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Warning-Citi ThankYou Reward Bank Offer Bait and Switch
Last year I got an offer from Citibank to sign up for a checking account and earn 50,000 CitiThankyou Rewards. I was saving for our down payment and happened to have the liquid cash needed to get the offer. I also have a Citi Premier card and got a 60,000 sign up bonus. I’m looking to transferring my Citi Thankyou points to Singapore and just found out that I cannot transfer the 50,000 points I earned from my banking bonus to airline partners. Citibank pools all the Thankyou Reward Points into one account and this major detail is not made clear when you sign up for the Banking offer. It’s really a false advertising bait and switch. I can still use the Banking points to credit toward travel charges etc but that is not nearly as useful as transferring to an airline partner.
Just wanted to make sure everyone knows about this.
Here’s a screen shot of my CitiThank You point balance. From the account there is nothing that would indicate 50,000 of those 112,000 points couldn’t be used with airline partners.[ATTACH=full]690[/ATTACH]
Hi Alex, I’ve definitely heard about the banking points not being transferable so I’m not sure it’s a bait and switch. Certainly frustrating if you didn’t know though. Citi should probably rename them to avoid confusion.
Also, I don’t have a checking and savings account with them but I’ve always had separate TYP accounts for each card that I have (although the option to merge them exists). Do the banking TYP automatically get added to your card based TYP?
[QUOTE=”Gaurav, post: 66502, member: 79″]Hi Alex, I’ve definitely heard about the banking points not being transferable so I’m not sure it’s a bait and switch. Certainly frustrating if you didn’t know though. Citi should probably rename them to avoid confusion.
Also, I don’t have a checking and savings account with them but I’ve always had separate TYP accounts for each card that I have (although the option to merge them exists). Do the banking TYP automatically get added to your card based TYP?[/QUOTE]
When I signed up for the banking account online I had to called Citibank to give me online account access. They had me create a new user name and merged both accounts including the CitiThankYou Rewards. Now when I view points they are all grouped together.
Also, it was not clear from the Citibank marketing material that the Banking points couldn’t be used for airline transfers. It might have been in the fine print but why would I assume that they would limit the use of the points? It’s like saying I would earn a $10 cash bonus and then after the fact saying I can only use the $10 at the company store. It’s not longer really $10 but in fact a $10 credit toward certain uses different from what $10 would buy me. They should really call them Citi Thankyou Cash Points or something else to differenciate them.[ATTACH]691[/ATTACH]
[USER=5975]@Alex1975[/USER] – Thanks for this information. This “fuzzy” disclosure issue is not limited to Citibank. I find myself more and more relying on blogs and other online reviews of various products before diving in head first on these types of offers. I’ve been saved many times from making mistakes about products that are misrepresented in the marketing pitches. Although, I most enjoy reading airline, hotel and lounge reviews here on OMAAT, probably the most useful stuff are the card reviews.