Maximize Value of Citi Thankyou Points

Citi Thankyou Points can be more valuable than you think. Below are several ways to maximize it.

Citi Thankyou Points may come from different sources:

  1. Earned through Citi Premier or Prestige credit card. Can be transferred to airline miles.
  2. Earned through other credit card. Can be transferred to airline miles if owner has Premier or Prestige credit card.
  3. Earned through opening bank account. Can not be transferred to airline miles.

The below usage assumes that your Citi Thankyou Points can be transferred to miles which is potentially the  most valuable way.

1. Transfer to Airline Miles and Book Flight

To transfer to airline miles and then book flight has the maximum potential. One typical example is to transfer to Virgin Atlantic and then book flight of upper class (Virgin Atlantic’s name for business/first class) from New York to London.

Compare the cost using miles vs cash above, we can calculate the value of each Virgin Atlantic mile worth more than 8.6 cents. The transfer ratio from Citi Thankyou Points to Virgin Atlantic is 1:1 so in the example it is also over 8.6 cents/points.

The calculated price is a little imaginary since you might not spend as much as $5501 on a trip in the first place. Redemption of miles for economy class ticket usually yields less value than business class (in a lot of cases, business class ticket usually has three to four times cash value, but only costs twice amount of miles). But it it still possible to get 2-5 cents/point. Below is the economy class ticket for similar trip:

Please be informed:   The examples were found by experienced professional. Please do not set your expectations to as high as them. Also award ticket has limited availability. Generally redemption rate of 1.25 – 2 cents/point is more practical.

Citi Thankyou Points can be transfer to not only Virgin Atlantic, but also many other airline miles, giving your more opportunities. Learn more on airline miles by reading posts in [Miles] category.

 

 

2. Booking Flight/Hotel at Citi Travel Center

Citi Thankyou Points can be used towards travel needs at Citi Travel center. Points value varies depending on credit card your have and airlines.

Credit Card Points Value

Prestige  1.6 cents/point if booking American Airline flight
1.33 cents/point if booking flights of other airlines

Premier  1.25 cents/point

Other cards  1 cent/point

 

If you have a trip with AA costing $160 at Citi Travel Center, you may pay by 10,000 Thankyou point if you have Prestige card.  You’ll need 16000/1.25 = 12,800 points if you only have Premier card. Or 16,000 points if you only have Preferred card.  If you travel with AA and have Prestige card,  this option is very attractive.

The points value in above table is when Thankyou Points are used to pay travel spending quoted at Citi Travel Center. However Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center is not known for giving the best prices around (likely you may find 5%-10% lower price at other places), so actual points value is 90%-95% times value in above table.

 

3. Sell to Brokers for Cash

This option is in gray area. Citi doesn’t want you to do it, but it wouldn’t know if you do it. Brokers in the gray area is actually much more reliable and trust-able than you expect (Reason behind is that they purely rely on reputation to stay in business). One reliable broker is milesp2p.com which has great reputation online and over two thousand Facebook likes. As of now (May 2017), price for Citi Thankyou Points is 1.3 cents/point.

 

4. Redeem as Gift Card when Promotion is on.

Sometimes Citi offers 10%-20% off gift cards (and/or gas cards) when redeeming Thankyou Points, making points’ value 1.11 – 1.25 cents/point. We don’t recommend this option if no Promotion is active.

 

5. [Avoid] Pay Mortgage/Loan or Statement Credit

You can call Citi and ask for a mortgage/student loan payment check at a 1 cent/point. To use this option, you must have a mortgage/student loan to be paid.

You can redeem points for credit card statement credits at 0.5 cents per point. This sacrifices way too much value to even be worth considering.

Please try to avoid these options since cash value is less than above methods.  They’re listed just so that we’re not missing information. Really please try to avoid them.

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