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Citi ThankYou Points: How to Earn and Use Them

June 13, 2019
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The Citi ThankYou rewards program lets eligible bank or credit card customers collect rewards on purchases made with their cards. Those rewards are issued as ThankYou points and can be redeemed for multiple options, but they don’t all offer the same value.

Depending on which redemption option you choose, you could be cutting your rewards in half. Sometimes the less valuable redemption is a more convenient choice, but understanding your options can inform your decision.

Here’s what you need to know about Citi ThankYou points.

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.

ThankYou points are worth an average of 1 cent each, according to NerdWallet valuations, but it can vary depending on how you redeem.

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. You can also transfer points to certain loyalty programs if you have an eligible Citi credit card, or you can share points with other ThankYou rewards members.

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

  • 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.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com.

» MORE: Full review of the Citi Rewards+ Card

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.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com.

Citi Premier Card

  • 3 ThankYou points per $1 spent on travel (including gas stations).
  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

» MORE: Full review of the Citi Premier Card

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.
  • There’s also a 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.

How to redeem Citi ThankYou points

In many cases, you can redeem ThankYou points directly through Citi’s ThankYou.com site. Here’s how to use your points.

Travel

You can redeem ThankYou points through the ThankYou Travel Center for airfare, cruises, hotels, car rentals and other forms of travel. Log in to your Citi account to access these options. Points redeemed for travel vary in value based on the itinerary, time of travel and cost of travel.

If you have an eligible Citi card, you can also transfer points to the following participating loyalty programs, in most cases at a rate of 1-to-1:

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
  • TrueBlue.
  • Asia Miles.
  • Avianca LifeMiles.
  • Etihad Guest Miles.
  • Eva Air.
  • Flying Blue.
  • Garuda Indonesia.
  • JetPrivilege.
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich.
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer.
  • Qatar Privilege Club.
  • Singapore Airlines.
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus.
  • Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles.
  • Sears Shop Your Way.

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.

Cash back

Redeeming for cash can cut your rewards in half. Cash generally redeems at a rate of 0.5 cents per point in denominations of $50 and $100. And you can’t redeem cash into your checking account; you have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.

Statement credit

Statement credit has more flexible denomination options that redeem into 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.

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.

Other redemption options

  • Shop With Points program: You can redeem ThankYou points at participating online retailers, including Amazon.com. Points can be used toward a purchase or for statement credit.
  • ThankYou Select and Credit program: Redeem points for statement credit to cover individual eligible purchases.
  • 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.)

The fine print

With a Citi ThankYou credit card, you may earn ThankYou points as long as your account is open and current.

Points don’t expire, and there’s no cap to how many you can earn, although late payments may prohibit you from redeeming points.

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.