Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points for Cash Back!

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Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points for Cash Back!

Million Mile SecretsWhy You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points for Cash Back!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Because of the great sign-up offers on the Citi AT&T Access More, Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards, readers have asked if they can redeem Citi ThankYou points for cash back.

You CAN do it.  But that doesn’t mean you should!  It’s NOT a good deal.

And there are plenty of other cards that will earn more cash back.

Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points For Cash Back
Thinking of Redeeming Citi ThankYou Points for Cash Back? It’s NOT Worth It!

Let’s look at why it’s not a good idea!

What’s the Deal?

Link:   Citi AT&T Access More

Link:   My Review of the Citi AT&T Access More

Link:   Citi Prestige

Link:   My Review of the Improved Citi Prestige Offer

Link:   Citi ThankYou Premier

Link:   My Review of the Improved Citi ThankYou Premier Offer

Citi ThankYou points are only worth 0.5 cents each when redeemed for cash back or a statement credit.  So it’s like getting 0.5% cash back.

If you want cash back in the form of a check, you can redeem Citi ThankYou points in these increments:

  • $50 for 10,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $100 for 20,000 Citi ThankYou points

If you prefer statement credits, you can redeem your points as follows:

  • $10 for 2,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $15 for 3,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $25 for 5,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $50 for 10,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $100 for 20,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $175 for 35,000 Citi ThankYou points
  • $250 for 50,000 Citi ThankYou points

This is a terrible use of Citi ThankYou points!

Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points For Cash Back
Your Citi ThankYou Points Are Only Worth Half a Cent Each When You Redeem Them for Cash or Statement Credits

You can get much more value redeeming them for paid flights or transferring them to airline and hotel partners (if you have a Citi Chairman, Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier card).  Or even redeeming them for gift cards!

For example, Citi ThankYou points are worth:

Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points For Cash Back
If You Have the Citi Prestige, Your ThankYou Points Are Worth 1.6 Cents Each When You Redeem Them for Paid Flights on American Airlines

But I Do a Lot of Spending in Bonus Categories!

Even if you make the most of bonus spending categories, redeeming your Citi ThankYou points for cash or a statement credit is still not a good deal compared to other cards.

Suppose you earn 3X Citi ThankYou points with the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier on travel purchases.  Or 3X points on retail websites with the Citi AT&T Access More card.

Even if you earn points at a rate of 3 points per $1 you spend, you’ll only get a value of 1.5% back.  (3 points per $1 x 0.5 cents per point)

Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points For Cash Back
Earning 3X Points in Bonus Categories Still Doesn’t Make Redeeming for Cash Back a Good Deal Compared to Other Cards

There are lots of other cards that will earn more.  For example:

Why You Should NOT Use Citi ThankYou Points For Cash Back
You’ll Do Better With Cards Like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, Which Earns 2.2% Back When You Redeem Your Points for Travel Statement Credits

I prefer earning miles and points for Big Travel.  But folks who prefer cash should seriously consider other cards before redeeming their Citi ThankYou points for cash or statement credits!

Bottom Line

You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for cash back or statement credits.

But it’s NOT a good idea!  You’ll only get a value of 0.5 cents per Citi ThankYou point (0.5% back).

It’s much better to use your Citi ThankYou points towards paid flights or travel booked through the Citi Travel Center.  Or transfer them to airline and hotel partners for even Bigger Travel!

And there are lots of other cards that earn more cash back.

However, there IS a trick to get around the poor cash back value of Citi ThankYou points.  It allows you to deposit money in your account at a better rate.  I’ll explain it soon in a future post!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I thought the 1.25 cents per point thru the Citi Travel Center was only on airfare. Did that change, or is there a trick to get the 1.25 on hotels, car rentals and cruises?