Grab and Citi recently tied up in late October to offer easy conversion of your Citi ThankYou Points and Citi Miles. Should you do it? There has been a few queries on this in the chat recently, so let’s find an answer to this.
The official programme lets you trade 2,200 ThankYou Points earned by your Citi Rewards card, or 825 Citi Miles earned by your Citi PremierMiles card, into 2,500 Grab points. This is a one-way transfer and there is currently no way to convert your Grab points into Citi points.
You can do this in your Grab app, and until 17th November, there is a 10% boost, and one would get 2,750 Grab points instead.
If you check my compilation of the value of various points, 2,200 ThankYou Points, 825 Citi Miles, and 2,500 Grab Points are all worth $5 if you redeem them for cash rebate… which is probably one of the lousier ways to derive any kind of value from your points. Often, redeeming for other things like vouchers gives you better value (albeit with a more limited choice of things to spend on):
|Point||Official Value||Voucher Value||Miles||Value of Miles^|
|2,200 ThankYou Points||$5||$6.56||880 miles (986 miles⁺)||$7.04 onwards ($7.89⁺)|
|825 Citi Miles||$5||$6.29||825 miles (924 miles⁺)||$6.60 onwards ($7.39⁺)|
|2,500 Grab points||$5||$6.67*||250 miles||$2 onwards|
|2,750 Grab points||$5.50||$7.34*||275 miles||$2.20 onwards|
^ Assuming 0.8 cents per mile onwards. Higher if redeemed for flights. Conversion fee applies.
⁺ Taking into account conversion under bonus miles promo
Reasons against conversion
People who earn Citi ThankYou Points or Citi Miles probably do it for miles in the first place, and that is still the way to go for your Citi points. Even when used non-optimally, KrisFlyer miles are worth 0.8 cents each when you spend them in KrisShop.
On top of that, one can get bonus 12% or 15% miles when converting to KrisFlyer before 22nd November 2021, which significantly boosts the value proposition of your Citi points. There is no reason to convert to Grab points when you can get a significant bonus with KrisFlyer miles, and the value of your points goes higher when you redeem them for flights.
It is also worth noting that Citi points are the most versatile of bank points, and you can redeem them for miles with more airlines than any other bank. Optimistically speaking, travel is resuming, and you should find some use for your miles.
Reason for conversion
Because miles have to be converted in blocks of 10,000, you might have some leftover points, and one can convert leftover points to Grab points before redeeming them during a Grab sale. If we consider the extra 10% and also assume that Grab would continue offering pointsback sales at around 25% discount, 2,200 ThankYou points for $7.34 of vouchers isn’t the worst deal.
Your CitiRewards card has now earned about 3.33% rebate in vouchers instead of 4 mpd from its 10X rewards… it’s not the worst, although I suspect most people are just going to leave the leftover points in there to accumulate with future spending for their next mile redemption.
Take note though: while frequent, Grab’s sales aren’t guaranteed, of course, and things sell out fast. Also, there are often limits to how many redemptions you can make.
I am not going to convert my Citi points to Grab points. The conversion makes sense only if one is confident of converting their Grab points optimally during sales, and this is not guaranteed. The sales are sporadic, and popular items like Qoo10 and CapitaStar redemptions sell out quickly.
Moreover, if we compare the 10% conversion bonus now versus KrisFlyer’s 15% bonus, the latter option is still more attractive, even if you want to buy a new iPad or something.
During normal periods outside of the two promos, the upside is minimal, and again it depends on Grab having sales. You could convert your Citi points to Grab points only when Grab sales happen, so perhaps that’s something to consider after the two promos expire.
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