ThankYou Network for Citi Credit CardsI’ve often read about people taking advantage of these “rewards” that their credit cards offer and how wonderful they can be, but I’d never actually taken advantage of one.

Having charged over $2k on my Citi Rewards card — my only card with rewards — during vacation a few weeks ago, I see that my statement has been handsomely rewarded with a sizable number of “ThankYou” points.

So I went over to see what kind of rewards my “ThankYou” points could get me.

Turns out, not much.

Let’s see… A cash-back check for $50 would cost me 8000 ThankYou points…

Now I know that a few of my purchases earned double and sometimes even triple the ThankYou points, but technically, the big reward is a mere $50 for spending $8000 dollars.

Think about that.

What it really says is, “Spend $8k with us and we’ll give you $50 back!”

Frankly, I’m insulted.

But, wait, there’s more! Spend $16k and they’ll throw you a Benjamin! Wow, such a deal.

Really… that works out to just five-eighths of a percent back.

Not much to get excited about, huh?

So, since I’ve only spent a few thousand dollars (over $5k), the only thing I really qualify for is a subscription to an assortment of magazines that I don’t really want anyway. They’re also magazines that I could get for free countless other places too…

Gee, thanks… That’s an awesome reward.

8 COMMENTS

  1. If you have any student loan debt, the best thing to get with your Thank You Points is a student loan rebate. The $50 rebate is only 5000 points (as opposed to the 8000 for the $50 cash back). They send you the check and then you send it on to your student loan company, so if you are making loan payments anyway, it is almost the equivalent of cash back. The only thing is, you have to call to order the student loan rebates, you can’t do it online.

  2. Perhaps you have the wrong card? The trick is to find a card that has a good reward program; and then run as much of your common expenses through it as you can. Over the course of ten years, I have run countless thousands of dollars of business expenses through my American Express card; and it has paid off in the form of free airfare for my better half and myself. Together, we’ve flown to Australia, Europe, NZ, and Bali; not to mention various locations in the US…all on points.

  3. Hi Randy — perhaps, but how much have you spent over the 10 years on the AmEX to qualify for those rewards? I’m guessing that it’s a pretty large number.

    I understand that over time, and if I put all of my expenses on a rewards card, that I might get some nice freebies, I dunno, like an umbrella or something… I like freebies.

    But when you sit down and look at how much you’ve spent to receive the reward, you see how insignificant it (the value) really is…

  4. I use a few cards for rewards – my main cards pay me exactly 1% in cash of everything I buy. I generally take the cash. The only time I don’t is if I have a planned purchase and then I will trade my Discover Rewards for a gift card where they always increase my reward – for instance I can trade $20 for a $25 gift card. That’s a good perk. But only if I’m shopping already.

    Plus, I have my regular bills like Cellphone & Cable automatically paid with these cards, so I only have 1 payment to make and get cash back.

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