Posted byon July 26, 2012
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I’m working on redeeming all of our sign up bonuses from the Credit Card Application Spree. Next up is finding the best way to redeem Citi Thank You points!
Last week I worked on the Best Way to Maximize American Express Points and now it’s time to move on to the Citi points.
Mortgage Payment. Citi Thank You has a great option. You can pay your mortgage with your ThankYou points, which is almost like cash for me. The conversion is $250 for 25,000 points. Checks are made out to the bank, but sent directly to you. To use this option, you have to call to get your check (1-800-THANKYOU). But here’s the interesting part, I can get my check made out to the bank where I have my heloc, deposit the check and immediately transfer the same amount to my bank account. 1 cent per point works for me!
Student Loan Rebates. The student loan rebate works much like the mortgage payment option with the same conversion: $250 for 25,000 points or 1 cent per point.
Amazon Gift Cards. Amazon.com is almost equivalent to cash at my house. So the conversion of $100 for 10,000 points, or 1 cent per point, is also a great way to redeem the Thank You points.
Gift Cards. In addition to Amazon, you can also get other gift cards that have a decent conversion. For example a Walmart gift card goes for $100 for 10,000 points, or 1 cent per point, so they make sense if you are going to shop at the store. If not, you’ll need to figure in the discount to resell at Plastic Jungle at 96%.
Update: You no longer need to avoid using these methods. Both methods now earn 1 cent per point:
Statement Credits. This is where your ThankYou points won’t stretch as far. The conversion for statement credits is only $100 for 20,000 points or .5 cents per point, so you’re much better off to use one of the other options. Update: You can now redeem 1,000 points for $10 1 cent per point.
Cash Rewards. Like the statement credits, the cash rewards aren’t your best option either. At a conversion of $100 for 20,000 points, again .5 cents per point, you are again leaving money on the table. Update: You can now redeem at 1 cent per point.
Combine Accounts. You can link all of your Citi cards that earn ThankYou points to one ThankYou account. It makes it easier to redeem your points. You can link your accounts online once you are logged into the Thank You website.
Opportunity Costs. If you are buying gift cards, keep in mind that you probably don’t want to purchase gift cards for the stores where you could have earned 5% rotating cash back. If you do, you’ll have to adjust your conversion rate to account for the lost cash back earnings on the purchases.
About the Checks. There might be some additional opportunities with the mortgage and student loan checks. When we called to get the check issued, they never asked for an account number. A check made out to a bank could potentially be deposited into any bank account…. are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Next up, the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.