UPDATE Sept. 23, 2019: Holders of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer now have access to this rewards conversion feature. Below is our article from July 8, 2019, on the announcement of the feature, updated to reflect details including the transfer ratio.
The popular Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, an excellent cash-back credit card, now allows cardholders to transfer those rewards to Citi’s ThankYou points program, effectively at a 1:1 ratio.
You must have at least $1 in cash back rewards to transfer, but there’s no maximum limit. Conversions from cash back to points are non-reversible.
And if you didn’t already have a ThankYou points account? No worries. Citi has already set up one for you and linked it to your Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. (If you’re not interested in having such an account, you can call Citi and ask for it to be closed.)
Is converting to ThankYou points a good deal?
It certainly could be. NerdWallet values ThankYou points at an average of 1 cent each, depending on what you redeem them for. Redemption options include travel, gift cards and more. But cash is a more flexible currency than any reward points, including ThankYou points, because you can spend it on anything — so a key to converting this card’s cash rewards into ThankYou points would be to get back more than the cash value.
The $0-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has the potential to provide that outsize value, given the 1:1 transfer ratio. That means you essentially earn 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent — just as the card now earns 2% cash back per dollar spent: 1% when you make a purchase, and another 1% back when you pay it off.
Depending on which other Citi cards you have and where you’re likely to travel, you might get good value from using Citi’s travel-booking site or transferring points to its multiple airline partners.
For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is useful now in a larger ThankYou points-earning “system.” Let’s say you have both that card and the Citi Premier℠ Card. ThankYou points earned on the latter card are worth a higher-than-industry-standard 1.25 cents each when redeemed for airfare via the Citi ThankYou Travel Center. If you combine ThankYou points from both Citi cards, this becomes a valuable pairing for flights.
The same is true for point transfers to other travel programs. In terms of travel partners, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer allows transfers of ThankYou points only to JetBlue. But if you had a Citi Premier℠ Card or Citi Prestige® Card, you could combine your ThankYou accounts and redeem points earned by the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer with one of those higher-end cards, which have many more transfer partners. (Keep in mind, though, that JetBlue is Citi’s only domestic partner.)
Also notable to travelers: Citi axed a number of travel benefits and protections from its credit cards as of this year. And the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%.
Regardless of this new transfer option, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a perennial NerdWallet top pick among cash-back credit cards for its high rate and its simplicity. Of course, choosing to strategically transfer rewards to ThankYou points adds a layer of complexity.