Citi Rewards is a flexible credit card points program affiliated with Citibank’s three main credit cards: the Citi Rewards card (yes, it has the same name as the program), the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cards. Earned points can be used for frequent flyer points, Pay with points, Shop with points or Travel Redemptions.
How does Citibank Rewards work?
Citibank credit cards have the option to earn points in a flexible points program called Citi Rewards, which is suited to those looking for a program where you choose the frequent flyer or hotel program you want to transfer your Citi Rewards points to, at will. The program has a couple of quirks — for example, a number of frequent flyer and hotel program partners are only available to the Citibank Prestige Mastercard. Some partners earn points at different rates depending on the card you hold.
What is the Citi Rewards card range?
Citibank has three main cards associated with its Rewards programs. These are:
These cards often come with different signup bonuses for Qantas Points and Citibank Rewards points, so keep an eye out to ensure you are signing up for the offer you want.
The Citi Prestige is the high-end card of the Citi Rewards range and has an annual fee of $700 along with many travel benefits and partners. The Citi Premier Mastercard usually comes in around half the annual fee of the Prestige, but also has some decent benefits.
What are the Citi Rewards transfer partners?
Citi Rewards transfer partners for the Rewards Card and Premier card are low in number, but high in quality:
- Emirates Skywards
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer (currently suspended)
For the Citi Prestige Mastercard, the following partners are also included:
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Etihad Guest
- Eva Air Infinity MileageLands
- Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qatar Privilege Club
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid
- IHG Rewards
- Radisson Rewards
Points transfer rates vary for each partner and Citibank card. For example, 2 Citi Rewards points equal 1 Velocity Point with the Citi Premier and Prestige cards, but you’ll need 3 Citi Rewards points for every mile with both Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Emirates Skywards.
Minimum transfer levels vary by frequent flyer program — any balance less than the minimum is ineligible to be transferred to frequent flyer programs until the minimum threshold is reached. Sign in to your card account to see the latest transfer rates and minimum transfer levels.
What else can I do with my Citi Rewards points?
Starting 1 October 2020, Citi Rewards Points can no longer be redeemed for merchandise.
One of the option is to use your Citi Rewards points for travel and accommodation through Citibank Travel. Login to your account through this link to search for options and see the points required.
If there’s really nothing you want to use your Citi Rewards points on, a last-resort option is to use ‘Pay with Points, where your points balance can offset purchases on your credit card statement. You need to have the full amount available, and 2,500 Citi Rewards points equal $10 off. This gives your points a relatively low value of 0.4 cents each.
Other offers and benefits
Citibank Dining offers a free bottle of wine and some occasional discount offers when dining at a large range of selected restaurants. Best of all, it’s an included benefit of all three Citibank cards mentioned in this guide.
However, its value is dependent on how often you dine at these restaurants and, of course, whether you like wine! In our experience, some restaurants don’t consistently offer or respect the benefit, making it hard to make the most of.
Meanwhile, Citi World Privileges offers revolving deals around the world such as discounts on accommodation and dining. There’s also a changing range of other offers and benefits, including some discounts at select retailers, detailed here.
How do I contact Citi Rewards?
You can call Citibank on 13 24 84 from Australia for credit card related queries, including rewards programs. From overseas, that number is +61 2 8225 0615.
Alternatively, head over to this page to submit an online enquiry and choose ‘Rewards related’ on the drop-down menu.
Summing up: why Citi Rewards?
Citi Rewards does have its strengths including good travel transfer partners, with the Citi Prestige offering ten more airline and hotel partners than the Citi Rewards and Premier cards.
However, the transfer rate does fall short to comparable cards in the market for everyday spend. But overall, the Citi Rewards earn and conversion rates are decent enough if you find that a majority of your spend is with retailers that attract the higher earn rate.
In comparison, using Citi Rewards points for merchandise, gift cards and statement credits is usually pretty poor value, getting under 0.5 cents per point.
American Express Membership Rewards is a more accessible rewards program with a broader range of cards and transfer partners, especially if you’re interested in hotel redemptions instead of flights. If you think you’re able to direct the majority of your spend through an American Express card, then you may be better served with Membership Rewards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Redeem your Citi Rewards points by visiting this landing page and logging in to your account.
The value of a Citi Reward point varies depending on how you redeem it. Merchandise and gift cards might net you 0.4 cents per point, whereas transferring to an airline partner and redeeming it for Business Class could see each point worth upwards of 1.8 cents each — almost five times the value!
Head to the Citi credit card comparison page and see if the Citi Rewards card matches your needs compared to other cards on the market.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed on this guide are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Citi.