Beware the Amazon Trap Designed To Drain Membership Rewards And Citi ThankYou Points Accounts

Amazon.com has “enhanced” their website making it easier for you to pay for your Amazon purchases with the flexible points from your credit cards. If you’re not careful, the points you were saving for a trip to Hawaii might end up paying for that 18 foot inflatable Frosty the Snowman you’ve been wanting to buy. I mean, it’s awesome but not a great use of your Membership Rewards points.

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Flexible Points

Flexible Point currencies like American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points are useful because of the various ways you can redeem your points. Some redemptions are great values, like when you’re able to transfer points to travel partners and make once in a lifetime trips. Other redemptions are average, such as using the points to book travel through the designated booking portal where you’re typically get 1 to 1.5 cents of value per point. These bookings are good when you need a reservation where transferring points is undesirable or unavailable, Still other redemptions are terrible, like redeeming for merchandise, magazines or even TSA Precheck memberships. You’ll often get less than 1 cent of value per point (and the merchandise is also overpriced to begin with).

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How To Avoid Pitfalls When You Need To Book With The Citi Travel Portal

Remember Pitfall? It was that seemingly simple game for Atari that ended up being incredibly difficult because if you jumped at the wrong time or was a pixel to the left, you were dead, video game speaking. You then had to start all over to get to the same place and try not to make the same mistake again.

My dealing with Citi’s websites, trying to redeem Thank You points for an upcoming hotel stay, has felt much like this process over the last several days. Every time I got past one obstacle, another one appeared that was just as difficult to accomplish as the last one.

I offer my guidance, much like a cheat guide, to let you know where the traps lie and how to avoid them or what to do if you get caught by one.

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