Anyone who has ever redeemed for points and miles have run into the situation.  You’ve been accruing your points and you want to use them up.   After redeeming for your gift card or rewards, you still have an odd leftover balance of some 3,038 points.

The problem?

You can’t redeem them because the minimum redemption starts at 5,000 points — or some variations of it.

You don’t want to throw the leftover points away because you accrued it, and depending on the program, it’s probably worth at least $30.38 if you valuate the points at 1 cent per point.

So what do you do with the leftover points?

Here’s an Example – Getting Creative

I just ran into the situation recently, with Citi’s ThankYou Points (but the same can be said for Amex Membership Rewards Points).   I had some random 2,192 points leftover after a redemption.

Most of the minimum redemption for gift cards starts at 2,500.  I didn’t have enough. I also wasn’t interested in redeeming for random things I don’t need.

I looked around for redemption options.  Sure, I could apply the balance to existing charges, but I had just paid off my bill and my balance is at $0.

There was an option to link your thankyou points to your amazon account.   I buy/shop from Amazon every now and then, so it made sense to redeem for an amazon gift card.

Once I set up it on amazon, I can see exactly the value I can get from my points balance.


a screenshot of a computer screen


It’s not the best redemption option, as my 2,192 points only translates into $17.54.  Since I don’t even get 1 cents per point valuation here, I wouldn’t normally choose this option as a regular redemption choice.

Still, if you don’t have plans to accrue to the next redemption level and don’t know what else to do with a leftover balance, it’s not a bad option to zero out your leftover balance.


What do you usually do with your leftover reward balance?