Citi Adds Restrictions On Sharing ThankYou Points With Others

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Citi ThankYou points are one of the four major transferrable points programs (along with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest), and can be racked up pretty easily with the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou Premier Card, given the bonus points they offer on everyday spend.

Citi-Prestige-Premier

One of the great things about Citi ThankYou points has long been that they can be shared with others. Not only can you pool your ThankYou points between various cards for an individual, but you can even transfer your ThankYou points to others who have a similar card, which is a great way to transfer points to someone else’s frequent flyer account.

I’ve written in the past about all the terms associated with transferring, sharing, and combining Citi ThankYou points. Up until now the only real restriction with sharing ThankYou points has been that the points expire 90 days after they’re transferred to someone else’s account, meaning you would want to redeem them before that.

However, Citi has just added a new restriction on sharing ThankYou points — you can now share at most 100,000 points with another member per calendar year. This doesn’t apply to transferring points between your own cards, but rather applies to sharing points with another cardmember. You can of course still transfer points to an airline or hotel partner, and then book a flight or hotel for someone else, as was the case before.

Per FlyerTalk, here are the updated terms:

The total number of points a member can share is 100,000 Points in a given calendar year and the total number of points a member can receive from other members is 100,000 Points in a given calendar year.

The Citi ThankYou program has taken quite a hit lately, in particular with the Citi Prestige® Card, given the reduction in benefits. It’s sad to see another negative change, though in this case I suspect it’s simply intended to counter people who were selling points. We’ve seen American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards also add restrictions on points transfers to others, so this isn’t a huge deal.

Bottom line

You can now only share 100,000 ThankYou points with another Citi ThankYou member. While I’ve transferred Citi ThankYou points between my own accounts, I haven’t transferred them to anyone else’s, so I don’t view it as a huge deal personally. Still, it’s certainly a negative change, even if justifiable (given that it’s targeted mostly at people who were selling points in bulk).

Did you ever use the option to share Citi ThankYou points with another member? Will you be impacted by this restriction?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

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Comments

  1. Can you still transfer with cards on the same household? I usually transfer my wife’s UR and SPG points into my account so it is easier to manage. I guess Citi is doing this to avoid people selling points to others.

  2. You at least would think Citi might allow unlimited transfers between persons in the same household (at the same mailing address, like SPG), but they seem to be failing again. Citi always was the worst of the major credit card issuing banks (perhaps tied with BofA), and this is just another reason to not seek out Citi products. I’ve never transferred TY points…but I sure want to be able to do so with my hubby when we need to!

    My hubby has the Prestige while I have the Premier…though we’re both debating whether it’s worth keeping them. The Prestige 4th night free/average night benefit still means we likely will keep the Prestige, but the fact that TY still has no major US carrier as a transfer partner is beginning to make me think that the Premier isn’t worth it.

    I’m still waiting to see if Citi TY adds Lufthansa as a transfer partner, since SPG is the only major transfer partner now and that transfer likely will disappear when Marriott merges fully with Starwood. If Citi TY adds Lufthansa, then they will keep me…or if they add American at long last (but seems doubtful now). If not, TY might be seeing the end of its better days as a good transferrable currency.

  3. Their posture on the award points cards has simply become “not aggressive.”

    They may feel that they have enough based on their goals, eh? Or feel they’re “paying” an appropriate amount already. They didn’t even get exclusivity from AA.

  4. Off topic, but I logged into my Citi account today and they now have an offer for 5X points at clothing stores, computer & electronics stores, department stores and toy stores through Nov 30. Requires sign up.

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