Citi ThankYou® Rewards Program Review

The Citi ThankYou® Rewards program is a great way to earn bonuses while spending on everyday purchases. To join, all you need is a participating Citi® credit card or an eligible Citibank® consumer checking account. If you are already a ThankYou® Member, set up a username and password by registering directly on their website.

For more information, you can visit this page.

Advantages
Disadvantages
✓ 9 transfer partners
✗ Points expire
✓ Ability to earn points through banking
✗ Restraints on travel
✓ Travel discounts
✗ Minimum number of points required for redemption

 
Earning Reward Points   


By having a participating Citi credit card or an eligible Citibank consumer checking account, you will earn points for every dollar spent. These points can be used to redeem gift cards, electronics, travel packages and more. However, keep in mind that your points do expire three years after the year that they are issued.

Ways to earn points:

  • Having an eligible Citi banking relationship
    • CitiGold Checking Account
      • Direct Deposit and Bill Pay: 900 points per month
      • Autosave: 150 points per month
      • Saving Account: 250 points per month
      • Credit products: up to 800 points
    • CitiBank Checking Account
      • Direct Deposit and Bill Pay: 625 points per month
      • Autosave: 100 points per month
      • Saving Account: 200 points per month
      • Credit products: up to 425 points
    • Basic Checking Account
      • Direct Deposit and Bill Pay: 425 points per month
      • Autosave: 50 points per month
      • Saving Account: 125 points per month
  • Having an eligible Citi credit card
    • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
      • Sign-Up Bonus: 2,500 ThankYou® Points
      • 2x points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
    • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
      • Sign-Up Bonus: 20,000 ThankYou® Points
      • 2x points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
    • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
      • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou® Points
      • 3x points on Travel including Gas, 2x points on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
    • Citi Prestige® Card
      • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou® Points
      • 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels, 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases

To calculate how many points you can earn in a year, here is a Citi ThankYou® Points Calculator

 
Spending Your Reward Points   


When you are cashing in your points for rewards, try to redeem for travel or gift cards. With these, your value per point is about $1.00. If you are trying to use your points for other items, try to calculate the value per point of each item. Do not redeem if it is less than 1 cent per point.

Having a ThankYou Prestige or a ThankYou Premier Card
If you have one of these premium credit cards, then there are enhanced redemption opportunities for your earned ThankYou points. By having a ThankYou Prestige Card, your points are worth 60% more on American Airlines and US Airways flights and 33% more on other flights booked through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center (valuing each point at 1.6 cents or 1.33 cents). However, if you own a ThankYou Premier Card, you will be given a 25% discount on travel rewards (valuing each point at 1.25 cents).

Here is an example of a good redemption:
When you redeem your points for a Budget® Rental Certificate of $25, it will cost 2,500 ThankYou points. This is a good way to maximize your benefits because you are earning 1 cent per point.

Here is an example of a bad redemption:

When you redeem your points for a Kindle Paperwhite that includes free 3G wireless connectivity with no monthly fees, you will need to pay 23,300 in points. However, that same device can be purchased on Amazon.com for $179.00. This is an example of a bad redemption choice because each point will be worth .77 cent.

 
Frequently Asked Questions   


Q1. I noticed that the Citi ThankYou website allows you to buy points. Is it worth its price?
While you can purchase 1,000 point for $25 (2.5 cents per point) at a maximum of 100,000 points per year, buying these reward points are not worth it. With that said, these points will not yield for anything more than 1.6 cent upon redemption depending on which credit card you own. Unless you really need the points to redeem for a trip that you are dying to go on, the best advice is to earn points another way.

Q2. Can I earn points on multiple bank accounts?
Only one account is eligible per signer over the age of 18.

Q3. Are there redemption restrictions I should watch out for?
Yes, for some redemption options there is a minimum points requirement. For example, to cash in for a statement credit, you will need at least 2,000 points.

Q4. Can I transfer my rewards? If so, where?
Yes, you can transfer your rewards to partnered transfer programs. This includes Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Flying Blue, Hilton HHonors Worldwide, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Q5. What are some credit cards I can use to earn ThankYou Points?
You can use either Citi Forward®, Citi® mtvU™ Platinum Select® Visa® Card, Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, Citi ThankYou Premier Card, Citi Prestige Card, CITI® AADVANTAGE® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, CITI® Hilton HHONORS Visa Signature® Card, EXPEDIA®+ Voyager Card From Citi, AT&T Universal Rewards Card, and AT&T Universal Business Rewards Card.

Q6. Which types of bank accounts will allow me to earn ThankYou Points?
Eligible banks include: CitiBusiness® Streamlined Checking Account, CitiBusiness® Flexible Checking Account, CitiBusiness® Preferred Banking, Citigold® Account, Citi Private Bank Account, and The Citibank Account.

Q7. Do certain cards offer discounts when redeeming for rewards?
Yes. By having a ThankYou Premier Card, you will be given a 25% discount on travel rewards (valuing each point at 1.25 cents). However, if you have a ThankYou Prestige Card, your points are worth 60% more on American Airlines and US Airways flights and 33% more on other flights booked through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center (valuing each point at 1.6 cents or 1.33 cents).

 
Concluding Remarks   


If you are willing to apply for a ThankYou Prestige or a ThankYou Premier Card, you will have better opportunities to maximize your rewards. However, this is only the case if you are interested in redeeming for travel rewards. Otherwise, your point maximization will be at most 1 cent per point.

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