8 Best Ways to Earn Citi ThankYou Rewards Points [2019 Guide]

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Want to earn rewards points to fund free travel around the world?

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program is a great choice for earning free flights, hotel stays, and more with a lineup of credit cards that offer boosted rewards at supermarkets, gas stations, and on entertainment and travel.

Here’s how you can start earning thousands of Citi ThankYou points that can be transferred to a long list of airline programs thanks to a solid lineup of travel partners or redeemed directly through Citi for travel.

how to earn citi thankyou rewards for travel
There are lots of ways to earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points—travel being one!

What Are Citi ThankYou Rewards Points?

ThankYou Rewards is the Citi rewards program that allows you to earn points with a participating Citi credit card or eligible checking account. The program puts a lot of emphasis on travel with a very good earning rate on travel expenses — and a broad definition of what’s considered an eligible travel expense — plus flexible options for redeeming ThankYou points for travel and more.

Why Are ThankYou Rewards Points So Valuable?

man stacking wood value blocks

On the surface, ThankYou Rewards points may not seem so valuable as they’re worth a standard 1 cent each — a far cry from the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards points. Where the ThankYou Rewards program shines is its flexibility.

With a huge roster of travel partners, your ThankYou points can go very far and become very valuable with a bit of strategy. The Citi ThankYou credit cards make it easy to quickly earn thousands of ThankYou points, especially if you travel frequently and have a Citi checking account to earn bonus points.

Easy to Earn

With a Citi ThankYou Rewards credit card, you won’t have any trouble earning ThankYou Rewards points on everyday spending with boosted rewards on bonus categories like travel, restaurants, and supermarkets.

If you travel frequently, especially by plane, the Citi Prestige Card lets you earn 5x ThankYou points on travel and restaurants. If you spend more on everyday expenses like gasoline and groceries, the Citi Rewards+ card may be a better fit with 2x points on gasoline and supermarkets.

Flexible Redemption Options

ThankYou Rewards points are incredibly flexible. Along with standard redemption options like statement credits, merchandise, and gift cards, you can use ThankYou points toward travel. In addition to booking travel through the Citi Travel portal, you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to more than a dozen partner airlines. These airlines give you access to every major partnership and airline alliance to fly almost anywhere.

AirlineAllianceMin Transfer AmountTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Avianca Airlines LifemilesStar Alliance1,0001:1Instant
Cathay Pacific*OneWorld1,0001:124 Hours
Etihad AirwaysN/A1,0001:16 Days
EVA AirStar Alliance1,0001:12-6 Days
FlyingBlue Air France/KLMSkyTeam1,0001:12 Days
Garuda IndonesiaSkyTeam1,0001:12 Days
Jet AirwaysN/A1,0001:1Instant
JetBlue TrueBlueN/A1,0001:1Instant
Malaysia AirlinesOneWorld1,0001:11-2 Days
Qantas AirwaysOneWorld1,0001:12 Days
Qatar AirwaysOneWorld1,0001:12 Days
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1,0001:12 Days
Thai AirwaysStar Alliance1,0001:14 Days
Turkish AirwaysStar Alliance1,0001:11-2 Days
Virgin AtlanticN/A1,0001:12 Days
*AsiaMiles includes 20 airline programs.N/A1,000

For example, you can transfer ThankYou points to Avianca, part of the Star Alliance, then fly United almost anywhere within the United States for 7,500 to 12,500 points. You’ll usually pay less than United charges for their award flights.

What Are ThankYou Rewards Points Worth?

Citi ThankYou Rewards points are worth a standard 1 cent each. How you choose to use your points determines their value.

One of the biggest benefits of ThankYou Rewards points is they can be redeemed in many ways. With some redemption options, you’ll get a value of just 0.5 cents per point. You’ll get a standard 1 cent per point when you redeem points for travel through the Citi Travel portal. You can also transfer your points to partner airlines to potentially get a much better value, sometimes up to 6 cents per point.

earning citi thankyou rewards points online
There are many ways to earn Citi ThankYou points

How to Earn Citi ThankYou Rewards Points

There are lots of ways to earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points, below we’ve listed the best ways to rack up tons of points in no time!

ThankYou Rewards Points Earning Personal Credit Cards

Citi has five personal credit cards that participate in the ThankYou Rewards program plus a cash back card with rewards that can be converted to ThankYou points. You can earn ThankYou points with the following cards:

  • Citi Premier Card
  • Citi Prestige Card
  • Citi Rewards+ Card
  • Citi Rewards+ Student Card
  • AT&T Access Card from Citi
  • Citi Double Cash Card

*Starting in 2019, you can convert Citi Double Cash cash rewards into ThankYou Rewards points. You can convert as little as $1 in cash rewards to ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio, or $1 to 100 ThankYou points.

citi double cash card earns thankyou rewards

ThankYou Rewards Points Earning Business Credit Cards

Citi doesn’t have any business credit cards that participate in the ThankYou Rewards program, but corporate cards can enroll. Eligible Citi Corporate Travel & Entertainment cards can be enrolled in the ThankYou Rewards program online through CitiManager.

Enrolling in the program requires paying an annual fee. The amount of ThankYou points you earn and the fee with a Citi Corporate Card depends on the company.

Earn a Welcome Bonus

One of the best ways to quickly earn ThankYou Rewards is with a Citi ThankYou Rewards sign up bonus with a qualifying credit card. Citi ThankYou Rewards credit card bonus offers change frequently, but you can often earn up to 50,000 to 60,000 ThankYou points by meeting the spending threshold for the card within the first 90 days.

As a general rule, premium cards have higher welcome offers than cards with low or no annual fee. The Citi Prestige card, which as a $495 annual fee, generally offers the highest ThankYou bonus points offer.

And although 50,000 bonus points may not sound like all that much compared to other offers out there, 50,000 ThankYou points can be worth up to $850 when they’re transferred to valuable travel partners. You can also redeem 50,000 points for $500 in travel through the ThankYou Travel Center.

Spending on Credit Cards

lady with bag at supermarket
Earn extra ThankYou points with your daily spending!

One of the best options for earning ThankYou Rewards points is using a Citi ThankYou credit card. With a ThankYou Rewards credit card, all spending will earn ThankYou points, from travel and gasoline to utilities, gym dues, and your morning coffee.

With most purchases, you’ll earn 1x ThankYou points but you can earn bonus ThankYou points with bonus categories that depend on the card.

Earn Extra Points with Bonus Spending Categories

Every Citi ThankYou Rewards card has bonus spending categories that can earn you up to 5x ThankYou points. The bonus spending categories depend on the card. Here are the categories that can earn ThankYou Rewards bonus points even faster.

view from airplane wing
Earn bonus points when you purchase travel with a ThankYou Rewards earning credit card

Travel

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Citi Prestige card is probably a good fit. This travel rewards card offers travel perks and bonus ThankYou points for a range of travel categories.

Citi Prestige:

  • 5x ThankYou points on air travel
  • 3x ThankYou points on hotels and cruise lines

The Citi Premier also focuses on travel rewards. While it has a lower rewards rate, the Citi Premier bonus category is much broader than the Citi Prestige as the travel category includes not only airfare and hotels but gas stations, car rentals, public transit, parking, tolls, and more.

Citi Premier:

  • 3x ThankYou points on travel and gas stations

With the Citi Double Cash card, you can also earn a flat 2x ThankYou points on all travel expenses without worrying about merchant codes or whether the expense qualifies. You will need to convert your cash back to ThankYou points, though.

Citi Double Cash:

  • 2x ThankYou points on travel (2% cash back converted to ThankYou points)

If you don’t have the Citi Double Cash card, you can still use the AT&T Access Card to earn 2x ThankYou points on travel expenses that may not qualify for bonus points with the Prestige or Premier cards. The AT&T Access Card is very specific, though: you only earn bonus points on travel websites.

AT&T Access Card:

  • 2x ThankYou points on travel websites (includes hotel and airline websites and online travel agencies)

Gas stations

Four Citi cards earn bonus ThankYou points on gasoline, but two have a cap on the first $6,000 per year and earn just 1x points after that. The Citi Premier card is the best choice for boosted rewards on gasoline.

Citi Premier:

  • 3x ThankYou points at gas stations with no limit

Citi Rewards+ Card:

  • 2x ThankYou points at gas stations (on the first $6,000 per year) rounded up to the nearest 10 points

Citi Rewards+ Student Card:

  • 2x ThankYou points at gas stations (on the first $6,000 per year) rounded up to the nearest 10 points

Citi Double Cash:

  • 2x ThankYou points at gas stations (2% cash back converted to ThankYou points)

Supermarkets

The average American household spends $300 to $500 per month in groceries. Want to earn ThankYou points on what is likely one of your largest monthly expenses? The Citi Rewards+ and Citi Rewards+ Student cards earn 2x ThankYou points on groceries capped on the first $6,000 per year but the Citi Double Cash earns an unlimited 2x points.

  • Citi Rewards+ Card:
    • 2x ThankYou points at supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year) rounded up to the nearest 10 points
  • Citi Rewards+ Student Card:
    • 2x ThankYou points at supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year) rounded up to the nearest 10 points
  • Citi Double Cash:
    • 2x ThankYou points at gas stations (2% cash back converted to ThankYou points)

Dining and Eating Out

As a premium travel rewards card, the Citi Prestige card offers the highest ThankYou Rewards earning rate for restaurants, including fast food, cafes, bars, and lounges. Two other Citi cards earn a lower reward rate on restaurants.

  • Citi Prestige:
    • 5x ThankYou points on restaurants
  • Citi Premier:
    • 2x ThankYou points on restaurants
  • Citi Double Cash:
    • 2x ThankYou points at gas stations (2% cash back converted to ThankYou points)

Entertainment

Entertainment is a fairly general bonus category but it can include everything from movie theaters and concerts to sporting events, amusement parks, and tourist attractions. The trip to the zoo, a carnival, or a theme park all count as amusement parks.

Two Citi cards earn ThankYou points on entertainment:

Citi Premier:

  • 2x ThankYou points on entertainment

Citi Double Cash:

  • 2x ThankYou points at gas stations (2% cash back converted to ThankYou points)

Wireless Service & Internet

Only the AT&T Access Card by Citi allows you to earn bonus ThankYou points for wireless service, internet, or cable service. The catch is you must pay for these services directly through AT&T to receive bonus points.

  • AT&T Access Card:
    • 2x ThankYou points on services and products through AT&T including monthly internet, cable, or wireless service

Earn Points with a Citi Checking Account

If you have a checking account with Citi, you may be able to earn extra ThankYou points for qualifying services and products. Earning CitiThankYou points requires having an eligible consumer checking account, enrolling your account in Citi ThankYou Rewards, and performing certain actions.

You’ll earn ThankYou points when you have services or products linked to your enrolled checking account like a mortgage, direct deposit, bill pay, and a savings account. The more products you have, the more ThankYou points you earn.

Citibank ThankYou Rewards checking account
You can earn extra ThankYou points with a Citibank checking account

To make sure your checking account is eligible each month for points, you must have at least one direct deposit into the account and one qualifying payment from the account every billing cycle.

Refer a Friend

citi credit card refer a friend

Citi doesn’t have a very large refer-a-friend program but you may receive a targeted offer to earn a referral bonus if you have the Citi Premier card or the Citi Double Cash card.

The referral bonus for the Citi Double Cash card is $100 (which can be transferred into 10,000 ThankYou points) and the Citi Premier card has a referral bonus of 10,000 ThankYou Rewards points.

Add Authorized Users

Want to quickly start earning more ThankYou points? All authorized users on your Citi credit card that participates in the ThankYou Rewards program also earn ThankYou Rewards points at the same rate you do.

You can boost your ThankYou Rewards balance by adding your spouse or someone else in your household as an authorized user.

Wrap Up

Yes, it’s true that the Citi Prestige card used to give you a 25% rebate when you redeemed points through the ThankYou Travel Rewards portal, although this was discontinued in 2019. The Citi shopping portal also used to be an option for earning bonus ThankYou Rewards points, but that option was discontinued in 2014.

Still, Citi ThankYou Rewards points remain valuable because they’re still easy to earn and come with flexible redemption options. With the right Citi ThankYou card — especially paired with a qualifying Citi checking account — you’ll have no trouble earning thousands of ThankYou points every month on regular expenses and travel.

You’ll have pleny of great options for redeeming you Citi ThankYou Rewards points by transferring to a valuable travel partner and booking travel.

FAQs

What are Citi ThankYou Rewards points?

ThankYou Rewards points are the rewards points you can earn with many Citi-branded credit cards. The ThankYou Rewards program lets you earn points with a Citi credit card and/or checking account that can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Which Citi credit cards earn ThankYou Rewards points?

The following Citi cards earn ThankYou Rewards points:

  • Citi Prestige
  • Citi Premier
  • Citi Rewards+
  • Citi Rewards+ Student
  • AT&T Access Card from Citi

The Citi Double Cash credit card earns cash back, but you can transfer cash rewards into Citi ThankYou Rewards points.

How do Citi ThankYou Rewards work? How do I redeem my points?

Citi ThankYou Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners or used for travel directly through the ThankYou Rewards Travel portal for hotels, airfare, and more. You can also redeem points for merchandise and rewards or use them to make payments on a Citi loan. With Pay with Points, you can cover eligible expenses with statement credits. Points can also be used to shop at Amazon.com, Expedia, and Live Nation.

What is the best way to use Citi points?

You’ll get the best value for Citi ThankYou Rewards points when you redeem them for travel, specifically when you transfer points to travel partners rather than redeeming them for travel through the Citi Travel portal.

What airlines and hotels do Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer to?

Citi ThankYou Rewards has a large list of transfer partners usually with a 1:1 transfer ratio. All partners are airline partners; there are no hotel partners you can transfer ThankYou Reward points to. Transfer partners include Avianca LifeMiles, Asia Miles, JetBlue TrueBlue, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways, and more.

How much is a Citi ThankYou Rewards point worth?

Citi ThankYou Rewards points are worth about 1 cent each, but you can get a much better value — sometimes up to 6 cents per point.

Do Citi ThankYou Rewards points expire?

Citi ThankYou points do expire, but the date depends on which Citi card you have and some other factors. As a general rule, ThankYou points earned with a credit card won’t expire as long as the account is open. Shared ThankYou points expire 90 days after they’re shared. Points awarded from a targeted Citi checking account bonus expire after 3 years. Purchased ThankYou points expire after 12 months. You can see the expiration date of your points in your Citi ThankYou Rewards account.

Can I transfer my Citi ThankYou Rewards points to family or friends?

Your ThankYou Rewards points can be transferred to friends and family. You’re limited to transferring up to 100,000 points per year. Note: shared points expire after 90 days.

How do I contact Citi ThankYou Rewards customer service?

You can contact the ThankYou Rewards Service Center at 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596).

How do I see how many Citi ThankYou Rewards points I have?

You can see your ThankYou Rewards points balance at ThankYou.com under “My Account” and “My Point Summary.”

How long does it take for Citi Rewards points to post?

As a general rule, ThankYou Rewards points post to your Citi account the day after your statement closes. You can see your points broken down by bonus category and card.

About The Author

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