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Citi ThankYou® Points: What Are They Worth?

Citi ThankYou® Points: What Are They Worth?

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The Citi ThankYou® program might not get as much attention as its Amex and Chase counterparts, but if you know how to milk it, this rewards program can be just as lucrative.

While Citi lacks a partnership with a major U.S. airline, it does include a lengthy list of transfer partners in all three airline alliances, including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Flying Blue. By taking advantage of airline alliances, you can potentially fly anywhere in the world with one of Citi's partner airlines and stretch your ThankYou points further.

Moreover with a great lineup of cards that offer generous sign-up bonuses and ongoing rewards, earning and using Citi ThankYou points has never been easier.

What is Citi ThankYou?

Citi ThankYou is a points-based credit card and banking rewards program associated with Citi. Citi ThankYou points are earned through spending on select Citi credit cards and qualifying Citi checking account activity, and they can be redeemed for various shopping and travel rewards.

How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?

On average, Citi ThankYou points are worth about 0.8 cents each, but it's not hard to get 1 cent per point by redeeming them for gift cards or flights.

The easiest redemption options, cash back and statement credits, will only get you 0.5 cents per point, which drags down the average value of Citi ThankYou points.

Citi ThankYou points value

Usage
Example
Value Per Point
Cash back$50 Cash Back: 10,000 points0.5 cents
Gift cards$25 Best Buy Gift Card: 2,500 points1 cent
Redeem for flights$450 fare: 45,000 points1 cent
Charity donation$25 donation: 2,500 points1 cent
Shopping$829 Apple iPad Mini: 100,000 points0.83 cents
Statement credit$10 statement credit: 1,000-2,000 points (depending on the card)0.5-1 cent
Amazon$80 purchase: 10,000 points0.8 cents

Value of 10,000 ThankYou points

$100
Travel through Citi
$100
Charitable contributions
$100
Gift cards
$80
Pay with points on Amazon
$50
Cash back

Is Citi ThankYou worth it?

Overall, the Citi ThankYou program offers excellent value to people who prefer to redeem their rewards for air travel. The average value offered by Citi ThankYou points is a little lower than what you'll get from Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, but it's on par with Amex Membership Rewards points and Capital One miles.

What really sets the Citi ThankYou program apart from other big rewards programs are its transfer partners. Not only does it boast a longer list of transfer partners than both Chase and Capital One, but Citi's transfer partners also include all three of the major airline alliances, giving you ample redemption options when it comes to flying. If you decide you don't want to redeem your points for travel, Citi ThankYou also offers a higher value on gift card redemptions than the other reward programs.

Pros and cons of the Citi ThankYou program

Like all rewards programs, the Citi ThankYou program has both its strengths and weaknesses. Weighing the pros and cons will help you decide whether this is the right program for you.

Pros

  • More than a dozen Citi transfer partners
  • All airline alliances are covered with travel partners
  • Gift card redemptions are more valuable than other rewards programs
  • Several credit cards, including the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, offer generous earning categories

Cons

  • You can only redeem for travel through the Citi ThankYou portal or through a transfer partner
  • None of its credit cards offer a bonus for redeeming through the travel portal
  • Only U.S. airline transfer partner is JetBlue
  • Cash back redemptions are only worth half a cent per point

How to earn Citi ThankYou points

Citi offers three main credit cards that earn ThankYou points: a no-annual-fee card, a middle-of-the-road card and a premium card. Two of these cards — the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Prestige® Credit Card (no longer available for application) — allow you to transfer your points to any of Citi's airline partners, which significantly increases the value of your ThankYou points. If you have the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card or the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, then you could use the ThankYou points you earn from them to transfer to travel partners.

Card
Sign-up bonus
Earning rate
Eligible for points transfer?
Annual fee
Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin
Citi Rewards+® Card
Earn 20,000 bonus 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.comEarn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.Yes$0
On Citibank's Secure Website
Citi Premier® Card
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account openingEarn 3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X per $1 spent on all other purchasesYes$95
On Citibank's Secure Website
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.No$0
On Citibank's Secure Website
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
NoneEarn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.No$0

The sign-up bonuses on these credit cards are one of the best ways to accumulate lots of Citi ThankYou points in a short period of time. For lasting value, though, you'll want to pay attention to the earning rate and pick a card that offers bonus points on categories where you spend the most. You'll also want to make sure that your annual earnings outweigh the annual fee.

You're not eligible for these sign-up bonuses if you've previously earned a sign-up bonus on one of these cards, or on the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card in the past 24 months.

How to use Citi ThankYou points

Citi ThankYou points offer a lot of flexibility in how they can be used, but some redemption options offer a lot more value than others. Here are the most lucrative ways to use your Citi ThankYou points.

Citi ThankYou Travel

You can redeem your ThankYou points through the ThankYou travel center for flights, hotel stays, cruises and rental cars. The value you'll get from these travel redemptions varies, although you'll get 1 cent per point when you redeem for flights. Typically, you can get more value by transferring your ThankYou points to one of Citi's transfer partners.

Transfer Citi ThankYou points

As long as you have the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Credit Card, you can transfer your ThankYou points to more than a dozen airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate. You do have to transfer your points in 1,000-point increments.

While most of Citi's transfer partners are airlines based outside of the U.S., many are part of an airline alliance, which means you get access to a large network of airlines when redeeming those miles. In fact, between all of Citi's transfer partners, you have access to all three of the major airline alliances. In many cases, these airline miles are worth well over 1 cent each, so points transfer tends to be the most lucrative redemption option.

Citi ThankYou transfer partners

Partner
Airline alliance
Transfer ratio
AeroMexicoSkyTeam1,000:1,000
Cathay PacificOneworld1,000:1,000
AviancaStar Alliance1,000:1,000
Emirates--1,000:1,000
Etihad--1,000:1,000
EVA AirStar Alliance1,000:1,000
Air France/KLMSkyTeam1,000:1,000 or 1,000:800
JetBlue--1,000:1,000
Malaysia AirlinesOneworld1,000:1,000
QantasOneworld1,000:1,000
Qatar AirwaysOneworld1,000:1,000
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1,000:1,000
Show All Rows

Citi has a couple of hotel partners as well.

Hotel partner
Transfer ratio
Wyndham Rewards1,000:1,000 or 1,000:800
Choice Privileges1,000:2,000 or 1,000:1,500
Savvy traveler tip: If you own the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Credit Card, you can transfer rewards that you earn with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer to an outside loyalty program. This means you can get an even better return than the card's already stellar 2% rewards rate.
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Gift cards and travel

You can also redeem your ThankYou points for gift cards from tons of major brands. These include chain restaurants like Olive Garden and Starbucks; clothing and department stores like Macy's, Kohl's and Saks Fifth Avenue; and entertainment and travel companies like Royal Caribbean and iTunes. While this won't yield as much value as transferring your points, you'll get around 1 cent per point, which is better than what most credit card programs offer for gift card redemptions. It's not a bad option if you can't find a way to redeem your points for air travel.

Other redemption options

Citi offers a slew of other ways to redeem your ThankYou points, including online shopping with Citi's partners, statement, paying bills with points and cash back. These redemption options might be tempting thanks to the high level of flexibility they offer, but unfortunately, they're generally a bad value. You'll only get 0.5 to 0.83 cents per point when you redeem your ThankYou points with these methods, versus the 1+ cent per point you can get by transferring points or redeeming them for gift cards or travel.

  • Use points at partners: You can redeem $10 worth of your points at physical locations of CVS and Walmart. You can also use them to shop online on Amazon and PayPal.
  • Direct deposit: You can get ThankYou points deposited as cash directly into your checking or savings account, whether or not it's from Citi.
  • Mail: Receive your ThankYou points as a check in the mail.
  • Cover recent purchases: If you make an eligible purchase, you can immediately use your points to pay it. You just select on the Citi app that you'd like to pay with points, and you'll receive a statement credit for that purchase within two to three business days. Eligible categories include dining, grocery, gas, clothing, utility, drugstores and entertainment.
  • Points sharing: Share your points with another ThankYou member to earn more rewards.
  • Charitable contributions: Redeem at least 2,500 points, worth $25, to organizations like American Red Cross, UNICEF USA, World Central Kitchen and more.

Can Citi ThankYou points be redeemed for cash?

You can cash out your Citi ThankYou points by redeeming them for statement credits, cash rewards and online bill payments. You might not get as much value from these redemptions.

What are the best Citi ThankYou travel partners?

With more than 15 transfer partner options, it can be a challenge to figure out which airline and hotel partners offer the best redemption value for your Citi ThankYou Points. Here are a few of the top redemption options:

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Home Country: Hong Kong

Major hubs: Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, among others

Airline alliance: oneworld alliance

Cathay Pacific offers tremendous value for travelers because the airline still uses a standard award chart for redemptions. This offers predictable pricing when booking award flights versus other airlines that use a dynamic award chart.

One-way business-class flights start at just 16,000 miles, which is an absolute steal. Prices are based on the distance of the flight and which cabin you are booking in. And you can book a "Round the World" business class flight that includes partner airlines for 240,000 miles or less with a maximum travel distance of 50,000 miles.


Flying Blue

Home Country: France (Air France); Netherlands (KLM)

Major hubs: Amsterdam-Schiphol, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, among others

Airline alliance: SkyTeam

Flying Blue is an excellent choice for redemptions for travelers who wish to fly to Europe from the U.S. You can redeem miles directly through Air France or KLM and any of its SkyTeam partners. What really sets this program apart is the regular promo rewards that Flying Blue offers. Award flights are up to 50% off and new promo reward tickets between a variety of city pairs are released on the first of every month.


Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Home Country: Singapore

Major hubs: Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, among others

Airline alliance: Star Alliance

Singapore Airlines reserves its long-haul business and first-class awards to Krisflyer members, which gives you ample opportunity to book an award flight by transferring ThankYou Points to this program. One of the best redemptions is booking one of the Singapore Suites, a truly luxurious premium flight experience. These awards start at 117,000 miles each way to destinations like Hong Kong, Taiwan and China from the West Coast.

How to transfer Citi ThankYou points

Point transfers cannot be reversed or refunded, so you should make sure that your target loyalty program has award space available before you transfer your Citi points. It can take up to 14 days for your ThankYou Points to post to the receiving loyalty program. However, most transfers are much quicker and some are instantaneous. Here's how to transfer your ThankYou Points to your preferred hotel or airline loyalty program.

  1. Log in to your account at Citi.com, ThankYou.com or the Citi mobile app.
  2. Choose which credit card to transfer from.
  3. Select "Points Transfer."
  4. Determine the number of points to transfer.
  5. Enter and confirm your hotel or airline loyalty number.
  6. Accept terms and conditions and complete the transfer.
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Frequently asked questions

You can redeem your Citi ThankYou points by logging on to your Citi ThankYou account. From there, you can navigate to the redemption option of your choice to spend your points.

Citi ThankYou points can be used to book travel through the Citi ThankYou center, transferred to one of Citi's airline partners or exchanged for gift cards, statement credits, online shopping, bill payments or cash back. Transferring your ThankYou points will often get you the best value, followed by travel and gift card redemptions.

You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to over a dozen airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate. Transfers must be made in 1,000-point increments, and once completed, they can't be reversed. Make sure you have a trip in mind before transferring your ThankYou points to one of Citi's transfer partners.

You can transfer or share your Citi ThankYou points with another person as long as they're also a member of the Citi ThankYou program. However, shared points are only valid for 90 days from the day they're received, so make sure the other person plans to use them soon.

While the ThankYou points you earn with your credit card won't expire as long as the account remains open and in good standing, points earned through other avenues can expire. You can check the expiration status of your ThankYou points by logging in to your account and going to the ThankYou Points Summary section. Shared ThankYou points expire 90 days from the date they're received, while points issued by ThankYou Rewards expire three years from the end of the year in which you received them.

First, you'll need to add your eligible Citi credit card as a form of payment on your Amazon account. Use it to make a purchase on Amazon, and you'll automatically be enrolled in the "Shop with points" program, which will give you the option to pay for Amazon purchases with your ThankYou points upon checkout.

The number of Citi ThankYou points you need for a free flight depends on the dollar price of that flight, as your points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for flights through the ThankYou center. This means that you'd need 40,000 ThankYou points to purchase a $400 flight through this portal. Alternatively, you can transfer your ThankYou points to one of Citi's airline transfer partners. The number of Citi ThankYou points you need in that case will depend on the airline partner and how many miles you need with that partner to purchase the flight you want.

The information related to Citi Prestige® Credit Card and Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).