Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

A place to talk about cash-back credit cards and card-linked deals
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QueenInTheNorth
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Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

Postby QueenInTheNorth » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:48 am

I was looking at Citi ThankYou cards, and it looks like you only get half value for cash back? Am I understanding that right? To get $50 cash, you need 10,000 points, which would get you $100 cash back with other cards.

I already have the Double Cash Citi card, and you get 2% cash back, and that has no annual fee. Why would anyone pay $95 for the Thankyou premier when you get more cash for a card that costs $0? I was thinking that a card with an annual fee would be an upgrade, but I guess not?

Thanks for shedding light on this, if you can.


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:23 am

QueenInTheNorth wrote:I was looking at Citi ThankYou cards, and it looks like you only get half value for cash back? Am I understanding that right? To get $50 cash, you need 10,000 points, which would get you $100 cash back with other cards.

I already have the Double Cash Citi card, and you get 2% cash back, and that has no annual fee. Why would anyone pay $95 for the Thankyou premier when you get more cash for a card that costs $0? I was thinking that a card with an annual fee would be an upgrade, but I guess not?

Thanks for shedding light on this, if you can.

TY Premier is, as you say, a poor value if you want to redeem your rewards as cash back. If you redeem for travel, though, the points are worth more (and can be potentially worth much more if you transfer the points to airline programs).
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

kdm31091
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Re: Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

Postby kdm31091 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:25 am

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.

QueenInTheNorth
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Re: Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

Postby QueenInTheNorth » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:55 am

Thanks for the responses. I have decided the Citi Thankyou products are probably not for me, since I prefer cash back.

TXviking
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Re: Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

Postby TXviking » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:13 am

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.

kdm31091
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Re: Redeeming for cash back with Citi ThankYou

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:29 am

TXviking wrote:
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.



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