Shop Your Way gift cards: Citi devalues transfer option

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Shop Your Way started its life as Sears’ and Kmart’s rewards program.  Over time it has branched out to become more of a general purpose rewards program.  It’s possible to earn and redeem Shop Your Way points without ever making any purchases with Sears or Kmart.  Shop Your Way points are interesting mostly because it’s possible to redeem Shop Your Way points for merchant gift cardsThat’s big news for anyone with Citi ThankYou points because you get 20% more value when you convert Citi points to Shop Your Way pointsIn other words, you can convert $100 of Citi points into $120 in gift cards.  Even better, if you have the Rewards+ card, you’ll get 10% of your Citi points back!

Update 11/15/20:

Update 11/9/20:

  • Walmart cards are no longer available.  When I browse to the Walmart redemption page found in my browser’s history, I see a message saying “This gift card is not available at the moment.”

Update 11/7/20:

  • Points earned from the Sears Shop Your Way credit card can now be redeemed for gift cards. Hat Tip: Matt.
  • Apple gift cards are no longer available for redemption. Hat Tip: Saul.

Update 11/4/20:

  • High value gift cards are now available (previously most cards were limited to $30 max).
  • In many cases you can now pick the exact gift card value you want (hat tip: reader Jason)
  • Quite a few new merchants have been added.
  • Some merchants have been removed (notably Southwest and Ebay gift cards are no longer available).

Here’s what you need to know about Shop Your Way gift cards..

Basics

  • Website: shopyourway.com/giftcards
  • Gift card maximimum values vary by merchant.  Many cards have $200 or $500 maximum values.
  • With some merchants you can select a specific value.  For example, with some merchant gift cards, you can enter the exact amount you need such as $193.27.  With other merchant gift cards you have to pick from specific denomination options.
  • Shop Your Way points are each worth one-tenth of a cent towards rewards.  So, to buy a gift card, you need to add three zeros to the end of the dollar amount to figure out how many Shop Your Way points are required.  For example, if you want a $30 gift card, it will cost you 30,000 Shop Your Way points.
  • Points transfer from Citi ThankYou Rewards nearly instantly (wait a minute or two after initiating the transfer) [Note: One reader initiated a transfer but reports not receiving his points in over a week. That said, all of my transfers have been instantanious]
  • Gift cards are emailed nearly instantly.  With all of my tests I received my purchased gift cards by email within a few minutes.
  • Not all Shop Your Way points work.  A couple readers have reported that some Shop Your Way points collected from other means (besides transferring from Citi) were not available to purchase gift cards.  One reader specifically mentioned that this was true of points earned on his Shop Your Way credit card.  Now, points earned from the Shop Your Way credit card do work.
  • Not all gift cards shown are really available.  To give an example, I noticed that Audible was available, but the system showed an error anytime I tried to redeem for an Audible gift card.

Useful gift cards

Here are the gift cards that I think are likely to be the most useful to the most people:

  • Apple: Choose any value between $5 and $500.
  • Crate & Barrel: Choose any value between $25 and $1,000.
  • eBay: No longer available
  • GameStop: Choose any value between $5 and $500.
  • Lowe’s: Choose any value between $5 and $1,000.
  • Office Depot: Choose any value between $5 and $500.
  • StubHub: Choose any value between $25 and $500.
  • The Home Depot: Choose any value between $25 and $500.
  • Walmart: Choose any value between $10 to $500.

Travel Gift Cards

  • American Airlines: Choose $100, $250, or $500.
  • Southwest Airlines: No longer available
  • Cruise gift cards:
    • Carnival: Choose any value between $100 and $1,000
    • Celebrity: Choose $100, $250, or $500
    • Holland America: Choose any value between $25 and $2,000
    • Princess Cruises: Choose any value between $50 and $2,000
    • Royal Caribbean: Choose $50, $100, $250, or $500
  • Hotel gift cards:
    • Expedia Hotel Card: Choose any value between $25 and $500.
    • Fairmont: Choose $25, $50, or $100
    • Hotels.com: Choose any value between $10 and $2,000.
    • Raffles: Choose $25, $50, or $100
    • Swissotel: Choose $25, $50, or $100

Food Delivery Gift Cards

  • DoorDash: Choose any value between $15 and $200
  • GrubHub: Choose any value between $25 and $200
  • Seamless: Choose any value between $25 and $200
  • Uber Eats: Choose any value between $15 and $500

Many More Gift Cards

I’ve listed above only a selection of gift cards that I suspect may readers will find useful.  Visit this site to find many more: shopyourway.com/giftcards

Conclusion

The ability to buy gift cards with Shop Your Way points is valuable, especially for those with Citi ThankYou points which transfer 1 to 12 to Shop Your Way (20% more value).  It used to be the case that most of these gift cards were limited to a maximum $30 value.  This severely limited their usefulness with vendors that allow only a small number of gift cards to be used per order.  Now, though, most gift cards are available in large denominations.

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