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The ultimate guide to Citi ThankYou Rewards

July 26, 2022
20 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information. Citi is a TPG advertising partner.

Citi offers many different rewards credit cards, including cobranded American Airlines cards and cobranded Costco cards. Not all of Citi's credit cards provide access to the company’s valuable ThankYou Rewards program, but two of the cards that do currently have elevated welcome offers for new applicants: the Citi Premier® Card and Citi Rewards+® Card.

Right now, the Premier is offering 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening. And the Rewards+ is offering 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in purchases within three months of account opening. Plus, on the Rewards+, you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $6,000 spent at restaurants in the first 12 months and then 1 point per dollar after that.

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Whether you’re applying for your first credit card, are a seasoned pro looking to complement a Citi card already in your wallet or are a Chase or American Express loyalist exploring what Citi ThankYou Rewards has to offer, one or more of the cards in Citi’s portfolio might be right for you. Let’s take a closer look at the program, including an analysis of each card offering ThankYou Rewards points and how you can redeem ThankYou Rewards points.

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Best Citi ThankYou Rewards cards

  • Citi Prestige® Card: Best for restaurants, airlines and travel agencies.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Best for earning full-fledged ThankYou points with a sub-$100 annual fee.
  • Citi Rewards+® Card: Best for supermarkets, gas stations and small purchases.
  • Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card: Best for students who have a limited credit history.
  • AT&T Access Card from Citi: Best for online purchases.
  • Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for everyday spending and no annual fee.

Comparing the best Citi ThankYou Rewards cards

CardSign-up bonusEarning ratesAnnual fee
Citi Prestige® CardNot available to new applicants.
  • 5 points per dollar at restaurants, airlines and travel agencies.
  • 3 points per dollar spent at hotels and cruise lines.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.
$495.
Citi Premier® CardEarn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening.
  • Earn 3 points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and on air travel.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
$95.
Citi Rewards+® CardEarn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in purchases within three months of account opening. Plus, you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $6,000 spent at restaurants in the first 12 months, then 1 point per dollar.
  • Earn 5 points per dollar at restaurants within the first 12 months of cardmembership (on up to $6,000 of these purchases, then 1 point per dollar).
  • Earn 2 points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 in combined purchases each year, then 1 point per dollar.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earnings are always rounded up to the nearest 10 points on each purchase.
Citi Rewards+℠ Student CardEarn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 on the card within the first three months of account opening.
  • Earn 2 points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 in combined purchases each year, then 1 point per dollar.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earnings are always rounded up to the nearest 10 points on each purchase.
$0.
AT&T Access Card from CitiNot open to new applicants.
  • 2 points per dollar on purchases made online at eligible retail and travel websites and on products and services purchased directly from AT&T.
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else.
$0.
Citi® Double Cash CardEarn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on all purchases — 1 point when you purchase and 1 point when you pay your bill.
$0.

The information for the Citi Prestige, Citi Rewards+ Student and AT&T Access Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

That’s a lot of information, so let’s take a deeper dive into each card and what each one offers.

Citi Prestige Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: This card is no longer open to new applicants nor is it available via product changing from other cards.

Rewards rate: Earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar on purchases at airlines, travel agencies and restaurants (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants), 3 points per dollar at hotels and cruise lines and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

Annual fee: $495 ($350 for qualifying Citigold clients).

Card benefits: Get a complimentary fourth night up to twice each calendar year when you book your hotel through ThankYou.com, receive Priority Pass Select membership with up to two guests or immediate family members (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18 years of age), a $250 travel credit every calendar year and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every five years. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees.

Check out the full card review for the Citi Prestige Card.

Citi Premier® Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening. Based on TPG’s valuations, 80,000 ThankYou points are worth $1,440.

Rewards rate: You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

Annual fee: $95.

Card benefits: You’ll be able to enjoy a $100 annual hotel savings benefit when you book a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through ThankYou.com once per calendar year. Plus, the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and provides World Elite Mastercard benefits.

Who should apply: The Citi Premier® Card provides access to all of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program transfer partners for a $95 annual fee. Plus, it's nice to earn 3 points per dollar on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. Finally, there’s no fee to add an authorized user, so you can boost your earning power by adding a trusted friend or loved one to your account.

Check out the full card review for the Citi Premier® Card.

Official application link: Citi Premier® Card

Citi Rewards+ Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in purchases within three months of account opening. TPG’s valuations peg the value of these points at $360 if you also have a premium ThankYou Rewards account. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months, then 1 point per dollar spent thereafter.

Rewards rate: Earn 2 ThankYou Points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations (on the first $6,000 per year; then 1 point per dollar) and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Citi automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase.

Annual fee: None.

Card benefits: You’ll get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year, including points earned on other cards if you’ve linked your Citi ThankYou accounts.

The Citi Rewards+ Card offers an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period, the variable APR will be 16.49 - 26.49%, based on creditworthiness. If you already hold a Citi Prestige or Citi Premier and need to finance a larger purchase, picking up a Rewards+ could be a great option. The ThankYou points earned on those purchases can be transferred to travel partners because you already hold a premium Citi ThankYou card.

Who should apply: If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card that earns bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, the Citi Rewards+ Card is a good option, especially if you also have a Citi Prestige or Citi Premier card to unlock the full range of transfer partners. Otherwise, the Citi ThankYou points earned solely via the Citi Rewards+ Card are worth a flat one cent each when redeemed for travel through the Citi portal, gift cards, statement credits and more. If you don't have a premium card, then your only transfer options from the Rewards+ card will be Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue and Wyndham Rewards.

Check out the full card review for the Citi Rewards+ Card.

Offical application link: Citi Rewards+ Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Sign-up bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 on the card within the first three months of account opening. TPG’s valuations peg the value of these points at $42 if you also have a premium ThankYou Rewards account.

Rewards rate: Earn 2 ThankYou points dollar at supermarkets and gas stations (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar) and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Citi automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase.

Annual fee: None.

Card benefits: You’ll get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year, including points earned on other cards if you’ve linked your Citi ThankYou accounts.

Depending on creditworthiness, you could score a 0% introductory APR for seven months on purchases (after the introductory period ends, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based upon your creditworthiness). So if you plan on applying for a Citi Prestige or Citi Premier down the road and need to finance a larger purchase now, picking up a Citi Rewards+ Student Card could be a great option. By doing so, you’d not only have access to a 0% intro APR, but ThankYou points earned on those purchases could be transferred to travel partners if you also hold a premium Citi ThankYou card.

Who should apply: If you’re entering college and you’re looking to establish your credit history and maximize travel rewards, kudos to you. Be sure to read our collegiate guide for maximizing rewards, top starter cards for college students/graduates and our guide to paying college tuition on a credit card. Citi’s Rewards+ Student Card largely mimics the conventional Rewards+, but it includes a modest sign-up bonus and features that are especially intriguing to those in school.

The information for the Rewards+ Student card 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 reading: Best credit cards for college students

AT&T Access Card from Citi

Sign-up bonus: No longer open to new applicants but possibly available via product changing from another Citi credit card.

Rewards rate: Earn 2 ThankYou Points per dollar on eligible retail and travel websites and on products and services purchased directly from AT&T, including payment of monthly phone, cable or internet bills. Earn 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Annual fee: None.

Card benefits: No standout benefits.

Who should apply: The AT&T Access Card is the remaining cousin of the previously offered AT&T Access More card, which is no longer available. There’s nothing overly compelling about the card. So it’s likely not a card to add to your wallet unless you have the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier and are looking to earn 2 points per dollar on eligible retail and travel websites.

Related reading: These are the best cards for online shopping

Citi® Double Cash Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 2 ThankYou Points per dollar on all purchases as follows: earn 1 point per dollar when making purchases and another point when paying your bill.

Annual fee: None.

Card benefits: Receive a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then 16.99% to 26.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness).

Who should apply: Those looking for increased earning rates on everyday spending, since you can use this cards 1+1 points structure to earn 2 ThankYou Points on each dollar you spend. The card has no annual fee and allows for transferring points to Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue and Wyndham Rewards. However, if you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card, you can combine your points with those cards to access the full range of Citi's transfer partners (and with better transfer ratios to Choice, JetBlue and Wyndham).

Related reading: Even more rewarding starting in March: A review of the Citi Double Cash card

Earning Citi ThankYou Rewards points

Not all ThankYou points are created equal. TPG values Citi ThankYou Points at 1.8 cents each. This valuation is based on the value that can be obtained by transferring your Citi ThankYou points to one of the program’s airline and hotel partners. But to be able to transfer your points to most partners, you must hold a premium Citi ThankYou card, such as the Citi Prestige Card or Citi Premier® Card.

If you only have the Citi Rewards+® Card, the Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card or the AT&T Access Card from Citi, you’ll earn what we'll “basic” ThankYou points. They’re worth a flat one cent each when redeemed toward gift cards and other rewards available on the ThankYou.com website, but they can’t be transferred to most of the ThankYou travel partners. You'll have access to just three transfer partners and these come at reduced transfer ratios. However, if you hold either the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier, you can combine the “basic” ThankYou points into your Citi Prestige or Citi Premier account and then transfer them to any of the Citi ThankYou travel partners.

If you’re looking to sign up for multiple Citi ThankYou cards, note that under Citi’s application rules you can only receive a sign-up bonus on cards in the ThankYou Rewards family if you haven’t received a sign-up bonus or closed a card in that family in the past 24 months. So, you’ll want to time your applications correctly if you’re looking to earn new cardmember bonuses on your cards.

Related reading: The best limited-time credit card offers to sign up for this month

Redeeming Citi ThankYou Rewards points through the Citi Travel Center

(Screenshot from thankyou.com)

All of these credit cards can redeem ThankYou points for statement credits, cash rewards, third-party gift cards and more at a flat rate of one cent per point.

Related reading: Amex vs. Citi vs. Chase: Which booking portal is best for hotels?

Transferring Citi ThankYou Rewards points to partners

Cardholders of premium Citi ThankYou cards also have another option for redeeming their ThankYou Rewards points: transfers to airline partners. To be able to transfer your points to most ThankYou partner loyalty programs, you must hold either the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier. As long as you hold one of those two cards, you can combine ThankYou points earned from one of the lower-tier cards to transfer those as well.

Related: The ultimate guide to Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners

Unlike Chase Ultimate Rewards, which mostly (with a few exceptions) transfer instantly across its airline and hotel partners, ThankYou transfer times include a few options that can take 2-3 days — even one that can take a week. Be sure to plan those awards carefully.

ProgramRatioTransfer Time
Aeroméxico Club Premier1:1Instant
Air France/KLM Flying Blue1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMiles1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1:1Instant
Choice Privileges1:2 (1:1.5 for non-premium cards)Instant
Emirates Skywards1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:1Instant
EVA Infinity MileageLands1:13 Days
InterMiles (formally known as JetPrivilege)1:1Instant
JetBlue TrueBlue1:1 (5:4 for non-premium cards)Instant
Malaysian Enrich1:12 Days
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:1Instant
Qatar Privilege Club1:12 Days
Singapore KrisFlyer1:1<24 hours
Thai Royal Orchid Plus1:17 Days
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles1:11 Day
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1Instant
Wyndham Rewards1:1 (1:0.8 for non-premium cards)Instant

With so many transfer partners, your options are plentiful when it comes to maximizing ThankYou points. Here’s a sampling of what you can do with them:

With so many options, you’ll want to review some of our favorite tips and tricks on redeeming Citi ThankYou points:

Related reading: Savvy rewards travelers focus on transferable points for the most flexibility

Bottom line

Citi’s ThankYou Rewards points are perhaps the most underrated of the major points and miles currencies. Despite some negatives, they remain a valuable transferable asset, especially for those looking to book award flights on international carriers. It’s vital to have a Citi Prestige or Citi Premier in the mix, as those two enable transfers to partners, unlocking a multitude of aspirational booking opportunities.

If you’re a heavy traveler who tends to book a few expensive stays each year of four nights or longer, the Citi Prestige and Citi Premier both offer discounts that can add up to big savings on your upcoming hotel stays. That's in addition to their points transfer perks and high-quality earning categories.

Related guides

Additional reporting by Darren Murph.

Featured image by SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
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.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases