All links in our content provide compensation to Slickdeals. Applying for and maintaining consumer credit accounts is an important financial decision, with lasting consequences, and requires thought, planning and comparison shopping for the offer that best suits your personal situation. That's why we offer useful tools to evaluate these offers to meet your personal objectives. Be sure to verify all terms and conditions of any credit card before applying.

HomePoints and MilesCiti ThankYou Points: How to Redeem ThankYou Points for Maximum Value

Citi ThankYou Points: How to Redeem ThankYou Points for Maximum Value

Learn all about Citi ThankYou points and how you can get the most bang for your ThankYou...points

Advertiser Disclosure: Most products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation. However, opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

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:

Quick Navigation

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

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 80,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 17.49% – 25.49%
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: This card features a 17.49% – 25.49% variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 3x ThankYou Points per $1 spent at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, air travel and hotels. Beyond that, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New account holders can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want to maximize rewards in multiple spending categories and welcome transferring points to airline partners.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for accelerated travel rewards, but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. It earns 3X points per dollar on air travel, hotels and spending at gas stations. You’ll also earn 3X points per dollar at supermarkets and restaurants and 1X point on everything else.

It’s easy to quickly rack up lots of points on this card. While you can redeem ThankYou points for gift cards, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights and hotels, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to travel partners.

Citi has dramatically improved the ThankYou Rewards program in recent years as well as the cards that earn those points, especially the Citi Premier Card. To compete with American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi has onboarded new airline partners like Avianca LifeMiles and JetBlue TrueBlue.

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 80,000 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

Offer Details
Citi rewards+ card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 14.99% – 24.99% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. Afterwards, any balances will carry a variable APR based on creditworthiness. Note that there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR between 14.99% – 24.99% will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months (and then the point-to-dollar ratio becomes 1:1 thereafter). Additionally, earn 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year (after that, the point-to-dollar ratio is 1:1). Otherwise, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all eligible spending.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who make lots of small purchases.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+ Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. It rounds up all purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou Points. As an example, if you bought a cup of coffee for $2, you’d earn 10 ThankYou Points. Similarly, if a burger and fries cost $15, you’d earn 20 ThankYou Points. Awesome, right?

If you make a lot of small purchases, like a morning cup of coffee, this could be the card for you. The Citi Rewards+ Card also earns 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations up to the first $6,000 each year. Plus, for a limited time earn 5X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first year. The card offers introductory 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

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 the first three months of the account opening date for a limited time. Additionally, new cardholders earn 5x ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months (then the points-per-dollar ratio becomes 1:1 thereafter).

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. That means you can earn up to 12,000 points per year from these bonus category purchases. Any other purchases beyond $6,000 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 Premier, Prestige or Rewards+ cards. 

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Offer Details
CITI Custom Cash card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR Between 15.49% – 25.49% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 5% Back in Top Eligible Spend Category
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness. Note that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the transfer, whichever is greater. Furthermore, balance transfers need to occur during the first four months of account opening.

Once the no-interest offer concludes, a variable APR between 15.49% – 25.49%, based on credit worthiness, will apply to all balances.

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want flexibility in their spending rewards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. The credit card offers an impressive 5% cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 spent per month — no activation required. After that, you’ll earn just 1% back on every purchase because that’s the base rewards rate.

The list of eligible bonus categories includes restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel and transit, select streaming services, drug stores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

Cardholders can redeem their ThankYou Points for cash back as a direct deposit, statement credit or check. Alternatively, they can redeem their points for gift cards, travel and online shopping via Amazon.com. The ThankYou rewards program also partners with a number of airlines, both domestic and international, and you can transfer your points to these frequent flyer programs.

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 $750 in the first three 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. Plus, new cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness. Read our full review of the Citi Custom Cash Card.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: None
APR: Variable APR Between 15.49% – 25.49% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 2% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders enjoy 0% introductory APR on all balance transfers for the first 18 months of account opening and are charged an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5). Once the no-interest offer concludes, a variable APR between 15.49% – 25.49%, based on creditworthiness, will apply to all balances.

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you make a purchase; 1% when you pay the card balance.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want simple, flat-rate cash back on all of their spending.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card, from our partner Citi, is among the top cards on the market for general spending. Forget the cards that offer 1% and 1.5% cash back. The Citi Double Cash Card offers you a whopping 2% cash back for all spending. Earn 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back when you pay your account balance.

The credit card’s rewards rate makes it perfect for all of the odds and ends you buy from random stores and uncategorized vendors.

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 you purchases. You can receive 1% cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% cash back once you pay your bill. 

While there is no sign-up bonus for new members, this cash-back card comes with a competitive 18-month, 0% APR introductory balance transfer offer for new cardholders. After which, you’ll pay a variable APR based on your creditworthiness on any unpaid balances. 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
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. 

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ariana Arghandewal
Ariana Arghandewalhttps://www.pointchaser.com/
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.