Last week, while making a purchase at Amazon, I was prompted with something I hadn’t seen before. During the part of the process where I can pick from saved payment methods, I was asked if I wanted to link my ThankYou Citi rewards account with Amazon. When I said yes, I was then given the option of using my points balance to cover the cost of the purchase.
This is really cool, and apparently is an expansion of a feature Amazon has called Shop With Points, which lets users in certain reward programs use their points to make purchases instead. The feature was previously available to Amazon cardholders, but it appears to be expanding over time, to include other programs such as Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and American Express’s Membership Rewards.
One of the biggest disappointments for rewards cardholders (who aren’t doing the whole cashback thing) is the limited catalog to draw from when accruing points. Amazon’s catalog certainly fixes that issue. Buying a gift card is cheaper than using the points directly on Amazon’s site, but the option of using a smaller amount of points, or paying only partially in points, may make the convenience factor worth the tradeoff. There’s some limitations, such as not being able to purchase digital items yet, but it’s a small downside to what’s a really nice addition.
Citi’s certainly been creative in the past with options to use the points; last year they sent me an invitation for a program I had previously written about, which let people choose to use some of their rewards when swiping their card (image of sample card seen above).