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Citi ThankYou Points: How to Earn and Use Them

Oct. 23, 2018
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  • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
  • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our best credit cards page for updated offers.

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 one 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 can be worth between about 0.3 cents to 1 cent each, according to NerdWallet valuations, depending on how you redeem.

ThankYou points can be redeemed for:

  • Travel.
  • Gift cards.
  • Merchandise.
  • Cash back or statement credit.
  • 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

You can rack up Citi ThankYou rewards with one of the following credit cards.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent on restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Sign-up bonus: None

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (This offer is no longer available on our site)

Citi Premier Card

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

AT&T Access Card from Citi

  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent on online purchases at eligible retail and travel websites
  • 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent on products and services purchased directly from AT&T
  • 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases
The Citi Prestige® Card also earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels, 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar on all other spending. This card isn’t accepting applications at this time.

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. That’s a starting cost of $25, and a subpar deal when earning that same amount would redeem for about $10 at its highest value. 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.

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 cards start at 2,500 points and go up to 10,000 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.

Merchandise

ThankYou points may lose value when redeemed for merchandise via Citi’s site. Some items redeem at a rate of 0.8 cents per point. Merchandise redemption options include bags, luggage, electronics, watches, sporting goods and more. You might be better off redeeming points for a gift card and buying merchandise with it.

Cash back

Redeeming for cash cuts your rewards in half. Cash 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 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 the 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 will 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.