Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » Best Ways to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points
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Best Ways to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points

Fly via Star Alliance Network, book a Dollar Rental Car, or take a European tour - here are some great ways to redeem your ThankYou points
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Interest Rates Last Update: September 20, 2023
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Interest Rates Last Update: November 1, 2023

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Table Of Content

How Do Citi ThankYou Points Work?

Citi ThankYou Points are the currency for the Citi Loyalty program. If you’re approved for a new Citi ThankYou credit card, you can enroll in the program.

Not all Citi cards use this rewards scheme, but if you have a Thank You card, you can earn points with purchases, with the specific number of points varying according to your card and the purchase category.

Many cards feature a tiered reward structure, so you could earn three points for every dollar in the top tier category, two points per dollar in a second category, and a base rate of one point per dollar on all your other purchases. This means that you are likely to earn at least one point for every dollar.

Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about keeping track of your points, as Citi will automatically calculate the points for each transaction and when the purchase is applied to your account, your points will be added to your account.

You can continue to accumulate points until you’re ready to redeem them. So, here we’ll discover the best ways to redeem Citi ThankYou points.

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

citi double cash

2%* 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
Up to $200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening
$0

citi_premier_card

1X – 3X 3X points per dollar on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel and other hotels purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024
$95
citi rewards
Up to 2X points 2x points on purchases up to $6,000 per year on supermarkets & gas stations (then 1x thereafter) and 1 point per $1 on all other purchase. Plus, users are awarded 10% back on the ThankYou points they redeem, up to 100,000 points per year [/sc]
25,000 points 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $250 in gift cards at thankyou.com. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel Portal through June 30, 2024
$0
citi-custom-cash_
1-5% 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter
$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)
$0

How Much Are Citi ThankYou Points Worth?

As with most credit card loyalty programs, there is no set value for ThankYou points. The points value will vary according to your preferred redemption method. For example:

  • 1 Cent On Citi ThankYou Travel Portal: This is one of the most attractive and easiest redemption methods as there is a straight points value of one cent each. This means that if you are booking a $200 flight, it will cost 20,000 ThankYou points.

Unlike many other credit card travel portals, it is not possible to increase the value of your points by booking with specific airlines. However, this does mean that you don’t need to spend hours researching the best deals, you can simply look at the cash price of tickets and know that you’ll need the appropriate number of points.

  • 1-2 Cents On Transfer to Partner Programs: This is where the ThankYou points value gets a little more complicated. Citi has a number of airline and hotel partner programs and the transfer rates are typically 1:1. However, if you carry the Citi Premier® Card, you may earn a better transfer rate.

This means that one ThankYou point will get you one mile or point in the partner program. Of course, the cash value of these miles will depend on the specific program, but the averages typically vary from 1 to 2 cents each.

  • 0.5 Cent On Cashback: Citi also allows customers to redeem their ThankYou points for cash back with a set redemption value of one cent per point. So, if you have 5,000 points, it would be $50 in cash back. This cash back can be applied as statement credit for any Citi account including your credit card, loan or mortgage account.

You can also receive a direct deposit into your bank account or receive a check in the mail. However, it is important to note that some cards don’t allow this cash redemption option at one cent, and you’ll only get a 0.5 cents per point rate.

  • 1 Cent Gift Cards: Citi also offers an impressive choice of gift card options, with a typical redemption rate of one cent per point. So, if you want a $25 gift card, you’ll need 2,500 ThankYou points.
  • 0.8 Cent Amazon Shopping: You can also use your Citi ThankYou points when you shop on Amazon.com. However, this provides a lower cash value for your points, as you can expect 0.8 cents per point.

15 Decent Ways to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points

Now we’ve covered the basics of using Citi ThankYou points, we’ll delve into the best ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou points.

1. Fly To Hawaii via Star Alliance Network

Citi is part of the Star Alliance Network, which means that you can get access to even more airlines.

A great example of this is KrisFlyer, which offers flights to Hawaii at cheaper rates compared to other airlines including United. You can book economy flights from 19,500 miles or first class from 39,000, depending on the flight itinerary and other factors.

However, if you are yearning for a vacation, this is one of the best ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou points.

2. Fly Delta One Suites via Virgin Atlantic

 If you’ve always liked the idea of trying Delta One Suites, this is a great way to redeem your Citi ThankYou points.

Delta One Suites is Delta’s excellent business-class product and as Delta is a partner of Virgin Atlantic, you can access this service with your ThankYou points. There are a number of routes flying from Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Minneapolis, with destinations including Amsterdam, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Sydney, and Shanghai.

The best point value deals are between America and Europe, which means you can fly from 50,000 miles.

Boeing 777 Delta Airlines flying over the clouds
Boeing 777 Delta Airlines (Photo by Miguel Lagoa/Shutterstock)

3. Fly Lufthansa Via Avianca LifeMiles

LifeMiles is Avianca’s loyalty program which allows you to redeem accumulated miles for car rentals, hotel stays, and airline tickets.

Avianca is also a Star Alliance member providing services to over 100 cities across America and Europe with over 1,300 destinations around the world. If you’re looking for an aspirational experience, flying Lufthansa first class should be on your bucket list.

From 87,000 LifeMiles, you can fly to Europe in style, plus if your connection is Frankfurt, you can visit the Lufthansa First Class Terminal for a fantastic lounge experience. Lufthansa is also available when redeeming Capital One Miles.

4. Enjoy Business Class On KLM Flying Blue/ Air France

KLM/ Air France airline uses variable award pricing, which is tied to the revenue prices, but you can also take advantage of Promo Rewards.

These awards are available throughout the calendar year and tend to change every couple of months. However, if you can time your point transfer and redemption, you could receive up to 50% discount on both economy and business class awards to specific cities from Europe.

Typically, awards between America and Europe cost from 21,500 for economy or 53,000 for business class. So, this can be a great way to get excellent value for your ThankYou points, but be aware that Flying Blue awards to incur surcharges.

5. Fly To Australia On A Budget

 Flying Blue also provides some great options to fly to Australia and the South Pacific. Business class, one way awards cost 75,000 miles, but you can also fly economy from 48,000.

With these rates, Flying Blue is one of the most competitive programs for Australian flights. You can even fly from LAX to Tahiti directly for just 25,500 miles. Flying Blue also has a useful price estimator, so you can work out how many miles you would need for award flights.

woman fly to Australia with Citi credit card
(Photo by dodotone/Shutterstock)

6. Get Virgin Upper Class

If you enjoy flying and want to enjoy a more luxurious flying experience, you’ll find the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club a great fit.

This program offers exclusive member offers and you can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to the program to exchange for flights to superb destinations and flight upgrades and more. 

Additionally, there are three membership tiers and the more you fly, the greater the rewards. If you’re looking for one of the best ways to redeem your Citi points, consider flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Europe from 58,000 points one way.

7. Fly To Europe Via Etihad First and Business Class

You can redeem Etihad Guest Miles for flights, upgrades and even shopping deals. However, what really makes this program stand out is the luxury offered with Etihad First and Business Class.

This means that you can fly business class to Europe without breaking the bank. For example, on Brussels Airlines, an Etihad partner, you can fly business class between New York and Brussels round trip for 88,000 miles.

There are also some great deals on economy class awards if you prefer. While availability can be a little challenging, the best deals are certainly worth the time and patience. 

If you need more Etihad Guest Miles, you can get them from another loyal program. For example, you can redeem Marriot points towards or another hotel loyalty program.

Etihad business class seats
Etihad business class seats (Photo by M101Studio/Shutterstock)

8. Visit Asia and Pacific Islands via EVA Air

EVA Air has its Infinity MileageLands program that may have limited award bookings, but there are some great Asia options.

On Star Alliance award flights, you can fly business class round trip on Asiana and United Airlines for just 55,000 miles. This allows for two stopovers, so you can see two Asian cities. As an example, if you fly from Tokyo to Saipan, you could have a stopover in Guam.

You can then head to Palau economy using 12,500 United miles and then fly on to Seoul as a stopover before you return to Tokyo. This provides an almost Asian tour for an immersive travel experience.

9. Take a European Tour via EVA Air

EVA Infinity MileageLand miles also provides a fun way to fly to various European cities to take a great tour. The cost starts at 30,000 miles for economy and 55,000 miles for business class, making it possible to see several European cities.

The EVA Air award chart includes several “European” cities that are not typically included such as Iceland. For example, you could fly from Istanbul to Frankfurt with a stopover in Rome, then fly to Berlin and Copenhagen before going back to Istanbul.

This tour would include flights on SAS, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines.

10. Enjoy Dubai Experience with Emirates

Emirates has an award winning loyalty program. Skywards has four membership tiers and each tier offers exclusive perks.

While Emirates has great economy products, its business class is simply fantastic. There are several cities on the East Coast that fly direct to Dubai, including New York, Toronto, and Boston.

Just be aware that for Emirates awards, you will need to look at the Qantas award chart. As the one way is less than 7,000 miles, you’re looking at Zone 7 pricing.

Emirates Airbus A380 Interior
Emirates Airbus A380 Interior (Photo by Sorbis/Shutterstock)

11. A Variety Of Hotels To Pick Up From

The Citi Travel portal provides access to a variety of travel deals including hotel stays. This means that you can add a touch of luxury to your vacation and stay at the Hyatt using your Citi ThankYou points.

For example, you could stay at the Park Hyatt Chicago for $299 per night or 23,900 points. The season and even the day of the week you stay can affect rates.

How To Book Hotel With Citi Travel Portal?

Searching and booking a hotel through the Citi ThankYou portal is quite similar to how ti works on booking.com. You'll need to enter your destination, the dates you'll be there, and the number of visitors into the search fields after choosing the “Hotels” option from the main menu.

You can sort the results using the property class, price, distance, hotel name, and suggested results on the results page.  Click “Choose Room” to learn more about the hotel you're considering. You'll be presented with a variety of bed options, rate types with cancellation policies, and, if appropriate, various packages (breakfast included, for example).

You will reach the final booking screen after selecting the rate you choose, where you may once more select your mode of payment and add guest information.

12. Free Nights On Choice Privileges

While booking through the Citi Travel Portal may allow you to redeem Citi ThankYou points at a rate of one cent each for stays at these chains, you might wish to transfer them first.

Choice Privileges, the hotel chain's loyalty program, offers lodging under the Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, Cambria, and Ascend Collection brands. The season and even the day of the week you stay can affect rates.

If you hold a Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige® Card, you can transfer points in increments of 1,000 points at a 1:2 ratio. The transfer ratio between the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, Citi® Double Cash Card, and Citi Rewards+® Card, which have no annual fees, is 1:1.5.  

13. Free Nights On Wyndham Rewards

Another option to transfer hotel points is Wyndham Rewards. Wyndham Rewards includes well-known brands including Super 8, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, and Travelodge. The award system for Wyndham is straightforward; depending on the resort, you'll spend 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 points for an award night. 

You can transfer funds to Wyndham at a 1:1 ratio using the Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige® Cards. Otherwise, the ratio is 5:4 on the Citi Rewards+® Card, Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, and Citi® Double Cash Card.

redeem Citi points for hotel stay
(Photo by Edvard Nalbantjan/Shutterstock)

14. Book a Dollar Rental Car

Citi has a number of relationships with car rental companies including Dollar.

For an economy rental, with an average cost of $61 per day, you can pay 4,900 points which is more than 1 cent per point. This will allow you to round out your vacation package.

15. Order Gift Cards

You can order a gift card with your points from various options. The rate is 1:1, which means you'll get 1 cent for every Citi ThankYou point you redeem. Here are some popular options

  • Dave and Busters Gift Card: With the holidays coming up, if you’re struggling with gift ideas for family members or friends, you could consider using your ThankYou points to buy a Dave and Buster's gift card. Dave and Busters are popular with sports fans, but it is also kid friendly. You’ll also get a very impressive one-cent per point redemption rate. So, a $25 gift card will only cost you 2,500.
  •  Starbucks Gift Card: If you can’t live without your morning cup of coffee, consider using your ThankYou points for a Starbucks Gift Card. A $50 gift card needs 5,000 points.
  • Airbnb Gift Card – Redeemable for merchandise and services on airbnb.com only.

  • Wayfair Gift Card – Wayfair.com is one of the largest online destinations for home, and its gift card can be redeemed at a Wayfair website (wayfair.com, allmodern.com, birchlane.com, jossandmain.com, and perigold.com)

  • Target Gift Card – shop for thousands of items at more than 1,800 Target stores in the U.S., as well as Target.com.

  • Macy's Gift Card – The card is redeemable only for merchandise and in-store services at Macy's, Macy's Backstage, Market by Macy's and macys.com

Can Citi ThankYou Points be Redeemed for Cash?

Yes, Citi allows you to redeem your ThankYou points for statement credit, direct deposits, or a check. You can select this option on the redeem points menu. However, it may not be the best thing to do.

You can use the statement credit on your credit card account or any Citi credit account including your mortgage, but this requires a call to the Citi customer support line.

However, the one cent per ThankYou point redemption rate does not apply to all Citi credit cards. If you have Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Custom Cash or Citi Double Cash cards, you should enjoy this redemption rate, but other cards may only offer a 0.5 cents per point rate.

FAQs

ThankYou points are the currency for Citi’s rewards program.

Yes, you can combine Citi ThankYou points within the Manage My Account section on your account dashboard. However, when points are combined, they are not separated according to the Citi account on which they were earned.

ThankYou points do have an expiry date of three years, so make sure you use or redeem your points before the third year anniversary of when they were awarded.

You can transfer your ThankYou points via the official website via the Travel tab on the navigation bar. Simply select “Points Transfer” and indicate the program and number of points, with a minimum of 1,000 points.

Maximize the point rewards on your credit card, planning your purchases according to the highest reward tiers. Additionally, make sure that you meet the qualification criteria for any welcome bonus.

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.