It Only Takes 30 Seconds to Ensure You Don’t Lose Your Citi ThankYou Points on Your Next Amazon Purchase – Here’s How to Protect Yourself

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

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

Citi is an MMS advertising partner

If you’re like me, you probably spend more at Amazon than you’d like to admit (but hey “free” shipping only costs me a $119 Amazon Prime membership per year!).  So I’m always happy to find easy discounts I can combine a credit card that is great for making Amazon purchases.

Often these discounts are available in combination with some sort of miles or points.  I’ve seen discounts for using just a single Chase Ultimate Rewards point, AMEX Membership Rewards point, or Citi ThankYou point.  In the past, I’ve used the points I’ve earned with my Citi Premier® Card to get these discounts.

In order to take advantage of this deal, you’ll need to first link your rewards account to Amazon.  But when you do that you’ll want to be sure you don’t click the wrong box and let Amazon steal all your hard earned Citi ThankYou points or other rewards.

It’s simple to do.  I’ll show you the steps.

Earning Citi ThankYou Points for Your Amazon Purchases Makes Sense, But Spending Them at Amazon Doesn’t

There is currently an Amazon Citi promotion, and I noticed some interesting terms that you’ll want to be aware of. Normally you get poor value for you flexible rewards (like Citi ThankYou points) if you use them to pay for Amazon purchases. But there are deals that can be a great way to get outsized value for a single Citi ThankYou point.

The problem is the terms of this deal make it easy to accidentally pay for your purchase entirely with points.  They say:

When you click on the ‘Click to activate’ button your Citi ThankYou Points will be temporarily set as default payment method at checkout for a duration of six hours, unless you manually update your payment option.  The promotion remains valid even after the temporary default setting lapses, until the end of the promotion period.

What this means is that when you check out you’ll need to double check that you aren’t paying for your entire order with points.  I qualified for this promotion and when I went to checkout all of my Citi ThankYou points were applied to my payment by default.

It’s easy to manually update the number of points you’re paying with to one point, but it’s also easy to miss that step.  When I changed the number of points I paid with the full discount still applied.

As far as I can tell, you’ll need to manually change the number of points you pay with any time you use this deal (and probably future deals just like it) within 6 hours of registering.

But you can setup your Amazon Shop with Points account to not default to paying with points, which could save you some headache in the future.

Don’t Let Amazon Take All Your Citi ThankYou Points

You can use lots of different types of points to pay your Amazon purchases, but it’s almost always a terrible deal.  For example, if you pay for your Amazon order with Citi ThankYou points you’ll only be getting .8 cents per point in value.  I would never do this because I have the Citi Premier Card which makes those same points worth 1.25 cents each toward airfare booked through the Citi ThankYou travel center.  That’s an increase of over 50%!

But it does make sense to use Citi ThankYou points to take advantage of deals as I mentioned before.  You just want to make sure that you don’t end up using more than 1 point on the transaction.

You can click here to link your Citi ThankYou card to your Amazon account or update cards that are already linked to your account.  While linking your card you’ll come across a screen like the one below.

Be Sure That Your Card Is Not Set to Apply Points as Payment

This is where you want to make sure that the “Off” button is selected next to “Apply by Default.”  This section is a bit confusing, what it should say is “Would You Like to Automatically Pay for Your Purchases With Your Citi ThankYou Points?

Because if you select “On” that is exactly what will happen.  Also when you’re enrolling any Chase Ultimate Rewards cards or AMEX Membership Rewards cards you’ll want to make sure they aren’t set to pay with points by default.

Anyone out there ever have their rewards points automatically applied to an Amazon purchase without realizing it?  Have you been able to easily get them back or not?

Subscribe to our newsletter to get more miles & points tips, tricks, and deals sent straight to your inbox.

Jason Stauffer was a writer for Million Mile Secrets where he covered points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. His work has appeared in The Points Guy and NextAdvisor.

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! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.