Citi ThankYou® Points Basics

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Citi ThankYou® Rewards, the loyalty program for CitiBank®, earns Citi ThankYou points, one of the four big transferrable or flexible rewards currencies available to U.S. consumers (the others being Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Marriott Rewards).

Citi ThankYou Rewards Logo

Citi’s rewards program, when compared to some of its counterparts, is relatively straightforward. You can earn ThankYou points on every $1 spent using a participating Citi credit card, and also on select Citibank consumer checking accounts.

Unlike Ultimate Rewards, Citi doesn’t allow you to earn points when using its online mall at but does offer plenty of redemption options for using your points online once you’ve earned them.

In this post, we’re just going to touch on the different ways of earning and redeeming ThankYou points, and we'll dive into more detail in future posts.

Earning Citi ThankYou Points

There are two primary ways to earn ThankYou points. You earn points on each $1 spent on one of five participating Citi credit cards, and also through eligible Citi checking accounts by adding a qualifying direct deposit and a qualifying bill payment.

Earning Citi ThankYou points

ThankYou Points Earning Credit Cards

There are currently five publicly available Citi credit cards that earn ThankYou points. These range from basic cards with no annual fee up to premium travel cards with higher annual fees but additional travel benefits and points earning capacity.

The Citi Premier and Prestige Card both enjoy great bonus categories, earning up to 5x points on select spending categories. For example, the Prestige Card offers

  • 5x points on airfare and restaurants
  • 3x points on hotels and cruise lines

Plus you receive a $250 Travel Credit which effectively drops the annual fee down to $245.

Citi Premier cardholders can earn:

  • 3x points on travel and gas
  • 2x points on dining and entertainment

Citi Consumer Checking Accounts That Earn ThankYou Points

To earn ThankYou points through your Citi checking account, you need to complete a qualifying deposit and bill payment each statement cycle. You can see a full list of ways to earn through a Citi checking account via the ThankYou points Earning Chart.

Eligible checking accounts include:

  • Citigold® Account
  • Citi Private Bank Account
  • The Citibank Account

As with most rewards programs, you can also buy ThankYou Points. But, even if you can buy points at a discount, it’s not recommended unless you need to top off an account for a specific redemption.

Redeeming Citi ThankYou Points

Citi offers a bunch of different options to redeem ThankYou points, but not all redemption options provide the same value. As with other transferable currencies, transferring points out to travel partners is the easiest way of leveraging maximum value from your points. However, it’s not the only way.

Citi ThankYou points can be redeemed for:

  • Transferring points to travel partners
  • Redeeming directly through the Citi Travel Portal for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more
  • Pay bills online using ThankYou points
  • Receive a statement credit on recent purchases, categories include dining, entertainment, utility bills, gas, grocery, clothing and department stores, and drug stores
  • Purchase gift cards and shop at major retailers using ThankYou points through

Citi ThankYou Rewards Travel Partners

To take advantage of Citi’s transfer partners, you must hold the Citi Premier, Prestige Card or Citi Chairman® Card (no longer accepting applications). While Citi doesn’t offer anything in the way of hotel transfers, you can transfer to plenty of airline partners across all three international airline alliances, and almost all transfer at a 1:1 ratio. While Citi says transfers can take up to 14 days, we've found that they're much quicker than that, and have listed our experience on transfer times in the chart as well.

Citi ThankYou Rewards Transfer Partners

Citi Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time (based on our experience)
Asia Miles1:11 business day
Avianca LifeMiles1:1Instant
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1:11 business day
Etihad Guest1:16 business days
Flying Blue
Jet Airways JetPrivilege1:1Instant
JetBlue TrueBlue1:1Instant
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1:12 business days
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:12 business days
Qatar Airways Privilege Club1:12 business days
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:12 business days
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus1:15 business days
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1:12 business days
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1Instant
Sears Shop Your Way®1:12Unknown

Citi’s transfer partners include some of the most desirable airline programs in the world, with the likes of Etihad Guest, Avianca LifeMiles, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, making ThankYou points a fantastic option for travelers who enjoy using rewards for aspirational redemptions.

Sharing and Combining Citi ThankYou Points

While recent changes to Citi’s points sharing rules limit points transfers to 100K points per calendar year, ThankYou points maintain their status as having the most relaxed transfer rules of the big four, still being the easiest points to transfer. You can transfer up to 100K ThankYou points per calendar year to any other Citi ThankYou Rewards account, with points valid for up to 90 days.

You can also combine ThankYou points earned via checking accounts, and multiple credit cards into one account, to be redeemed or transferred out to transfer partners. Note: you cannot transfer points earned from checking accounts to travel partners.

Final Thoughts

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program is one of the most straightforward and valuable rewards programs available for U.S. consumers, offering an easy to understand earning structure and fantastic redemption options through its extensive list of transfer partners.

While we haven’t covered every method of earning and redeeming Citi ThankYou Rewards points, this post should offer a starting point to discover more about Citi’s transfer partners, and the best credit cards to earn ThankYou Points.

Citi ThankYou® Points Basics
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  • Trying to merge my Prestige & Premier TY accounts was a painful experience. It took 3 calls with customer service reps to get it right. The 2nd agent tried to move my higher-redemption Prestige TY points over to my Premium account! In the end the difficulty was because 1 account had a middle initial whereas the other did not. Once the names on the 2 accounts were identical the TY point balances merged ok.

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