Your Questions Answered
All of this week I am going to be answering reader’s questions. To ask a question yourself, feel free to leave a comment over on this original post.
Transferring Citi ThankYou Points & Removing Restrictions
Today’s question comes from Andrew G. who asked:
There are some different types of Citi ThankYou points. Specifically, there are the ones you earn from credit cards (transferable to airline/hotel partners) and those earned from CitiGold accounts (checking, mortgage, money market, etc). If I transfer all of my points to my wife, will the annoying points that don’t transfer then become transferable?
This is a great question, because many people don’t really know that there are different types of ThankYou points. Citi generally classifies ThankYou points in two ways. The first type of points are normal ThankYou points which are earned generally from credit cards. The second type are known as Taxable Points.
Here is how Citi defines these taxable points:
Taxable Points are points obtained through activity unrelated to purchases with your Citi credit card, as well as points received for a Citibank consumer checking relationship and bonus points that may be awarded for opening new Citi Accounts or for signing up for new Citi Account services.
One of the main restrictions on these points is that they are unable to be transferred to travel partners. Why? Because Citi needs to place a value on them and by making them flexible that value would vary. To avoid any tax issues, these points are simply restricted.
Will Sharing Remove the Restrictions?
But the question is a good one. Citi has a feature called point sharing where you can share your points with another member. Keep in mind that shared points expire after 90 days, so this is not something to do unless you know the points will be used quickly. Still, if you could combine the points and then book something without a restriction that would be great! So will Citi allow it?
No, unfortunately not. To avoid any issues with these types of points, Citi has simply blocked them from sharing altogether. Here is how they put it:
Taxable Points and points that are made unavailable for redemption due to signs of fraud, abuse or suspicious activity in your ThankYou Member Account or due to your failure to make the required minimum payment due on your participating Citi® credit card account by the payment due date are not eligible to be shared.
In other words, you are stuck with the points and their restrictions. While it would be nice to find a loophole here, I understand Citi’s policies. By keeping these points separate, they are making sure that you don’t end up with an unexpected 1099 at the end of the year. I don’t think you want a 1099 for the retail cost of that Singapore Airlines Suites flight!
Thanks Andrew and don’t forget to ask your own questions!