kdm31091 wrote:If you want cash, Thank You cards are a poor choice.
There's a semi loophole that supposedly works where you can call Thank You services, redeem for a mortgage check made out to your bank, and deposit it into your checking -- no mortgage required. Whether you feel comfortable doing that depends on you but the checks are intended for loan payments not just deposit for personal use. That said most people claim it works fine. Even still, you can only redeem in set increments so you cannot liquidate all of your points that way most likely.
So they essentially give you double the cashback value if you apply it against the principal on your mortgage? For those of us who HAVE a mortgage, that sounds like a decent deal -- and by actually applying it towards your mortgage as intended, you're not doing anything ethically questionable.
I don't have any Citi cards save for the Costco one, and I've been frustrated enough with their customer service in the past to not really want one. But you've made me wonder if any other card issuers offer a similar deal.
Yes, if you redeem for mortgage payments (which you have to call in to do), you will get 1cpp instead of the usual 0.5cpp for cash redemption. It's not so much that you are getting "double" value in my view, just that they aren't nerfing the value below a 1cpp standard.
If someone wants cash they should avoid Thankyou cards as even with the non-penalty for mortgage redemptions, if you want cash back, there are cards with better earn rates that don't require jumping through hoops. Even if you redeem cash at 1cpp, the Thankyou cards would be paying out 3% on some purchases, 2% on some, 1% on most....again, this can be beaten with other cards and less hassle. IMO.