Easy Trick to Double the Cash Back Rate for Citi ThankYou Points

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I wrote about why it’s NOT a good idea to redeem your Citi ThankYou points for cash back or statement credits.  You’ll get a very poor value (0.5 cents per point or 0.5% back)!

But you can redeem Citi ThankYou points for cash at a better rate.  You’ll get a value of 1 cent per point (1% back) by redeeming them for a mortgage payment or student loan rebate check.

The trick is there’s a way you can deposit these checks to your bank account and use the money however you’d like!

Easy Trick To Double The Cash Back Rate For Citi ThankYou Points

I’ll Show You the Workaround for Getting Cash at 1 Cent per Citi ThankYou Point!

To be clear, using Citi ThankYou points for travel is better for most.  But if you want cash, I’ll show you how to get the most out of your points!

How Does This Work?

Link:   Citi ThankYou

Link:   Citi ThankYou Terms & Conditions

Link:   Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points for Cash Back

Normally, you’ll only get 0.5 cents per Citi ThankYou point (0.5% back) when you redeem them for a check or statement credit.

But Citi allows you to apply points to a mortgage payment or student loan rebate check at a rate of 1 cent per point (1% back).  So for example, a $100 check costs 10,000 Citi ThankYou points.

You’ll receive a check made out to your financial institution.  But you can sign it and deposit it into your bank account.  You do NOT have to use it for a mortgage or student loan!

Easy Trick To Double The Cash Back Rate For Citi ThankYou Points

Deposit Your Check Directly Into Your Bank Account!

Folks on FatWallet say it’s easy, and most banks don’t question the deposit.  That said, if you try this trick, it might be better to start with a small test check to be sure it goes through!  Some banks will NOT accept 3rd party checks.

Here’s how you do it.

Step 1 – Call Citi ThankYou

Call Citi ThankYou at 800-842-6596 to redeem your points for a mortgage or student loan rebate check.

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name of the lender (use the name of the bank where you have your account)
  • Amount of the check

You do NOT need to provide a mortgage or student loan account number.  Just the bank name.

Easy Trick To Double The Cash Back Rate For Citi ThankYou Points

You’ll Give the Name of Your Bank or Financial Institution, Because the Check Will Be Made out to Them

Checks are available in the following denominations:

  • $252,500 Citi ThankYou points
  • $505,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $757,500 Citi ThankYou points
  • $10010,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $25025,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $50050,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $75075,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $1,000 – 100,000 Citi ThankYou points

The Citi ThankYou representative will ask you to confirm that your bank is willing to accept 3rd party checks and multiple mortgage or student loan payments.

Step 3 – Receive Check via Mail and Deposit

You’ll get your check ~7 to 10 days after you make the request (sometimes sooner).  Checks are valid for 180 days.

The check will be made out to your bank or financial institution.  Write your name and account number in the “memo” field on the front of the check.

Most folks sign the back of the check, and many recommend depositing it through an ATM or through mobile banking (rather than with a teller).  This can help avoid confusion, because the check is made out to the bank and not directly to you!

Easy Trick To Double The Cash Back Rate For Citi ThankYou Points

It’s Easiest If You Deposit the Check at an ATM or Through Mobile Banking

Once the funds are in your account, you can use them for whatever you like (including paying your mortgage or student loan).

Redeemed this way, the 50,000 point sign-up bonus (after completing minimum spending) on the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier is worth $500.  But that’s still not the best use of your points!

Is It Worth It?

This is a better deal than redeeming Citi ThankYou points for cash back or a statement credit.  But there are other ways to get more value from your points!

For example, Citi ThankYou points are worth:

Easy Trick To Double The Cash Back Rate For Citi ThankYou Points

Citi ThankYou Points Are Worth 1.6 Cents Each (If You Have the Citi Prestige Card) When Redeemed for American Airlines Flights

So redeeming Citi ThankYou points at 1 cent per point is NOT the best deal.  I’d only recommend it if you really want cash.

And some folks might not feel comfortable depositing a 3rd party check into their account.  So do what makes the most sense for you.

My favorite use of Citi ThankYou points is transferring them to airline and hotel partners for Big Travel.  You’ll usually get much more than 1 cent per point when redeemed this way.

Bottom Line

You can normally use Citi ThankYou points for cash back or statement credits at a rate of 0.5 cents per point (0.5% back).

But by redeeming them for a mortgage payment or student loan rebate check, Citi ThankYou points are worth 1 cent per point (1% back).

And you can deposit these checks into your bank account to use the funds any way you want.

This is still NOT the best use of Citi ThankYou points.  You’ll get more value by using them towards paid airfare or transferring them to airline and hotel partners.

Have you had success redeeming Citi ThankYou points for mortgage or student loan payments?

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12 responses to “Easy Trick to Double the Cash Back Rate for Citi ThankYou Points

  1. Could you use this check to pay your credit card bill with the bank it’s made out to?

  2. This sounds illegal and unethical. Even if it works, it seems wrong. Is this not fraud?

  3. @Chaser123
    Yes. This site is becoming more shady as of late. Some really questionable recommendations and acts. I’ve always enjoyed his suggestions in the past (many are now reiterations from other sites), but you’ll need to make up your own mind how far you want to go. The unethical or lemmings will do exactly as he suggests or implies. I tend to pick my info in pieces and discard anything uncomfortable sounding.

  4. Nice to see MMS giving us some real hacks, not rehashed bozo instructions.

  5. I’m also wondering if it can be used to pay off a credit card.

    A couple years ago (before Citi transfer partners emerged), I had Citi send me $1500 in checks to pay toward my student loan, which is managed by Great Lakes. Now if I want to deposit the money into my bank account, I’d have Citi write the check to Wells Fargo, Chase, BofA or whatever bank account I have, correct? I assume no bank will take a check written to Great Lakes…

  6. I posted this yesterday, but no one answered. When did you guys stop responding to questions? It wasn’t that way when I started reading this site in 2012.
    I’ll repost my question: I thought the 1.25 cents per point thru the Citi Travel Center with the Thank You Premier was only on airfare. But above and in yesterday’s post, you say that rate is also available for hotels, car rentals and cruises. So did the redemption policy change, or is there a trick, in order to get the 1.25 cents on hotels, car rentals and cruises?

  7. @mike. You can redeem at 1.25 cents in hotels etc as you would with redeeming for airfare. No trick needed


    Go down to the bottom it tells you that you can as well. Just like with Chase. :-). Hope that helps

  8. It sounds like what the points are worth changes depending on whether you have the Premier or Prestige card. If I open both cards, will I always get the highest possible redemption rate? I assume all the points combine? If I had both cards would I always get the 1.6 cents per point on American Airlines paid flights AND 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through the Citi Travel Center?

  9. @katie. I believe hotels, airefare etc that are not AA are redeemed at 1.33 cents with the Prestige. Making them worth slightly more than the Premier.

  10. Pingback: Membership Rewards vs. Ultimate Rewards vs. ThankYou Rewards. Which is best? - The Frequent Miler

  11. Hi,

    I just tried to do this with Citibank and they are sending me a check to CitiMortgage. Will this still work or did I just waste $300? I’d want to cash it into my regular Citibank Account.


  12. Any data points on which banks gladly accept third party checks?