Do Citi ThankYou Points Expire & How To Keep Them From Expiring?

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Citibank offers a few credit cards that earn Citi ThankYou (TY) points. These points are flexibile in a way that you can either redeem them for cash back or transfer them to Citi Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners for a much better value in return. 

The one that I dislike about Citi is the fact that they don’t really have one standardized policy when it comes to the expiration of those TY points. There are different scenarios to keep track of, including what type of Citi credit card that you have and how those TY points were earned in the first place. 
When Do Citi ThankYou Points Expire & How To Keep Them From Expiring?
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    Which Citi Credit Cards Earn ThankYou (TY) Points?

    The following credit cards issued by Citibank can earn ThankYou points:
    • Citi Premier Credit Card
    • Citi Prestige Credit Card
    • Citi Rewards+ Credit Card
    • Citi Rewards+ Student Credit Card
    • Citi Double Cash Credit Card

    What Other Ways To Earn ThankYou Points?

    Besides Citi credit cards, you can earn ThankYou points through the following ways:
    • Opening a targeted Citibank checking account ThankYou points bonus
    • Purchasing ThankYou points

    Can You Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Another Person?

    Yes, you can. That’s another way to earn ThankYou points if your account receives TY points from another person. The rules are:
    • TY points recipient’s account has to be a ThankYou Rewards member as well.
    • You can only share a total of 100,000 TY points in a calendar year.
    • You can only receive a total of 100,000 TY points in a calendar year.
    • You can only share points earned through the use of your Citi credit card account.
    • TY points that are earned through a Citibank checking account are not sharable. 
    • Shared points are only valid for 90 days from the date they are received.

    When Do Citi ThankYou Points Expire? 

    The expiration policy for Citi ThankYou points is quite confusing to say the least! It’s not really as clear as Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) or American Express Membership Rewards (MR)
    First and foremost, your ThankYou points won’t expire as long as you have the card open. Otherwise, your Citi ThankYou points can expire under these factors:
    • If you close your Citi ThankYou credit card account, your TY points will expire in 60 days. Citi will not extend that deadline. 
    • Citi allows TY points sharing between eligible TY accounts. So if you close your card and share your TY points to another person’s TY account, those shared points will expire in 90 days after they are shared. 
    • If you earn your TY points from opening a targeted Citibank checking account bonus, those points expire three (3) years from the end of the year in which those TY points were awarded. 
    • If you purchase TY points, those points expire one (1) year from the end of the year in which you purchased them. 

    How to Keep ThankYou Points From Expiring? 

    While there are no ways to keep ThankYou points that are earned through checking account or points purchase from expiring, there are a couple ways to keep TY points from expiring when it comes to Citi credit cards:
    • If you must close your Citi ThankYou credit card account, you can transfer those TY points to Citi Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners prior to closing. But then those transferred points will be subject to the loyalty program’s points policy in terms of the expiration and redemption values. I personally don’t like transfer points to frequent flyer programs speculatively without a short term use in mind, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures!
    • The best way to keep Citi ThankYou points from expiring is to consider downgrading your card instead of canceling it. For example, if you don’t want to pay for annual fee of Citi Prestige Credit Card, you can downgrade it to a much lower annual fee such as Citi Premier Credit Card or even downgrade to no annual fee at all such as Citi Rewards+ Credit Card or Citi Double Cash Credit Card. You’ll be able to keep your ThankYou points alive this way. 

    My Personal Experience With Keeping Citi ThankYou Points Alive

    I originally had a Citi Premier Credit Card for over 48 months period. I wanted a Citi Rewards+ Credit Card because of its 10% points back benefit, but the welcome bonus on the Citi Rewards+ was low and the welcome bonus offer on the Premier card was high. Since I was eligible for another sign-up bonus with Citi ThankYou Credit Cards bonus, I decided to apply for a second Premier card. 
    Once I received my second Premier card and after I activated it, I called Citibank and asked to downgrade my original Citi Premier Credit Card to Citi Rewards+ Credit Card. After I received my welcome bonus from the new Premier card, I logged on to Citi ThankYou Rewards and combined my ThankYou points between the downgraded Rewards+ and the new Premier accounts to take full advantage of the 10% points rebate benefit. 
    As you can see, my original TY points that were earned from the Citi Premier Credit Card did not expire by me downgrading it to the Citi Rewards+ Credit Card instead of canceling it. I also had no issues combining them later on and all ThankYou points are still alive. See this post for more information: Awesome Strategy to Get Citi Rewards+ or Citi Double Cash Credit Cards With High Sign-Up Bonuses

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