MaxInsights offers a numerical analysis and recommendation of how to best use this reward system.
The Citi ThankYou rewards program enables cardholders to earn points for purchases in relatively common categories (e.g. restaurants, travel, gas) that can be redeemed for approximately 1 cent per point, on average.
- MaxValue Travel (1.25+ cents per point for Premier and Prestige cardholders, 1 cent per point for all others)
- MaxFlex Statement Credit (0.5 cents per point)
- Expected Value 1 cents per point
ThankYou Points are very flexible and valued at 1 cent per point, and for Citi’s banking customers, the Citi ThankYou rewards program represents an opportunity to take advantage of exclusive additional benefits. Finally, for Premier and Prestige cardholders, the expected value of the program’s points is 1.25 cents apiece, which might just justify the annual fees, depending on your spending habits (see below for more).
What exactly are the points worth?
Depending on the card you hold, the value that you can expect to receive from each ThankYou point should be no less than 1 cent per point, and up to 1.25 cents per point (for Premier and Prestige cardholders). Citi banking customers reap extra rewards for enrolling checking accounts, setting up a qualifying direct deposit and bill payment each statement cycle. For details about these extra rewards, please see Citi’s website. Points can be purchased by the thousands at at a rate of 2.5 cents per point, which is significantly more than their estimated value of 1 cent per point – so we recommend that you steer clear of purchasing points unless you are very close to a high-value redemption option.
- Premier ($95 Annual Fee) Cardholder Redemption Perks:
- 1.25 cents on hotel, car rental, cruise, or flight
- Prestige® ($450 Annual Fee) Cardholder Redemption Perks:
- 1.6 cents on American/US Airways
- 1.33 cents on another airline
- Car rental agencies
- Travel agencies
- Gas stations
- Commuter transportation
- Passenger railways
- Cruise lines
- Bridge and toll road purchases
- Parking lots/garages
- Campgrounds and trailer parks
- Bus tickets
- Motor home rental
- Boat rental
- Restaurants (i.e. pretty much any place that sells food for immediate consumption)
- Sports promoters, which may include stadiums
- Theatrical promoters, including concerts, live productions, and ticketing agencies
- Movie theaters
- Amusement parks, including zoos, circuses, aquariums and any other live animal shows
- Tourist attractions
- Museums, including art galleries
- Record stores, including online record stores
- Video Rental stores, including game rental and online video rental
- Gift Cards
- Statement Credit
- Specific Statement Credit