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How to earn Citi ThankYou points in 2020

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How to earn Citi ThankYou points in 2020

Jason StaufferHow to earn Citi ThankYou points in 2020Million Mile Secrets Team

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Many of the best Citibank credit cards are those that earn Citi ThankYou® Rewards, which are Citibank’s version of transferable points. They can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including gift cards or travel – and transferred to Citi’s airline partners (depending on which cards you have).

The best way to earn ThankYou points is with the right rewards credit card, though Citi has very specific rules when it comes to qualifying for a sign-up bonus. Let’s take a look at the best cards for earning ThankYou points:

How to earn Citi ThankYou points

CardIntro bonusAnnual fee
Citi® Double Cash CardNone$0
Citi Premier℠ CardEarn 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.$95
Citi Prestige® CardEarn 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.$495
Citi Rewards+℠ CardEarn 15,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.$0
AT&T Access Card from CitiEarn 10,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.$0
Citi Rewards+ Student CardEarn 2,500 ThankYou points after spending $500 in the first three months.$0
The information for the Citi Premier, Citi Prestige, AT&T Access card, Citi Rewards+ Student card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

 

With the best credit cards for earning Citi ThankYou® Rewards points, you could fly to Japan in style. (Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

Best credit cards for earning Citi ThankYou points

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best for everyday purchases

Current bonus:

None

Insider tip:

Although the Citi Double Cash is technically a cash-back credit card you can convert your cash back into ThankYou points if you pair this card with one of the other cards on this list. You can convert cash back to ThankYou points at a rate of one cent to one point and if you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card you can transfer those points to any of Citi’s transfer partners.

Benefits and perks:

This is the best card for any purchase that doesn’t fall into another card’s bonus category because it earns 2% cash back, 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay.

Annual fee:

This card has no annual fee.

Why it’s worth it:

Although you can earn higher cash-back rates for specific categories, you won’t find a better card for everyday purchases that also doesn’t have an annual fee. And because this isn’t technically a ThankYou points-earning card (unless you pair it with other cards) it isn’t restricted by the same application rules as the other cards on this list, so it can be easier to get.

Total value:

Because this card doesn’t have an intro offer its value is completely dependent on your spending habits. But, if you have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card and can increase the value of your ThankYou points by transferring those points to the right travel partner, you can greatly increase the value of your return.

Citi Premier

Best sign-up bonus

Current bonus:

The Citi Premier has a 60,000 Citi ThankYou point-bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Insider tip:

Once per calendar year, Citi Premier cardholders are eligible for a $100 discount on hotel bookings of $500 or more made through the Citi ThankYou website. This benefit will be available as of August 23, 2020.

Benefits and perks:

The Citi Premier cards benefits will be revamped in August 2020. If you currently have the card, you’ll get the new perks and have access to the old perks until April 10, 2021. Beginning August 23, 2020, cardholders will earn 3x ThankYou points on airfare, hotels, dining, supermarkets and gas stations. All other purchases will earn 1 ThankYou point per dollar. However, if you applied for the Citi Premier before April 10, 2020, you’ll also get the old earning rates of 2x points on entertainment and the 3x bonus will extend to certain other travel purchases, like parking, tolls and cruises (through April 10, 2021).

Having the Citi Premier also allows you to transfer your points to any of Citi’s 15 airline partners and if you redeem ThankYou points for maximum value you can really knock it out of the park. For example, you can transfer 15,000 points to Turkish Airlines and book a round-trip flight to Hawaii.

Annual fee:

The Citi Premier has a $95 annual fee.

Why it’s worth it:

It’s hard to overstate the potential value of being able to use ThankYou points with 15 different airline programs. Not being tied to a single frequent-flyer account allows to you pick and choose the sweet spots that work for you and protects you from devaluations. And Citi shares some transfer partners (Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic or Singapore Airlines) with other flexible points programs. This allows you to combine points from different banks into a single airline and easily book more expensive awards.

Total value:

We value Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, making this bonus worth $925 after you deduct the $95 annual fee.

Citi Prestige

Best for travel and dining

Current bonus:

Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.

Insider tip:

If you have the Citi Prestige (or Citi Premier) you can combine your ThankYou points accounts and the points you earn from certain no-annual-fee cards (Citi Rewards+, Citi AT&T Access, etc.) and those points instantly increase in value because they’ll become transferable.

Benefits and perks:

The Citi Prestige earns 5x ThankYou points for travel and restaurant purchases; 3x points for cruises and hotels, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. And every year you’ll get up to $250 in credits for eligible travel purchases. This card also comes with a Priority Pass airport lounge membership.

When you book a hotel stay of 4+ nights through the ThankYou website, you’ll get your fourth night free, based on the average cost per night (not including taxes and fees). You can use this perk twice per calendar year. This card also comes with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit and you’ll get cellphone insurance when you pay your bill with the card.

Annual fee:

$495

Why it’s worth it:

In recent years, the Citi Prestige has followed the trend of other premium travel credit cards and increased it’s annual fee. The difference with this card is that although some benefits have improved, Citi has also stripped the Prestige card of most of its travel and purchase protections. So if you want trip delay insurance or rental car insurance you’ll need to carry another credit card along with this one.

The card’s $250 annual travel credit is easy to use, but its other perks like airport lounge access and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit can be found on many other rewards credit cards that either have much smaller annual fees or offer a wider range of other benefits. So this card is worth it if you are looking for a great credit card for restaurants or want to be able to transfer your ThankYou points and don’t have airport lounge access with another card.

Total value:

Based on our Citi ThankYou points value, the bonus offer is worth $850. Add in the $250 annual travel credit and subtract the $495 annual fee and the first year value is $605.

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Best unique perks

Current bonus:

The Citi Rewards+ card has a 15,000-point bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months from opening the account.

Insider tip:

If you pair the Citi Rewards+ with either the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier the card’s 10% points rebate (on the first 100,000 points redeemed each year) will apply to Citi ThankYou points transfers to airlines.

Benefits and perks:

The Citi Rewards+ earns 2x ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year, then 1x) and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Also, the points you earn on all purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10. So a $1 purchase will earn 10 points and a $31 purchase will earn 40 points. This is a unique perk that is particularly lucrative for small purchases.

The card also comes with a 10% points rebate on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year. This includes redemption for gift cards, travel and even points transfers (if it’s partnered with the right card mentioned above). The points rebate won’t apply to Citi ThankYou points shared between different account holders, but it will apply to ThankYou points combined from multiple cards held by the same person.

Annual fee:

$0

Why it’s worth it:

This card’s 10% annual rebate on up to 100,000 points redeemed and the fact that it has no annual fee, make it a no-brainer card to keep long term. I have this card and have paired it with a Citi Premier so that I can get points back when I transfer my ThankYou points to airlines.

Total value:

Based on our ThankYou points valuation this intro offer is worth $255.

Citi AT&T Access

Best for online and AT&T purchases

Current bonus:

Earn 10,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Benefits and perks:

This card earns 2x ThankYou points at eligible retail and travel websites; 2x points on products and services purchased directly from AT&T, and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.

Annual fee:

$0

Why it’s worth it:

If you’re an AT&T customer or can take advantage of being able to earn 2x points at certain online stores, like department stores and certain boutique or specialty store websites, this card makes sense. But outside of that you’re only earning 1 point per dollar spent, which isn’t great.

Total value:

This bonus is worth $170 based on our ThankYou points valuation.

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Best for students

Current bonus:

Earn 2,500 ThankYou points after spending $500 in the first three months from opening the account.

Insider tip:

Only college or graduate students that are 18 years or older are eligible for this card.

Benefits and perks:

This card comes with the same perks as the non-student version of the card. So you’ll earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations (on the first $6,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1x), and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. You’ll also get the points you earn on every purchase rounded up to the nearest 10 and 10% of your points back on redemption (on up to 100,000 points redeemed each year).

Annual fee:

$0

Why it’s worth it:

This is a solid card for college students because it has such a small spending requirement, no annual fee and it earns rewards. Plus, it’s a great card to get as you’re building a credit score because you can pair it in the future with a more lucrative card, like the Citi Premier and the points you’ve earned will instantly become more valuable.

Total value:

Based on our value of ThankYou points this card’s intro offer is worth $42.50.

Citi ThankYou points-earning card application rules

In general, you won’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus on a Citi ThankYou points-earning card if you’ve opened or closed a card within the same brand of cards (i.e., another ThankYou points card) within the past 24 months. But the terms vary for each card, so be sure to read the fine print on the application before you submit it.

Here is a quick breakdown of the sign-up bonus restrictions for each of these Citibank credit cards:

Citi Prestige, Citi Premier Card, Citi Rewards+ Card and Citi Rewards+ Student Card

You won’t be eligible for any of the above card bonus offers if in the past 24 months you’ve earned a sign-up bonus with or opened or closed any of these cards:

  • Citi Rewards+℠
  • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card  (no longer available)
  • Citi Premier℠
  • Citi Prestige®

AT&T Access Card From Citi

You won’t be eligible for the AT&T Access Card’s sign-up bonus if in the past 24 months you’ve opened or closed any of these cards:

  • AT&T Access
  • AT&T Access More

These application restrictions to not apply to the The Citi Double Cash Card.

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Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Great Article.

1-Can you downgrade to the Citi Rewards+ card if you closed a card in the family within 24 months?

2-Do the no-fee cards offer sign-up bonuses? If not, then you are better off downgrading since that wouldn’t count as an open or close activity, and you would still maintain your longevity. Why have a ding for a no-fee card?

So I can’t get the signup bonus on most of these cards if I’ve opened or closed another Thank You card in the past 24 months – what if I simply have had the other card during that time? Do I need to close the existing card and then wait 24 months in order to be eligible for the bonus?

Author

No, you can hold more than one ThankYou card at the same time. You just can’t have more than one of the same card.
So if you earned the bonus on a Citi Premier card 24 months ago and the card is still open, you could open a Citi Rewards+ card, for example.