Citibank Beginning Devaluation of Thank You Points Fixed Point Redemption Prior to the Previously Announced March 1?

Citibank announced last month that ‘fixed point redemption’ (which allows redemptions valued up to 3 cents a point instead of the standard 1 cent) would be ending March 1.

It appears that they’ve already gone ahead and pulled the plug on 3 cents value, capping redemptions at 2 cents as of last week. This despite the FAQ on the Citi Thank You Network website still showing the 3 cents value, and the Thank You Network terms and conditions requiring 30 days written notice for changes to the program.

This is all second-hand, at this point, per this thread on Flyertalk. It’s of particular concern to me because I’m hurtling towards 90,000 points to make a redemption… and I need to wait until my credit card points post on or about February 19 in order to do so. I’ve made a whole lot of extra charges to this card precisely because they announced changes would be coming March 1.

Developing, but I’m potentially incensed.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hey, You say, “I’m hurtling towards 90,000 points to make a redemption…” Why 90,000 specifically? What does that do for you?

  2. From https://www.thankyou.com/tc.jspx :
    1. …ThankYou Network rewards and the ThankYou Point levels required for specific ThankYou Network rewards are subject to change without notice…

    It looks like they can get away with this if they want to. This would be another case of a loyalty program turning into a treachery program.

    There are fewer and fewer loyalty programs that can accurately be described as trustworthy.

  3. The follwoing is the perspectiveof a long time consumer class action lawyer (me) who has sued the credit card companies before, including for things similar to this.

    At worst I see an ambiguity caused by the conflicting terms of (1) “ThankYou Network or any portion thereof may be revised or terminated with 30 days prior written notice”, and (2) “Network rewards and the ThankYou Point levels required for specific ThankYou Network rewards are subject to change without notice.”

    At best, I see the clause stated in (2) above as not applicable to the situation here, namely that the “Network rewards…are subject to change without notice” refers to the reward type itself, namely, as I understand it from you, the right to redeem pts for airline tickets 9and regadless of at 1 cent or 3 cents), which is not per se changing here, and that the “ThankYou Point levels required for specific ThankYou Network reward subject to change without notice” are also not changing, in that it still takes 27,000 pts to obtain a $2,700 ticket. This analysis appears to be supported the fact that Citi itselfinitially gave what appears to be the 30 days notice required for this change.

    I would be interested in discussing this further. Please contact me at brishwain@ralaw.org or 310.770.2410.

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