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ThankYou Rewards from Citibank Program Review

Who Is Citi ThankYou Rewards Good For?

As far as credit points programs go, Citibank is actually an old player in the game, more akin to American Express Membership Rewards than Chase Ultimate Rewards or the Capital One Venture program.

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INTRO APR on Purchases
0% (up to 14 months)
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
0% (up to 18 months)
Regular APR
See Site
Annual Fee
$0
Bonuses & Rewards
    • February 2018: Best 0% Credit Cards on Balance Transfers
    • Clicking "Apply Now" will take you to the Credit-Land.com website to view card offers
    • Start Saving with 0% Intro APR
    • Offers Available for Excellent and Good Credit
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    The original idea for the program was to reward you for all your banking, no matter what type it is, but over the years Citi has added several benefits specifically for travelers, such as airline point transfers.

    Unlike many credit card reward programs, you can earn Citi ThankYou points for activities with your checking account as well as your credit card, with additional bonuses available for small business checking accounts. This means that in situations in which you need or want to use a debit card rather than a credit card, you can still earn double or triple points on that spending.
    Coupled with an ability to pay bills online with points, the ThankYou program is a good fit for individuals looking for a program with rewards they can use for both travel and everyday spending. Rewards can even be used for student loan and monthly mortgage payment rebates.

    PROGRAMALLIANCECURRENCY
    THANKYOUONEWORLD;
    STAR ALLIANCE;
    SKYTEAM
    POINTS
    POINTS TRANSFER PARTNER

    HILTON HHONORS
    AIRLINE PARTNERS

    Air France
    Cathay Pacific
    Etihad Airways
    Eva Air
    Garuda Indonesia

    JetBlue
    KLM
    Malaysia Airlines
    Qantas
    Qatar Airways
    Singapore Airlines
    Thai
    Virgin America
    Virgin Atlantic

    The main downside of the program is that many of the redemption options come with a value below 1 cent per point, which is a standard benchmark. But as the program continues to add airline point transfer partners and strengthen its travel benefits, it becomes increasingly competitive.

    How Can You Use Citi ThankYou Points?

    Citi ThankYou points can be used on a variety of products and gift cards at published redemption rates available on ThankYou.com. With a minimum of 10,000 points in your account, you can use Citi’s “Your Wish Fulfilled” feature to request a custom reward that is not currently offered.

    When you want to book travel with your Citi ThankYou points, you can book cash fares directly through Citi’s online travel booking tool at a rate starting at 1 cent per point and pay the difference with your Citi card if you do not have enough ThankYou points available.

    If you have a Premier or Prestige card, your points go further. Premier holders get a 25 percent bump on redemptions for cash fare travel, while Prestige card holders can use their points for any airline at a 1.33 cent value per point.

    Most importantly, you can also transfer your points to 12 different frequent flyer partners, which typically offers the best value.

    Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

    INTRO APR on Purchases
    N/A
    INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
    N/A
    Regular APR
    15.74% to 24.74% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0 first year, then $95
    Rewards Program
    ThankYou®
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 3x Points on Travel, including Gas, Airfare, Hotels, Cruises, Car Rentals and More
    • 2x Points on Dining and Entertainment
    • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
    • 50,000 bonus points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
    • 25% bonus when points are redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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    Program perks:

    Bookings quirks:

    Best value awards

    As the Citi ThankYou program gives you the option to both transfer points to airlines as well as use your points at a fixed rate to buy cash fares, the best use of points would be to redeem them for miles.

    The Citi ThankYou program has 12 airline transfer partners

    If you are looking for premium travel, the best use of Citi ThankYou points is as a transfer to Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines, the two most flexible and powerful airline programs connected to ThankYou rewards.

    Worst value awards

    Though Citi’s packed online shopping center can be very tempting, especially when you’re carrying a high point balance, using your ThankYou points in redemption categories besides travel will get you a very low return on your spend.

    Many gift cards, such as the $25 Chili’s gift card that requires 3,500 points to redeem, carry a less than 1-point-per-cent value, which is the absolute minimum you should always aim for when redeeming any points or miles.

    Associated Credit Cards

    Three main cards funnel into the Citi ThankYou program, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, Citi Prestige Card, and Citi ThankYou Preferred Card.

    The Premier card has high earning opportunities, particularly for travelers, with:

    The card also has a $95 annual fee and no standard sign-up bonus, though sometimes you can get up to a 50,000-point bonus during special promotional periods.

    Citi Prestige® Card

    INTRO APR on Purchases
    N/A
    INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
    N/A
    Regular APR
    17.24% to 25.24% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $450
    Rewards Program
    ThankYou®
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 3x Points on Airfare and Hotels
    • 2x Points on Dining and Entertainment
    • 1x Points on Gas
    • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
    • Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com
    • $100 Global Entry application fee credit.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • $ 250 Air Travel Credit
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    For travelers, the next tier Prestige card also carries potent benefits, including Priority Pass airport lounge access, $250 air travel statement credit and complimentary fourth night at luxury hotels. The $450-annual-fee card earns double points on dining and entertainment and triple points on airfare and hotels, plus it comes with a 40,000-point sign-up bonus.

    Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

    INTRO APR on Purchases
    0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening
    INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
    0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of first transfer when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening
    Regular APR
    14.99% to 24.99% Variable±
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Rewards Program
    ThankYou®
    Bonuses & Rewards
    • 2x Points on Dining and Entertainment
    • 1x Points on Gas
    • 1x Points on Travel
    • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
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    The introductory Preferred card has no annual fee, no standard sign-up bonus and earns double points on only dining and entertainment. It also does not offer a bonus when booking airlines through the Citi travel center.