Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep ThankYou points alive.

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I’m a huge fan of transferable points programs, (like Citi ThankYou points).  These are programs that allow you to transfer points to multiple loyalty programs at a fair exchange rate.  By collecting points in these programs, you have the ability to book travel opportunistically.  When you’re ready to book an award flight, you can search for award availability on almost any airline, then find the best program for booking that award (the best program is often a partner to the airline you plan to fly).  Then, hopefully you have transferable points that transfer to that program so that you can book the trip.  For reference, here are our guides to each of the most popular transferable points programs:

I also like signing up for credit cards in order to earn big signup bonuses.  Often, cards are worth getting for their signup bonus, but aren’t worth keeping for a second year due to their annual fee.  When points are earned in airline or hotel programs, there is no risk of losing your points when you cancel your card.  With bank programs, though, there’s a big risk.  Each of the above guides includes a section titled “How to keep points alive”, but I believe that Citi’s ThankYou program requires a bit more info…

Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Citi ThankYou Prestige

What’s new

I’ve updated this post to include information about a weird quirk that happens when you product change from one Citi ThankYou card to another.  When you do so, the ThankYou program incorrectly shows that your points will expire within 60 days.  The solution is simply to wait it out until the system correctly shows that the points won’t expire.

Citi ThankYou Rewards background

With Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program, you can earn points from multiple different credit cards or from Citi bank accounts (but bank account points are not eligible for transfers to airline programs).  Once earned from multiple sources, you can pool points together in one ThankYou account.  This is handy, but it doesn’t change the fact that Citi continues to track the origin of each point.  If you cancel a card, all points earned from that card will expire 60 days after cancellation.

Citi offers two premium cards that allow ThankYou point transfers to loyalty programs:

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
Citi ThankYou Prestige Card

FM Mini Review: The Prestige card's best in class 5X rewards for dining, airfare, and travel agencies is hard to beat. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Annual Fee: $495

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ⚬ 3X hotels and cruise line ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: $250 travel rebate per calendar year ⚬ Free lounge access: Citi Properietary Lounges; and Priority Pass Select with free guests ⚬ $100 Global Entry application fee credit ⚬ 4th night free hotel benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi Premier Card

FM Mini Review: Very strong earnings for spend. Excellent bonus categories. Points transferable to select airlines. Recommend pairing this card with Citi Double Cash and Citi Rewards+. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X grocery ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 3X gas stations ⚬ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies

Noteworthy perks: Transfer points to airline partners ⚬ $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Citi also offers multiple fee-free ThankYou Rewards cards that do not allow loyalty point transfers (with a couple of not very good exceptions).

It’s important to note that points earned from fee-free ThankYou cards are fully transferable if pooled together with premium cards (Premier or Prestige).

For an up to date list of all Citi transfer partners, including any current transfer bonuses, please see: Citi Transfer Partners.

The cancelled card problem

Unlike Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, there is no way to keep points alive in the form of ThankYou points when you cancel the card from which you earned those points.  Points from a closed credit card expire 60 days after cancellation.

Moving points to another account is not the solution

Citi allows ThankYou points to be moved freely from one person’s account to another, but they then impose a 90 day expiration window on those points.  If you cancel the card that generated those points, your points will still expire 60 days after cancellation or 90 days after transfer, whichever comes first.

Pooling (combining) points is not the solution

If you are the primary account holder with multiple Citi ThankYou cards, you can combine ThankYou Rewards accounts.  When your points are combined, they can then automatically be redeemed at the same value as your best card.  For example, if one of your cards is the Premier card, and have combined ThankYou accounts, then you’ll get a 20% point discount (1.25 cents per point value) on travel booked with points even if the points were earned on a card other than the Premier card.

Unfortunately, even after you combine your points into one ThankYou account, points are still tracked per card.  So, if you then cancel one of your cards, you’ll still lose all of the points that were earned on that particular account.

Ideal solution: call for valuable retention offer

Call Citi to say that you’re considering cancelling your card (don’t say that to the automated system: some people have had their cards cancelled automatically this way!). Once you confirm (to a human) that you want to cancel, they should transfer you to a retention specialist.  This person can check the computer to see if any good retention offers have been loaded to your account.

Don’t accept the first offer they read to you.  There are often several offers to choose from, but you may have to keep asking.  If you get a retention offer that is more valuable than the annual fee, then consider keeping the card for another year.  This is the easiest way to preserve your points and keep them valuable.

Next best solution: downgrade to a no-fee card

An easy way to keep your points alive and to avoid an annual fee is to simply downgrade to a no-fee ThankYou card.  At the time of this writing, the options that will preserve your points are the ThankYou Preferred Card, Rewards+ Card, and the AT&T Access Card.  For most people, the Rewards+ card is the best option.  See: Citi Rewards+ is a great companion to Premier or Prestige.

Important re Double Cash: Downgrading to the no-fee Citi Double Cash card will not preserve your points.  Even though the Double Cash card does let you convert cash back to ThankYou points, it is not considered a full fledged ThankYou card.  See also: Citi Double Cash Complete Guide.

Important re Points Expiry: Citi product changes result in a weird transition period quirk. Soon after product changing from one ThankYou card to another, you can log into your account and you’ll see that your points will expire within 60 days.  Don’t panicYour points won’t really expire.  Wait a few more weeks and you’ll see that the points no longer have an expiration date.

The downside to downgrading to a no-fee card, of course, is that this makes your points far less valuable.  Unless you still have another premium card, you won’t be able to transfer points to loyalty programs.

There are a few ways to make those ThankYou points valuable again:

  1. Sign up for another premium card.  Once you get a new premium card, you can pool together the associated ThankYou accounts and once again transfer your points to loyalty programs.  In order to get a new signup bonus for a card you’ve had before, you must wait 24 months from when you last received a welcome bonus for a ThankYou Rewards card or last closed a ThankYou Rewards card account.  Product changes sometimes reset the clock because you may be issued a new card number.  When that happens, Citi treats the event as if you closed the previous card.
  2. Move points to a relative or friend who has a premium card, so that they can book for you.  If you want to transfer points to a loyalty program to redeem for awards, they can transfer your points (that you sent to them) to their own loyalty account and book the award for you from there.  Keep in mind that once you move your points to another person’s account, those points will expire in 90 days if not used.  Also keep in mind that there is a 100,000 point per year limit to point sharing.
  3. Upgrade to the Premier or Prestige.  A third option is to upgrade your no-fee card to the Premier or Prestige card. Whether or not Citi will offer you this option depends upon your unique situation.

Third best solution: Transfer points to a valuable program

If there’s an airline program with which you are confident you can get great value from your points, consider transferring your points to that program before cancelling your premium card.  I don’t like this option because it locks you in to just one airline program instead of giving you the full flexibility that transferable points offer.  Still, if you’d rather go this way, here are the options available to you:

Best Citi Transfer Partners

The following transfer partners represent the best potential value in my opinion.

Rewards ProgramBest Uses
Air France KLM Flying BlueMonthly Air France Promo Awards often represent very good value. Air France miles can be used to book Sky Team awards, including Delta awards. Air France offers very good business class award pricing between the US and Europe & Israel.
Avianca LifeMilesAvianca LifeMiles can be great for Star Alliance awards. They offer reasonable award prices and no fuel surcharges on awards. They also offer shorthaul awards within the US (for flying United, for example) for as few as 7,500 miles one-way. Best of all, their mixed-cabin pricing can lead to fantastic first-class award prices. See this post for details.
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesCathay Pacific has a decent distance based award chart, but they no longer allow stopovers longer than 24 hours. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be a good option for booking American Airlines flights with a distance based award chart, especially if other OneWorld Alliance miles aren't available. For long distance flights, it is possible to reduce the cost of first class by adding on a business class flight. See this post for details.

Useful Citi Transfer Partners

The following transfer partners can offer great value under certain circumstances:

Rewards ProgramBest Uses
British Airways AviosWhile flights on British Airways itself often incur outrageously high fuel surcharges, many BA partners charge low or no fuel surcharges. Excellent value can be had in redeeming BA points for short distance flights. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar. See also: Complete guide to Avios - British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
ChoiceChoice Privileges points seem to be randomly valuable within the US, but dependably valuable internationally in expensive locations such as Scandinavia and Japan
Emirates SkywardsThe best use of Emirates miles has been to fly Emirates itself. Unfortunately fuel surcharges can be steep. See: Emirates Sweet Spot Awards - First class from 30K miles round trip. Another great use is to book JetBlue Mint flights. See: Book JetBlue Mint (including Mint Studio) with Emirates miles.
Etihad GuestEtihad has a very competitive award chart for American Airlines flights, among others.  For example, they charge only 50,000 miles one-way for business class flights from North America to Europe. Partner awards must be booked over the phone.
EVA Air Infinity MileageLandsIf you want to fly one of the best business class products in the sky, the best way to snag EVA flights is with their own miles since they release more award space to their own members. One-way business class flights from the US to Taipei cost 75K to 80K miles. Fuel surcharges are very low on these routes.
Iberia AviosIberia offers very low award prices on their own flights. Round trip partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well. Fuel surcharges are often lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar.  See also: Complete guide to Avios - British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
JetBlueJetBlue points offer the most value when cheap ticket prices are available and when award taxes are high relative to the overall cost of the ticket (more details can be found here). The JetBlue Plus Card and the JetBlue Business Card offer a 10% rebate on awards, so you can get more value by holding one of these cards. JetBlue points can also be transferred to Amtrak 2 to 1 (with Amtrak points worth up to 2.9 cents each, this transfer can offer good value).
Qantas Frequent FlyerBest use is probably for flights on El Al with no fuel surcharges. Also useful for short AA flights. Qantas offers distance based award charts similar to Cathay Pacific. Both are OneWorld Alliance members. I recommend comparing award prices across both programs before transferring to either. Qantas offers round the world business class awards for only 280,000 points (but with many restrictions)
Qatar Privilege Club AviosQatar has reasonable award prices for flying Qatar itself. Points are now transferable 1 to 1 to British Airways (and from there to Aer Lingus or Iberia)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyerUse to book Singapore Airlines First Class awards (generally reserved for their own members), Alaska Airlines economy awards, or for Star Alliance awards (including United Airlines).
Turkish Airlines Miles & SmilesMiles & Smiles offers a number of awesome sweet-spot awards including 7.5K one-way anywhere within the US, even to Hawaii. Many awards cannot be booked online but can be booked via phone or email. See: Turkish Miles & Smiles Complete Guide and Turkish business class sweet spots from the US.
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubVirgin Atlantic offers a few great sweet spot awards including ANA first class between the US and Japan for as low as 55K points one-way; and US to Europe on Delta One business class for 50K points one-way. See: Best uses for Virgin Atlantic points (Sweet Spot Spotlight).
WyndhamWyndham often allows booking multi-room suites for the same price as a standard room. It's sometimes possible to get great value from points in that way. Bonus: award nights are not subject to resort fees. Additionally, you can book Vacasa vacation rentals for only 15K points per room per night. Wyndham Earner cards offer automatic 10% discount on award stays.

The Other Transfer Partners

Here are the transfer partners that didn’t make my “best of” list, above. Note that some of these are still worth considering under certain circumstances.

Rewards ProgramBest Uses
Aer Lingus AviosAer Lingus shares the "Avios" currency with British Airways and Iberia. In most cases it is best to move points to one of those programs in order to book awards for less.  See also: Complete guide to Avios - British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
AeroMexico ClubPremierAeroMexico is a SkyTeam partner. Club Premier points can be used to book flights on AeroMexico, SkyTeam alliance members (such as Delta or Korean Air), or on select partner airlines. Unfortunately many have reported that awards are extremely difficult to book through AeroMexico so we do not recommend transferring points to this program. If you want to fly AeroMexico, look to transfer points to another SkyTeam partner (such as Air France) and then book AeroMexico with that program.
Jet Airways Inter MilesJetAirways JetPrivilege miles are useful only for a few very specific cases such as certain flights to Hawaii for as low as 15K (30K business) one-way, or to the Caribbean or Central America for as low as 10K (20K business) one-way. Details can be found here.
Malaysia EnrichGiven Malaysia's award chart devaluation in June 2017, I'm not aware of any good uses for these miles.
Shop Your Way RewardsDon't do it. Shop Your Way points can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards. That said, unless Shop Your Way starts offering discounted gift cards, there's no point in converting transferrable points to Shop Your Way.
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid PlusI'm not aware of any good uses for these miles

Please also see: Pick a single transfer partner for each program’s points.

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Matthew

Thank you for putting in the note about ‘Important re Points Expiry‘ because I recently did a product change on two Citi cards and got very concerned. Thankfully a quick google search pulled up this article.

Frank

If you downgrade to the no-fee card, make sure to make a transaction every few months to keep it active! Citi closes inactive accounts without advance warning and then you only have 60 days to redeem the points.

MatCyr

Hi Greg – have loved your site for a long time but commenting for the first time. If I want to cancel the Premier card, it’s best to apply for Reward+ card (to get the 10k points) and after getting the 10k points – call Citi to cancel the Premier card and transfer the points to Reward+ card – Am I thinking about this correctly?

Thank you!

Kim

Anyone done the conversion to Citi Premier to Rewards+ lately? We’re you able to keep the same CC # and did it preserve your TYPs? Did you experience the hiccup where the TYP website still shows the points as expiring within 60 days? TIA!

Kim

I was my own data point. Yes, the Service Rep was able to confirm immediately after the conversion that my card # remained the same and asserted that even if it did change, the product change could be reversed (immediately I imagine). Yes, I have kept my TY points, and yes, the TYP website shows the points as expiring within 60 days, which hopefully is just a hickup and won’t occur.

Brian

Is there any way to extend the expiration date of TYP earned from a checking account?

Aaron

currently in a middle of working on the min spend towards the signup bonus on my Premier card. just today i downgraded my Prestige to Rewards+ and received a new number. Am i now ineligible to receive the signup bonus on my Premier?

[…] transfers if I pooled them with the Premier. So I turned to these Frequent Miler’s guides (1 and 2). Highly recommended reads if you’re facing a similar […]

[…] Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep your points alive. […]

ktc

due to lack of planning, I first downgraded Prestige to DC (new acct #) 3 yrs after SUB, then converted Premier to Prestige (same acct #) a yr after SUB, did either or both reset my 24-month clock on SUB?

Buzz

This is a very timely article for me. I’ve had the Prestige since its heyday as the best card out there. Not so much anymore. In December, I applied for the Premier and got the 60k bonus. My Prestige annual fee comes due in August. I just don’t see the value in the card anymore. I can still break even by booking two 4th night free stays but I have the Chase Reserve and Hilton Aspire which are more valuable to me.

So, I’m going to hit them for retention and/or product change to Rewards +.

CaveDweller

Buzz
Yes, Prestige offered me Nutting for a reup . Was my best card for the 2 years I had it as Lounge passes which are a thing of the past.
Good Luck , I try again in 48 months,
CHEERs

Matt

I’m fairly certain Asiamiles eliminated stopovers >24 hours on one-way awards

Barry

My wife and I each have a Premier card that are each less than a year old. Can I only downgrade the card after it’s open for one year? Does Citi refund annual fees if they already post before downgrading? Thanks.

Barry

Thank-you for your quick reply.

Robin M

Greg, I have 24,000 on a Delta sky miles AmEx with an annual fee of $195, free partner round trip yearly. I don’t want to continue to pay this fee, but don’t want to lost the miles. Renews in September. Can I transfer these miles to another airline(American) or should I just take a flight?

Helen S

Thanks for the excellent article.
On Friday I called Citi to downgrade my Prestige to a ThankYou Preferred. The agent confirmed my TY points would transfer to the Preferred and would not expire. Called Citi on Saturday to confirm that $495 fee would be reversed (it was due that day); the agent said yes to $495 reversal but said my TY points would expire after 60 days because I had canceled my Prestige. I objected but agent insisted. I figured calling again on the weekend was pointless. Called again today, Monday; the agent said points would not expire; I explained conflicting info on this matter; the agent connected me to a ThankYou specialist who confirmed my Prestige TY points will not expire on the Preferred. Fingers crossed that all goes well.
Suggestion: call on a weekday, and if you have any doubts, ask to be connected to a ThankYou agent.

Bob

This is an informative post. There is one risk of losing all your Thank You points that is not mentioned here – the risk of Citibank closing your account(s) for any reason and losing all of your points. This recently happened to me. I have the American Airlines (AA) card, the no-fee card that earns thank you points and the Citi Prestige card. All were closed and I lost about 415,000 thank you points. The AA card transfer miles directly to your AAdvantage monthly so the risk of losing the points is low. I have earned about 800,000 AA miles over the life of my membership. If Citibank closes your account for any reason other than inactivity you will lose all your thank you points. If they close it due to inactivity you have 60 days to use or transfer the points. I don’t know why they closed my accounts. For my Prestige card I added three other authorize users at the cost of $75 each on top of the $450 annual fee. According to Citibank my account redeem about $1,300 in lounge access in 2019. So I am getting my money’s worth there. I pay off my accounts each month avoiding interest. I have wrote them to obtain the specific reason why they closed my accounts. My oldest card with them was from 2006 (14 years), the Prestige card was since 2016. Anyways… Be aware of this risk. Don’t hold your points in your thank you account too long.

Alexander

Did you ever get an answer?

Neil

Since you “revived” this article I’ve been going over the comments and a few quick questions:
1) I downgraded Premier obtained in Feb 2018 to Rewards+ last year. I earned the Premier bonus in April 2018. Card number stayed the same when I downgraded. Am I correct that I can open up a new Premier in May 2020 and earn a signup bonus.
2) I have a Prestige card I’ll eventually need to downgrade. Can I have more than 1 Rewards+ card?

Thank you!

Neil

Thanks Greg

Vlad

Hi, Greg. Thanks for a great article! If you product change and it results in a new account number, that’s going to count as a new line of credit on your credit report, right? And will also count as a new revolving credit line for Chase’s 5/24 purposes, right?

Jit

Hey Greg, need your advise!
I booked a return Qatar ticket from Thank you travel portal (DEL DFW) in Nov 19 utilizing all thank you points and rest with $ (64,969 Points + $194), and closed the credit card in Dec 19.
Now I might have to change the return flight (scheduled for May 1st week from DFW > DEL) because of this corona issue.
Please suggest what is the best option ? Should I call Qatar Airways or Citi Customer service

Anurag Goyal

My annual fee came up – Retention dept offered 10k points for 3k spend in 3 months. I took it since I’ll keep the card for a second year while I figure out what best to do with points (no current big travel plans).

Seth

Does anyone happen to know if downgrading with an account number change will result in the points expiring within 60 days? I asked the rep to check the Preferred, Rewards+, and Premier individually and he said that my account would go through a number change for all of those. However, he did state that as long as the account was the result of a product change instead of closed outright, the new account number will not matter in terms of forcing the points to expire in 60 days.

I have about 200,000 points saved up, so I’m trying to make sure I don’t get stuck in a situation where they expire or I’m forced to transfer out to a program that I’m not ready to use.

Thanks!

Kerri

But if you downgrade to a non-premium card, the TY points may be preserved, but you cannot transfer them to airlines, right?

Nick Reyes

If you don’t have any other premium cards, yes.

But, for example, maybe you have the Prestige and the Premier and you have your points pooled (so they’re all together in one Thankyou.com account). You decide you don’t want to keep paying both annual fees, so you downgrade the Prestige to the Rewards+ (no annual fee). Your points are preserved and since they are pooled with the Premier and you still have the Premier, you can still transfer to airlines.

If your downgrade means you will no longer have the Premier or Prestige, then you are correct that you will not be able to transfer them to airlines. However, you could always upgrade to the Premier again in the future and transfer to airlines again (or open a new Premier account and pool it with your existing points and then you can move them all to airlines).

Nick

My Prestige AF just hit and I would like to downgrade to the Double Cash to take advantage of the 2x earnings (I already have a Premier). My points between the two are already pooled, will I lose the ones earmarked from the Prestige if I went this route?

This highlighted section of the article gave me pause, “Important: Downgrading to the no-fee Citi Double Cash card will not preserve your points. Even though the Double Cash card does let you convert cash back to ThankYou points, it is not considered a full fledged ThankYou card.”

Not entirely sure if that’s applicable to my situation. Thanks!

Nick

Thanks for the quick reply Greg! I’m starting to read up on your articles regarding the Rewards+. Got rid of my AA world elite card long ago 🙁

nick

Hi Greg, I did the product change for my Prestige to the Rewards+ and the CSR said my points wouldn’t expire. Now that its been processed, I check my Citi account and it shows that a portion of my Prestige points are set to expire in <60 days (actually tomorrow 4/29 even though the account was changed on 4/22) due to a closure. Any idea what's going on?

nicholas lui

Hi Greg, I did the product change for my Prestige to the Rewards+ and the CSR said my points wouldn’t expire. Now that its been processed, I check my Citi account and it shows that a portion of my Prestige points are set to expire in <60 days (actually tomorrow 4/29 even though the account was changed on 4/22) due to a closure. Any idea what's going on?

nick

Had to call in and open a case with them. The agent said it is indeed a product change so nothing should have expired, she blamed it on the Thank You side of the house.

Moose

Same thing here. Downgraded my Prestige to Reward+ after no retention offer. Downgraded on 4/27 and now showing 100k points expiring on 5/4 due to Prestige closure. On the phone with rep right now to fix the problem. Perhaps Frequent Miler can write a post on this since I’m thinking many people might close Prestige accounts now due to lack of retention offer (from what I gathered right now Citi is not giving out retention offers on Prestige based upon data points recently).

Moose

The rep sent a ticket to the Thankyou points department and put a note into my account. He did not know why online it shows the expiration date is 7 instead of 60, and the reason of expiration is Prestige card closure. He said since the credit card number remains the same (from Prestige to Rewards+) it is not a closure. Once the Reward+ card gets activated, the Prestige points will be under the Reward+ card. Since I also have the Premier card which is combined with both Prestige and Double Cash card, the points are still transferable to airlines. We will see if my points expire on the date shown online. If so I’ll call back and report here.

Thankyou points are complicated and I don’t think Citi has the brightest people designing them. However, I will say their customer service is pretty decent. Years ago I transferred a bunch of TYP to Malaysian. The points never arrived to that account. Initially the rep said I had to wait 30 days. After giving them a bad survey review, a manager called me, gave my points back, and put 10k extra as a good will gesture.

I also combined my bank earned TYP to my Prestige card account. Those TYP were able to transfer out and they were not restricted to cash airfare booking.

ZinCO

Just downgraded Prestige to Rewards+ with 550,000 points in the pool. New Rewards+ card number. Agent (via chat) was unable to tell me anything about whether TYP would expire or not, and no expiration is visible on the ThankYou site. Crossing my fingers…

[…] Keeping Your ThankYou Points Alive:  Earning ThankYou Points is easy by signing up for Citi cards, but when that next annual fee is due and you consider canceling or downgrading, make sure you have a plan for your hard earned points. […]

Grant

So if I want to cancel my Prestige card, I can downgrade to a free account, which will let the points live on with no expiration. I’ve had Prestige for 2.5 years, so will this work, in this order:

1. Open a new Premier card, but don’t link the accounts.
2. Downgrade my Prestige to a no-fee Thank You card
3. Link my new Premier card w/ my no-fee thank you card

If I did this, in this order, would I then have full access w/ no expiration to my current Prestige points, while being ready to add in the new account bonus from the Premier?

If I did step 2 first, but then got declined for a new Premier card, I’d have all my points in an account that allows no bonuses on redemptions and no transfers.

Earl

Interesting…can TY points exist in some nether-world where they don’t expire but also can not be transferred to partners (because you don’t currently have one of the cards open that enable such transfers)?

Kerri

Grant, I am planning on doing this exact same thing! How did this work out for you?

Alex Z.

Any idea how to preserve CNB points ?
I’ve heard you can’t downgrade to no-fee card, only open it as a new account which will take 5/24 slot.

Nick Reyes

No. Greg wrote about this topic just about a week ago:

https://frequentmiler.com/dumping-my-cnb-crystal-visa-infinite/

Anurag Goyal

I just got amazon gift cards to deplete the balance and plan to cancel before the annual fee posts

ROB GLANVILLE

I have Prestige and Access More(no longer available). If I cancel Prestige will I still have the same airline transfer privileges due to the Access card?

AlexL

Only Citi Prestige or Citi Premier have the ability to transfer to airline partners.

Ben

Related question about cancelling/downgrading a card: Extended warranty.

I am thinking about buying something with my Prestige for the 2-year extended warranty protection. I will probably downgrade to a Rewards+ in the next few months, which has similar warranty protection.

I assume the warranty protection would “survive” the downgrade, but not a cancellation. Any idea if that’s right?

WR2

When downgrading my Prestige a couple months ago, the rep told me downgrading to Rewards+ would result in a new card number, but downgrading to Preferred would keep the same number. Sure enough, I received a preferred with the same number. I can’t imagine this is inconsistent from person to person, but you should ask rep specifically anyway, they are able to tell through their system.

Bottom line, downgrade to Preferred to avoid resetting your 24 month clock and preserve your points.

Geoff

So can you see if the number changes and revert back to the normal within the 51 day period? I want to make sure I can get the SUB again in a year. Have no intention of using TYP in the next year.

FlyingNinja

I just downgraded my Prestige card of 3 plus years to Preferred and got a new card number. Now I wonder if I have to ask Citi customer service to see if I will get the bonus when I’m applying for a new Prestige or Premier card.

Earl

What’s not clear to me is what’s the expiration policy of points that were transferred in from a Citi Double Cash card?
I find it confusing and frustrating beyond belief that TYPs expiration dates are tracjed (forever?) based on when they were earned? How in gods name is anyone supposed to keep track of that?

AlexL

I believed it is 90 days if you transfer from a citi double cash to a premier/prestige. So transfer from your double cash only when you are ready for redemption.

Earl

@AlexL (or anyone who knows): so, can you just accumulate a massive cashback number in your Double Cash account, and leave that sitting there for as long as you like as long as you keep that card open, even for years, and then — only when you are ready to actually redeem them as TYP and use them, then transfer from DoubleCash to your Prestige/Premier card account (assuming you still have one open), and then use the TYPoints? In other words, if you are going to earn a mix of Double Cash cashback points and TYPoints from a Pretige/Premier card, is it best to just leave the Cash Back points there (in your DoubleCash account) long term, let them pile up there, and only transfer to Premier/Prestige when you’re ready to use them as TYPoints?

Thanks.

AlexL

Sorry Earl. I made a mistake. According to the thankyou.com terms, “Expiration of Points Obtained by Converting Cash Rewards. Points obtained by converting Cash Rewards do not expire.”
Resource: https://www.thankyou.com/cms/thankyou/tc.page?accountType=doublecash-card&pageName=tc

Earl

Wow, that’s actually great news! Thank you.

Here’s the money shot, copied from the T&Cs:

“Expiration of Points Obtained by Converting Cash Rewards. Points obtained by converting Cash Rewards do not expire.

I’m new to TYPoints. I have a new Double Cash card, and a new Premier card. I’ve been wondering what kind of a gotcha was waiting for me if I started piling up a lot of cash back points on the DC card. Apparently there’s no downside (or at least no risk of expiration) to converting them to TY points — assuming one keeps a Prestige or Premier card open. Now what I wonder is…lets say you pile up a large heap of Cash Back points. You also have a Premier card open, and you convert all your Double Cash points to ThankYou points. Those converted points never expire. But what happens to them if you close your Premier card? Do they vanish, or do the sit in limbo until such point that you have a new Premier or Prestige card? Do they then come back to life and become available again to transfer to an airline partner?

Sam Palmer

Greg, I was wondering if this is all up to date. I.e. is the citi preferred still available as a downgrade option from the prestige or premier? Also, can we have both premier and prestige at same time? (e.g. I got my prestige almost two years ago when the bonus was 75k. Can I get the premier after the 24 months?) And once and for all, is the 24 month window based on bonus award moment or card signup moment? Thanks…you’re the best

veeRob

A three year old article is still relevant. Read it over before cancelling my Premier card and decided to transfer my 9k points to Avianca. Very useful partner for shorthaul United awrds. Happy with the advice given here, thanks Greg.

Unclesam

Id downgrading to a no annual fee card still an option to keep points alive? Also, is AT&T access more still the best no fee option?

[…] mixed across different cards, so I’d like to get a signup bonus before dowgrading. See: Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep your ThankYou points alive. Note that if you cancel your card rather than downgrading, your points will be subject to […]

[…] In general, my advice is not to cancel at all.  If your goal is to avoid the annual fee, then product change to the no-fee Citi ThankYou Preferred card.  That will keep your points alive.  You won’t be able to transfer them to airline programs, though, unless you upgrade the card, or sign up new for a Premier or Prestige card.  Or, you can freely transfer up to 100,000 points to a friend who has one of those cards.  I covered this topic previously here: Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep your ThankYou points alive. […]

[…] Greg has previously written about How to know if your when your ThankYou points expire and how to keep your ThankYou points alive if you’re cancelling your Prestige or Premier card. But we all make mistakes now and then, and Dan Miller at Points with a Crew recently experienced […]

Ken

Is this guide still current as far as SG being the best transfer partner when canceling a Prestige card? I do have an active Premier card, but points will expire after 60 days anyways.

Ken

If I want to transfer some of the old Prestige points, does Citi pull from the old, transferred points first (if I transferred them to Premier) or do they pull from the native (Premier) card’s points first?

Ken

Ok, thanks.

For some reason I’m getting two emails for every reply. One in HTML and one text based. How do I keep only the HTML ones? And how do I keep this from happening in the future?

Ken

Thanks!

GM

Will product changing to the no annual fee Citi AT&T Access card also keep your ThankYou points alive in addition to the cards listed above?

GM

Well now I do…

I converted my Citi Prestige to the Citi AT&T Access card and retained my points. I personally found the AT&T Access card to be be the best of the no annual fee options since it earns 2X Thank You points on online retail and travel purchases.

It appears that I have the same functionality to share and pool these points with my remaining Citi Premier and Prestige cards.

Hope that helps. Keep up the good work!

Ken

When I tried to convert they told me there was only an AF version of the AT&T card. There’a a no-AF version too? None of my cards have a high limit since I’ve reduced all of them them already.

NK3

Replying to a 2 year old question–I also converted a Prestige to AT&T Access (also about 2 years ago). The card number definitely changed, but my points definitely did not expire. So unless things have changed, this is also still an option.

I agree with GM that ATTA may be a better option than Citi Preferred or Rewards+. In addition to getting 2x points on online purchases, this often gets targeted for good retention offers (yes, the no AF card gets retention offers!). Right now it is my everyday spend card, because I was targeted for 2x extra points on all purchases on up to $17500 spend (up to 35K extra points, so 3-4x TYP/$). Also have been targeted for other great offers on this card. Don’t underestimate this one!

Cara

Been looking for an answer about this: I changed my Premier card to a Double Cashback card and was told I’d have 60 days to use my remaining 18,000 points at the 1:1.25 conversion if I called a TY travel specialist to book a flight. I was on the phone for about an hour yesterday and found out that I’m now getting a 1:1 conversion for booking a flight over the phone because my Premier account has been cancelled. I was told repeatedly that I’d retain my rate, but now they’re telling me it’s 1:1 and I’m furious about this. Anyone else experience this?

Nick Reyes

I have no direct experience with this, but I always keep notes with the exact times and dates I called and who I spoke to. Banks are usually pretty good about going back to the recording if you can point them to it. If you kept similar notes, I’d call back and ask them to check the recording because the rep told you that you’d keep the 1:1.25 rate. If you didn’t keep those notes, I’d recommend doing so in the future (CSRs make a lot of mistakes and/or forget to note things in your account sometimes). I assume you spoke with a supervisor and/or HUCA’d, but if not you might try again.

[…] Hat Tip Frequent Miler […]

Sandy

I forgot to tell you a round trip from Atlanta,USA to Narita Tokyo,Japan

SDO

Hi Greg,

What do you think is the best transfer partner if I’m trying to plan a trip to Tokyo & Taipei?

Thanks!

Sandy

I am closing my prestige and premier account soon. I would like to transfer my points to partner airlines which requires the least miles for a round trip to Japan. Singapore airlines requires 90K miles which is 30k miles more than United Airlines. Do you know which partner airline requires the least miles to Japan?

Jay

Need guidance, please.

Say if I cancel prestige, and I have 60 days for points to expire. Can I still transfer the points to partner airlines after the card is cancelled but before 60 days? Also, some of the points were transferred to me by spouse. can those be transferred as well?

[…] The Premier card was a tougher decision.  It had become our go-to travel card since it offers 3X rewards for all travel and gas station purchases.  But we now plan to move to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card as our primary travel card thanks to its 3X travel and dining rewards, and better value point redemptions with Chase.  That leaves 3X gas as the biggest incentive for keeping the Premier card.  We don’t tend to spend a lot on gas, though.  So, our plan is to call to see if they’ll offer a nice retention offer that is worth as much or more than the card’s $95 annual fee.  If so, we’ll keep the card for another year.  If not, we’ll downgrade it to become my wife’s third no-fee ThankYou Preferred card (that way she can keep her points alive).  See: Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep your ThankYou points alive. […]

Mike

Citi Prestige annual fee of $450 kicks in in one month from now – so I called CS and asked for retention. At least 4 different reps I’ve called said there is no retention offer for the Prestige card. Has anyone else had this issue? Don’t wanna give up the card but they aren’t even trying to keep me.

Maybe wait until the fee actually appears and try again? Maybe need to spend more on the card? Thoughts?

Sandy

Do I need to downgrade my Prestige and Premier accounts to Two different Preferred accounts?

anyech

I have a question, when you say “Make sure that they don’t give you new account numbers.”, the “NEW ACCOUNT NUMBER”, you mean a different CREDIT CARD NUMBER or a different THANK YOU ACCOUNT NUMBER?

anyech

I have a question, when you say “Make sure that they don’t give you new account numbers.”, the “NEW ACCOUNT NUMBER”, you mean a different CREDIT CARD NUMBER or a different THANK YOU ACCOUNT NUMBER? Because I do hear from the CSR that indicates even if I convert my premier card to preferred card, I do have to lose the points earned from my premier card.

MH

60 Days

Loss Or Suspension Of Points

This section tells you when you may not be able to use Points that you’ve already earned or received.

You Close Your Citi Account. If you have Points, and you voluntarily close your Citi Account, you must use your Points within 60 days after closing your accounts, or you’ll lose them.

TIP:
If you have multiple Citi Accounts associated with only one ThankYou Account at the time one of your Citi Accounts is closed, you’ll lose only the Points that you earned with the closed Citi Account.

MH

https://www.thankyou.com/tc.jspx?cmp=nav&lid=footer|ty-term-cond#loss-or-suspension-of-points

[…] If you get a valuable offer, consider keeping the card for another year (and then make sure to use your $250 in airfare credit in 2018!).  If not, consider downgrading the card to a no-fee ThankYou Preferred card so that you won’t lose any remaining ThankYou points.  See: Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep your ThankYou points alive. […]

Sandy

I have 60k thankyou points from the Prestige, 50k TYP from the Premier and 10k TYP from the Preferred.
My husband has 50k TYP from the Premier.
At this point I don’t have a plan to use them, however, in the future I am going to transfer most points to the Singapore Airlines to book the United Airlines. Since the Singapore Airlines miles expire in three years, I want to wait at least another year to transfer the points to Singapore.
What is the best way to keep the TYP after canceling the account?

Sandy

When I downgrade my Prestige and Premier accounts to Preferred accounts, how long can I keep my points? As long as I have the preferred accounts?

Sandy

Do I need to downgrade my Prestige and Premier accounts to two different Preferred accounts?

Anthony

Greg, I keep seeing offers to upgrade my Preferred account to Prestige and have the first annual fee waived. I just downgraded my Prestige to a Premier. Can I downgrade the Premier to a Preferred to avoid the AF and then upgrade the Preferred I already have to Premier and still keep my points alive and be able to transfer out?

Rapid Travel Chai

And any points you transfer to someone else not only expire in 90 days but also cannot be transferred to a loyalty program, they must be redeemed one of the other cash-type ways.

My case was mid-priced 2016, Grant transferred over to me and then could not move to Qantas, system block and many supervisors said shared points cannot be transferred and they even gave me the number needed as transferable points. Have not had another case. My TYP account went to zero so it was those specific points. Maybe your case was some household same address exception?

Larry

Yep, this is an area where hopefully we can get some data points. I am currently accumulating points/cash on the double cash but neither I nor my wife has a premier or prestige. The idea was that she would get a premier next year when she comes out from under the 24 month restriction, and I could transfer to her. If this doesn’t work, it will be unfortunate because I’m 23 months from being able to get a bonus.

Larry

Wait, I’m confused. Why are all the comments three years old?

Omer

That is not my experience. I have a friend who transferred to my account thank you points and I was able to transfer them to my Life miles account. that was on November or December 2018

Ang

Slightly off topic. I know you mentioned Thank You points from credit cards, but what about the typ from bank accounts. Do those expire? Can they be transferred? Do you have a post on what those points can be used for/sweet spots, if any, assuming there aren’t. Thanks!

[…] Keeping ThankYou Points Alive […]

[…] Points earned by a particular credit card account expire 60 days after cancelling that account.  See: Cancelling your Prestige or Premier card? Here’s how to keep your ThankYou points alive. […]

Lynn

I really wish that citi didn’t make this so confusing. I cancelled the Prestige card after combining those points with the Premier card, but i did lose the points from the Prestige card after 60 days.I didn’t see anything in my combined thankyou account about expiration. Has anyone been able to get the points reinstated long enough to transfer out?

PeaceandPost

I have a Prestige and a Premier. When my Premier comes up for the annual fee on year 2, if I cancel the Premier will the points earned from the Premier be kept alive if I keep the Prestige open? Point #1 “Sign up for another premium card” seems to imply the Premier points would be kept alive but I’ve heard conflicting comments about this in the past. Thanks.

MH

I’ve only heard about points from the closed card expiring in 60 days. I don’t know what “conflicting comments” you’ve heard.

Mike

How do you see how many points are expiring and when? I cancelled a card recently and cannot this info on Thankyou.com at all??

mike

My Points Summary doesn’t have that link even did a search for “expiring”. Must be a glitch or else someone whoever processed the cancellation transferred the points to my other card??

Brenton

I actually just converted my Premier to a Preferred with an offer of spending $300 in 60 days and getting an extra 6,000 points. Then yesterday I cancelled my Prestige card not realizing that the preferred and/or business thank you cards couldn’t transfer out. However, when I saw this article this morning I attempted a transfer out to singapore airlines, and all signs point to it working. Not sure how this happened as I was refunded the pro-rated annual fee, so the prestige is definitely closed.

Brenton

I did try and there wasn’t any sign of points expiring. That said, there wasn’t a change in the account number, and I had set up TYP to pool into the same account. I did the transfer today which was within 60 days of the account conversion. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Lisa

Yeah, after being on hold for 40 minutes and googling that hold times are topping 2 hours due to Costco, I just sent a secure message to cancel. I’ll transfer my points out and that’s it.

Ted

At least one DP on flyertalk suggests product change is considered CLOSURE for the purpose of TYP expiration as well as resetting 24-month clock (personal experience).

Therefore, solution #2 is NOT useful.

Dee

I kept all of my points after I downgraded

Vince

Dee, has it been over 60 days since you downgraded the card?

Vince

I asked a Citi rep about this a couple weeks ago. His response was that a downgrade would be treated the same as closing the account for the purposes of TYP expiration, i.e. 60 days then they expire.

tom

if you keep your card number it does NOT reset. They can tell you before you confirm whether or not your number will change due to the downgrade

Tom

Another data point: Downgraded from prestige to preferred. Was assigned a new card number and now the points from my prestige appear in my expiring points summary with a 60 day expiration and reason listed as “Closure”

Max

Account conversions at Citi are considered closures for the purpose of resetting the 24-mo clock.
Also, it’s expected that calls for retention offers will be unsuccessful for the next week. All retention specialists have been reassigned do deal with the Costco issues.

Ken

It’s only considered a closure if you actually close your card during that call. Simply calling does not reset the clock. Where did you hear this? Did a Citi agent tell you this?

Raj

He said account conversions, not calling.

Ken

I quickly read it as “conversations” and not “conversions”. My mistake.

dave

Called two days ago for a retention offer. Hung up two separate times after being on hold 30+ minutes. And this is the Prestige customer service number, a card with a $450 annual fee. My third try was answered after about 20 minutes. The representative said there is no retention department but she could either cancel the card or move to a no fee card. I pressed her saying I’ve spoken to the retention department numerous times before and asked her to explain the change. She sputtered a little but then implied its because they are understaffed. Not sure what to make of it but I thanked her and hung up.

Lantean

i think this is all related to the Costco disaster and should be sorted out in a few weeks… just called then.

Anthony

If I cancel my Premier but I keep my Prestige, will I lose the points earned with the Premier, or do those stay pooled with the Prestige?

V

“Once earned from multiple sources, you can pool points together in one ThankYou account. This is handy, but it doesn’t change the fact that Citi continues to track the origin of each point. If you cancel a card, all points earned from that card will expire 60 days after cancellation.”

Even when pooled, if the sponsor account (card that earned the points) is cancelled, that specific account’s balance expires in 60 days. Downgrading keeps the same sponsor account number I assume, which would explain why points would be kept active even after 60 days

V

Reading further down, it looks like downgrading may not keep the same account number, which means those points would expire in 60 days as if it were a closure

P T

And I also think downgrading got me caught in the B O A 3 in last 24 months net. Due to new card # I presume.

Dee

Hubby and I kept our same account numbers when we downgraded. Hubby just downgraded his Premier to Preferred and they gave him 3500 pts for spending $300.

Moshe

Ever since you started sending only teaser emails without the full posts in them I don’t find myself visiting your site more often but rather just reading less of your content, which is too bad as I love your blog. I’m assuming it’s a financial decision but would you consider reversing it?

Moshe

I’m so happy to hear that it wasn’t intentional! This is the only BA blog that I read. Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

Karen

The Sears MasterCard credit card is free, earns Thank You Points and they are transferable to airlines, but they do expire three years after earning them. My Sears Thank You and Citibank Thank You points were combined so I think having the Sears card would also keep the points alive.

flyfan

Of course this is the 1 area where Citi’s IT is reliable…

USB

Is it really true that even if you keep the Sears card open the TY points earned from it will expire in 3 years as Karen mentioned above??

MH

I have a Sears Masterfcard, how do you go about getting TYPs that can be used with TYPs from a Premier? Who do you call to do that?

JohnB

Call Citibank and have your as accounts linked.