Most products on this page are from partners who may compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how they appear on the page. However, opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain. This page may include information about American Express products currently unavailable on Slickdeals. American Express is not a partner of Slickdeals.

Of the four major bank rewards programs, Citi ThankYou® Points, from our partner Citi, often get the least fanfare.

That’s not because the program lacks value. In fact, Citi ThankYou Points are one of the most valuable transferable currencies out there. With a compact yet impactful credit card portfolio and impressive transfer partners, it’s a terrific option for those who want a well-rounded rewards portfolio.

Whether you’re saving up points for a luxury trip to the Maldives or looking to use your points on the occasional domestic jaunt, Citi ThankYou Points are an excellent way of achieving those travel goals.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know about Citi ThankYou Points:

What Are Citi ThankYou Points?

family by the pier
iStock

Citi ThankYou Points are a rewards currency issued by Citi through credit cards and checking accounts. Sources across the web value Citi ThankYou Points at about 1 to 1.5 cents each, depending on how you redeem them.

You’ll get the most value from high-end travel redemptions and the lowest from cash back or statement credits. By familiarizing yourself with the program’s true potential, you’ll be well-equipped to maximize its value.

How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points

You can earn Citi ThankYou Points primarily through credit cards and checking accounts. Citi has a small but mighty lineup of rewards credit cards that offer generous welcome bonuses and the ability to earn points on everyday spending. 

But credit cards aren’t the only way to earn ThankYou Points. You can sign up for a checking account, add an authorized user to your credit card or take advantage of targeted spending offers to earn more rewards.

Credit Cards That Earn Citi ThankYou Points

Citi’s rewards credit card selection is sparse compared to competitors like American Express or Chase. Despite the limited selection, these credit cards offer generous category bonuses, allowing you to keep earning ThankYou Points well after the sign-up bonus is spent.

The category bonuses on these cards are also in line with most people’s spending habits. Cardmembers are rewarded for common purchases like gas, groceries and travel.

Citi Premier® Card

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR20.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • 60,000 60,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,080 (60,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

If you’re looking for a versatile rewards credit card with a generous sign-up bonus and accelerated points earning in diverse spending categories, then you should know about the Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi.

Overview

This credit card offers its members a range of incentives, such as bonus points, gift cards and 1:1 point transfers with airline partners. One of the more unique features of the Citi Premier® Card from our partner Citi is that it offers 3x ThankPoints for every dollar spent at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and travel purchases. Plus, new cardholders can earn 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Perks

  • Earn 3x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on travel, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations
  • Annual $100 hotel savings benefit. Just book a hotel stay of $500 or more through thankyou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU to earn the discount.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Easily transfer your points to Citi’s airline partners

Pros

  • High reward rate on common categories of consumer spending
  • Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points never expire

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No standout rewards category

More Details: The Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for a travel credit card, but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. The Citi Premier Card offers new cardholders a sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Additionally, this Citi credit card offers a range of incentives, such as bonus points, gift cards and deals with retail partners. Best of all, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to Citi’s travel partners.

Read our full review of the Citi Premier Card.

Citi Rewards+® Card

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

  • Our Rating 4.0/5 Read the review
  • APR17.74% – 27.74% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • 20,000 20,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

    Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening Dollar Equivalent: $360 (20,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

This is a unique Citi card from our partner Citi that earns ThankYou points, all for no annual fee. Your purchases will automatically round up to the nearest 10 points, making every little purchase count.

Overview

The Citi Rewards+ Card,  from our partner Citi, may be ideal for people who want to earn cash-back rewards for everyday spending, but do not want to pay an annual fee. It’s also a strong option for people who make frequent small purchases, since this credit card rounds each purchase to the nearest 10 points — even buying a $0.75 candy bar will earn you 10 points.

Pros

  • Great for small purchases: All transactions round up to the nearest 10 points
  • Get 10% of your redeemed points back each year (for the first 100,000 points redeemed annually)
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee, don’t use this card abroad if you don’t have to

Citi Rewards+® Card, from our partner Citi, is a cash-back rewards credit card with no annual fee. The card includes unique features, including a round-up to the next 10 Thank You Points on any purchase and 10% back on redemptions. New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $1,500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com.

When shopping with the Citi Rewards+ Card, you’ll earn 2x ThankYou Points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations up to $6,000 in annual purchases (once you hit the annual cap, these purchases are worth 1x ThankYou Points per dollar). That means you can earn up to 12,000 points per year from these bonus category purchases. All other purchases outside of these bonus categories earn the card’s regular rewards rate of 1x point per dollar. Read our full review of the Citi Rewards+ Card.

Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige Card, from our partner Citi, no longer accepts new applicants, but if that ever changes, you may want to add it to your wallet. The card has a hefty $495 annual fee but offers many travel perks to make up for it. Twice a year, cardholders get a fourth hotel night free through the Citi ThankYou travel site. This perk can save you hundreds of dollars on travel if you leverage it right. 

The annual $250 travel credit is also flexible since it’s valid on any travel purchase. You can use it to cover hotel bookings, rental cars, flights or vacation rentals. The Global Entry fee credit and Priority Pass membership sweeten the deal further. 

Beyond the travel perks, the Citi Prestige is great for earning lots of Citi ThankYou points. The card earns 5X points on dining, airlines and travel agencies, 3X points at cruise lines and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. In addition, Citi Prestige cardholders get more favorable transfer ratios to Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue and Wyndham Rewards.

Cash Back Rewards that Transfer to Citi ThankYou Points

The Citi Custom Cash Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card (both from our partner Citi) earn cash back in the form of ThankYou Points. Neither card has an annual fee, providing even more incentive to increase your earnings.

You can really maximize your spending by using one of these cards for any purchases that don’t earn bonus points on Citi Premier, Citi Prestige or Citi Rewards+ cards. 

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR18.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • $200 $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 in the first 6 months. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, from our partner Citi, gives cardholders the chance to earn a whopping 5% cash back every month in their top eligible spending category — without having to pay an annual fee.

Overview

If you want a card that doesn’t require constant category activation and monitoring to make sure you’re getting the highest cash back percentage, this is a great option. Whatever spending category that has the highest spend (up to $500) in one billing cycle gets 5% cash back. That’s up to $300 per year, and if you get the sign-up bonus you can get up to $500 in cash back your first year.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to maximize the 5% cash back reward and earn $300 per year
  • No annual fee
  • The cash back comes in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for things like travel

Cons

  • 5% cash back tier is capped at $25 in earnings per month

More Details: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, from our partner Citi, gives cardholders the chance to earn 5% cash back every month on their top eligible spending category, up to $500 each month — no activation required. This Citi card is technically billed as a cash-back credit card, but you’ll actually earn ThankYou Points, which can be worth more than traditional cash-back rewards.

Citi Custom Cash Card is offering $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 in the first 6 months — that’s 20,000 ThankYou Points, which you can redeem for cash back or for a number of other things, including gift cards and travel. Read our full review of the Citi Custom Cash Card.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR18.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0

The Citi® Double Cash Card, from our partner Citi, offers attractive and uncomplicated cash back for people who value a flexible credit card reward program.

Overview

The Citi Double Cash Card, from our partner Citi, offers attractive and uncomplicated cash back for people who value a flexible credit card reward program. The Citi Double Cash Card gives you the chance to earn 2% cash back on your purchases. You can receive 1% cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% cash back once you pay your bill.

Pros

  • No category bonuses to remember, unlimited 2% cash back on everything
  • Earns ThankYou Points, which gives the potential to unlock valuable travel rewards

Cons

  • Foreign transaction fees are applied
  • Limited perks

More Details: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.

This card doesn’t have the highest rewards rate you can find when it comes to the cash-back credit card category. But with no annual fee and an easy-to-use redemption process, the card is still a worthwhile cash-back candidate to consider. Read our full review of the Citi Double Cash Card.

Targeted Spending Bonuses

Aside from offering some pretty generous category bonuses, Citi sometimes offers bonus points for meeting targeted spending thresholds. These offers are usually sent out to select cardmembers and the categories vary, but the earning rate goes as high as 5 points per dollar spent. If you opt-in to receive marketing emails from Citi, you’ll see offers like this in the mail or email. 

You’ll need to register for these offers on a specified page using an invitation code. Once you spend the required amount in the targeted category, you’ll earn accelerated points on those purchases. It’s a great way to earn more Citi ThankYou points outside of your standard category bonus. So make sure you opt-in to receive these targeted offers from Citi and keep an eye out for them. 

Add an Authorized User to Your Citi Card

Adding an authorized user to your Citi card is a great way to earn additional rewards on a significant other’s spending without shelling out an extra annual fee. Sometimes Citi will even offer around 2,500 bonus points for this activity. To get targeted for an authorized user bonus, make sure you opt in to receive marketing materials from Citi. Usually, these offers will arrive via email or regular mail.

Checking Accounts That Earn Citi ThankYou Points

Credit cards aren’t the only way to earn Citi ThankYou Points – you can earn up to 1,600 points per month with a qualifying Citi checking account. You can earn up to 1,600 points per month on everyday banking activities with these accounts.

The most passive option is keeping a qualifying Citi checking account open and making at least one debit transaction a month. This simple activity earns 350 ThankYou Points per month. Meanwhile, paying bills with a premium checking account will get you 650 points per month. These aren’t huge numbers, but they add up over time. Plus, with Citi’s various sweet spot redemptions, these activities will get you close to your dream vacation faster than you might think.

How to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points

couple at check in counter
iStock

Now on to the fun part: Redeeming Citi ThankYou Points. Citi ThankYou Points are among the most underrated transferable rewards currencies out there. While transferring your points to one of 16 travel partners will get you the most value, it’s not the only option. Unlike other transferable rewards programs like Amex Membership Rewards, Citi allows cardholders to redeem their points for cash rewards at a reasonable rate. 

Plus, you can always opt to redeem points for travel on the Citi ThankYou Travel site. Between these three options, there are plenty of ways to put your Citi ThankYou Points to good use. 

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Airlines and Hotels

The Citi ThankYou program has 16 airline and hotel partners you can transfer points to. They include well-known domestic programs and some international partners that offer cheap flights to popular destinations. ThankYou Points transfer to most of them at a 1:1 ratio, with a few noted exceptions:

  • Mexico Club Premier
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Privileges (1:2 for Premier + Prestige, 1:1.5 for all others)
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest Miles
  • Eva Air
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (1:1 Citi Premier + Prestige, 1:0.8 for all others)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Sears Shop Your Way (1:10)
  • Singapore Krisflyer
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Miles& Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Wyndham Rewards (1:1 Citi Premier + Prestige, 1:0.8 for all others)

Sometimes Citi offers bonus points for transfers to specific programs. However, we don’t recommend transferring points unless you have an immediate use for them, since loyalty programs could devalue before you have a chance to use your miles. 

Citi ThankYou Points “Sweet Spot” Redemptions

Several Citi transfer partners offer “sweet spot” redemptions. These are award tickets that cost significantly fewer miles than most other loyalty programs. Here’s a look at some “sweet spot” awards you can book with Citi ThankYou partners:

  • Turkish Miles&Smiles: 7,500 miles one-way for United Airlines economy class to Hawaii
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 15,000 miles one-way for economy class between the U.S. and Caribbean
  • Etihad Guest: 44,000 miles one-way for Royal Air Maroc business class from the East Coast to Morocco 
  • Virgin Atlantic: 50,000 miles one-way for Delta One Suites to Europe
  • Avianca Lifemiles: 87,000 miles one-way for Lufthansa first class to Europe

Redeem Citi ThankYou Points for Travel

Transferring points is ideal when booking business and first-class tickets or traveling during peak season. When travel is expensive, transferring points to a loyalty program makes the most sense. However, when hotel rooms are on sale or airfare is low, redeeming points through the Citi ThankYou Travel site might be better.

You’ll often find this to be the case with Wyndham properties. For example, a room at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort goes for 30,000 Wyndham points per night. But you can book the same room through the Citi travel site for around 20,000 ThankYou points in the fall. By booking through Citi rather than transferring ThankYou points to Wyndham, you can book the same room for 10,000 fewer points.

While transferring points is usually the best option, there are definite exceptions. It’s definitely worthwhile to compare rates on the Citi ThankYou travel site for potential savings.

Redeem Citi ThankYou Points for Cash Back

Cash back isn’t the best use of any points, but in rare cases, it makes sense. At the start of the pandemic, when travel became impossible and people lost their jobs, redeeming points for cash back made sense. Citi lets you do this at 0.5-1 cent per point, depending on the method. 

Citi ThankYou Points Cash Back Redemption Values

Check by mail

0.5 cent

Statement credits

0.5 cent

Pay with points (for eligible purchases):

0.8 cent

Gift cards

1 cent

Charitable contributions

1 cent

Charitable contributions

1 cent

Mortgage payments

1 cent

Student loan payments

1 cent

While being able to redeem ThankYou Points for cash back is a nice option, you can get well over two cents per point by transferring them to a travel partner instead. However, when times are tough, redeeming points for mortgage statements might come in handy. In these circumstances, the one-cent-per-point redemption rate is reasonable. 

That being said, if you’re regularly redeeming points for cash back, you might want to consider getting a cash back card instead. You won’t pay an annual fee but can earn upwards of 2% on all purchases. Be sure to check out Citi’s cash back cards for the most rewarding option that fits your spending habits. 

Why We Like Citi ThankYou Points

There aren’t many rewards programs out there that are both generous and accessible. Citi checks both boxes with its ThankYou rewards program. The program’s credit cards offer reasonable annual fees and lucrative category bonuses that makes earning points a breeze.

Leveraged correctly, Citi ThankYou Points can open up some incredible travel opportunities. Between their flexibility, generous credit cards and impressive line-up of travel partners, Citi ThankYou Points are an excellent addition to a robust travel rewards strategy. 

q suite on Qatar airways Related Article

10 Ways to Redeem 60,000 Citi ThankYou Points for Travel

Read More
AA

Ariana Arghandewal

Ariana Arghandewal is a rewards travel expert and founder of Pointchaser. She has covered all things points, miles and credit cards for over a decade and served as an editor at The Points Guy, NerdWallet, and FlyerTalk. Her work has also appeared in Forbes, Fodor's Travel, and U.S. News Weekly.