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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Premier Card
If you’re looking to earn significant Citi ThankYou Rewards points, credit cards can be a big help. For instance, the 60,000-point offer currently available on the Citi Premier Card can get you well on your way to some awesome premium-cabin flights.
But 1 million Citi points is a whole different ballgame. You could go for years putting all your spending — and your authorized users’ spending — on ThankYou point-earning cards and not make a million points. But one lucky person is going to strike it rich through Citi’s new “Feel Like a Million Points” sweepstakes, and several others are going to take home big chunks of ThankYou points as well.
Here are the details: Now through August 31, visit thankyou.com/sweepstakes to enter for your chance to win up to 1 million Citi points by simply logging in and filling out the entry form with your name and email address. To participate, you must be a Citi ThankYou Rewards member as of July 31, 2018. Only one person is getting a million points, but several others will win as well. These are the three tiers of prizes:
- Grand prize (1 winner): 1 million Citi ThankYou points
- Second prize (3 winners): 500,000 Citi points
- Third prize (10 winners): 100,000 Citi points
So in total, Citi’s giving away 3,500,000 points. Based on my valuations, 1 million Citi points are worth a whopping $17,000, while 500,000 ThankYou points are worth $8,500 and even 100,000 ThankYou points are valued at $1,700. That’s a ton of free flights and hotel stays.
Options for Redeeming 1 Million Citi Points
Since the points being given away via this sweepstakes are taxable, you won’t be able to transfer them to Citi’s 15 airline partners. Instead, you can use the points through the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal to book flights, hotels and more. If you have a premium Citi card such as the Citi Prestige or the Citi Premier, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point in value when you redeem through the portal — with other cards you’ll get 1 cent per point (that’s also how much you’ll get per point toward gift cards, no matter which Citi card you hold).
You’re virtually unlimited when it comes to options for redeeming Citi points through the travel portal, since you have so many airline and hotel options (not to mention cars, cruises and activities), but here’s an example that puts those 1 million points to use across three trips. This assumes you have the Citi Prestige, which gets the highest-possible redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point, plus includes the 4th Night Free benefit on hotel bookings.
Part 1: Kauai’s North Shore With the Family
You could book round-trip economy flights on Alaska Airlines from the West Coast to Hawaii for a family of four for approximately 125,000 points (based on sample travel dates in early September).
Book a stay at the St. Regis Princeville, a favorite among TPG staffers. Based on those same dates in September, a seven-night stay would set you back about 370,824 points — factoring in the free night available courtesy of the Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free benefit.
Total points used: 495,824
Part 2: Tokyo for Cherry Blossom Season
Let’s say this is an adults-only trip, so we’re looking at two round-trip tickets. You’d easily spend more than 500,000 Citi points on most carriers if you book premium-cabin seats during this high-demand travel period, but if you can stomach economy, it’ll set you back a much more reasonable amount, such as 123,329 points for two round-trips on ANA between LAX and Narita. And if seeing the blossoms isn’t a high priority, you’d likely be able to lock in cheaper premium-cabin redemptions on different dates.
Accommodation options are already a bit limited for sakura season, but you could score seven nights at the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel for a total of 199,324 Citi points, factoring in the 4th Night Free perk.
Total points used: 322,653 points, for a running total of 818,477 points used for both trips
Part 3: NYC and the Hudson Valley
Two economy-class nonstops on American Airlines’ LAX-JFK transcon route would set you back 53,184 points total.
Spend three nights in the Big Apple (you wouldn’t be able to use the 4th Night Free perk but hey, you’re a points millionaire) at the James New York – Nomad for a total of 74,911 points. Then, head upstate to the Hudson Valley for two nights at The Croff House Bed & Breakfast for 54,762 points total.
Total points used: 182,857 points would cover this New York trip, and our running total is now at 1,001,334 — just a hair above the million-point mark. But since you need to be a Citi ThankYou member to be eligible for this sweepstakes, you’ll probably have some points in your account beyond the 1-million lump sum. If you’re working with more points, you could easily tack on a car rental from about 9,000 points per day.
You have until August 31 to enter for your chance to win 1 million Citi ThankYou points by visiting thankyou.com/sweepstakes and completing the entry form. All you have to do to be eligible is have a Citi ThankYou Rewards account as of July 31. Good luck!
Featured image of Hawaii by Getty Images.
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