What’s going to happen with Citibank’s ThankYou Network on March 1st? Is Vikram Pandit going to convert all of your points into executive bonuses? Will it be nationalized?!? Um, no, but here’s a copy of the letter one of our readers received today announcing the changes that are going in place next week.
The only really strange item is #1, which we hope is just referencing all the points that follow, but seems to leave open the option that more changes may be on the way, or that point prices for rewards may increase. At any rate, we’re cashing in our points now for free books.
After reading your initial story on Credit Card rewards programs taking a hit, I was nervous about how much longer my Citi ThankYou account and its points would be useful. Sure enough, today I received a letter from Citi, to my dismay. Their new terms make it so they can yank points based on credit card activity, assess totally new fees in real dollars, and generally make it harder to use accumulated points. I’ve OCR scanned the letter and included the text below.
As of March 1, 2009, we are changing some of the terms and conditions that will affect your ability to earn and redeem ThankYou Points. The following is a list of some of these changes:
1. ThankYou Network may be revised in a manner that may affect your ability to use the ThankYou Points you have already accumulated;
2. If you make a late payment on your participating Sponsor Account, any ThankYou Points you earned through that Sponsor may not be available for redemption until you pay the reinstatement fee disclosed on http://www.thankyou.com/help.jspx
3. If your ThankYou Member Account is closed for any reason, you will lose any ThankYou Points in that ThankYou Member Account. If your participating Sponsor Account is closed, you will no longer be able to accumulate ThankYou Points and may lose the ThankYou Points that you earned through that Sponsor and through ThankYou Network. If all your Sponsor Accounts are closed, we may close your ThankYou Member Account;
4. If you combine your ThankYou Member Accounts, any action taken concerning points from one Sponsor Account may affect all the Points in your ThankYou Member Account;
5. If your ThankYou Member Account is frozen, you may be charged the processing fee disclosed on http://www.thankyou.com/help.jspx to unfreeze your ThankYou Member Account;
6. ThankYou Points will not expire as long as you have qualifying purchase activity at least once every 18 months unless ThankYou Network is terminated;
7. ThankYou Points may not be redeemed and may be lost if your Card Account is not open or current;
8. If your Card Account is closed you will not be able to earn ThankYou Points and you will lose any accumulated ThankYou Points that have not been transferred to your ThankYou Member Account including Flight Points that have not appeared on your billing statement;
9. The fixed flight option for Travel Rewards is no longer available. Please use the online booking tool at http://www.thankyou.com for variably priced Travel Rewards.
For the complete Terms and Conditions of ThankYou Network, please visit http://www.thankyou.com. Sincerely,
Kendall E. Stork President and CEO
Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.
(Thanks to tinyrobot!)