In this post, we’ll review what transfer opportunities Citi ThankYou Ponts offer, how to make these transfers, and more. With this info in hand, you’ll be ready to see the world using your ThankYou Points.
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Citi Airline & Hotel Transfer Partners
The Citi ThankYou Points program has 15 airline transfer partners. Make sure you check the transfer rate (see below) since not all transfers are done at a 1:1 ratio.
ThankYou Points can only be transferred to 1 hotel rewards program: Hilton Honors. This is not typically a good use of your points, so stick with airline transfers if you really want to get the most value out of them.
|Citi Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Air France / KLM Flying Blue||1:1||2 Days|
|Cathay Pacific||1:1||24 Hours|
|Etihad Airways||1:1||6 Days|
|EVA Air||1:1||2 Days|
|Garuda Indonesia||1:1||2 Days|
|Hilton Honors||1:2 (bonus until 09/20)||Up to 24 hours|
|Jet Airways||1:1||Almost Instantly|
|JetBlue Airways||1:0.8||Almost Instantly|
|Qantas Airways||1:1||2 Days|
|Qatar Airways||1:1||2 Days|
|Singapore Airlines||1:1||2 Days|
|Thai Airways||1:1||4 Days|
|Turkish Airlines||1:1||1-2 Days|
|Virgin America||1:0.5||2 Days|
|Virgin Atlantic||1:1||2 Days|
How To Transfer Citi ThankYou Points
Now that you have some ThankYou Points in your account, let’s talk about how to transfer these points so you can start traveling. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to see the world.
Step 1: Hover over the “Travel” menu option to trigger a dropdown menu. Select “Points Transfer.”
Step 2: Find your desired airline and select “Transfer Now” to start the transfer process.
Step 3: Enter the number of miles you want to transfer and your frequent flyer number (if you haven’t already attached it to your ThankYou Points account). Agree to the terms and conditions. Select “Continue.”
Step 4: Confirm that the details of the transfer are correct and select “Confirm” to complete the transfer.
Step 5: Head over to the appropriate airline site to book your award flight.
Booking Travel With the Citi Travel Center
If you’re booking economy flights, the Citi Travel Center might be worth your consideration. Booking through Citi is not unlike booking directly with an airline. The difference is that you will see the cost in points in addition to the cash price.
If you have the Citi Prestige® Card, each point is worth 1.6 cents when booking flights with American Airlines and 1.33 cents when booking with all other airlines. If you hold the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, each point is worth 1.33 cents regardless of airline.
Unfortunately, the value of your ThankYou Points when used in the Travel Center will decrease after July 23, 2017. Your points will now be worth 1.25 cents each for all airline bookings.
Below is an example of the current points structure for Citi Prestige® Card holders. As you can see, an American Airlines flight that costs $393.40 can also be booked with 24,587 ThankYou Points (1.6 cents per point). The United Airlines flight would cost $320.40 or 24,090 points (1.33 cents per point).
Soon these bookings will cost 31,472 points and 25,632 points, respectively. As you can see, booking flights with American Airlines no longer has an advantage once your points are valued at 1.25 cents for all airlines.
Should You Transfer or Book With Citi?
When booking through the Citi Travel Center, you will earn airline miles on your flights. This serves as a kind of small rebate. However, you may give up more than you would by booking an award flight with the airline, so it’s important to compare when booking economy tickets.
While you can’t transfer ThankYou Points directly to American Airlines or United Airlines to book one of our example flights as an award ticket, you can transfer to one of their respective Oneworld or Star Alliance partners.
If SAAver level award space is available on American Airlines, you could transfer 20,000 points to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program to book the flight. If Saver Award space is available on United Airlines, you could transfer 25,000 miles to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program to book the United flight.
In both cases, the new valuation of 1.25 cents per point when used in the Travel Center makes transferring a better option even for these short economy flights. The United booking is closer, and booking with the Travel Center still might be a good move.
This would depend on which airline you would credit points to for the flights and your status with said airline (if applicable). Make sure you compare your award booking options with the Travel Center prices to ensure you are getting the most value out of your points. There’s no need to throw away extra ThankYou Points!
Other Ways To Use Your Points
Citi ThankYou Points can be redeemed for gift cards to merchants including Starbucks, Home Depot, and Macy’s, or for items such as luggage and cameras.
Citi also has a partnership with Expedia that allows you to use points to book hotel stays. This seems like a great option…until you see the redemption rate is just 0.8 cents per point.
While there are plenty of these options to use your points, none of them provide a good value. Stick with flight redemptions if you really want to get the most bang for your points.
Combining ThankYou Points From Different Accounts
If you have both the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, you can link the accounts so you have access to all of your ThankYou Points in one place. This can make earning the points for your next award flight much easier.
The downside is that once linked, canceling one of the cards will cause the points earned on that card to have an expiration date. Additionally, once linked, your accounts cannot be unlinked.
There is an option to combine accounts online but it often has trouble processing the request. The easiest way to combine accounts is to call 1-800-THANKYOU.
You can also transfer points to other ThankYou Points accounts. Unlike American Express Membership Rewards, which can be transferred to your authorized user’s frequent flyer accounts, Citi allows you to transfer directly to ThankYou Points accounts.
These shared points expire within 90 days, so they need to be transferred to an airline partner or used in the Travel Center within that timeframe. Even with the time limit, this is a great way to help friends and family complete a booking.
Earning ThankYou Points
Citi offers 3 cards that earn ThankYou Points, and each has category bonuses that allow you to earn points quicker. Make sure you check out the best ways to earn Citi ThankYou Points to get started on the right foot.
Redeeming ThankYou Points
Using your ThankYou Points for travel is clearly the best way to extract value from your points. With more than 10 airline transfer partners, you have plenty of choices when it comes time to redeem points for an amazing flight. To make the process a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to redeem your ThankYou Points.
Occasionally, Citi will run promotions that provide transfer bonuses between 10% and 30%. These are great opportunities to save some points when transferring points to complete an award booking.
Citi ThankYou Points might not be the first transferable points program that comes to mind, but they can help you book some fantastic travel experiences. Once you know a few ways to earn and redeem your points, you’ll be ready to fly across the world.
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