If you have credit cards that earn points in the Citi ThankYou program, you probably already know just how versatile these rewards can be. You can use points from cards like the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige to book travel through the Citi portal, redeem for gift cards, cash in for statement credits, or shop for merchandise. Most importantly though, you can transfer your points to airline partners like Air France/Flying Blue.
If you dive into the Citi ThankYou program handbook, however, there are actually more ways to redeem your points than you might expect. Some of the redemptions that caught my eye include:
Payments Toward Student Loans
According to Citi’s terms and conditions, you can “redeem points for a check to pay your student loans” in denominations of $25, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500, $750 and $1000.
Checks are payable to your financial lending institution, and they’re valid for 180 days.
Payments Toward Mortgage Loans
You can also ask for a check to your mortgage lender in the same $25, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500, $750, and $1,000 increments. These checks are valid for 180 days and you can mail them alongside your regular mortgage payment.
Make a Charitable Contribution
You can also use your points to make a charitable contribution to participating charities of your choice, although you can only do so in increments of $25, $50, $75, and $100. Checks are valid for 180 days, and you must work with a “participating” charity defined by Citi.
Shouldn’t You Use Your Points for Travel?
Ideally, you should strive to use your Citi ThankYou points for some type of travel, whether that means booking airfare or hotels through the Citi portal or trying to utilize one of the program’s airline partners. However, we all know that travel plans don’t always work out how we wish.
I’ve known many people over the years who have earned travel rewards for no reason. They hoped to book a specific trip when they signed up for a specific card, but life ended up getting in the way somehow. For example, I’ve known people who lost their jobs right before they were preparing to plan a big trip, and I’ve also known people who used credit cards the wrong way and wound up in debt. In that type of situation, it’s a lot better to redeem your points for mortgage payments or student loans versus a trip that’s going to require you to spend money you don’t have.
At the end of the day, this is really why I like flexible travel programs so much to begin with. You can use your points for lucrative travel options if you want to, but you don’t have to.
Have you ever used points for student loans or mortgage payments? Why or why not?
[Featured Image: Shutterstock]
Source: frugal travel guy