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  1. #1

    Citi ThankYou Points Rewards Program

    The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has undergone many changes in the last few years. Many of the changes have been positive. In fact, the ThankYou program one of several that now allows you to transfer points directly to travel partner loyalty programs.

    So, if you are looking at alternatives to Chases's Ultimate Rewards program or the Membership Rewards program from American Express, it may be time to check out CitiCards.

    Earning ThankYou Points

    There are currently three Citi cards that allow you to earn ThankYou points:

    • Citi ThankYou Preferred: 2x points on entertainment and dining; 1x point on other spending. No annual fee.
    • Citi ThankYou Premier: 3x points on travel and gas; 2x points on entertainment and dining; 1x point on other spending. $95 annual fee (waived the first year).
    • Citi Prestige: 3x points on air travel and hotels; 2x points on dining and entertainment; 1x point on other spending. 40,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 during the first 3 months. $450 annual fee.

    ThankYou points do not expire in most cases and there is no cap on the points you can earn.

    Other Ways to Earn ThankYou Points

    While using a card is certainly the most obvious way to earn points, you can also earn ThankYou points with qualifying Citi products and services linked to an eligible checking account.

    The returns from checking account activity are fairly low, though, and these points do expire and cannot be transferred to partners.

    Redeeming ThankYou Points

    There are several ways to redeem ThankYou points, but they are definitely not all equal. Most redemption options give you a sub-par point value of less than 1 cent each, but there are a few options that can give you a great return.

    ThankYou Travel Center

    Like the Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards programs, the ThankYou Rewards program has a travel center to redeem points for rental cars, hotel stays, flights, and cruises.

    How much your points are worth through the travel center depends on which card you have.

    With the standard Preferred card, points are worth a standard 1 cent each. With the Premier card, you get a 25% redemption bonus so your points can be redeemed at 1.25 cents each for travel. The Citi Prestige card gives you 1.33 - 1.66 cents per point on travel.

    With the Prestige Card, you can either get (1)60% more value (1.66 cents/point) when you redeem for American Airlines flights or(2) 33% more value when you book flights with other airlines (1.33 cents/point).

    This is a great perk you can enjoy without getting the American Airlines Citi co-branded airlines card.

    Along with the boosted value, airfare purchased through Citi's Travel Center are treated as paid tickets. This means they are eligible to earn elite-qualifying miles and miles with airline partners.

    Transferring Points to Partner Loyalty Programs

    Another way to maximize the value of your ThankYou points is transferring them to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program. Points are typically transferred at a 1:1 ratio except in the case of Virgin America, which has a 1:0.5 transfer ratio.

    This isn't an option with the no annual fee Preferred card, but it is with the Premier and Prestige cards.

    Citi ThankYou Rewards airline partners currently include:

    • Cathay Pacific Airways (AsiaMiles includes 20 programs like Air China and Mexicana)
    • Etihad Airways (Etihad includes almost 40 airline programs like Air France, American Airlines, JetBlue, and SAS)
    • EVA Air
    • Air France / KLM's Flying Blue (Flying Blue miles can be used to book on Delta)
    • Garuda Indonesia
    • Malaysia Airlines
    • Quantas Airways
    • Qatar Airways
    • Singapore Airlines
    • Thai Airways
    • Virgin America
    • Virgin Atlantic Airways

    While most partners are international, you can book great domestic awards through the ThankYou Rewards program by pricing out partner awards and direct redemptions. Sometimes you will need to transfer points to a loyalty program like Flying Blue and use those miles to book on a domestic carrier like Delta to get the best value.

    You can also transfer points to the Hilton HHonors program with 1,500 HHonors points for every 1,000 ThankYou points.

    Sharing Your ThankYou Points

    A nice perk of the ThankYou Rewards program is you can transfer ThankYou points between accounts with few restrictions.

    All you need to make a transfer is the other member's full name and ThankYou Member account number to make a transfer.

    While ThankYou points don't expire, shared points do expire after just 90 days. So only share points that will be used right away.

    Other Redemption Options

    There are several other standard redemption options for your points like statement credits, gift card, Shop With Points, Online Bill Pay With Points, and merchandise. Unfortunately, the value with these options is 1 cent per point or less.

    If you choose another redemption option, gift cards are the only way to get the standard 1 cent per point value. Even then, you need to redeem for higher-value gift cards for this value.

    With a statement credit, you need to redeem 2,000 points for a $10 credit, or a value of 0.5 cents per point.

    An alternative to a statement credit is the Select and Credit redemption which works the same way but is applied to specific categories like utility bills, gas, entertainment, and dining. In this case, your value is bumped a bit to 0.75 cents per point, but still below standard.

    With Shop with Points on sites like Amazon, 10,000 points is equal to an $80 purchase, or a value of 0.8 cents per point.
    Need a Card to Build/Rebuild Your Credit With? Read This >> Best Credit Cards For Building Your Credit

  2. Citi ThankYou Points Rewards Program
  3. #2
    Registered User Semi Pro Member
    Can you transfer points directly to the American Airlines frequently flyer program? It does not seem to be among the listed partner airlines in that section. Though Citi and American have a pretty deep partnership.

  4. #3
    Through Citi's relationship with Etihad, you should be able to transfer points to American's frequently flier program.

    In fact, Etihad includes almost 40 airline programs like Air France, JetBlue, and SAS, in addition to American Airlines.

    Plus, don't forget that you can transfer points into the Flying Blue program and then use those to book on Delta.

    So the ThankYou Rewards program can be pretty useful.
    Need a Card to Build/Rebuild Your Credit With? Read This >> Best Credit Cards For Building Your Credit

  5. #4
    I know AA frequent fliers who swear by having both an AA card and the Premier card.

  6. #5
    Registered User New Member
    Informative post....thanks for this!!

  7. #6
    Registered User Junior Member
    Write well. I hope to see something similar on my blog someday…

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