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Guide to Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners

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The Citi ThankYou Rewards program is similar to other flexible programs as you can redeem your rewards — also known as  ThankYou points — for a variety of options. You can cash them in for gift cards or merchandise if you want to, but you can also redeem them for statement credit, payments on your student loans or mortgage and even travel through the Citi travel portal.

Like other flexible programs, Citi ThankYou Rewards also has its share of transfer partners, all of which are frequent flyer programs.

If you want to make the most of the rewards you rack up in this program, learning the best ways to utilize Citi transfer partners is a good place to start.

Current Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has one non-travel transfer partner you can transfer points to — the Sears Shop Your Way Rewards program. You’ll get 12 Shop Your Way Points for each point you transfer to this program, which you can use toward in-store purchases at Sears and Kmart.

Additional transfer partners include the following airlines, each of which lets you transfer points at a 1,000: 1,000 ratio (unless specified otherwise):

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands.
  • Jet Airways JetPrivilege
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (1,000 miles: 800 TrueBlue points for Citi ThankYou® Preferred and Citi Rewards+ Cardmembers)
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Best ways to use Citi ThankYou points

You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for gift cards, merchandise and other non-travel options, but you’ll typically receive more value if you transfer your points to Citi’s frequent flyer partners. After all, most Citi redemption options — like cash back and gift cards — come with a valuation of just one cent per point, whereas Citi ThankYou points are worth an average of 1.7 cents each for travel, according to recent valuations from The Points Guy.

That being said, the best way to redeem your Citi ThankYou points really depends on where you live and where you plan to fly the most. While any transfer to a 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.
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: Asia Miles uses a distance-based award chart that paves the way for some good deals. For example, you can fly an ultrashort itinerary of up to 750 miles in length for 7,500 miles, or a flight between 5,001 and 7,500 miles in economy for just 30,000 miles.
  • JetBlue TrueBlue: There’s no award chart here, 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 can also be affordable in points, often coming in as cheap as domestic itineraries.
  • Emirates Skywards: This newer Citi transfer partner boasts one of the most luxurious travel experiences in the skies and offers significant value. First-class awards can be on the pricey side (New York City to Dubai in First would require 272,500 Skywards miles), but travel enthusiasts love to use Emirates Skywards miles to book premium flights with partners like Japan Airlines.

If you want to make the most of Citi transfer partners, keep in mind you’ll need to create a free loyalty account with airline programs you plan to transfer points to. You can do this by heading to frequent flyer program websites, finding the page that allows you to sign up for their program and entering basic personal information like your name, address and date of birth.

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 Citi ThankYou points each have a unique earning structure that may or may not work for your needs. Some also offer an initial bonus you can earn after meeting a specific spending threshold within the first few months.

Best credit cards to earn rewards in the Citi ThankYou program

The best Citi credit cards to earn rewards in this program are as follows:

Card Name Bonus offer Rewards rate Annual fee Benefits and perks
Citi Prestige® Card 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening 5X points on air travel and dining, 3X points on hotels and cruises and 2X points on other purchases $495 Complimentary 4th-night hotel stay, $250 annual travel credit, airport lounge membership, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and access to the Citi concierge
Citi Premier℠ Card 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening 3X points on travel including gas, 2X points on dining and entertainment and 1X points on other purchases

 

Starting on August 23, 2020, you’ll earn 3X points on air travel, hotels, gas, restaurants and supermarkets and 1X points on other purchases

$95 $100 annual hotel savings benefit (starting on August 23, 2020)
Citi Rewards+℠ Card Earn 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within three months of account opening 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 you spend each year (then 1x points); automatically have all rewards rounded up to the nearest 10 points $0 Get 10 percent of your points back on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year
Citi® Double Cash Card None Earn 2 percent back on everything you buy — 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off $0 Generous introductory APR offer on balance transfers

Keep in mind that not all Citi credit cards let you transfer points to airline partners on their own. If you have the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, for example, you’ll only earn basic ThankYou points that do not transfer to partners. With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you can convert your cash back to the same basic points.

Only when you combine either card with a premier travel credit card — like the Citi Prestige® Card or the Citi Premier℠ Card — do you get the chance to transfer your rewards to airlines. With that in mind, you may want to consider pairing several Citi credit cards if you want to maximize your earnings and transfer points to airlines for optimal redemption options.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card and Citi Premier Card has been collected independently by bankrate.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

How to redeem Citi ThankYou points

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has more redemption options than many people realize. Outside of transfer partners, you can cash in your points for any of these options:

  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Statement credits for recent purchases
  • Payments to student loans
  • Payments to a mortgage
  • Charitable contributions
  • Travel through the Citi portal
  • Shop with points through online retailers like Amazon.com, Best Buy, PayPal and 1-800 Flowers

To redeem your Citi ThankYou Rewards points, all you have to do is head to the Citi ThankYou Rewards website and click where it says to “sign on.”

From there, you’ll enter your login details and decide how you want to cash in your points. If you want to transfer your points to Citi airline partners, you’ll click on the header that says “more ways to redeem” then on “points transfer.”

Once you decide where you want to transfer your points, keep in mind you’ll need to enter your frequent flyer account number for the transfer to take place. Also, note that not all Citi transfers are automatic and some can take up to one week to complete.