Citi ThankYou Points: How to Earn and Use Them

Citi ThankYou points are versatile and can be redeemed multiple ways — but not all options offer the same value per point.

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The Citi ThankYou rewards program lets eligible bank or credit card customers collect rewards, known as ThankYou points, on purchases made with a qualifying credit card.

ThankYou points can be valuable, especially for travelers, but the rewards program can be a bit of a challenge to navigate:

  • Redemption options vary depending on what specific Citi card you have.

  • Point values can also range widely.

  • While Citi does allow point transfers to multiple travel loyalty programs, access to this feature again depends on which card you have. And only one of Citi's travel partners is a domestic program.

Still, ThankYou points are flexible and versatile, especially if you have specific redemptions in mind. Here’s how to make the most out of Citi ThankYou points.

In this article

Citi ThankYou points: The basics

You can earn ThankYou points through an eligible banking relationship with Citi or by paying for purchases with an eligible Citi credit card. Rewards can be accessed by logging into your Citi account or by visiting the ThankYou website.

Generally, ThankYou points can be redeemed for:

  • Travel.

  • Gift cards.

  • Cash back or statement credits.

  • Shopping at participating retailers.

  • Payments toward a mortgage or student loan.

  • Charity.

In some cases, you may be able to redeem points toward eligible bill payments. If you have an eligible Citi credit card, you can also transfer points to certain travel loyalty programs or share points with other ThankYou rewards members.

How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?

The value of a Citi ThankYou point can vary greatly depending on how you redeem it — for travel, cash back or something else.

Travel

There are two ways to use Citi ThankYou points for travel: redeeming points through Citi or via a qualifying airline program.

Booking your travel through Citi

When you book your travel through Citi and pay for your booking with points, ThankYou points are worth 1 cent apiece.

Transferring points to Citi's partner airline programs

The exact value you get per point depends on what you do with it after you transfer, but NerdWallet estimates the overall transfer value at 1.4 cents per point.

Citi's transfer partners are almost all foreign carriers. JetBlue is the only domestic carrier on the list, although a few of the options are members of alliances that include U.S. airlines.

  • Aeromexico.

  • Air France/KLM.

  • American Airlines (Temporary, until Nov. 13, 2021).

  • Avianca.

  • Cathay Pacific / Asia Miles.

  • Emirates.

  • Etihad.

  • Eva Air.

  • Intermiles.

  • JetBlue.

  • Malaysia Airlines.

  • Qantas.

  • Qatar Airways.

  • Singapore Airlines.

  • Thai Airways.

  • Turkish Airlines.

  • Virgin Atlantic.

In general, the transfer ratio is 1:1, meaning for every ThankYou point you transfer, you get 1 point or mile in the partner program. However, JetBlue is a bit of an exception:

  • If you have the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card, then you can transfer points to JetBlue at a 1:1 ratio.

  • For other cards, the ratio is 1:0.8, meaning for each ThankYou point you transfer, you get 0.8 miles from JetBlue. So 1,000 points translates into 800 miles.

Nerdy tip: JetBlue is the only eligible transfer partner for the Citi Rewards+® Card or the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

Cash or cash-like redemptions

Cash back

Redeeming for cash can cut the value of your rewards in half. For some cards, cash redeems at a rate of 0.5 cent per point in denominations of $50 and $100. And you can’t redeem cash into your bank account; you have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.

Statement credit

When you redeem for a credit on your statement, you may get the same weak value as with cash back — 0.5 cent per point — but you have more flexibility in how much you redeem for. Statement credits show up on your account within two billing cycles. It can help pay down your overall balance, but you’ll still be on the hook for the minimum payment.

Gift cards

Gift card redemptions typically start at 2,500 points. They generally redeem at a rate of 1 cent per point. Citi's ThankYou website has several brands and categories to choose from, including restaurants, department stores, travel and electronics, among others.

Payments toward a mortgage or student loan

ThankYou points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for a check to the lender, and you'll have multiple denomination options, ranging from $25 to $1,000. You'll have to call 1-800-THANKYOU to redeem for either option.

Charity

You can donate points (starting at 2,500) to charities on Citi's ThankYou.com site.

Shopping

Shop With Points program

You can redeem ThankYou points at participating online retailers, including Amazon. Points can be used toward a purchase or for statement credit.

Pay With Points

After you've made an online or in-store out-of-pocket purchase, you're notified via the Citi mobile app whether that item is eligible to be covered by ThankYou points. If so, you can apply your ThankYou points to the purchase in exchange for a statement credit that arrives within two to three business days. Purchase categories that may be eligible include dining out, groceries, entertainment and department stores, among others. You'll have to set up alerts to stay on top of purchases that qualify. If you decide to Pay With Points, a redemption value of 0.8 cent per point will apply. That's lower than the industry standard of a penny per point.

Online Bill Pay With Points

Use ThankYou points, or a combination of points and cash, to pay bills via the issuer's online bill pay feature. (You must be an eligible Citi bank account holder for this option.)

Transfer to Shop Your Way

One of the more unusual options allows you to transfer your points to the "Shop Your Way" rewards program from Sears and Kmart. The transfer ratio is 1:10 — meaning 1 ThankYou point gets you 10 Shop Your Way points. But since each Shop Your Way point is worth only 0.1 cents, that translates to 1 cent per ThankYou point.

Credit cards that earn ThankYou points

Citi offers multiple products that earn the ThankYou rewards currency. Here are some of its most prominent:

Citi Rewards+® Card
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Citi Rewards+® Card

  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year).

  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Rewards are rounded up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase.

  • Get 10% points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem per year.

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: 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.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

  • Earn 5% cash back (in the form of ThankYou® Points) on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, on up to $500; earn 1% back on all other purchases.

  • Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

  • 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

  • Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year).

  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Rewards are rounded up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase.

  • Get 10% points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem per year.

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: None

Citibank ThankYou Premier Credit Card
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Citi Premier® Card

  • 3 ThankYou points per $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, air travel, hotels and gas stations.

  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • $100 annual hotel savings on a single hotel stay of $500 or more purchased through thankyou.com.

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Citi Prestige® Card

  • 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining out and air travel purchases.

  • 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on cruise lines and hotel purchases.

  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $495

Sign-up bonus: This offer is no longer valid on our site.

Other ways to earn ThankYou points

You can purchase ThankYou points, but you’ll pay more than they’re worth. They go for 2.5 cents each, and you can buy them only in increments of 1,000. If you don't have enough points for a particular redemption, you can in some cases pay the difference in cash instead, which may end up being a better deal than buying points outright.

Nerdy tip: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is technically a cash-back credit card, but the card does allow you to convert your cash rewards to ThankYou points at an effective 1:1 ratio. See here for more information.

The fine print

With a Citi ThankYou credit card, you may earn ThankYou points as long as your account is open and current. There’s no cap to how many you can earn, although late payments may prohibit you from redeeming points. Unless your terms state otherwise, points typically expire within three years from the end of the year in which you receive them.

It also helps to understand your credit card’s terms and conditions so that you’re aware of nonqualifying purchases. For instance, some cards earn points in categories like restaurants, but your purchase may not qualify for the higher rewards rate if the restaurant is located inside a department store.

Information related to the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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