Citi ThankYou Points Transfer Partners & How To Use Them

Qatar Airways QSuite

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Citi ThankYou Points sometimes don’t get the same press as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, but you don’t want to forget about them.

With 3 credit cards to help you earn ThankYou Points and several airline partners that provide some amazing redemption opportunities, these are points everyone should have!

In this post, we’ll review what transfer opportunities Citi ThankYou Points 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.

Earning ThankYou Points

Citi offers multiple 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.

Citi Airline & Hotel Transfer Partners

The Citi ThankYou Points program has 15 airline transfer partners. There are no current hotel transfer partners. Make sure you check the transfer rate (see below) since not all transfers are done at a 1:1 ratio.

Citi Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Avianca Airlines Lifemiles1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Air France / KLM Flying Blue1,0001:12 Days
Cathay Pacific
1,0001:124 Hours
Etihad Airways1,0001:16 Days
EVA Air1,0001:12 Days
Jet Airways1,0001:1Almost Instantly
JetBlue Airways1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Malaysia Airlines1,0001:1No Data
Qantas Airways1,0001:12 Days
Qatar Airways
1,0001:12 Days
Singapore Airlines1,0001:12 Days
Thai Airways1,0001:14 Days
Turkish Airlines1,0001:11-2 Days
Virgin Atlantic1,0001:12 Days

Hot Tip: Use our transfer partner tool to see how many points you’ll get when you transfer your Citi ThankYou points to their partner hotels and airlines!

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.”

Citi Thank You Points Transfer


Step 2: 
Find your desired airline and select “Transfer Now” to start the transfer process.

Citi Thank You Points Transfer Page


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.”

Citi Thank You Points Transfer To Airline


Step
4: Confirm that the details of the transfer are correct and select “Confirm” to complete the transfer.

Citi Thank You Points Transfer Confirm


Step 5: 
Head over to the appropriate airline site to book your award flight.

Citi Transfer Bonuses

Banks like Citi will sometimes offer a transfer bonus for a limited period of time. If you have a redemption in mind, this is the ideal time to transfer your points to get the most value.

Citi Transfer Bonus History

Here’s a quick look at the Citi transfer bonuses over the last couple of years. There will sometimes targeted offers available as well.

Transfer PartnerBonusEnd Date
Virgin Atlantic30%6/22/2019
Qantas25%4/13/2019
Turkish Airlines25%2/20/2019
Avianca25%12/12/2018
Virgin Atlantic30%10/13/2018
Air France30%8/29/2018
Asia Miles15%7/4/2018
JetBlue30%5/19/2018
JetBlue25%10/25/2017
Hilton33%9/20/2017
Cathay Pacific20%9/6/2017
Etihad10%7/31/2017
JetBlue50%4/30/2017
Virgin Atlantic25%3/15/2017

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 or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, each point is worth 1.25 cents when booking flights.

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!

Bottom Line: Most of the time transferring ThankYou Points to an airline partner is the best way to go. Just make sure it’s a 1:1 transfer ratio.

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.

Redeeming ThankYou Points

Using your ThankYou Points for travel is clearly the best way to extract value from your points. With 15 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 Transfer Bonus
Keep an eye out for bonuses that can give your transfers a nice boost!

 

Final Thoughts

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.


Featured Image: Courtesy of Qatar Airways

 

FAQ

What airlines can Citi ThankYou points be used for?

There are multiple different airline partners that you’re able to transfer your Citi ThankYou points to. Refer to our table in the post for the most up to date transfer partners!

Can you transfer Citi ThankYou points to another person?

Yes, but you can only share a total of 100,000 ThankYou points in a calendar year, and shared points are only valid for 90 days from the date they are received.

Can you transfer points from an airline to Citi ThankYou points?

You cannot transfer miles or points from an airline to Citi ThankYou points. You also cannot get back any ThankYou points that you have already transferred to an airline partner, all transfers are final.

Do Citi ThankYou points expire?

Your Citi ThankYou points will not expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?

Generally, your ThankYou points will be worth 1 cent when redeeming them through the ThankYou travel portal, or 2+ cents for redemptions made through transfer partners.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

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6 comments

  1. brian sweet · November 7, 2018 · Reply

    Can I transfer Citibank points to Emirates Airlines ??

    • Hi Brian, as you can see in the table above, Emirates is not a Citibank Transfer Partner. Interested in the details surrounding why you’d specifically like to transfer to Emirates including routes and in what cabin class. The best ways to book award flights with Emirates are via Japan Airlines Mileage Bank or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, although there are devaluations coming again soon AND these airlines also are NOT transfer partners of Citi. There may be a few options to book via Qantas which is a Citi transfer partner but you’ll have to do some digging to find the best option for you.

  2. I find this whole thing so complicated that I’m considering leaving citi altogether. I don’t get the deadlines, don’t get the different kinds of points, I’m not especially a shopper. I’d like points just transferred into an account as money back. That’s how the Citi Costco Visa works and Bank America card too. Simple. No hassle.

  3. harsha · May 30, 2019 · Reply

    Citi ThankYou points are not very flexible for travel. You cannot transfer ThankYou points to major US airlines such as American, Delta, United, Alaska, etc. I am planning to close my account.

    • Hi Harsha!

      While it is true that Citi ThankYou points do not transfer to any of those airlines, they do transfer to Jetblue, which is a great option for domestic flights if they fly to your home airport. Additionally, many of their transfer partners are great options for international flights.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Christine Krzyszton · May 31, 2019 · Reply

      As Jarrod mentions, JetBlue is a great transfer option. In addition to transferring points, however, you can use ThankYou points to purchase flights on any airline. I have used ThankYou points to purchase tickets on several different domestic airlines through the travel portal.

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