TPG reader question: It is more lucrative to convert Citi Double Cash rewards to ThankYou points?
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A cash-back credit card is sometimes not just a cash-back credit card.
In some cases, pairing a no-annual-fee cash-back card with a more premium, annual-fee card can unlock the ability to do even more with your rewards.
Take the Citi® Double Cash Card, for instance. On paper, the card earns a solid 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% at the time of purchase and another 1% when you pay your balance. But that only partially tells the story of this card.
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I earn cash-back rewards on the Citi Double Cash. How can transfering this into ThankYou points be more valuable and get me a 3.4% return? Wouldn’t it be better just to use my cash back as a statement credit?
First, let’s walk through the various ways you can redeem your cash-back rewards with Citi.
Some popular cash-back options include redeeming rewards as a statement credit towards your next bill or towards travel on the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal.
However, you can also convert your cash back to ThankYou points via a linked ThankYou account. Through this conversion, $1 of cash rewards becomes 100 Citi ThankYou points.
How ThankYou points can be better than cash back
So what’s the big deal with using ThankYou points?
Well, if you only had the Citi Double Cash card, then it’s not really that lucrative. Besides statement credits and gift cards, points can only be used to transfer to a limited array of partners such as JetBlue (at a paltry ratio of 1000 ThankYou points to 800 JetBlue TrueBlue points).
But here’s the kicker.
The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Doing the math
Here’s how this whole process works.
- First, you earn your 2% cash back with the Citi Double Cash.
- Next, you transfer your Double Cash rewards into ThankYou points.
- Then, you combine your ThankYou points with either the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige.
That’s how we come up with an effective 3.4% return when you buy and pay with your Citi Double Cash Card.
It’s not always better to transfer your rewards to airline partners. Sometimes, cold-hard cash rewards or a statement credit is preferred. But by at least converting your Double Cash rewards to ThankYou points, you open the door to an array of other redemption options.
Those options can help you truly maximize your ThankYou points — and by pairing your Double Cash card with another Citi card, this becomes possible.
Featured photo of Lufthansa First Class by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.
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