How to maximize Citi ThankYou Points with the Citi Double Cash

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The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the best cash back credit cards out there, mostly due to its exceptional flat rewards rate with no annual fee. However, cardholders can also utilize this card’s lucrative balance transfer offer, which makes it easy to pay down debt without interest for a limited time.

Still, there are some details about this card many consumers don’t seem to know. Specifically, consumers often overlook the fact that cardholders can turn their cash back into Citi ThankYou points.

If you’re considering the Citi Double Cash Card for earning rewards—plus wondering how you can make the most of your rewards—utilizing the Citi ThankYou program could be your ticket. Read on to learn more about the Citi Double Cash Card, the rewards you can earn and how you can get the most bang for your buck.

Details of the Citi Double Cash Card

Consider the main details of the Citi Double Cash Card before you sign up, including the rewards rate, annual fee and APR.

Citi® Double Cash Card highlights

  • Earn 2 percent cash back for each dollar you spend—1 percent when a purchase is made and another 1 percent when you pay it off
  • No annual fee
  • 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent
  • Comes with Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Citi Entertainment benefits

How to convert Citi Double Cash rewards to ThankYou points

You can redeem your cash rewards for a check, statement credit or direct deposit once your rewards balance is at least $25. Alternatively, you can convert your rewards to Citi ThankYou points once you have a rewards balance of $1. If you’re eager to get started, you’ll start the process by logging into your Citi account. From there, you can convert your cash back rewards to Citi ThankYou points.

How much are Citi Double Cash rewards worth after conversion?

When you convert Citi Double Cash to ThankYou points, the value of your rewards works out to one cent per point in value. For example, $1 in cash back earned with the Citi® Double Cash Card translates to 100 Citi Double Cash ThankYou points.

Once you transition your rewards to the Citi ThankYou program, you will unlock a few redemption options that weren’t on the table previously. For example, you can redeem Citi ThankYou points for purchases on Amazon.com, gift cards or travel through the Citi travel portal.

Is converting cash back to ThankYou points worth it?

Converting your rewards to Citi ThankYou points can definitely be worth it, but make sure you have a plan in mind first. Remember, cash is always more flexible than merchandise or gift cards. For example, you can convert your rewards to ThankYou points and redeem for gift cards through Citi, but you could also redeem your cash back for statement credits after charging the same gift card to your card.

Of course, there are some conveniences that come with the Citi ThankYou program that you won’t get with cash back. For example, Citi lets you use your rewards in many ways, including travel through the Citi portal. If you want to cash in your points directly for flights, hotel stays and other travel, converting your cash back to points is the best way to use Citi ThankYou points.

There are also a few “unique” ways you can redeem your rewards that might be more convenient for you than a statement credit or check. For example, you could redeem rewards for a payment (up to $1,000) toward a mortgage or student loan.

How to get the most value out of Citi Double Cash rewards

You’ll likely get the best value from your Citi Double Cash rewards from other loyalty programs. If you have another Citi card like the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card, you could combine all of your points and transfer them to Citi ThankYou travel partners (and get the best Citi ThankYou points value). For example, you could transfer ThankYou points to JetBlue or Choice Privileges (see below), which makes sense if you use either of these programs often.

Citi transfer partners and transfer ratios are as follows (terms apply):

Transfer partner Transfer ratio (Citi ThankYou points to partner points or miles)
American AAdvantage (through Nov. 18, 2021) 1,000:1,000
Aeromexico 1,000:1,000
Asia Miles 1,000:1,000
Avianca LifeMiles 1,000:1,000
Choice Privileges 1,000:2,000 (or 1,000:1,500 if you have the Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi Rewards+® Card or Citi Double Cash)
Emirates Skywards 1,000:1,000
Etihad Guest 1,000:1,000
EVA Air 1,000:1,000
Flying Blue / Air France 1,000:1,000
Intermiles 1,000:1,000
JetBlue TrueBlue 1,000:1,000 (or 1,000:800 if you have the Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi Rewards+ Card or Citi Double Cash)
Malaysia Airlines Enrich (not currently available) 1,000:1,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1,000:1,000
Qatar Airways: Qatar Privilege Club 1,000:1,000
Sears Shop Your Way® 1:10
Singapore Airlines 1,000:1,000
Thai Royal Orchid Plus 1,000:1,000
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 1,000:1,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1,000:1,000

How to get the most bang for your buck with points transfers

Booking expensive or long-haul itineraries with miles can help you get a lot more than one cent per point in value.

For example, let’s say you plan to transfer points to the Emirates Skywards program because you want to fly to Dubai in 2022. In this case, a round-trip business class flight from New York City (JFK) to Dubai (DXB) would set you back 145,000 miles (72,500 miles each way) plus a little under $400 in airline taxes and fees.

Over the dates we searched, the cash price for this flight works out to a minimum of $5,397. This means you would be getting close to 3.7 cents per point in value for this redemption.

Additional benefits of the Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t come with a lot of perks, but you do get access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Citi Entertainment. Cardholders also get Lost Wallet Service, which will replace your card within 24 hours and provide you with emergency cash (limits apply).

However, the biggest benefit of this card is its introductory balance transfer offer. New cardholders get 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 18 months (followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent). They’ll also get an intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent or $5 (whichever is greater) on transfer within the first four months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5 percent of each transfer, or $5, whichever is higher.

Related: How to do a balance transfer with Citi

The bottom line

While the Citi Double Cash Card is well known as a cash back card, it can also be a valuable travel tool if you pair it with a premium Citi travel credit card. With a few different cards in your wallet, you could use each one within their respective bonus categories to rack up more points. For example, if you have the Citi Premier Card, you could use it for purchases within its 3X point categories (restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel and hotels) and then switch to your Citi Double Cash Card to earn 2X points on everything else.

Plus, since the Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, it’s a solid rewards credit card to keep for the long haul.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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