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How to Earn and Use Citi Thank You Points

ThankYou points are Citi's way of saying thanks for using us for your purchases. It would be ungrateful of you to let those poitns expire. That's no way to say you're welcome. If you're having a hard time figuring out what to do with your ThankYou points or looking to become a Citi ThankYou enthusiast you've come to the right place. Let's take a deeper look to see if Citi's appreciative gesture is worth your loyalty.

How Do You Earn ThankYou Points?

Citi has 4 cards that earn ThankYou points at varying levels. Don't let the Prestige's $450 annual fee scare you away. It has some unique perks outside of ThankYou points to make it worthwhile. Ranked our top Luxury card, the Prestige offers a free 4th night at hotels when you book through the Citi travel portal. The best part about this perk is that your booking can be paid for with points and the 4th night is still free. For a frequent traveler, this perk alone can be invaluable.

How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points
Card Annual Fee Air Travel & Hotels Travel (Including gas)Dining &
Other Purchases
Prestige $4503 Points1 Point2 Points1 Point
Premier $953 Points3 Points2 Points 1 Point
Preferred$01 Point1 Point1 Point 2 Points
Student$01 Point1 Point 1 Point 2 Points

Based on the chart, the Premier is going to be the sweet spot to get 3 points on travel and gas, unless you travel frequently. Frequent travelers will benefit from the 4th night free hotel night and the $250 travel credit offered by the Prestige. Compare this to Chase, where it takes 2-3 cards to really maximize their Ultimate Rewards program. With Citi, the Prestige or Premier should do just fine. The ThankYou College card is also a solid offering winning our top card for students. With that being said, if you do find yourself with more than 1 ThankYou point earning card, you are able to pool all of your rewards into one "master" point account.

But What Are They Worth Though?

As with most things in life, it depends on what you want to use your points for. Cash redemption and statement credits receive the worst rates. Your best bet to get value for purchases will be to redeem for travel or gift cards. From time to time Citi will offer "sales" to give your points additional value in some of these categories, so keep an eye out for those.

1) Cash Redemption - 1/2 cent per point

2) Statement Credits - 1/2 cent per point

3) Amazon Shopping - .8 cents per point

4) Merchandise - Varies, but around .8 cents per point 

5) Gift Cards - 1 cent per point 

6) Travel - 1 cent per point (Caveat for Prestige holders - 1.25 cents per point)

Wait...No Tricks?

Ah-ha. Of course there is. Not so much a trick, but ThankYou points can be transferred to over a dozen participating partners. This can drastically increase the value of your points if used properly. Before you transfer points, take a look at the transfer partners site to see what a redemption would cost you. If a hotel is going to cost $100 a night or 5,000 points your points can be valued at 2 cents each. This is a better redemption than booking a straight up travel redemption through at 1 cent a piece. Math is hard, but sometimes it pays off. Points typically transfer within 7 days, so just remember that there might be a slight delay in points hitting your transfer partner account.

Here's a list of transfer partners for Citi:

Citi ThankYou Point Transfer Partners
Partner Transfer Ratio
Avianca Lifemiles 1:1
Air France / KLM Flying Blue 1:1
Cathay Pacific/Air Asia 1:1
Etihad Airways 1:1
EVA Air 1:1
Garuda Indonesia 1:1
JetBlue Airways 2:1
Malaysia Airlines 1:1
Qantas Airways 1:1
Qatar Airways 1:1
Singapore Airlines 1:1
Thai Airways 1:1
Turkish Airlines 1:1
Jet Privilege 1:1
Virgin Atlantic 1:1

Sharing is Caring

A really nice feature of ThankYou points is that they can be transferred to anyone. If you're trying to book a trip with a friend and you have enough pooled ThankYou points to score a free hotel you can make that happen. There's no fee to transfer points. Shared points are only valid for 90 days, so make sure you have a point redemption in mind when you transfer!

Looking to earn more ThankYou points? Check out one of these cards: