be a 15.99% to 23.99% (variable), depending on your creditworthiness.
Like the Citi Prestige, the Citi Premier allows you to transfer your points to select loyalty programs, like JetBlue TrueBlue or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, at a 1:1 rate.
As an added perk, you’ll get access to the Citi Concierge. You’ll be able to connect with trained experts 24/7 to help you with travel arrangements or to make dining reservations.
Citi Double Cash
Looking to take your everyday earnings to a new level? The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the best flat-rate, cashback cards out there and might be exactly what you're looking for. It’s best for those who pay their balances in full every month, and you can earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. There are no categories to keep track of or enroll in and no caps on the total amount of cash back you can earn. Did I mention there’s no annual fee either?
While there is no sign-up bonus with the Citi Double Cash Card, new cardmembers can enjoy a lengthy 0% intro APR for 18 months. After the promotional period, the APR will be 13.99% to 23.99% (variable) based on your creditworthiness.
Up until recently, earnings with the Citi Double Cash Card could only be redeemed for checks, statement credits, or direct deposit. As of Sep. 22, 2019, however, Citi Double Cash cardholders can now convert their cash rewards into Citi ThankYou points via a linked ThankYou account, which means an additional way to pool rewards.
Converted ThankYou Points can be redeemed for things like gift cards, shopping, and travel booking, but to transfer points to a travel partner, you’ll still need either the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige cards. JetBlue’s TrueBlue program is the only travel partner converted ThankYou Points can be transferred to without needing one of those higher-tier cards.
If you’re looking for a card with no annual fee, the Citi Rewards+ Card is an excellent choice. As a Rewards+ cardmember, you’ll earn 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 in purchases per year, and 1X points on all other purchases.
As an added perk, Citi automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase you make. For example, if you spent $2 on a cup of coffee, you’d get 10 points.
If you’re looking to complete a balance transfer, the card may be a good choice for you. You’ll get an APR of 0% for 15 months from the date of your first transfer. Once the promotional period ends, your APR will be 13.49% to 23.49% (variable), depending on your creditworthiness.
Citi Rewards+ Student
If you’re a college student, signing up for the Citi Rewards+ Student Card may be a good idea. It has no annual fee, and you can earn 2,500 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months after account opening — an easy threshold to meet if you use your card to pay for textbooks or other essentials.
Plus, you’ll get 7 months with 0% APR on new purchases, giving you time to pay off big items — like a new laptop — without worrying about interest charges. Once the promotional period is up, your APR will be 14.49% to 24.49% (variable), depending on your creditworthiness.
You’ll earn 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations for first $6,000 in purchases each year, and 1X points on all other purchases. You’ll also get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year.
The Rewards+ Student Card also has an extra benefit; it rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, with no cap on what you can earn. If you use your card to pay for a $22 dinner, that means you’ll actually get 30 points.
AT&T Access Card
The AT&T Access Card is the only co-branded card eligible for ThankYou Reward points. With it, you’ll earn 2X points on AT&T purchases and online purchases at eligible travel and retail websites; and 1X points on all other purchases.
There’s a $0 annual fee with this card. And if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus ThankYou Points — a $100 value.
The AT&T Access card doesn’t have a promotional APR offer.
Earn more ThankYou Points by using Citi bank accounts
If you currently have a checking account through Citi, you could be eligible to earn additional ThankYou Points. To start earning points, you have to enroll in the program and complete one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment each statement period.
The following bank accounts are eligible for ThankYou Points:
- Citi Priority
- Citi Private Bank Account
- The Citibank Account
You can earn even more points if you have a home equity loan, savings or money market account, personal loan, or mortgage linked to your Citi checking account.
How do you redeem ThankYou Points?
You can quickly and easily redeem your points through the ThankYou.com portal. Points are usually worth one cent each, except in some unique circumstances. There are several different ways to redeem your points:
Citi ThankYou Travel Center
You can use the Citi ThankYou Travel Center to book your travel arrangements with your points. To do so, just visit ThankYou.com. You can redeem your points with no blackout dates or restrictions, and you can book airline tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and destination activities.
If you have a Prestige or Premier card, booking through the Travel Center makes sense. Your points when booking flights through the Travel Center are worth 25% more, giving you more bang for your buck.
You can also redeem your points for gift cards through ThankYou.com. You can opt to have an electronic gift card sent to your email address right away or a physical gift card mailed to you within one to three weeks.
Gift cards are available from a wide range of retailers and restaurants, including Macy’s, AMC Theatres, Target, and Panera Bread.
Most gift cards are available once you reach at least 2,500 points and are available in $25, $50, or $100 increments.
You can redeem your points for cash once you’ve accumulated 5,000 points. Cash rewards are issued via check and are available in increments of $50 and $100.
If you’d rather redeem your points for a statement credit than for cash rewards, there’s an extra step involved. You can visit ThankYou.com and select “Cash rewards and charity” under the “More ways to redeem” menu. Or you can call the service center at 1-800-THANKYOU and request a statement credit.
Once you redeem your points, you’ll see the credit reflected on your statement within 30 to 60 days.
You can use your points to make a payment toward your mortgage once you’ve accumulated at least 2,500 points. To request this option, you must call 1-800-THANKYOU. The representative will mail a check to your mortgage lender.
Student loan payment
If you have student loans, you can use your points to make a payment toward your debt. The minimum points needed for this option is 2,500. To redeem your points for a student loan payment, call 1-800-THANKYOU.
You can also use your ThankYou Points to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, American Red Cross International Services, or Smile Train. You need at least 2,500 points to donate and can do so in $25, $50, or $100 increments.
Shop with Points
You can use your points to pay for purchases from Amazon, Expedia, PayPal, or Live Nation. Your points can be used to pay for a portion of your order or the full amount.
If you have a Citi checking account, you can use your ThankYou Points to pay some of your utility bills. You can also use a combination of cash and points when making online payments, helping you save money.
The Citi ThankYou Points program has several travel partners. Most have a 1:1 transfer rate, but not all — so make sure you double-check the rate before you transfer your points.
For airline loyalty programs, it can take up to 14 days for your ThankYou Points to post to your loyalty program account.
Occasionally, there are transfer bonuses that can make point transfers more valuable. In the past, airlines have offered bonuses as large as 30%, allowing you to save money on travel.
|Travel partner||Transfer rate|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||1:1|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1:1 for Citi Prestige and Premier cardmembers
1:0.8 for Rewards+ cardmembers
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||1:1|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1:1|
|Qatar Privilege Club||1:1|
|Thai Royal Orchid Plus||1:1|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||1:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1|
How do ThankYou Points compare to Chase Ultimate Rewards?
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the most popular credit card rewards programs available. However, the Citi ThankYou program offers a lot of value, too.
There are more redemption methods available with the ThankYou program. You can redeem your points not just for travel or gift cards but also to make payments on your student loans or mortgage. Your points are nearly always worth one cent each, allowing you to get the most value for your points, regardless of redemption method.
However, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program has more airline partners. And while the ThankYou program has no hotel loyalty program partners, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program does. For frequent travelers, signing up for a card that’s eligible for the Chase Ultimate Rewards program might make more sense.
How do ThankYou Points compare to Membership Rewards?
The American Express Membership Rewards program has an expansive list of airline and hotel loyalty programs, making it a great choice for frequent travelers. However, most of the eligible American Express cards have high annual fees, while there are three Citi ThankYou-eligible cards with no annual fee at all.
If you intend to use your rewards for statement credits or gift cards, you may get more value from a Citi credit card.
Can I get more than one card in the ThankYou Points program?
You can have more than one card in the ThankYou Points program. However, you aren’t eligible to receive bonus ThankYou Points if you received a new cardmember bonus for one of the eligible cards or if you’ve closed any of these accounts within the previous 24 months.
Do Citi ThankYou Points expire?
Citi ThankYou Points earned with a Prestige, Premier, Rewards+, Rewards + Student, or AT&T Access card don’t expire.
Points earned with a Citibank checking account will expire three years from December 31 of the year you earned them. For example, if you earned points in July 2019, they would expire on Dec. 31, 2022.
How long do Citi ThankYou Points take to transfer?
How long your points take to transfer depends on how you redeem them.
If you transfer your points to an airline loyalty program, it can take up to 14 days for the ThankYou Points to post to your loyalty program account.
If you decide to transfer your points to the Shop Your Way program — a program that allows you to use your ThankYou Points to make purchases with major retailers like Macy’s and Target — it may take up to five days for the points to show up on your account.
How much are Citi ThankYou Points worth?
Your points are generally worth one cent each.
However, if you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige and use your points to book air travel through ThankYou.com, your points are worth 25% more. Through this approach, your points are worth 1.25 cents each.
Can I share my Citi ThankYou Points with someone else?
Yes, you can share your ThankYou Points with other ThankYou members. Within a calendar year, you can share up to a total of 100,000 points.
Can you buy ThankYou Points?
If you need additional points, you can buy them. You can purchase increments of 1,000 ThankYou Points for $25. If you call 1-800-THANKYOU, you can purchase up to 100,000 ThankYou Points.
Who the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is a good fit for
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program is perfect for a person who wants more flexibility in how they can use their points, without sacrificing the value of their rewards. Whether you want to get a statement credit or make a charitable contribution, you can get the full value of your points.
If you’ve always been a Chase Ultimate Rewards loyalist, signing up for a Citi ThankYou card may give you more flexibility, allowing you to earn rewards you could use to pay down your bills or even pay off a chunk of your student loan debt.
Luxury Travel Benefits
- 50,000 bonus point sign-up offer
- 5X points on airline purchases and restaurants
- Up to $250 travel credit every calendar year
- Complimentary 4th night hotel stay
- Transfer points to airline partners