Citi Adding New Electronic Gift Card Option for ThankYou Points

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Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program has added Wonder as a way to use points to cover part or all of digital gift card purchases (which are made via the Wonder app). It’s both a convenient platform for points redemption and a way to broaden out options for retailers from which to obtain gift cards.

Citi has done a lot to build out the points-to-miles transfer program for their premium ThankYou cards. It’s nice to see them building out options which will appeal most to the rest of their members too. (More choices are good for premium card members too of course — it’s just that those cardmembers already have better redemption options than this.)

    If you’re earning your ThankYou points Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, through bank accounts, or other means this may be of interest.

    If your ThankYou points via the Citi Prestige Card or ThankYou Premier, those points transfer to airline miles, you’ll be much better off transferring points than using them for gift cards. (Citi Prestige even lets you use your points at 1.6 cents per dollar towards paid American Airlines tickets which are a much better value than gift cards.)

To use points for electronic gift cards:

1. Download and open the Wonder app for iOS or Android
2. Choose your favorite local store or national brand
3. Select the amount of points you want to use for a statement credit
4. Your eligible Citi credit card will be charged for the full purchase amount
5. The selected amount of points will be deducted from your ThankYou member account and you will receive a corresponding statement credit to your Citi credit card account in 24-48 hours

There’s a reason I value ThankYou points at 1.6 to 1.7 cents apiece from the Premier and Citi Prestige Card. That’s because the points transfer to:

  • Air France-KLM
  • Asia Miles
  • Etihad Airways Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
  • Hilton HHonorsTM
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Virgin America Elevate

My favorite transfer partners are:

  • Singapore Airlines which offers their own members much better premium cabin award space on Singapore flights than other Star Alliance frequent flyer program members get, and which has real value United Airlines domestic and Hawaii awards in addition to Star Alliance awards generally.

    Citi ThankYou transfer partners
    Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 First Class

    Citi ThankYou transfer partners
    Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Suites Class

  • Etihad for their own first class awards.

    Citi ThankYou transfer partners

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is a valuable oneworld partner with its distance-based award chart. Cathay has talked about making more award space available to members with their own points.

    Citi ThankYou transfer partners

For folks whose points don’t transfer to miles, though, this is a neat new option without giving up too much value in the process.

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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Comments

  1. Thanks – this looks interesting. I need to keep the value of my 50k points from Citigold under $600 in value and this seems like a flexible way to spend it.

  2. I’ve had 0/1 successful points transfer(s) with TYP. (100k points to Etihad. Initiated on 1/18. Case opened on 2/1. They sent a fax to Etihad, and told me that they have until 2/8 to try to resolve it. By which time, my currently-available award will probably be gone.)

    I have no idea if this is common, the agents have varying reports whether these disputes are frequent. They’re always friendly, but I get the vibe that they’re reealllly dis-empowered. All they can do is enter notes in the case and wish me luck. Even supervisors.

    Anyhow, I might start to discount the value of the points if it takes me multiple hours, escalations, phonecalls and frustration to redeem them. I hope my next transfer is better. If not, I’ll consider liquidating the remainder on gift cards. =\

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