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How and why to transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards points to another person

Nov. 10, 2020
9 min read
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Building up your points and miles balances is a great way to unlock fantastic redemptions like first-class flights and aspirational hotels. However, it can sometimes be challenging to accrue enough points to redeem for a premium award.

Fortunately, some programs allow members to pool rewards with other members. And some programs even allow you to transfer rewards to other members directly. Even when allowed, pooling and sharing rewards are often limited to family or a limited set of people.

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program is a bit more flexible, though. Specifically, members can share points with just about anyone through the ThankYou Rewards program's Points Sharing feature. So, today I'll discuss everything you should know about transferring Citi ThankYou Rewards points to other members.

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What to know about sharing Citi ThankYou points

Sharing points may let friends or family travel to see you. (Photo by valentinrussanov/Getty Images)

You can't transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards points to someone else's hotel or airline loyalty program account. Specifically, the name on the loyalty account must match the name on the Citi ThankYou Rewards account.

But, you can share (in essence, transfer) Citi ThankYou Rewards points to any other ThankYou Rewards member through the program's Points Sharing feature. You don't need to add them as an authorized user and they don't need to be a family member. Instead, the only requirement is that they have a Citi ThankYou Rewards account.

However, there are a few important restrictions and limitations to keep in mind:

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  • You can only share a total of 100,000 ThankYou points in a calendar year
  • You can only receive a total of 100,000 ThankYou points in a calendar year
  • Shared points are only valid for 90 days from the date they are received
  • You can only share points earned through the use of your Citi credit card account
  • You can't share taxable points, points earned through a Citibank checking account or points that Citi has made unavailable for redemption
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card is not eligible for 10% points back with points sharing (Note: the 10% back benefit is on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year)

The third bullet may require the most consideration. After all, as soon as the transfer is completed, the expiration clock starts ticking. So, your recipient will need to use the shared points within 90 days of receiving them. It's also important to note that you can't "return" shared points to the sender. And, you can't re-share points received from another member.

Related: 22 airlines that allow families to pool miles

How to share Citi ThankYou points

Now that you have an understanding of the Points Sharing feature of the ThankYou Rewards program, let's consider how to actually share points. Here's a step-by-step overview of how to share your points with another Citi ThankYou Rewards member.

First, visit and click "Sign On" in the upper-righthand corner.

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

Next, enter your Citi card credentials and click "Sign On." If you have multiple Citi ThankYou accounts that haven't been combined, you'll need to select the ThankYou account you want to use on the next page. For this example, I chose my Citi Premier® Card account.

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

Hover over More Ways to Redeem on the top menu bar and select Points Sharing. After doing so, you may need to confirm your identity with a one-time identification code by a phone call or text message. Choose your preferred method and enter this code once you receive it.

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

Now you'll find yourself on the Citi ThankYou Rewards Points Sharing page.

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

Review the details of the Points Sharing program on this page and then click Begin Sharing.

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

Next, you'll need to decide how many points to share. You'll also need to enter the first name, last name and account number of the recipient. Before you can move to the next page, you'll need to review the Points Sharing terms and conditions. Once you do so, you must check a box accepting the terms and conditions before you can click "Continue."

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

Finally, you can review the details of your request. If you want to complete the request, click Submit.

(Image courtesy of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program)

The next page should confirm your transfer. In most cases, the points will post to your recipient's account instantly. So, you can expect the 90-day expiration clock to begin almost immediately after you submit the request.

Related: Credit card showdown: Citi Prestige vs. Citi Premier

When to share Citi ThankYou points

It's always nice to have flexibility with your points and miles. After all, flexibility opens up additional redemption options. But, you may be wondering when it would make sense to share your Citi ThankYou Rewards points with another member. So, here are three instances where you might want to transfer your points to another person.

A friend or family member is just short of a specific redemption

It's easy to rack up a large balance of Citi ThankYou Rewards points with cards like the Citi Premier® Card, Citi Prestige® Card and Citi Rewards+® Card. So, if a family member needs a few thousand additional points for a specific award, this feature is a great way to help them out. And, shared points will transfer instantly. This means you can help your friend or family member make their redemption much sooner than if they worked to earn the points organically.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: The best points and miles redemptions TPG readers have made with their families

You have an odd number of points left after a redemption

Help your friends or family take a trip by sharing orphaned points from your Citi ThankYou account. (Photo by Hello World/Getty Images)

You may only have a small number of Citi ThankYou Rewards points in your account after a particular redemption. But, you can only transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards points to travel partners in 1,000-point increments.

You could simply let the points sit in your account until you earn enough rewards to make a redemption. But, you could also send your Citi ThankYou Rewards points to a friend or family member so they can make a redemption. After all, you can share as little as one Citi ThankYou Rewards point.

Related: How Aeroplan’s Family Sharing prevents ‘gaming’ while letting you rack up rewards faster

Before closing your account

Travelers have mixed feelings about Citi ThankYou Rewards cards. Some readers have claimed Citi ThankYou Rewards is the most underappreciated and misunderstood program. And, the Citi Premier is newly refreshed. But, the Citi Prestige has been devalued multiple times leading some cardholders to opt for other premium travel rewards cards.

So, if you decide to close a Citi ThankYou Rewards card, one important aspect to consider is your points. Transferring your points to a favorite hotel or airline partner could make sense. But, perhaps you don't want to commit to a specific program. In this case, sharing your points with a friend or family member before closing your account could be a valuable option. Keep in mind that you can only share up to 100,000 points per year and that your recipient only has 90 days to use the shared points.

Related: What to do before you close a credit card

Bottom line

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program allows you to share points freely with any other ThankYou Rewards member. The restrictions are minimal and the recipients don't need to be authorized users or family members.

Using the Points Sharing feature can be a great way to maximize redemptions with Citi ThankYou Rewards points. After all, with Points Sharing you can pool points from multiple accounts to reach a specific award threshold that would otherwise be out of reach.

Additional reporting by Katie Genter.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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