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How To Earn 100k+ Citi ThankYou Rewards Points [In 90 Days]

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Andrew Kunesh
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Andrew Kunesh

Former Content Contributor

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Andrew’s a lifelong traveler who puts in over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt. Andrew’s worked at Th...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
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Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Citi ThankYou Rewards is one of the major transferable rewards programs, and it provides members a great way to accumulate lots of points that can be redeemed for luxury travel experiences in business and first class.

But before you can redeem Citi ThankYou Points, though, you need to earn them. In this guide, we’ll show you the best strategy for earning 100,000 ThankYou Points through credit cards and other methods in just 90 days.

Why Would You Want To Earn 100,000 Citi ThankYou Points?

ANA A380 first class cabin
You can redeem your Citi ThankYou Points for seats in ANA’s awesome first class cabin. Image Credit: All Nippon Airways

While Citi ThankYou Rewards isn’t as well known as American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, it still has an excellent set of transfer partners that you can use to book airfare across all of the major airline alliances.

Citi ThankYou transfer partners include Avianca LifeMiles, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Turkish Miles&Smiles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and many others. Some of the best redemptions include booking ANA first class through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Lufthansa first class through Avianca LifeMiles, and low-cost awards to Europe through Air France/KLM Flying Blue. That’s not all you can do, though. We’ll get more into specific ways to redeem your ThankYou Points below.

Hot Tip: You won’t want to miss our complete guide to earning ThankYou Points for even more ways to earn tons of points!

How To Earn 100k+ Citi ThankYou Rewards Points

1. Apply for Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

First thing’s first: you’ll need a Citi ThankYou Points-earning credit card before you can start earning (and redeeming!) Citi ThankYou Points. Each of these cards earns points on all purchases and usually offers a welcome bonus to new cardholders.

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
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.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros

  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • 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.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi Rewards+® Card

Citi Rewards+® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Rewards+® Card

This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.
Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $250 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
20,000 points
$320
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months and on purchases. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel(SM) portal through June 30, 2024.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.74% – 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.
  • No Annual Fee

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months and on purchases. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars

Card Categories

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.

Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.

Pros

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
  • No redemption minimums

Cons

  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

The Citi Premier card is a mid-tier travel rewards card that earns 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels, and air travel. This makes the card good for everyday spending — especially if you spend lots on eating out, groceries, or big-ticket travel purchases.

We’ve seen welcome bonuses for the Citi Premier card go as high as 100,000 points, but it usually sits around 50,000. The welcome bonus is awarded to new cardholders after meeting a spending threshold, usually somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000.

Keep in mind that you are not eligible for the sign-up bonus from a Citi ThankYou Points card if you have opened or closed any of these cards in the last 24 months. It can take up to 8 weeks for bonus points to be added to your balance once they’ve been earned, but you’ll usually get them when your statement closes.

Depending on the welcome bonus offered to you, you could get over halfway to your 100k bonus very quickly.

2. Leverage the Double Cash Card

Historically, the Double Cash card has been a cash-back product, though you could convert your cash-back earnings into ThankYou Points.

Now, however, the Double Cash card earns ThankYou Points directly. With the card, you’ll earn 1x points per dollar spent on all transactions, and then another 1x points when you pay the bill, effectively equal to 2x on all purchases. This makes the card perfect for purchases that don’t fit a bonus category covered by the Citi Premier card or the Citi Prestige® Card.

On its own, points from the Double Cash card can transfer to Choice Privileges, Wyndham Rewards, and JetBlue TrueBlue at reduced ratios. However, if you also have a premium Citi ThankYou card, it’s possible to transfer the points to Citi’s full suite transfer partners.

If you have both the Citi Premier card and the Double Cash card, you’ll set yourself up to always earn at least 2x ThankYou Points on all purchases, which is an amazing 3.2% return on spending.

3. Maximize Bonus Categories To Boost Your Earning

People Eating At A Large Table in A Restaurant
Enjoy eating at restaurants? The Citi Prestige card earns 5x points per dollar spent on dining! Image Credit: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

You can earn points quickly when you use your Citi ThankYou credit cards to make everyday purchases.

This is especially true when you use the right ThankYou card to make purchases. Remember, each ThankYou card has its own set of bonus categories — get the card that best fits your spending patterns and use it to make purchases in the bonus categories.

Then, put all non-bonus spending on your Double Cash card if you have it. This ensures that you’re earning at least 2x points per dollar on all of your purchases.

Here’s a breakdown of the bonus categories for each card:

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CategoryCiti Prestige Card

(no longer open to new applicants)

Citi Premier CardDouble Cash CardCiti Rewards+ CardCiti Custom Cash Card
Airfare5x3x2x1x5x* or 1x
Hotels3x3x2x1x5x* or 1x
Dining5x3x2x1x5x* or 1x
Supermarkets1x3x2x2x (first $6,000 in spending, then 1x)5x* or 1x
Gas Stations1x3x2x2x (first $6,000 in spending, then 1x)5x* or 1x
Cruises3x1x2x1x5x* or 1x
Travel Agencies5x1x2x1x5x* or 1x
All Other Purchases1x1x2x1x
1x

* Citi Custom Cash card earns 5x ThankYou Points on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, then 1x ThankYou Point thereafter. All other purchases earn unlimited 1x ThankYou Points.

These bonus categories become even more useful if you frequently make reimbursable purchases for work. Think corporate dinners, flights to trade shows, and hotel rooms. Spending $1,000 on a plane ticket for work would give you 5,000 ThankYou Points with a Citi Prestige card.

All points earned from your purchases will post to your ThankYou account when your statement closes for the month.

Depending on your spending habits, allocating your spending to the right ThankYou cards could put you within range of your 100,000-point goal after just 1 month of making everyday purchases.

4. Citibank Banking Products and Services

If you have a Citibank consumer checking account, you can earn points for products and services you link to the account if you set up a minimum of 1 direct deposit and 1 bill pay per statement cycle.

Citi Private Bank, Citi Priority, and Citi Gold customers who don’t meet the requirement can still earn points by making a debit transaction during the month.

If you’re interested in earning ThankYou Points with your Citi bank accounts, make sure to check out this page on the Citi website for more info. There, you can learn about how to earn bonus ThankYou Points with your home equity line/loan; savings/money market, custom credit line, and other types of accounts. Currently, you can earn up to 1,600 bonus ThankYou Points per month!

With so many options available to you, you can earn a ton of bonus ThankYou Points by moving all of your financial needs to Citi. Just make sure interest rates, fees, and other account specifics make sense before moving your finances.

How To Use 100,000+ Citi ThankYou Points

KLM Airplane At an Airport
You can use your newly minted ThankYou Points to fly around the world in first and business class. Image Credit: Oskar Kadaksoo via Unsplash

With the strategies outlined above, you’ll accumulate lots of Citi ThankYou Points in a short period of time. Once the points are in your account, make sure to put them to good use.

Read our full guide to the best Citi ThankYou redemptions for many more ideas, but for now, here are some of our favorites:

  • Fly to Europe: For 86,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, you can try one of the best first class products in the sky: Singapore Suites between New York (JFK) and Frankfurt (FRA). If you can’t find award space on the outbound flight, give it a shot on the return flight.
  • Visit Hawaii: Transfer just 25,000 ThankYou Points to Turkish Miles&Smiles and redeem for a round-trip economy ticket to Hawaii from the mainland U.S. on United Airlines. This includes nonstop services like Chicago (ORD) to Honolulu (HNL).
  • Book Cheap Domestic Tickets: Transfer ThankYou Points to Star Alliance partner Avianca LifeMiles and book cheap domestic tickets on United Airlines. Awards are priced by region, but domestic tickets start at just 7,500 points each way.
  • Head to the Caribbean: Dreaming of the Caribbean? Award tickets on Delta Air Lines start at just 15,000 each way when you transfer ThankYou Points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue. Just note that Flying Blue prices awards dynamically, so check the cost before you transfer your points.

Per our valuations, you should be able to get a minimum of 1.6 cents per point in value from your Citi ThankYou Points so long as you transfer them to airline partners.

You can also redeem ThankYou Points for flights booked through the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal, but be aware that this is not the best way to redeem those hard-earned points. Citi cardholders can redeem ThankYou Points at 1 cent per point for flights through the portal (depending on the card).

Bottom Line: Do you still have more questions? Check out this post containing FAQs about Citi ThankYou Points for everything you need to know!

Final Thoughts

As we’ve laid out in this guide, it’s not out of the question to earn at least 100,000 Citi ThankYou Points in 90 days or less.

The first step to getting you on your way is opening a credit card, using it for your everyday purchases, and meeting the minimum-spend requirement so you can earn the welcome bonus. That, combined with checking account bonuses, means you can meet or exceed the 100,000-point goal relatively quickly.

The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Citi ThankYou Points?

Citi ThankYou Points are the currency earned by a number of rewards credit cards issued by Citi. Once you have points in your account, you can transfer them to Citi’s various transfer partners or redeem them through the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal.

How much are Citi ThankYou Points worth?

We value Citi ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents apiece.

Do Citi ThankYou Points expire?

Citi ThankYou Points do not expire as long as you have an open card that earns ThankYou Points. If your accounts are closed, you have 30 days to use your points before they expire.

When do Citi ThankYou Points post to your account?

Citi ThankYou Points post to your account at the end of each monthly billing cycle.

Can Citi ThankYou Points be combined?

Yes, you may combine points earned with all your cards that earn ThankYou Points.

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About Andrew Kunesh

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City.

He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt. Andrew formerly worked for The Points Guy and is now Senior Money Editor at CNN Underscored.

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