Citi ThankYou Overview
In other sections of Tips & Tricks, we have explored Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, Starwood’s Preferred Guest (SPG) program and American Express Membership Rewards. In this resource we will look at another huge flexible points program for travelers: Citi ThankYou.
There are two main ways to earn Citi ThankYou points. The first is through credit cards and the second through eligible bank accounts.
Credit cards – There are several cards that earn ThankYou points including: ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier, Prestige, Citi Business ThankYou & AT&T Access More.
Bank Accounts – You can also earn ThankYou points through your banking relationship with Citi. Points are earned for having a combination of products and for performing bill pay and/or having a direct deposit. You can find the bank account earning structure here.
From time to time Citi may eliminate the bonuses on some of their ThankYou cards, however bonuses can go up to as high as 50K. We cover the very best sign-up deals via Quick Deals and you can always find the best current offers on our “Best Credit Card Offers” page. For more information on applying for Citi cards, see: Applying for Citi Credit Cards.
Credit Card Spend
Another way to earn points is through credit card spend. While all ThankYou earning cards earn a base of 1 point per dollar spent, each has bonus categories where you can earn more. On most of the cards the bonus categories are very generous. Among the best cards are:
- ThankYou Premier – 3X on travel and gas, 2X on dining and entertainment
- AT&T Access More – 3X at online retail & travel websites, 3X on AT&T purchases
- Citi Prestige – 3X on air travel and hotels, 2X on dining and entertainment
- Statement credit or cash: .5 cents per point
- Pay with Points at Amazon & other retailers: ~.8 cents per point
- Merchandise: Less than 1 cent per point.
- Gift cards: Normally 1 cent per point, but sometimes less.
- Mortgage or Student Loan Check: 1 cent per point
- Donate to Charity: 1 cent per point
You can also book travel through Citi. Normally ThankYou points are worth 1 cent each for flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises, but with certain cards their value is increased. Here are the three notable ways you can get more than 1 cent per point value on travel:
- Citi ThankYou Premier cardholders get 1.25 cents per point value on airfare, car rental, cruise and hotel bookings.
- Citi Prestige cardholders get 1.33 cents per point value on airfare.
- Citi Prestige cardholders get 1.6 cents per point value for American Airlines flights.
In addition to redeeming points as shown above, if you are a ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige cardmember then you can transfer points to several partner programs. These transfers can often give the best overall value for your points. Here is a list of Citi ThankYou transfer partners along with the transfer ratio:
1,000 ThankYou = 1,500 Points/Miles (1:1.5)
- Hilton HHonors
1,000 ThankYou = 1,000 Points/Miles (1:1)
- Asia Miles
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Etihad Guest
- Flying Blue
- Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privelege Club
- Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
1,000 ThankYou = 500 Points/Miles (1:.5)
- Virgin America Elevate
Note: ThankYou points earned from bank accounts cannot be transferred to travel partners.
Combine Your Accounts
One of the nice things about Citi ThankYou points is that they can be combined. For example, if you have several different cards that earn ThankYou points, you can pool all of the points together. This is handy when you have a card like the ThankYou Premier or Prestige that gives a higher value for your points. For example, if you earned points on the AT&T Access More card and have them pooled with your ThankYou Premier, those points will be worth 1.25 cents for travel even though they were earned with a different card.
Share Points with Others
You can also transfer points to someone else’s account, but there is a catch. While there isn’t a restriction on who you can share points with, points transferred to someone else’s account expire after 90 days. For this reason you should only transfer points when you are ready to redeem them. Points transfers are handy if you have a friend or spouse who has a card that unlocks better value. For example, my wife has the AT&T Access More card and earns a lot of points for online shopping and I have the Citi Prestige card. To get a better value, she transfers points to me as needed to book flights on American Airlines at a value of 1.6 cents per point.
The best way to earn ThankYou points is through credit card sign-up offers, however several ThankYou credit cards have very nice bonus earning categories as well. Generally the best uses of ThankYou points are transfers to partner programs and booking travel through Citi if you have a ThankYou Premier or Prestige. With the addition of transfer partners and the option to book travel at an increased value, the Citi ThankYou program has improved tremendously over the past few years and is one of the best flexible points programs around.
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