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Cheapest way to turn ThankYou points to cash (liquidate retail store gift cards)?

Cheapest way to turn ThankYou points to cash (liquidate retail store gift cards)?

Old Apr 6, 15, 3:26 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Cheapest way to turn ThankYou points to cash (liquidate retail store gift cards)?

I'm earning 30,000 thankyou points by spending $2000 in first 3 months after opening the Citi ThankYou Preferred card. I'm disappointed by the point-to-dollar rate for cash (and statement credit) redemption.

Can I use my 30,000 points to buy $300 in WalMart gift cards and then use those gift cards to buy a prepaid debit... and then withdraw the cash from a no-fee ATM? Is there a way to do this with minimal overhead? Will Wal-Mart even allow me to buy prepaid debit with a Wal-Mart gift card? (or, if not, will any other store allow me to do something similar?)

I've read that redeeming the thankyou points by booking travel through Citi's interface offers a better value, but I'd really like to turn these points into cash rather than forced "spend" on something I don't necessarily need.

Thanks for any tips!
pinkie621 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 3:49 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by pinkie621 View Post
... and then withdraw the cash from a no-fee ATM ?
Please list a few no-fee ATM's
Alcibiades is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 4:02 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post
Please list a few no-fee ATM's
I believe Allopoint and Moneypass ATMs do not charge any fees.
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Old Apr 6, 15, 4:08 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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The better question is if what you wanted was cash back, why did you get a card with TYP rewards and not an actual cash back card?
ILGfly is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 4:26 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Agree with above, you should have opted for Citi double cash, Amex fidelity, or even Cap One QS card if you were after cash back. These are just a few that give good overall return. There's others if you had specific goals in mind. TYP is more valuable as a travel currency at this point. Your best bet would be to just convert them for statement credit. No guarantee that getting a WalMart GC will let you buy a prepaid debit card or even VGC at Wal Mart. I asked an employee the other day and she said no you can not buy VGC with WMGC. So you may end up with a bunch of WM money esp if you don't spend there.
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Old Apr 6, 15, 4:30 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by ILGfly View Post
The better question is if what you wanted was cash back, why did you get a card with TYP rewards and not an actual cash back card?
I'm guessing it's because there aren't many cash back cards with a $300 signup bonus.

Originally Posted by pinkie621 View Post
I'm earning 30,000 thankyou points by spending $2000 in first 3 months after opening the Citi ThankYou Preferred card. I'm disappointed by the point-to-dollar rate for cash (and statement credit) redemption.

Can I use my 30,000 points to buy $300 in WalMart gift cards and then use those gift cards to buy a prepaid debit... and then withdraw the cash from a no-fee ATM? Is there a way to do this with minimal overhead? Will Wal-Mart even allow me to buy prepaid debit with a Wal-Mart gift card? (or, if not, will any other store allow me to do something similar?)
Most stores will not allow you to purchase VGCs with a store gift card, but if you find one like that, that may be cheapest. However, you cannot use VGCs at ATMs. Instead, you'll have to either use the VGC to buy a MO or use it to load Serve or RB.

If you cannot buy a VGC, you can just sell the store card. Check here to see which gift cards have the best resale value.
BeyondtheWrap is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 7:27 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: NoVa
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I have a Citi Forward and it offers a 1:1 redemption for a check to my mortgage company. I've only done it once since I don't MS on that card but it was painless. I did take it into a branch to deposit and the teller had to ask a manager what to do with it since it was a check written from and signed by Citi to Wells Fargo.
deekay38 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 7:32 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by ILGfly View Post
The better question is if what you wanted was cash back, why did you get a card with TYP rewards and not an actual cash back card?
I have already churned all of the "easy" cash-back bonuses.

Originally Posted by BeyondtheWrap View Post
I'm guessing it's because there aren't many cash back cards with a $300 signup bonus.



Most stores will not allow you to purchase VGCs with a store gift card, but if you find one like that, that may be cheapest. However, you cannot use VGCs at ATMs. Instead, you'll have to either use the VGC to buy a MO or use it to load Serve or RB.

If you cannot buy a VGC, you can just sell the store card. Check here to see which gift cards have the best resale value.
Thanks BeyondtheWrap. I expect this to be the case - I don't want to be stuck with a retail gift card (or have to resell at low value - thanks for your link), but figured I'd ask since the point:dollar redemption rate is 1:1 for retail gift cards, so if this were possible, it'd be an efficient way to liquidate.

Originally Posted by deekay38 View Post
I have a Citi Forward and it offers a 1:1 redemption for a check to my mortgage company. I've only done it once since I don't MS on that card but it was painless. I did take it into a branch to deposit and the teller had to ask a manager what to do with it since it was a check written from and signed by Citi to Wells Fargo.
Interesting. Did you actually deposit the check to pay your mortgage? I paid off my mortgage last year... but if I could get Citi to send me a check addressed to my bank maybe my bank (capital one) would allow me to deposit it?? 1:1 is what I'm looking for.

Originally Posted by Tazzaras View Post
Agree with above, you should have opted for Citi double cash, Amex fidelity, or even Cap One QS card if you were after cash back. These are just a few that give good overall return. There's others if you had specific goals in mind. TYP is more valuable as a travel currency at this point. Your best bet would be to just convert them for statement credit. No guarantee that getting a WalMart GC will let you buy a prepaid debit card or even VGC at Wal Mart. I asked an employee the other day and she said no you can not buy VGC with WMGC. So you may end up with a bunch of WM money esp if you don't spend there.
Thanks for your response. I do already have all of the credit cards you mentioned, I only signed up for this one for the bonus (which would equal 15% return if I can turn the 31,000_ points into $300). I don't plan to use the card after I reach the $2000 minimum spend.

Last edited by tcook052; Apr 9, 15 at 4:42 pm Reason: readability
pinkie621 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 8:43 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: VA
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I'm not sure what GCs they offer, but if you can get a gas GC, you can usually get most of that value back reselling.
MG49 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 8:43 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by pinkie621 View Post
Thanks for your response. I do already have all of the credit cards you mentioned, I only signed up for this one for the bonus (which would equal 15% return if I can turn the 31,000_ points into $300). I don't plan to use the card after I reach the $2000 minimum spend.

Back in the 5x TYP promo days 1.5 years ago, I would cash out a few grand worth via WM gc -> Visa GC -> MO. Back then WM allowed Visa GCs to be paid for with WM credit online. This got shut down late Fall of 2013, but another loophole was doing a cash-in-store payment option online for Visa GCs, then showing up at the store and unloading a stack of WM credit instead. That got canned too a year ago. Now it's hit and miss.

If you only have $300, just get credit to WM and spend it on groceries. Their prices are competitive so you don't lose any value.
littlewinglet is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 8:56 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Have you tried Cardpool? They purchase gift cards at a small discount - Walmart is currently at 89%, so that would be $267 for your 30K points.
ubbull39 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 9:26 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by pinkie621 View Post
Thanks for your response. I do already have all of the credit cards you mentioned, I only signed up for this one for the bonus (which would equal 15% return if I can turn the 31,000_ points into $300). I don't plan to use the card after I reach the $2000 minimum spend.
Gotcha, next best would be to use gift card granny to see what card maximizes your return. Gas cards if TYP will let you would probably bank you the most for your value
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Old Apr 6, 15, 10:57 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 163
Redeem for a Student loan rebate, get a check and do a mobile deposit to your chase account.
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Old Apr 6, 15, 11:13 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by msnut1 View Post
Redeem for a Student loan rebate, get a check and do a mobile deposit to your chase account.
That's a pretty neat loophole. Citi just sends a check to you?
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Old Apr 7, 15, 9:22 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ubbull39 View Post
Have you tried Cardpool? They purchase gift cards at a small discount - Walmart is currently at 89%, so that would be $267 for your 30K points.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am aware of these options, but I am hoping to get more value, I don't want to sacrifice $33!
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