Citi is a global bank offering a number of services to businesses and consumers including banking, credit cards, lending, investing and wealth management through Citigold. It serves millions of customers through its Citibank branches at Citibank locations in several countries, as well as through the Citibank mobile app.
Among its suite of credit cards, Citi offers several reward credit cards that earn you ThankYou Points, rewards that can be redeemed for shopping, statement credits, gift cards, travel rewards and more. However, not all your redemption options will give you the most value for your points earned.
Keep reading to learn more about how to best use your Citi rewards credit card.
How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points
Citi has four different credit cards that allow you to earn ThankYou Points:
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card: Get one ThankYou Point for each dollar spent on your everyday lifestyle purchases, and get double points for dining and entertainment purchases.
- Citi ThankYou Premier Card: Earn three ThankYou points for every dollar spent on travel and two ThankYou points for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment. Points never expire. You can also earn 50,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening.
- Citi Prestige Card: In addition to earning three times the points on travel and two times the points on dining and entertainment, you’ll get travel perks including complimentary hotel nights.
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students: Build credit and earn rewards, with no annual fee. Like all of the other cards, you’ll earn two ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment.
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Here’s a closer look at the features and fees associated with each Citi credit card:
|Citi ThankYou Cards|
|Citi ThankYou Preferred Card||Citi ThankYou Premier Card||Citi Prestige Card||Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students|
|APR||0% intro APR for 15 months; after that, 15.24% to 25.24%||16.24% to 25.24%||17.49% to 25.49%||0% intro APR on purchases for 7 months; after that, 16.24% to 26.24%|
|Annual Fee||$0||$95; waived for first 12 months||$450||$0|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars||$0||$0||3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars|
|Cash Advance APR||26.99%||26.99%||26.99%||26.99%|
Citi ThankYou Points Redemption Options
There are several ways to redeem Citi ThankYou Points, including shopping on partner sites, cashing them in for gift cards and booking travel.
- Shop with points: Depending on the partner you wish to shop with, you can either apply points directly toward the purchase or use points as a statement credit. Citi ThankYou shopping partners include Amazon, Expedia, Live Nation, 1-800-Flowers.com, Best Buy and the Wonder app.
- Get a statement credit to cover recent purchases: You can also use points to get a statement credit for qualified purchases made with an eligible Citi card in the following categories: dining, grocery stores, clothing and department stores, gas, utilities, entertainment and drugstores.
- Pay bills: You can use ThankYou Points, or a combination of points and cash, to pay bills using Citi’s online bill pay option.
- Get cash: ThankYou Points can be redeemed directly for cash. You need to have a minimum of 10,000 points to take advantage of this option. Once you’ve reached that amount, you can cash it in for $50. This might seem like a tempting offer, but you’ll get more value for your points if you exchange them for a gift card.
- Make a donation: Use your points to make a donation to charity, such as the American Red Cross or Smile Train.
- Transfer points to Citi ThankYou transfer partners: This is probably the most valuable way to use your points. With many partner airline loyalty programs — including Asia Miles, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Jet Airways JetPrivilege, Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Qantas Frequent Flyer — one point equals one airline mile. Points can also be transferred to the Sears Shop Your Way loyalty program. This option is only available to Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Citi Prestige Card members.
- Redeem for gift cards: You can exchange your points for gift cards at a number of popular retailers including the Apple App Store, Best Buy, Kmart, Macy’s, Sephora, Starbucks and Target. With most retailers, you can use 2,500 points toward a $25 gift card.
- Redeem for travel: Use your points to book a flight, hotel, cruise, car rental or vacation activity.
- Redeem for merchandise: Cash in your points for clothes, tech gadgets and more from a wide variety of top brands. However, this might not be the best use of your points. For example, an Apple Watch that retails for $599 will use up 74,870 points.
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The Best Ways to Use Your ThankYou Points
How you redeem your ThankYou Points is up to you — and if you have one of the rewards cards with no annual fee, these points are literally free money. The one-point-to-one-mile exchange with a partner travel loyalty program is a good value for those who want to use points toward air travel, but this option is only available to Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Citi Prestige Card members. Cash redemption is probably the worst value because 10,000 points only gets you $50 in cash; if you opted for a gift card instead, you would get $100 for that number of points.
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Citibank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been endorsed by Citibank.