Here’s How To Earn More Citi ThankYou Points

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Recently I took at look the transfer partners of the four major transferable loyalty currencies – Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood’s Starpoints. All are currencies I value highly and all a currencies I prefer to individual airline miles or hotel points.

As a follow up to those articles I’m taking a look at the best ways to earn the four transferable loyalty currencies and hopefully giving you some idea of what you can do to earn more points and to boost your balances quickly and/or frequently.

Earning Citi ThankYou Points

Before I go any further I should manage some expectations here – where with Chase there are numerous ways to earn Ultimate rewards points Citi is more conservative…but the points are still well worth collecting and, if you’re disciplined, it’s not tough.

1. Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses

Citi currently has four credit cards which offer you ThankYou points as a sign-up bonus (one is restricted to students). As will all sign-up bonuses these can vary from month to month but, if you’re hoping for a quick influx of ThankYou points this could be a good place to start.

a close up of a credit card

The signup bonuses below are correct at the time of writing but will change over time

Bonus shorthand used below: Number of points/amount of spend required/time in which to meet the spend requirement.

  • Citi ThankYou Premier Card – 50,000 points/$4,000/3 months
  • Citi Prestige Card – 75,000 points/$7,500/3 months
  • Citi ThankYou Preferred Card For Students – 2,500 points/$500/3 months
  • AT&T Access Card From Citi – 10,000 points/$1,000/3 months

At the time of writing Citi doesn’t issue any business credit cards which earn ThankYou points.

Successfully applying for one of the first two cards mentioned above and then meeting the minimum spend requirement will see you boost your ThankYou points balance quicker than you can boost it in any other way.

2. Credit Card Spending – Category Bonuses

While 4 credit cards offer ThankYou points as a sign-up bonus there are actually 5 which will allow you to earn ThankYou points on your spending and all 5 cards offer bonus categories which offer more than the regular 1 point/dollar return.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card Bonus Category

  • 2 points per dollar spent on dining

Citi ThankYou Premier Card Bonus Categories

  • 3 points per dollar spent on travel (including gas stations)
  • 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment

a car parked at a gas stationBoost your ThankYou points balance at gas stations with the Citi Citi ThankYou Premier Card 

Citi Prestige Card Bonus Categories

  • 3 points per dollar spent on travel and hotels (does not include gas stations)
  • 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card For Students Bonus Category

  • 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment

AT&T Access Card From Citi Bonus Categories

  • 2 points per dollar spent on purchases made online at retail and travel websites
  • 2 points per dollar spent on products and services from AT&T

You don’t get many credit card providers offer “entertainment” as a bonus category (this includes things like movie/theatre tickets, sports events and even amusement parks) so this is a definite positive feature some of the Citi cards offer.

Having “gas” as a bonus category on the Citi ThankYou Premier card is a very nice perk for that card to offer and it one of the reasons I’m seriously considering ditching my Prestige card in favor of the Premier card.

Outside of a mortgage or rent the only big everyday spend that isn’t included as a bonus category on any of these cards are groceries….but you have dining, entertainment, travel and gas all covered so there are a lot of opportunities to earn a lot of ThankYou points.

3. Add Authorized Users

a silhouette of people carrying luggage and a child

This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t think of this.

Occasionally Citi will offer bonuses for adding an authorised use to your credit card (points and cash have both been offered in the past) but, even if no bonus is on offer, an authorised user can really help you keep the points flowing in.

Two people earning points is always better than one so if both you and your partner have a card you’re probably going to make more of the bonus categories mentioned above than if it was just the one of you.

Naturally the ideal situation would be one in which you both had your own cards (you’d double the sign-up bonuses) but there will be occasions where that’s not an option so adding an authorized user is the next best thing.

Bottom Line

If you read my post on earning Ultimate Rewards points you may have noticed how much shorter this post is – that’s because earning Ultimate Rewards points is easier than earning ThankYou points.

Citi doesn’t have a shopping portal that offers bonus points nor does it offer referral bonuses either so…

  • The spending category bonuses are the key to keeping your ThankYou points balance ticking over and…
  • Credit card applications are the key to boosting your balance significantly every now and again.

To my mind the sweet spot in the Citi ThankYou card portfolio is the Premier card which comes with an affordable $95 annual fee and the same bonus categories as the $450 Prestige card. Yes, it doesn’t come with a lot of the added perks that the Prestige card comes with but there’s no fee for adding an authorized user and, as a way of earning ThankYou points, it’s just as good as its more expensive counterpart.


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