Citi changes the dating game


Now that Citibank ThankYou points can be transferred to airline miles, those seeking love and marriage should consider revising their dating strategies.  Let me explain…


Citi’s ThankYou points are generally worth about 1 cent per point when redeemed for gift cards or merchandise, or up to 1.6 cents per point when redeemed for air travel (but only for those with a Citi Prestige card redeeming for American Airlines or US Airways flights).  Recently, though, ThankYou points have become transferable to airline miles and therefore have higher potential upside than 1.6 cents per mile.  Even better, you do not need the $450 per year Prestige card to unlock this ability.  The $125 Premier card will do just as well.

With this new development, frequent flyers who know how to make the most of their airline miles are suddenly eager to earn ThankYou points.  The easiest option is through credit card signup bonuses.  The next best option is through credit card spend.  And, the key to earning through spend is to earn a high points per dollar multiple…

As I explained in a recent post, the Prestige card currently makes it possible to earn more than 2 points per dollar for all spend.  That’s an outstanding return for earning points transferable to miles.  Unfortunately, a key ingredient in the better than 2X formula is the ability to earn flight miles which might not be a long term option with the Prestige card.

Another option is the no-fee CitiBusiness ThankYou card which earns 3 points per dollar in categories that change each quarter.

Then there is the Citi ThankYou Preferred card that earns 2 points per dollar for dining and entertainment.  And, there’s the Citi ThankYou Premier card that earns 3 points per dollar for dining and entertainment, and 2 points per dollar for airfare and hotels.

Best of all, though, is the no annual fee Citi Forward card which earns 5 points per dollar for dining, movie theaters, …, and bookstores.  With this card you can earn 5 points per dollar when eating out, when buying from (a bookstore!), or for many other things by buying gift cards at bookstores.  And, if you have access to a Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstore you can earn 5 points per dollar reloading the American Express Campus Edition prepaid card.  In that way, you can earn 5 points per dollar virtually anywhere.

The problem is that the Citi Forward 5X card is no longer available.  Current cardholders, though, continue to earn this benefit.  If you’re not an existing cardholder, your only practical option is to marry someone who is so that they’ll add you as an authorized user.  If you are an existing cardholder looking for love, you’re in luck – you’ve suddenly become more attractive to the people who matter most (those who want to fly free).

People without Forward cards should consider changing their date-seeking approach.  Consider advertising yourself as follows (swap male with female or vice versa as needed):

Attractive single female with substantial award booking skills seeks male carrying a Citi Forward card that earns 5X at restaurants and bookstores. Possession of a Chase Ink card is a plus.

Those with a 5X Forward card can use this to their advantage.  Something like this should be considered:

Attractive single male with the ability to earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants and bookstores seeks female with thorough understanding of Singapore Airlines Star Alliance award booking rates and routing rules.  Knowledge of Garuda’s frequent flyer program is a plus.

I realize that married couples without 5X Forward cards are in a bind.  Divorce is not recommended.  Instead, it may be possible to find a college kid with a 5X Forward card.  If so, adoption may be an option.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments