Will Sharing Restricted (Taxable) ThankYou Points with Another Account Remove the Restrictions?

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citi thankyou restricted points transfer

Your Questions Answered

All of this week I am going to be answering reader’s questions. To ask a question yourself, feel free to leave a comment over on this original post.

Transferring Citi ThankYou Points & Removing Restrictions

Citi ThankYou Restricted Points Transfer

Today’s question comes from Andrew G. who asked:

There are some different types of Citi ThankYou points. Specifically, there are the ones you earn from credit cards (transferable to airline/hotel partners) and those earned from CitiGold accounts (checking, mortgage, money market, etc). If I transfer all of my points to my wife, will the annoying points that don’t transfer then become transferable?

This is a great question, because many people don’t really know that there are different types of ThankYou points. Citi generally classifies ThankYou points in two ways. The first type of points are normal ThankYou points which are earned generally from credit cards. The second type are known as Taxable Points.

Taxable Points

Citi ThankYou Restricted Points Transfer

Here is how Citi defines these taxable points:

Taxable Points are points obtained through activity unrelated to purchases with your Citi credit card, as well as points received for a Citibank consumer checking relationship and bonus points that may be awarded for opening new Citi Accounts or for signing up for new Citi Account services.

One of the main restrictions on these points is that they are unable to be transferred to travel partners. Why? Because Citi needs to place a value on them and by making them flexible that value would vary. To avoid any tax issues, these points are simply restricted.

Will Sharing Remove the Restrictions?

Citi ThankYou Restricted Points Transfer
Only some of them are flexible!

But the question is a good one. Citi has a feature called point sharing where you can share your points with another member. Keep in mind that shared points expire after 90 days, so this is not something to do unless you know the points will be used quickly. Still, if you could combine the points and then book something without a restriction that would be great! So will Citi allow it?

No, unfortunately not. To avoid any issues with these types of points, Citi has simply blocked them from sharing altogether. Here is how they put it:

Taxable Points and points that are made unavailable for redemption due to signs of fraud, abuse or suspicious activity in your ThankYou Member Account or due to your failure to make the required minimum payment due on your participating Citi® credit card account by the payment due date are not eligible to be shared.

In other words, you are stuck with the points and their restrictions. While it would be nice to find a loophole here, I understand Citi’s policies. By keeping these points separate, they are making sure that you don’t end up with an unexpected 1099 at the end of the year. I don’t think you want a 1099 for the retail cost of that Singapore Airlines Suites flight!

Thanks Andrew and don’t forget to ask your own questions!


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Well, sh!t. 🙂

    Thanks for the informative post, though. I guess I’ll just have to stick to redeeming the points for travel at 1.25c per… or maybe at some point I’ll sign up for a Prestige and make that rate a little better.

  2. What da shit!? Goes to show how little I know! Dude!

    Well how stupid is that when the Citi Thank You website doesnt even make this SUPER obvious. Or maybe it does and I missed it?

    Even worse, they dont even show us CLEARLY via our balance. Just the total. How do you know the balance?

    Also, how does this work for redeeming? Is there a difference when redeeming taxable points? Can you choose which to redeem?

    Since you can not use for transferring to airlines partners, so you just have to by their stupid merchandise? I assume you cant go over a certain balance or a 1099 may come out. I hope this is not as bad as I imagine it to be.

    • You can still use the taxable points to redeem for travel on the TY portal for 1.25c/point if you have the Premier card or 1.33c/point if you have the Prestige.

      Also, I should note that I’ve never received a 1099 from Citi for my points earning, even when I’ve earned upwards of 30k points in a year from my CitiGold accounts. I’m guessing this is due to their declaring a super low fixed value for the points, so that you can earn a lot and still not go over the taxable limit. So we got that going for us, which is nice…

  3. Never knew this! I currently have 50+k TY points from banking accts as well as premier card use. I think going into one TY acct. Now I’m earning TY points on the prestige cc. How can I transfer these points to airlines? Which points can I transfer? I only applied for the prestige card thinking I could combine all my TY points for airline use. Please help!

    • Exactly Mel! Im totally on the same airline as you! Crazy threw me off! I feel so broadsided.. Now I need more details about earn/burn/restriction strategy.

  4. Yup, I ran into that exact problem trying to transfer points to SQ to book flights for this summer. Even though I had 70k TY points, when I went to transfer, it gave me a maximum of something like 43k that I could transfer. I called Citi to ask why there was a 43k limit, and they told me that my CitiGold points I earned weren’t transferable. Yay… so I asked them how I could tell at any given time what my available transferable points balance was, and they said there’s no way to tell. Nice, huh?

    The one bright side to all of this is that when I spend points through the ThankYou portal, they do come out of my non-transferable balance first. THANKFULLY…

    • Hey Andrew! Thank you for the responses bro! really helpful man!

      – So I guess there really are two types of TY points. So stupid. And theres NO way to tell? OMG. So Stupid x 2
      – Thank god non-transferable balance is used first – So it sounds like redeem for travel on the TY portal is totally same for both types of points? 1.25c/point if you have the Premier card or 1.33c/point if you have the Prestige? Thats good news. I guess this is just a transfer issue then.
      – Also, I want to make sure we talk about expiration. Maybe some people forgot. I believe the TY points you earn via CitiGold expire right? Which is terrible! So many restrictions on those non CC TY points!
      – Great to hear 1099 potentially not issued due to low fixed point value. I hope so.

      Have to earn and burn!

  5. Would love to see a write up on examples of the 40,000 point offer on Citi checking account with (or without) specific credit card combos, including what would or would not be transferable (or taxable if at all). I’m personally leaning towards point redemption for gift cards, as I have a lot of points stashed w/ Chase and as you know we don’t fly much (wife is afraid to leave the ground!).

    I’m a Citi noob but the 40k point offer has me motivated to make a move towards Citi. Not to mention early next year Costco is switching to Citi, so I’ll most likely be looking at the double cash back card, if nothing else.

  6. I researched about this before opening the Citi gold for me and my wife. My wife has citi prestige while I have premiere. Basically if you cash out the Citi taxable TYP at <$600/year you will not get a 1099.

    For example,if I buy a ticket using my wife's 40k taxable TYPs maximum I can use in one year is 600/(0.016) = 37.5k points. I can cash out the remaining 2.5k TYP`s for merchandise/gift cards etc next year and I will not get a 1099. This problem only exists for CITI Prestige owners as for any other combination 40k points are not going to translate to $600 in value.

    One wrench in this whole issue is how CITI treats the $100 reimbursement it gives to people who have opened the CITI Gold card after opening the Prestige. FYI, prestige card comes with the reduced $350 fee instead of the regular $450 fee if you have a gold checking.

    If someone knows about this please let me know ?

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