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Citi ThankYou Points

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Citi ThankYou Points

Citi ThankYou®: The basics

Citi ThankYou® Points range in value, depending on how you use them, but they max out at 1 cent per point for most CitiCards. They can be redeemed for a wide variety of rewards, including travel, gift cards, merchandise, debt payments and cash back.

Cards that earn ThankYou® Points

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points

  • 2X points on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

  • 3X points on travel, including gas
  • 2X points on dining out and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

Citi Prestige® Card

  • 3X points on airfare, hotels and travel agencies
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

  • 2X points on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

AT&T Access Card from Citi

  • 2X points on products and services purchased directly from AT&T
  • 2X points on online purchases at retail and travel websites
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

Citi Chairman: No longer accepting new applications

CitiBusiness® ThankYou®: No longer accepting new applications

How to get more ThankYou® Points

Citi banking customers can earn extra points by enrolling their checking accounts, setting up one qualifying direct deposit each statement cycle and setting up one qualifying bill payment each statement cycle. Rewards will vary based on account type and certain monthly activities. See the details here.

You can purchase ThankYou® Points at a rate of 2.5 cents each in 1,000 point increments, so you can get 1,000 points for $25. Because ThankYou® Points are worth 1 cent each or less, this isn’t a good deal. You could buy ThankYou® Points to top off your account if you’re close to a certain high-value reward, but it makes far more sense to reach the points balance necessary by earning ThankYou® Points through card spending.

How to redeem ThankYou® Points

Good redemption options

ThankYou® Points can be redeemed for rewards at a rate of 1 cent each or less. As such, you should aim to get 1 cent out of each point if possible. At this rate, you have several redemption options:

  • Redeem ThankYou® Points for mortgage or student loan payments starting at 2,500 points ($25), all the way up to 100,000 points ($1,000).
  • Redeem ThankYou® Points for charitable contributions starting at 2,500 points ($25), all the way up to 10,000 points ($100).
  • Redeem ThankYou® Points for gift cards starting at 2,500 points ($25), up to 10,000 points ($100). Note: Some gift cards have lower redemption values, and some credit cards have different redemption requirements (i.e., 3,500 points for a $25 gift card). For the best value, choose a gift card with a redemption value of 1 cent per point.
  • Redeem ThankYou® Points for rental certificates for Avis or SIXT starting at 2,500 points ($25), up to 10,000 points ($100). Note: Some credit cards have different redemption requirements (i.e., 3,500 points for a $25 gift card). For the best value, choose a rental certificate with a redemption value of 1 cent per point.

You can also use your ThankYou® Points to book travel through Citi’s Travel Center at a rate of 1 cent per point. If you have the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, your points are worth 25% more when used to book travel this way, or 1.25 cents per point.

Bad redemption options

Rewards that have a redemption rate of less than 1 cent per ThankYou® Point aren’t ideal. There are several rewards with low values, including:

  • Merchandise: Varies, less than 1 cent per point
  • Prepaid debit card: 0.63 to 0.71 cents per point
  • Cash: 0.5 cents per point
  • Statement credit: 0.5 cents per point
  • Amazon purchases: Around 0.79 cents per point
  • Select and credit: 0.75 cents per point

Of course, if you prefer one of these redemption options to the higher value rewards, feel free to redeem your ThankYou® Points here. But understand that you’re getting a lower value per point.

Transfer partners

You can transfer your ThankYou® Points at a rate of 1:1 to a multitude of frequent flier programs, or you can transfer your points to Hilton HHonors at a rate of 1:1.5. Here are Citi’s current partner programs:

  • Airlines
    • Asia Miles
    • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
    • Etihad Guest
    • Flying Blue
    • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flier
    • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
    • Qantas Frequent Flyer
    • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
    • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
    • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
    • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hotels

Travel hackers may be intrigued, but this isn’t necessarily the best redemption option. Frequent flier miles are often worth more than 1 cent each, but it’s important to note that Citi’s partner programs aren’t very popular for most U.S. residents.

It’s also important to note that Hilton HHonors points are worth about 0.5 cents each, meaning that using your ThankYou® Points in this way effectively makes them worth 0.75 cents each. This is less than our ideal 1 cent per point value, so the Nerds recommend that you skip it.

Fine print

Unless otherwise stated in your benefits statement, ThankYou® Points expire three years from the end of the year you earned them. Some cards offer points that don’t expire as long as you actively earn or redeem rewards. Check your benefits statement for details.

Top cards that earn ThankYou® Points

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points

Citibank ThankYou Preferred Credit Card
Apply Now

on Citibank's
secure website

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points is likely your best bet. It offers 2X points on dining out and entertainment spending, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Plus, there’s a sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $1,500 in card purchases within 3 months of account opening - redeemable for $200 in gift cards or other great rewards.

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points has an annual fee of $0* and an introductory APR of 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% Variable .

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Citibank ThankYou Premier Credit Card
Apply Now

on Citibank's
secure website

For higher rewards, check out the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. It offers 3X points on travel (including gas), 2X points on dining out and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. And there’s a sweet signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening - redeemable for $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has an annual fee of $95; fee waived for the first 12 months* and no foreign transaction fees.

Methodology

The calculated value of these points is based on an estimated redemption rate, not a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, you may notice that these numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool. Read on for how we estimated these points values.

The different values of Citi ThankYou® Points are calculated by taking the cash value of a reward divided by the number of points it requires. So if you want to redeem points for a $100 Gap gift card:

$100 / 10,000 points = $0.01 per point

You can use this calculation for most of the redemption options, including gift cards, cash, statement credit, prepaid debit and more.

For merchandise, we found that more expensive items tend to have better redemption values. Here are a couple of items (one low-priced item, one high-priced item) we crunched the numbers for:

“Crazy Stupid Love” DVD = $4.99 / 1,800 = $0.0028 or 0.28 cents

Samsung 32” HDTV = $287.95 / 33,400 = $0.0086 or 0.86 cents

For Amazon purchases, the value is right around 0.8 cents. We attempted to redeem a small number (61 ThankYou® Points), which came to $0.48.

$0.48 / 61 points = $0.0079 or 0.79 cents

 

Last updated on March 14, 2015

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.


Image via iStock.

  • http://www.khad.com/ khad

    You can get a full cent per point with a mortgage credit. I do this every time. In fact, I just got off the phone with them and have another $100 on the way. Call the ThankYou Rewards number (866) 908-8778 and ask them to send you a mortgage check. Since most banks also offer mortgages, you can just tell them the name of your bank and deposit the check in your checking account. You don’t even need to have a mortgage to do this.

    There is absolutely no need to get *anything* less than a penny per point.

  • abdelnoesta

    I find that the best value for those points are when you purchase flights. Any other thing that you try to redeem, you will end up loosing value.
    For example: Let’s say I want to buy a flight in Expedia, and it costs $500. By redeeming my points it will cost me 50,000 ThankYouPoints.

  • Ben Butler

    CITI–EASY Deals are a **HUGE* waste of time, Completely Worthless.
    I have had AT&T Universal Citi cards for 15 years and have *NEVER* been able to use the points. the program is impossible to use and a ** COMPLETE waste of time **. They are infamous on the internet as an absolute joke. Its nearly impossible to use, you get logged out right away, winning takes an act of god, and you have to sit in front of the computer for hours. Who has time for this??? there are so many cards with excellent rewards why should anyone waste time on this horrible, impossible website??? My Cards are getting cancelled and believe me —-> their horrible website will be the one and only reason. they are only here to give the guise of a rewards program, but in fact it is really all fake. It is the worse website and the biggest waste of time I have every come across and I will make it my life’s work to post in every reddit channel, on twitter and on facebook about WHAT A WASTE CITI – EASY Deals are. EASY??? That’s a joke.