Pop quiz: How long do you think your Citi Rewards points are valid for?
If you said “five years” and thought that was a silly question — after all, it says so plain as day on Citibank’s website — you’d be wrong.
Citibank employs a rather unusual policy when it comes to the expiry of ThankYou points earned on the Citi Rewards Card. Points aren’t valid for five years; they’ve valid for up to five years (+a 3-month grace period), which can lead to some nasty surprises if you’re not prepared.
|⚠️ Important Note|
|This article refers to the Citi Rewards Card only. Points earned on the Citi PremierMiles, Citi ULTIMA and Citi Prestige do not expire.|
How Citi ThankYou points expiry works
If you pull up the Citibank cardmember’s agreement, you’ll find a section called Points Validity Period, which says:
|💳 Citi Cardmember T&Cs|
Points Validity Period means a period of:
a) 12 months for Citibank Silver and Clear Visa cardmembers; or
b) 60 months for Citibank Gold, Platinum, Visa Signature and WORLD Mastercard cardmembers, by reference to which Points are calculated, but so that the first Points Validity Period shall commence on the date when the cardmember is entitled to participate in the program and expire at the end of 12 months or 60 months (as the case may be) thereafter and each subsequent Points Validity Period will commence on the expiry of the previous one
Focus on (b), which applies to Citi Rewards cardholders. Notice how it talks about a 60-month “points validity period” that commences on the “date where the cardmember is entitled to participate in the program” (i.e. card approval date). At the end of this 60-month period, another 60-month “points validity period” begins.
If that’s too complicated, perhaps this section from the Citi Rewards 10X T&Cs will help.
|💳 Citi Rewards 10X T&Cs|
|“Points Validity Period” means a period of 60 months for Eligible Cardholders by reference to which Points are calculated, but so that the first Points Validity Period shall commence on the date when the Eligible Cardholder is entitled to participate in the Program and expire at the end of 60 months thereafter and each subsequent Points Validity Period will commence on the expiry of the previous one|
Maybe I’ll just give you the tl;dr:
ThankYou points earned on the Citi Rewards Card expire five years (plus a 3-month grace period) from card approval date, not from when the points are earned!
To provide an illustration, suppose you’re approved for a Citi Rewards card on 15 October 2022.
- All points earned between 15 October 2022 to 31 October 2027 will be valid till 31 January 2028 (60 months + 3 months grace)
- On 1 November 2027, a new validity period will begin
- All points earned between 1 November 2027 to 31 October 2032 will be valid till 31 January 2033 (60 months + 3 months grace)
In other words, your Citi Rewards points will be valid anywhere from 3 months to 63 months.
How do I check when my points expire?
To check your ThankYou points balance and expiry, login to the Citi Rewards portal and click on your name in the top right hand corner. This will bring up your points summary, which highlights any points expiring in the next 60 days.
Click on “View Points expiring in the future”, and you’ll see the expiration date of your points balance.
|❓ Why do I see two sets of points?|
|If you see two sets of points, it means you’re in the overlap between the first and second validity periods. Remember, there’s a three month grace after the first period ends.|
My Citi Rewards Mastercard was approved in July 2021, so all the points I earn on this card expire on 31 October 2026, i.e. 60 months + 3 months grace.
What to do with expiring ThankYou points
If you’ve just found out that your Citi Rewards points are expiring sooner than you thought, you can transfer them to the following loyalty programmes with a S$26.75 fee.
|Frequent Flyer Programme||Conversion Ratio |
(ThankYou Points: Partner)
If you have points that are due to expire, but are just shy of a 25,000 points block, you can make transfers via Kris+ with its smaller minimum block of 10,000 points = 3,400 miles
|10,000 TYP: 3,400 miles|
Transfers are instant and do not have conversion fees, but do note you’ll take a 15% haircut compared to using the Citibank transfer portal. For further details, refer to the post below.
If you still have leftover points after this, the next best option is to redeem your points for a Cash Rebate at a rate of 4,400 points = S$10.
And finally, any remaining points can be redeemed via Pay with Points, at a similar rate of 4,400 points= S$10 (but with no minimum conversion)
Standard Chartered does the same thing
If this policy sounds oddly familiar, it might be because Standard Chartered applies a similar expiry policy for 360° Rewards Points. These are valid for up to three years, and even worse- there’s no grace period. In an extreme example, whatever points the cardholder below earns on 31 December 2022 will expire on 1 January 2023!
At least 360° Rewards Points earned on the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite or X Card never expire.
ThankYou points earned on the Citi Rewards Card are valid for up to five years (plus a 3-month grace period), not five years as you might otherwise think. Note down your expiry date today, and remember to cash out your balance before then.
Don’t get caught out!