With most of the folks not looking to travel in next few months and uncertainty around travel some of us would be thinking of how to best preserve cash. Most of the flexible credit card points program in the U.S.A such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points allows one to cash out the points for statement credit or cash in checking/savings account. If you have a big stash of these flexible points and no near term travel plan it may be prudent to cash them out.
While Chase Ultimate Rewards makes it easy and gives a value of 1:1 (Every 1,000 points can be redeemed for $10 in cash) Citi ThankYou points gives a real bad value of 1:0.5 (Every 1,000 points can be redeemed for $5 in cash).
How to maximize cash out of Citi ThankYou points?
Citi ThankYou points allows few ways of cashing out the points.
Alternative option of gift card!!
You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for gift cards at 1:1 ratio. While not as good as cold hard cash, you could still redeem for plethora of merchants such as Target, Lowe's , Home Depot, Best Buy etc. This would give flexibility of getting close to 1:1 value which otherwise you would not get. You can also sell this gift card at some of the online re-sellers and still get `~90% of the value of gift card as cash getting a redemption ratio of 1:0.9 (1000 points for a value of $9) which is better than 1:0.5.
Getting a Citi Rewards+ Card for Better Redemption value:
Citi has a no annual fee Citi Rewards+ Card which gives 10% back in points for any redemption of Citi ThankYou points (Maximum of 10,000 points back per year). If you have this card and redeem for gift card than you can potentially get close to ~1:1 ratio as you would receive 10% back in points.
So, do remember alternate option as they might be better of than taking a direct "cash reward" or "statement credit" at reduced value.
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