Citibank Devaluing Points-Earning for Checking Accounts

Citibank is reducing the number of points they award for checking accounts each month, starting December in December.

The changes go into effect with statement periods that begin December 17 (December 31 for Citigold customers).

Here’s the current points-earning table for Citi’s checking accounts:

And here’s the new table showing how many fewer points will be earned each month:

They’re reducing earning right after making the points more valuable. If you also have a Citi Thank You Premier or Prestige credit card then the points you earn transfer to:

  • Air France-KLM
  • Asia Miles
  • Etihad Airways Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
  • Hilton HHonorsTM
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

In general checking accounts have become less profitable for banks in a post-Dodd Frank world, so not surprising to see those accounts become less rewarding. But I never love to see fewer points.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Even with those cards, points earned from banking are not transferable, although you can use the 1.25x/1.33x/1.6x airfare multipliers.

  2. I learned the hard way that ThankYou points earned through any method other than a credit card are considered “taxable interest,” and can’t be transferred to other loyalty programs. Why Citi continues to show me all of my ThankYou points in one lump sum is beyond me. All it does is cause confusion and then hard feelings.

  3. The Key thing here is they are taking away the bonus for maintaining basic checking accounts and student accounts. I have three basic checking accounts and each gave me $600 points a month. I loved it. Now, the lowest tier you can earn TY points is the Citibank Checking account in which you need to maintain $15000 in account balance that basically gives you $0 interest. Who wants to do that? I can earn a better return even if I invest that money with my eyes blind folded. No more free lunch or easy lunch with Citibank.

  4. This new chart isn’t bad for everyone, mainly just the Citigold customers. I only have the basic checking and savings account. I currently get 600 points for my checking, savings and autosave. But this new chart will get me 675 points for the same service. It’s not much, I understand but I’m also not doing anything more to earn it. It’s just free TY points in my account for not doing anything.

  5. @James How do you see that? Every earning level has gone done and Basic and Student accounts now earn nothing.

  6. @James, if you are already maintaining over $10,000.00 in a deposit account with Citibank, then yes you are right, you won’t be doing anything more to earn it.

    I have a Citibank account, and since I won’t have that amount on deposit, my only choice (to waive the monthly fee) will be to move to Basic Checking — which as Daniel says, there is no more points.

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