New (to me) Thank You point redemption options
February 9, 2009
It just occurred to me that I should take a look-see at my Thank You points: earnings rates and redemption value.
The rate of TY points accrual depends on two things: my spending and my use of Citi products. The former is dictated by monthly expenses and needs, so it ebbs and flows naturally. The latter is dictated by whether or not I remember to pay at least one bill from my Citi checking account. When I remember, I earn 400 points a month, when I don’t, it’s only 200. With the addition of a Citi CD, though, I’ve been bumped up to the 600-points-per-month tier. Miniscule, but still points.
Looks like my Diamond Preferred card is still earning me two points per dollar, that’s cool. The double points promotion was a result of my cancellation spree last year, who knows if I can sweet talk them into giving it to me for another year.
On to the rewards!!
I just want a GC that will defray my everyday costs: nothing frivolous and at a 1 point: 1 dollar redemption ratio.
Gas cards are my first choice now …. and completely gone. No BP, no Shell. Dang! Oh wait, they have a Sunoco card, but I don’t think we have that here in California. After checking the site, it looks like their cards can only be used at Sunoco stations, unlike BP cards which can be redeemed at Arco stations. Ah well.
If that no-wrinkle ladies’ shirt from Brooks Brothers truly doesn’t wrinkle, it might be worth picking up a $100 card. I used to like ironing, but not anymore. Bed, Bath and Beyond and Macy’s are still going for $100/10,000 as well.
Amazon: $50/6000 – handy for ordering birthday and Christmas gifts
CVS: $50/6000 – if I wanted to start doing the CVS Extra Care game, this could get me started without using cash of my own.
Banana Republic: $50/6000 – nice to have one or two GC for BR around in case of awesome clearance sales.
It’s a shame that the redemptions are getting both scarce and … sort of pathetic. It’s the ongoing entropy of any loyalty program, though, they always tend to reduced value over time. Meantime, I’ll keep an eye out for newer, better programs, like Chase’s Cash Plus card which gives me five points per dollar at gas stations, grocery and drugstores. That gives actual cash back.
Note: The WSJ just ran an article on the banks’ pulling back of rewards.