Like most other banks, Citi offers its own proprietary rewards program called ThankYou points. These points are earned from several of their reward credit cards, as well as from retail banking accounts. These accounts are called sponsor accounts, and all the points earned from each of these accounts are pooled together.
Most Citi credit cards earn one ThankYou point per dollar spent, while the Citi Forward cards earn five points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment. Some other card feature bonus categories as well. For those with multiple sponsor accounts, such as multiple credit cards or bank accounts, all the points are pooled into one account.
Points can be used in several different ways. There are merchandise awards that allow customers to redeem points directly for goods. There are gift cards from many popular retailers. And points can be redeemed for travel through Citi’s travel agency. Travel options include hotels, rental cars, cruises, activities, and flights on most major airlines except Southwest. Points are worth one cent each towards most of these options, but when a sponsor account includes the ThankYou Premier or ThankYou Prestige cards, points are worth 1.33 cents towards airfare.
Another option is to redeem points for one cent each towards mortgage or student loan repayments. Cardholders must call Citi and ask them to issue a check made out to the bank that holds their loan.
Other options include cash back and statement credits, but these do not return a full one cent in value for each dollar spent.
Getting the most value for your points
Clearly, the best way to redeem these points is for 1.33 cents each towards airfare, followed by any of the one cent options such as loan repayments and gift cards. Travel awards are also a good option as this is one of the few ways to use award points for rental cars, activities, or non-chain hotels.
By understanding the basics of Citi’s ThankYou rewards program, cardholders can make the best decisions when it comes to spending their reward points.