Should you buy Citi ThankYou Points for 2.5 cents each?

ThankYou Points got a whole lot more valuable and more interesting last month when Citi announced that people with a Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige®, or Citi Chairman card can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to:

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points.

There are some amazing redemptions with Singapore miles like booking Singapore Suites, booking United flights to Central America with free one ways to Hawaii, and booking United flights to South America with free one ways to Hawaii.

  • How can you buy ThankYou Points?
  • Are they a good deal for 2.5 cents?
  • How can you get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier?

How to Buy ThankYou Points

At thankyou.com, select Ways to Earn Points from the About menu.

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One of the options will be to Buy Points.

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After signing in, you’ll be offered the chance to buy up to 5,000 points in 1,000 point increments for 2.5 cents per points.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 3.26.06 PMTo purchase more than 5,000 points, call 800-THANKYOU. You can buy up to 100,000 points per calendar year.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 1.37.10 PMAre ThankYou Points a good deal for 2.5 cent each?

The short answer is that there are very few awards for which you’d get good value from buying all the points for 2.5 cents each. Topping off an account with a few thousand points when you’re just short of the miles you need is more likely to be a good deal.

Let’s run through some examples.

Hilton Category 1 & 2 Redemptions

ThankYou Points transfer 1:1.5 to Hilton points. Category 1 Hiltons cost 5,000 points per night at Category 2s are 10,000 points. These hotels are adequate and great value for so few points.

Buying 10,000 ThankYou Points for $250 would transfer to 15,000 Hilton points, which is enough for three nights at a Category 1 hotel. While there are some Category 1 hotels for more than $83 per night, this would be a tiny savings if a savings at all.

You’d need to pay $500 for three nights at a Category 2 hotel, and $167 per night for those hotels is probably more than just paying the going rate online.

For more info on Category 1 & 2 Hilton stays and Category 9 & 10 too, see The Only Two Good Hilton Strategies.

Singapore Awards on United Flights

The best economy deal is a roundtrip to Central America in economy plus two one ways to Hawaii (or vice versa) for 35,000 Singapore miles + taxes + $100. Buying points for 2.5 cents each would make this award cost about $1,000 all in.

That is a probably cheaper than paid tickets, but again, not by much.

The best business class deal is a roundtrip to Southern South America in flat bed business plus two one ways to Hawaii in First Class for 80,000 Singapore miles + taxes + $100. Buying points for 2.5 cents each would make this award cost about $2,200 all in.

This is almost certainly a steep discount on the price of similar paid tickets, but it isn’t exactly cheap.

If the best deals with ThankYou Points transfer partners are, at best, marginal deals when you buy the ThankYou Points for 2.5 cents each, that rules out buying huge quantities of ThankYou Points to get cheap travel.

Buying Points to Top Off the Account

The only way to get really great value from buying ThankYou Points for 2.5 cents each is to buy very small quantities, like 1,000, when you just need a tiny top off to book a fantastic high-value award from the account of a transfer partner.

Imagine you had 79,000 Singapore miles and wanted to book roundtrip to Southern South America in flat bed business plus two one ways to Hawaii in First Class for 80,000 Singapore miles + taxes + $100. Paying $25 more to get the last 1,000 miles would be fantastic.

Bottom Line

You can buy up to 100,000 ThankYou Points per year for 2.5 cents each. You probably shouldn’t buy more than a few thousand as a way to top off your account for a specific redemption if you buy any at all.