Citibank has several cards which earn their flexible reward points called ThankYou Points (TYP). I talked about these cards in my post about TYP earning cards which you can read here.
TYP have a lot of uses: paying student loans or mortgages, redeeming for gift cards or statement credits for select expenses, transferring to airline and hotel partners, or redeeming the points through the TYP portal for flights based on cash prices.
For this post, I’ll focus on the redemptions giving each point a value of at least 1 cent. That is, 100 points = $1.00 or more.
The “better” methods:
- Loan payments (might have devalued recently)
- Gift cards
- ThankYou Point travel portal
- Transfer to Hotels or Airlines
Other uses for TYP:
- Statement credit
- Cash back (bad value)
- Shop with TYP (bad value)
- Shop with TYP at Amazon (bad value)
From the list of “Other Uses”, statement credits are the best option at a value of 0.75 cents per points (cpp) while cash back has a value of 0.5 cpp. These two redemptions are essentially the same (redeeming points for straight money) but different methods.
To give you an idea of what these values mean: 100 points can be redeemed for either $0.75 as a statement credit, or the same 100 points can be redeemed for $0.50 cash back (going directly into a bank account).
If you have a couple hundred points that you want to use up, redeeming those points for a statement credit could save you the money from a meal or two.
As for the “better” methods, loan payments and gift cards are exactly 1 cpp. Transferring points gives a value which varies on which airline or hotel you transfer to and what you’re booking with that hotel or airline.
Hilton seems to be the only hotel transfer partner where 1000 TYP convert into 1500 Hilton points.
Airline partners TYP can be transferred to included:
- Virgin Atlantic
- Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
- EVA Air
- Air France and KLM (Flying Blue)
- Garuda Indonesia
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
Booking travel through the TYP portal gives either 1, 1.25, 1.33, or 1.6 cpp depending on which card you have, what you’re booking, and how long you’ve had your card.
TYP have the following values through the travel portal if you have:
- Citi Prestige
- 1.6 cents/point (cpp) for American Airline flights
- 1.33 cpp for other airlines (1.25 cpp starting July 23, 2017)
- 1 cpp for car rentals, hotels, and cruises
- Citi Premier
- 1.33 cpp for American Airlines flights
- 1.25 cpp for all other airlines, car rentals, hotels, and cruises
The good redemptions tend to be either booking American Airline flights with the Citi Prestige before the end of July this year, flights on any airline with either card, or transferring points to other airlines where the cents/point value is strictly dependent on the flight booked.
However, this means you need large amounts of points except for short flights like from SFO to LAX or LAX to PHX. This is where many people might consider using their low balance of TYP for a statement credit against a meal they enjoyed.