How To Maximize Your Free Citi ThankYou Network Credit Card Rewards
Published 5/29/08 (Modified 1/14/14)
Updated List Of Citi ThankYou Codes For Free ThankYou Network Points Below
Back in the day, cash back credit cards were all the rage as their rebate offers provided the highest purchase incentives for cardholders. But as the U.S. economy has soured in recent years and the mortgage backed credit crisis has worsened, credit card companies have joined the legions of credit-related industries hurt by the downturn. Despite the need to make changes in the new economical climate, credit card issuers still continue to offer lucrative incentive rewards and rebates to attract new customers and encourage continuous credit activity. However, such riskier times have compelled them to modify and scale back their credit card purchase incentives to greatly favor point reward programs over straight cash back. By offering purchase reward points redeemable for free merchandise, free airline tickets, or free gift cards, credit card companies are at least able to lessen their promotional losses by plowing some rebate money back to merchants that they have special partnership agreements with instead of just giving money back to the customer. This shift towards promoting reward points instead of cash back has lead to a rise in rebate earning percentages for reward programs offering points, and a gradual decrease in earning percentages for credit card programs offering cash back.
However, over the years, Citibank has consistently remained one of my better credit card reward issuers. When they came out and started promoting the Thank You Points Network for their banks and credit cards, I did my research and ultimately embraced its usage. While the point-based program will never beat the versatility and convenience of good ole cash back rewards, the Citi Thank You rewards program is still a good silver medal, second place choice. Just for your reference, here are a few of the prominent Citi Thank You credit cards that I have in my wallet. Each of them earns points when you use them to make qualified purchases.
- Citi Premier Pass Card Elite - The Premier Pass Elite is one of the best travel reward credit card options out there. With the card you'll also get 20,000 free bonus points after $600 in purchases made within 3 months of account opening.
For those who want to know my strategy to maximizing the amount of Citibank Thank You Network reward points that I earn over the course of a year, here are the steps and things that I recommend. Some are basic credit card usage philosophies while others are tips on ways to make the most of what you earn out of everything you do.
1) Be A Loyal User Of Citi Credit Cards That Offer ThankYou Network Purchase Reward Incentives
First of all, before you even think of using a Citibank credit card that offers rebate rewards or airline miles (or any credit card for that matter), you must promise yourself to always pay off your credit card balance in full every month. Remember, the more you spend on credit card late fees and interest, the less your reward miles or reward redemptions are worth. The goal is to maximize your savings and get the most bang for your bank. The fewer purchase fees and the fewer interest charges you pay, the better.
- Focus On Reward Network Points That Can Be Pooled
In the credit card rewards money making, rebate earning business, loyalty pays dividends. While I'm a holder of a large number of credit cards, I don't necessarily use them all. Some like my expired 0% introductory APR balance transfer credit cards - I don't even use anymore since their introductory interest rate benefits have since long expired. To maximize my money, I try to focus my efforts on 1-2 credit card reward programs that offer me the best earning and redemption results. As a general background matter, the more credit cards you use the fewer points you'll ultimately earn on each. Especially for cards that require a certain level of point accumulation before reward redemption, using too many reward cards may spread your usage out too thin. The greatest exception to the rule is participation in a credit card reward program like the Citibank Thank You Network that allows you to combine points from several different cards into one shared rewards account.
- Save Up Your Credit Card Purchase Points For Higher Value Rewards That Offer More Bang For Your Buck
To maximize your Citi ThankYou rewards, you should resist the urge to spend your reward points right away. Remember, the reward redemption options are offered based on a tier system. The best point to rewards ratio will obviously occur at the higher value, more expensive to redeem reward choices. As I note in my analysis of redeeming Citibank ThankYou gift cards, the highest value redemptions will offer you the best conversion rates - essentially fewer points needed for the same equivalent reward. The lower the redemption cost, the more points you'll have left over to redeem for other rewards. So save up your points for the bigger prizes. After all, why would you want to swap your points incrementally through out the year for 10 gift cards worth $20 each for a total value of $200, when you can save up until you have the same total number of points, and then redeem them for a higher value $250 or $300 gift card? They require the same number of points, except the difference is that by waiting and saving, you can potentially walk away with a much sweeter reward.
Another great Thank You reward redemption option is to redeem points toward Citi airline flights through Citibank's fixed flight option. The Thank You Network fixed flight option offers one of the best redemption ratios for free airline tickets around for any credit card and banking reward program.
You can also earn bonus Thank you points for shopping with partner merchants through the network's website, but personally, I think you can get better reward and rebate savings through other online shopping sites instead.
2) Earn Extra Free ThankYou Network Points By Registering With and Using Expedia
If you're like many people who rely on special online travel search engines to locate and book their travel reservations for airlines, cruises, car rentals, or hotel stays, you'll definitely want to take your Thank You Network account and register it with Expedia. All you have to do is enroll your Citi ThankYou account with Expedia to earn 1 bonus point for every $1 spent on hotels, vacation packages, activities totaling $50 or more, and cruises. To earn points on flights, you need to add an activity of $50 or more, or a hotel stay to your travel itinerary. The nice part is that you don't even need to necessarily use a Citibank ThankYou Network credit card to make your purchases. Once you've enrolled and linked up your Expedia account with the ThankYou network, you are free to use any credit card or other valid form of payment to make your purchase. If you're smart and savvy, you might consider using an airline credit card to book your flight travel plans to earn additional rewards. Not only will you earn bonus frequent flyer travel miles by using your airline credit card, you'll also receive Thank You reward purchase points through your Expedia-ThankYou Network linked account. Not a bad deal.
3) Enroll Your Citibank Checking and Savings Accounts (If Any) Into The ThankYou Network
Other than through the usage of Citibank credit cards that offer ThankYou rewards, each month you can also earn bonus Thank You points for having and using certain other Citibank products and services (view Thank You points chart according to Citibank account package). Such options include opening and enrolling your qualified Citibank savings or checking accounts with the Thank You network program or simply by enrolling your Citibank ATM/debit card with the program to earn points every time you use it. By enrolling your debit card with the rewards program, it's like having a reward credit card at your disposal without any of the downsides of credit card usage that you may otherwise fear (the whole credit card debt thing). Thus the more Citibank relationship accounts you have and use, the more points you may receive, up to the annual cap limit that applies. For your reference, other Citibank branded products and services that may help you get more points include online bill payments, direct deposits, savings accounts and money markets, home equity lines and loans, mortgages, personal loans, and CDs.
If you're interested in opening a new Citibank checking or savings account, you may want to review some of the promotional Citibank sign-up bonuses currently available. If you qualify, you might be able to get some free money as a new customer.
4) Manually Purchase Your Citi Thank You Network Points Directly
The Thank You Network actually allows customers to purchase ThankYou points directly if they so choose, which is a helpful option for those who are close to having enough points to qualify for the reward redemption of their choice. Under the purchase option, for $25 charged to your credit card, you can purchase 1,000 Thank You points, limited to a purchase cap of 30,000 points a year. If you don't mind paying money for points instead of earning them through ordinary credit card earning usage, then this may be a nice option to consider. The points purchase option offers an exceptionally awesome dollar to points ratio. With most of the Citi Thank You credit cards, you get at most - 3 points for each $1 spent. With the purchase option you get 40 points per $1 spent. Plus, you have the potential to earn the usual extra Thank You Network purchase rewards if you charge the $25 acquisition cost to your Citi credit card.
5) Take Advantage Of Promo Offer Codes For Free Citi ThankYou Network Points
This short list of free Citi ThankYou reward point offers are subject to change at any time as such free promotions come and go as people become aware of them. Most of them can be discovered and found through popular online discussion boards from sites such as Fat Wallet that discuss online bargains and deals.
Qualifying for these instant free Thank You points is easy. All you have to do is visit the promotional page for Citi ThankYou points, log into your account, and enter your desired promotional code. I recommend typing in each of the following promotional codes as you may get lucky and qualify for them all - it certainly doesn't hurt to try. After entering in the free ThankYou promo code, you should be able to verify the receipt of extra reward points in your account of 100 additional points or whatever the code was worth. If someone or some company is giving away free reward points, why not jump at the chance - particularly when there is no extra contract to sign or obligation to commit to.
Updated List Of Free Citibank ThankYou Network Promo Codes
Yes they are only technically worth $1.00 each, but like loose coins that surprise you at the bottom of your sofa cushions, they are points you didn't have before but now do! Are you feeling lucky yet?
- CITICCI508IN (100 Free Points)
- DPR1CDW408WK (100 Free Points)