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This piece was last updated on Oct. 12, 2023 to reflect current credit card details.
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The Citi ThankYou Rewards program is known for its flexible redemption options. You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for the usual options like cash back, gift cards or merchandise, plus more unique options like payments toward student loans or a mortgage. And then there’s the most lucrative redemption option: points transfers to Citi ThankYou Rewards partners.
Like other flexible rewards programs, Citi ThankYou Rewards has a number of airline and hotel transfer partners; it even has one retail transfer partner. If you want to make the most of this rewards program, keep reading to learn more about earning ThankYou points, why points transfers are the best redemption option and all of Citi’s many transfer partners.
How to earn Citi ThankYou points
Because the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is a credit card loyalty program, you can earn points by using the right credit card to pay for your purchases. Citi credit cards that let you rack up ThankYou points each have a unique earning structure that may or may not work for your needs. Some also offer a welcome bonus you can earn after meeting time-sensitive spending requirements, allowing you to earn even more points.
Best credit cards for earning Citi ThankYou points
The best Citi credit cards for earning rewards in this program are:
|Benefits and perks
|Citi Prestige® Card*
|50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
|Citi Premier® Card
|60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
|Citi Rewards+® Card
|20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 within 3 months of account opening
|Citi Custom Cash® Card
|20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 within 6 months of account opening
|Citi Double 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.
*The Citi Prestige Card is currently not available to new card members.
How to transfer Citi ThankYou points
You’ll typically receive more value from your points if you transfer them to one of Citi’s frequent flyer partners. After all, most Citi redemption options — like cash back and gift cards — come with a valuation of just 1 cent per point, whereas Citi ThankYou points are worth roughly up to 1.0 cents each for travel, according to recent valuations from Bankrate.
Note that not all Citi credit cards let you transfer points to Citi partners on their own. For example, the Citi Rewards+ Card and the Citi Custom Cash earn basic ThankYou points that do not transfer to Citi partners. For the Citi Double Cash, you can convert your cash back to the same basic ThankYou points. However, you can combine any of these cards with a premier travel credit card — like the Citi Prestige Card or the Citi Premier Card — to transfer your rewards to airlines.
To redeem your Citi ThankYou points online, follow these steps:
- Head to the Citi ThankYou website and log in to your account.
- From there, you can choose to transfer points to Citi partners. To do so, click “More ways to redeem,” followed by “Points transfer.”
- Decide where you want to transfer your points, such as to an airline or hotel loyalty program. Keep in mind you’ll need to enter your airline or hotel loyalty program information for the transfer to take place.
- Enter the number of points you want to transfer.
- Read and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Confirm the transfer request.
Note that not all Citi transfers are automatic and some can take up to one week to complete. Additionally, if you’d rather transfer your points over the phone, you can call the ThankYou Service Center at 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596).
How to redeem Citi ThankYou points in other ways
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has more redemption options than many people realize. Outside of transfer partners, you can redeem your points for:
- Statement credits
- Direct deposits
- Gift cards
- Payments toward student loans
- Payments toward a mortgage
- Charitable contributions
- Travel through the Citi portal
- Shopping on Amazon.com, Best Buy, PayPal, 1-800-Flowers and more
To redeem your points in any of the above ways, simply log in to your account and choose which redemption method you’re interested in from the toolbar.
Citi ThankYou transfer partners
If you want to make the most of Citi transfer partners, keep in mind you’ll need to create a free loyalty account with any airline, hotel or retail programs you plan to transfer points to. You can do this by heading to the desired program website, finding the sign-up page and entering basic personal information to create your account.
Citi ThankYou airline transfer partners
Each of the following airline transfer partners lets you transfer Citi ThankYou points at a 1,000:1,000 ratio (unless otherwise specified):
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- JetBlue TrueBlue (1,000:1,000 for Citi Prestige and Citi Premier; 1,000:800 for Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Sears Mastercard and Citi Double Cash Card)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
As for the best Citi ThankYou transfer partners, it really depends on where you live and where you plan to fly the most. While any points transfer to an airline partner can be lucrative, the following airlines offer some of the best deals:
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
While this program doesn’t offer an award chart, you can frequently fly round-trip to Europe from the United States for as little as 50,000 miles. Award seats also tend to be plentiful when you book early, which is a major benefit for large families.
Asia Miles uses a distance-based award chart that paves the way for some good deals. For example, for an economy flight, you can fly an Ultra-Short trip of up to 750 miles in length for 7,500 miles or a flight between 5,001 and 7,500 miles for just 30,000 miles.
There’s no award chart with the JetBlue TrueBlue program, but you can frequently find round-trip domestic flights for 20,000 points or less. Round-trip international flights to Central America or the Caribbean tend to be affordable in points, and some flights may be as cheap as domestic itineraries.
Emirates Skywards boasts one of the most luxurious travel experiences in the skies and offers significant value. First-class awards tend to be on the pricey side, but travel enthusiasts love to use Emirates Skywards miles to book premium flights with partners like Japan Airlines.
Citi ThankYou hotel transfer partners
Citi has two hotel transfer partners, both of which include different points transfer ratios depending on the Citi card you have:
Choice Hotels has 12 hotel brands—including Comfort Hotels, Quality Inn, Econo Lodge and the Ascend Hotel Collection—so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Transfer ratios from Citi ThankYou points to Choice Privileges points are:
- 1,000:2,000 for Citi Prestige and Citi Premier
- 1,000:1,500 for Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Sears Mastercard and Citi Double Cash Card
Wyndham Rewards members can redeem points at any eligible Wyndham Hotels & Resorts brand, including La Quinta, Days Inn, Ramada and Super 8. Transfer ratios from Citi ThankYou points to Wyndham Rewards points are:
- 1,000:1,000 for Citi Prestige and Citi Premier
- 1,000:800 for Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Sears Mastercard and Citi Double Cash Card
Citi ThankYou retail transfer partners
Sears Shop Your Way program
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has one non-travel transfer partner you can transfer points to—the Sears Shop Your Way program. With this rewards program, you can earn Shop Your Way points on qualifying purchases made in-store and online at Sears and Kmart, or transfer Citi ThankYou points to Shop Your Way points. 1X Citi ThankYou point is worth 10X Shop Your Way points.
The bottom line
If you’re looking to get the most value out of your ThankYou points, transferring them to a Citi partner—especially an airline partner—is the best course of action. With that in mind, you may want to consider pairing two or more Citi credit cards, such as a no-annual-fee Citi card and a premium Citi card, if you want to maximize your earnings and transfer points to airlines or other partners.
*The information about the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Bankrate. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.