Gift Cards at Shop Your Way – Quirky Redemptions and Solid Value
Shop Your Way points can be redeemed for a variety of third-party gift cards, as Stephen at GCGalore and Greg/Nick at Frequent Miler have recently reported. I have a Shop Your Way account that has been largely dormant, so I was curious to see how useful this type of redemption could be. I was pleasantly surprised by some undeniable value one can obtain from these redemptions, albeit from the quirky Shop Your Way website. After I summarize the deal, I’ll go over my initial observations of the capability and provide my overall take.
Update 11/16/20: Citi has devalued the transfer rate on ThankYou points from 1 ThankYou point for 12 Shop Your Way Rewards down to 1 for 10. This lessons the value to a penny per ThankYou point most of the time which means it is probably not a worthwhile redemption for most any more. HT FM
How Redemptions Work
Members can easily juice their Shop Your Way balances by transferring Citi ThankYou Points to Shop Your Way points at a 1:12 ratio. Don’t get too excited – Shop Your Way points are worth one-tenth of a cent per point when redeemed for gift cards. Long story short, 1 ThankYou point is worth 1.2 cents in gift cards via Shop Your Way redemptions. Of course, those of you who hold the Shop Your Way credit card will also want to incorporate your earnings into any redemption equation, as well. So, are these ThankYou to Shop Your Way transfers for Gift Card redemptions worth it? It depends. I’ll explain in my observations and overall take.
#1. The Variety of Gift Cards at Shop Your Way
The gift card selection, in cooperation with Raise, is substantial and varied. Along with the usual restaurant gift cards seemingly available on every redemption site, there are other great category options including food delivery, home improvement, department stores, and travel. Here are a few non-travel gift cards that immediately caught my eye:
- Google Play Store
- Uber Eats
- Barnes and Noble
- Caribou Coffee
- Home Depot
#2. Gift Cards in the Travel Category
Travel-related gift card selection is limited, but there are some useful options. Here are all of the travel gift cards available:
The main highlights (to me) are Southwest Airlines, Hotels.com, and Uber.
#3. Single Redemptions Are Fast and Smooth
From transferring Citi ThankYou points to actually receiving your gift card, the process is very quick. My transfer of ThankYou points to Shop Your Way points showed up instantaneously. After I made the ThankYou point transfer, my Shop Your Way points immediately appeared when I refreshed the website. I redeemed my points for one Walmart gift card, and I immediately received it via email. But why just “single” redemptions? Because….
#4. The Quirkiness of the Shop Your Way Website
The Shop Your Way website only allows one gift card per redemption order. You can’t even pick more than one in quantity of the same gift card! Also, gift card values mostly top out in the $45-50 denomination. I only found one gift card for a value higher than that – a $100 Carnival Cruises gift card (no, thanks).
#5. Good News For Citi Rewards+ Cardholders
As a Citi Rewards+ cardholder, I received my points back email a few minutes after my Shop Your Way redemption. The card’s 10% points back feature on the first 100k of point redemptions effectively boosts the ThankYou point value from 1.2 cpp to 1.32 cpp.
I’m happy to have another solid option for redeeming ThankYou points, particularly when the Premier’s 25% extra point value disappears in April 2021. If this Shop Your Way option continues indefinitely, I plan to continue these redemptions long term. The one card redemption limit is a bit cumbersome, but the fast processing time of each order makes up for it, in my opinion. For my plans, this is a great redemption, but Shop Your Way is making me work for it.
Others should carefully consider other discount gift card options (via grocery stores, promos, etc) prior to redeeming for a given brand on the site. Those other discounts can effectively make a Shop Your Way redemption less valuable for a given redemption. People who like to redeem for non-travel related rewards win big here, getting an additional 20% value (at least) from ThankYou points.
Gift Cards at Shop Your Way – Conclusion
Big picture, I assess these Shop Your Way redemptions as an overall positive. I’m all for more options for redeeming rewards currencies, and this option creates more opportunities. I’ll be more confident in this redemption option based on it’s long term stability. Are you planning to redeem Shop Your Way points for gift cards?