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Transfer ThankYou Points Between Accounts
Yesterday I wrote about a fantastic retention offer my wife received on her Citi ThankYou Preferred card. For the next six months she will be earning an extra 2X ThankYou points on all purchases. This means that for dining and entertainment she will earn 4X, while for everything else she will earn 3X.
The only problem with my wife’s ThankYou points is they aren’t nearly as valuable as mine. I have both the ThankYou Premier and Prestige cards, but she doesn’t. The points she earns are stuck for low level redemptions, while I can redeem mine for 1.6 cents towards American Airlines redemptions, 1.33 cents for other airfare or transfer them to travel partners.
Sharing or Transferring Points is Allowed
Thankfully Citi allows members to “share” points between their accounts for free. In fact, in some ways their sharing feature is more generous than other programs since they don’t require the transfer to be between family members. Any member can transfer points to anyone else. Of course, there is a huge catch.
The catch is that points expire 90 days after transfer. This is kind of a huge deal, but it isn’t bad as it seems. First, you should never transfer points over without having a specific redemption in mind. Second, the points transferred in, are the first ones used when making a redemption.
For example, lets say you have 100,000 ThankYou points and someone gives you 25,000 ThankYou points. If you then make a 40,000 point redemption, Citi will take the 25,000 points (with the ticking expiration clock) first. This policy is very nice and helps to assure that you won’t run into any expiration issues as long as you make your redemptions in a timely manner.
How to Transfer
Transfers can be done online or over the phone.
- Login to your ThankYou points account.
- Click “Point Sharing” under the “Do More” tab.
- Enter in the recipient’s first and last name, account number and the amount of points to transfer.
- Confirm the information and the points will transfer instantly.
Thanks to Charlie for letting me know about online sharing.
- Call 1-800-842-6596 from 8am to 1am ET Monday through Friday or 9am to 9pm ET on Saturday and Sunday.
- Tell them you would like to share points between accounts. Have your account number ready and the recipient’s account number ready.
- Points should transfer over instantly and both the sender and the recipient will receive confirmation emails.
For right now, our strategy will be to share points from my wife’s account to my account just before making redemptions. This way I don’t risk letting those points expire, but I still have access to them at much higher valuations. For example, today I made an American Airlines flight redemption for 1.6 points each. My wife transferred in the points and I booked right away.
Sharing points between ThankYou accounts is very easy. While it does require a quick phone call, the transfers are done instantly and with no fee at all. Just be aware of the 90 day expiration period and make sure you have an immediate use for the points before pulling the trigger.
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