To round out our series of reviews on the best travel rewards programs, we’ve put together this review on Citi ThankYou Rewards.
We will review the various reward credit cards that will help you earn Citi ThankYou Points, as well as the travel partners you can use to redeem them.
This should help you plan out any potential future trips if you need to know where to earn reward points!
What Is Citi ThankYou Rewards?
Citi ThankYou Rewards is the bank loyalty program offered by Citi. You collect Citi ThankYou Points that can be used for a number of rewards, including on Amazon, Best Buy, for gift cards, a statement credit, and even travel rewards!
To sign up for the program, you must be approved for one of the Citi ThankYou credit cards. As soon as you have your new card and make your first purchase, you will begin earning points.
Depending on the category, you may earn bonus points, though cards always earn at least 1x point per dollar.
How To Sign In to Citi ThankYou Rewards
You can manage your reward credit cards from the Citi online credit card portal, view your expenses, and pay your balance. To manage your rewards, you need to go through ThankYou.com.
How Much Is a Citi ThankYou Point Worth?
Citi ThankYou Points’ standard worth is 1 cent each. You get this value when you redeem for gift cards, shop with points, or redeem them towards a statement credit.
Personally, we value Citi ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents each, because you can often get that level of value, or more, when redeeming through one of the ThankYou transfer partners.
When Do Citi ThankYou Points Expire?
Points will not expire as long as you keep your accounts open, though certain types of points, like shared points, come with an expiration date of 90 days.
If you close all of your ThankYou accounts, you will have 30 days to use your reward points before they expire.
How To Earn Citi ThankYou Points Using Credit Cards
You can earn Citi ThankYou Points in many different ways. These include using credit cards, travel purchases, and banking relationship opportunities.
Citibank has numerous reward program cards that earn points. Each one has slightly different bonuses and a different earning style, so it’s best to choose the one that fits your own spending habits. To open a ThankYou Rewards account, you will need to apply and be approved for one of the ThankYou travel rewards credit cards:
- Citi Premier® Card
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- Citi Rewards+® Card
- Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
- AT&T Access Card From Citi
There are 2 additional cards, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card and the Citi Prestige® Card, that are no longer available for new applicants.
The best way to earn the most points is by combining multiple cards so you hit all the available bonus categories. Citi has a unique earning category not available on most cards: entertainment. If you’re a big movie-goer or spend frequently on other entertainment events, cards with this bonus category may be just right for you!
Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier card earns 3x points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and at gas stations, with 1x point per $1 on all other purchases.
The card charges a $95 annual fee and offers benefits like $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more each cardmember year, no foreign transaction fees, and access to the full suite of Citi ThankYou transfer partners.
Citi Double Cash Card
A popular option is the no-annual-fee Citi Double Cash card that earns 2% cash-back per dollar spent (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay, earned as ThankYou Points).
On its own, cardholders have access to Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Wyndham Rewards as transfer partners, but you’ll still need a premium ThankYou card (like the Citi Premier card) to pair with it in order to access all transfer partner redemptions.
Citi Rewards+ Card
A rather new entrant into the Citi credit card lineup is the Citi Rewards+ card, which offers 2 very unique benefits.
For starters, the card earns 2x points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year and 1x point per $1 spent thereafter. Beyond that, it earns 1x point per $1 on all other purchases.
What is interesting about the rewards scheme, though, is that the card will round up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. This means that instead of a $2 coffee earning 2 points, you’d earn 10 points. The perk by far makes it the best card out there for small purchases like these.
Cardholders also receive 10% of their redeemed points back each year, on up to the first 100,000 points redeemed per year.
Transfer partners include Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Wyndham Rewards, though you can access the entire roster of Citi transfer partners when pairing this card with a premium ThankYou card.
Citi Custom Cash Card
While not traditionally a ThankYou Points-earning card, the cash-back you earn with this card can be converted into ThankYou Points if you hold a premium ThankYou card like the Citi Premier card. This setup is similar to the relationship between the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
With the card, you’ll earn 5% back (or 5x points) on your highest spend category each billing cycle on up to $500, and 1% back thereafter. Which categories apply to the 5x category? Quite a lot, actually, including:
- Fitness clubs
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Home improvement stores
- Live entertainment
- Select streaming services
- Select transit
- Select travel
Better yet, the card has no annual fee, making it a great companion to a premium ThankYou Points-earning card.
AT&T Access Card From Citi
The Citi AT&T Access card earns 2x points per $1 for all AT&T purchases, along with 2x points per $1 on eligible retail and travel website purchases and 1x point per $1 on all other purchases.
Perhaps the most interesting is the eligible retail category since this is another unique category not offered on most other credit cards.
There is no annual fee on this reward credit card.
Similar to the Citi Custom Cash card, you can only utilize Citi’s transfer partners when you pair this card with a premium Citi ThankYou card.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
Note: At this time, the Citi Preferred card is no longer available to new applicants.
Cardholders will earn 2x points on dining and entertainment, as well as 1x reward points for all other purchases.
The entertainment category covers live entertainment, live theater, concerts, sporting events, movie theaters, amusement parks (including things like zoos), tourist attractions, record stores, and on-demand internet streaming like Netflix and HBO Go.
Perhaps the best part is that this card has no annual fee!
Existing cardholders have access to transfer their points to Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Wyndham Rewards, but must pair this card with a premium ThankYou card to access the full list of partners.
Citi Prestige® Card
Note: At this time, the Citi Prestige card is no longer available for new applicants.
The premium card in the lineup is the Citi Prestige card. While this card carries a large annual fee of $495, it has some outstanding benefits.
In fact, the card works like a combination of the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.
You will earn 5x reward points on airlines and dining, 3x points on hotels and cruise lines, and 1x point for all other purchases.
In addition, you will also have access to a range of luxury travel benefits. These include a $250 air travel credit (that can also be applied to supermarkets and dining purchases in 2022), a $100 Global Entry fee credit, and a complimentary night at a hotel after a 4-night stay (limited to 2 uses per calendar year). Cardholders also have access to all of Citi’s transfer partners.
This is definitely one of the great travel rewards cards!
How To Redeem Citi ThankYou Rewards
There are 2 main ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou Points for the best value:
- Using the Citi Travel Portal
- Transferring points to Citi airline and hotel travel partners
However, there are other options for redeeming points as well including gift cards, shopping with points, cash redemptions, and more.
Hot Tip: Points work like Chase Ultimate Rewards rather than Amex Membership Rewards — your points do not “pool” together automatically and are not all worth the same amount. Instead, you must combine points within the Citi ThankYou portal or use points individually.
Using the Citi Travel Portal To Redeem Points
The Citi Travel portal works similarly to the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal — you can search for flights and book them using your Citi ThankYou Points for 1 cent per point. How much the points are worth depends on the airline.
Compare this to the 1 cent redemption rate for flights through the Amex Travel portal and 1.25 cents with Chase Ultimate Rewards (if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card). Also, Amex Travel only offers 0.7 cents per point when used for anything non-flight-related.
Citi ThankYou Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners
Travel partners are where you can earn the most bang for your buck. Points transferred to partners can typically be redeemed for at least 2 cents each (or more), making them quite a bit more powerful!
|Citi Transfer Partner||Min Transfer||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Air France / KLM Flying Blue||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Avianca Airlines Lifemiles||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Choice Privileges||1,000||2:1||Almost Instantly
|Emirates Skywards||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Etihad Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|EVA Air||1,000||1:1||2 Days
|JetBlue Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Qantas Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Singapore Airlines||1,000||1:1||2 Days
|Thai Airways||1,000||1:1||4 Days
|Turkish Airlines||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Virgin Atlantic||1,000||1:1||Almost Instantly
|Wyndham Rewards||1,000||1:1||Within 24 Hours
Keep in mind that these rates are for those who hold either the Citi Premier card or the Citi Prestige card.
Holders of the Citi Double Cash card, Citi ThankYou Preferred card, and Citi Rewards+ card can transfer ThankYou Points to Choice Privileges at a 1:1.5 ratio and Wyndham Rewards and JetBlue TrueBlue at a 1:0.8 ratio.
Hot Tip: Citi’s newest transfer partners are Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards, both often overlooked hotel chains with thousands of locations around the world. Some of the best redemptions you’ll find with Choice include otherwise pricey stays in Scandinavia and Japan.
One thing to note is that the variety of travel partners covers all 3 major airline alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance.
What this means is that you can basically use your reward points on any airline in the world! As long as you have miles within an airline alliance, you can call and book your award travel in available space on any alliance member’s flights!
More importantly, this means that even though some of the big U.S. carriers are not direct partners, you can still use your points on American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and more by transferring points to travel partners.
Shop With Points
You can use your accumulated Citi ThankYou Points to shop with popular merchants like Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, and even through PayPal.
To use it, simply head to the Shop With Points section of the Citi ThankYou website. From there, select one of the eligible partners and shop online as you usually would. Afterward, you can use your points to cover the whole purchase, part of the purchase, or even as a statement credit after the fact at a rate of 1 cent per point.
Purchase Gift Cards
Similar to Shop With Points, you can use your Citi ThankYou Points to purchase gift cards with dozens of merchants on the platform. This includes popular merchants like Apple, Best Buy, Nike, and Starbucks.
You can purchase gift cards with your point balance in increments of $25, $50, or $100. However, if you are signed in to your account, you may see different options depending on your point balance.
Your ThankYou Points will provide you 1 cent per point in value towards gift cards, but on occasion, Citi will run sales with certain merchants that will allow you to get a bit more value.
Use Points as a Cash Reward
If you’d prefer to directly use your points as a statement credit or redeem them as cash via a direct deposit to your checking account, or even a check by mail, you can do so from your Citi account. Log in, select Use Your Points Now, select your eligible purchases, then select Redeem. Your points will be worth 1 cent each.
While you can’t transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards points to someone else’s hotel or airline loyalty program account, you can share your Citi ThankYou Rewards points with any other ThankYou Rewards member through the program’s Points Sharing feature. Here is how to do it:
- First, visit log in to your account on to the ThankYou website.
- Select the ThankYou account you want to use.
- Then click More Ways to Redeem from the menu bar and select Points Sharing.
- From there, enter how many points to share, along with the first name, last name, and account number of the person you’re sharing with.
- Lastly, click confirm and you’ll be all set! The recipient should receive the points nearly instantly.
There are a few rules to be aware of though, namely that you can only share a total of 100,000 ThankYou Points in a calendar year, and any points you share with another person are only valid for 90 days.
Other Ways To Use ThankYou Points
Lastly, there are a few other ways you can redeem Citi ThankYou Points, but we generally don’t recommend them if you’re looking to get as much value as possible.
If you’re feeling generous, you could redeem your points towards a charity of your choosing, from one of the charities listed on the Citi ThankYou website. Donations start at 2,500 points for a $25 donation, giving you a value of 1 cent per point. However, if you’re looking to get as much value from your points as possible, you’d be better off donating cash and redeeming your points towards something else — not to mention that cash donations can be tax-deductible where points donations usually are not.
Finally, you can redeem your Citi ThankYou Points towards your student loans or mortgage at a rate of 1 cent per point. Redemptions are made as a check directly to the lender, and because of that you’ll have to call 1-800-THANKYOU to redeem for either option.
Citi ThankYou Rewards is a very powerful program that allows you to earn points that can be redeemed on nearly any airline in the world.
Of course, you have multiple redemption options with your Citi ThankYou Rewards, but usually, your best option to receive the most value is transferring to a travel partner.
While ThankYou Rewards credit cards can be overlooked compared to others, they are excellent credit cards with unique bonus categories that will allow you to fill in even more gaps in your points strategy!
The information regarding the AT&T Access Card From Citi, Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, and Citi Prestige® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.