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Citi ThankYou Rewards Transfer Partners and How To Use Them [2023]

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Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard

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Always a fan of flying, Spencer wanted to find ways to upgrade his travel experience. Over the years, Spencer has been a guest speaker on multiple YouTube shows as well as podcasts on maximizing point...
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Citi ThankYou Points sometimes don’t get the same press as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, but don’t overlook them.

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

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 and Hotel Transfer Partners

The Citi ThankYou Points program has 14 airline transfer partners and 3 hotel transfer partners. Make sure you check the transfer rate since not all transfers are done at a 1:1 ratio.

Citi Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aeromexico Club Premier1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Air France / KLM Flying Blue1,0001:1Almost Instantly
ALL - Accor Live Limitless1,0002:1Almost Instantly
Avianca Airlines Lifemiles1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Cathay Pacific
1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Choice Privileges1,0001:2Almost Instantly
Emirates Skywards1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Etihad Airways1,0001:1Almost Instantly
EVA Air1,0001:12 Days
JetBlue Airways1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Qantas Airways1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Qatar Airways
1,0001:12 Days
Singapore Airlines1,0001:12 Days
Thai Airways1,0001:14 Days
Turkish Airlines1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Virgin Atlantic1,0001:1Almost Instantly
Wyndham Rewards1,0001:1Within 24 Hours

Keep in mind that these rates are for those who hold either the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants).

Holders of the Citi® Double Cash Card, Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card (no longer open to new applicants), Citi Rewards+® Card, and Sears Mastercard® with ThankYou® Rewards can transfer ThankYou Points to Choice Privileges at a 1:1.5 ratio and Wyndham Rewards and JetBlue TrueBlue at a 1:0.8 ratio.

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

How To Transfer Citi ThankYou Points

Once you have some ThankYou Points in your account, you’ll want to transfer these points to redeem them for free travel. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to see the world.

Step 1: Starting at ThankYou.com, hover over the Travel menu option to trigger a dropdown menu. Select Points Transfer.

Image Credit: Citi

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

Image Credit: Citi

Step 3: Enter the number of miles you want to transfer. Add your frequent flyer number if you haven’t already attached it to your ThankYou Points account. Agree to the terms and conditions. Select Continue.

Image Credit: Citi

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

Image Credit: Citi

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

Citi Transfer Bonuses

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.

Booking Travel With the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal

If you’re booking economy flights, the Citi ThankYou travel portal 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 (1 cent per point) in addition to the cash price.

Should You Transfer or Book With Citi?

When booking through the Citi ThankYou travel portal, you will earn airline miles on your flights. This serves as a kind of small rebate. However, award redemptions may cost more points in the Citi ThankYou travel portal than 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 award tickets (for example), you can transfer to one of their respective Oneworld or Star Alliance partners and accomplish the same thing.

If SAAver level award space is available on American Airlines, you could transfer points to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program to book the flight. If Saver Award space is available on United Airlines, you could transfer points to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program to book the United flight.

In both cases, the valuation of 1 cent per point when used in the Citi ThankYou travel portal makes transferring a better option even for these short economy flights. The United booking is closer, and booking with the Citi ThankYou travel portal still might be a good move.

The best choice depends on which airline you would credit points to for the flights and any status with the airline. Make sure you compare your award booking options with the Citi ThankYou travel portal 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.

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 value from your points.

Combining ThankYou Points From Different Accounts

If you have both the Citi Prestige card and the Citi 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 you may find the site has trouble processing the request. The easiest way to combine accounts is to call 800-THANK-YOU (800-842-6596).

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 Citi ThankYou travel portal 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 14 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.

Keep an eye out for bonuses that can give your transfers a nice boost! Image Credit: Citi

Final Thoughts

Citi ThankYou Rewards might not be the most talked about transferable points program, but these points 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.

The information for the Citi Prestige® Card,  Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, and Sears Mastercard® with ThankYou® Rewards has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information for the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 14 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!

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.

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.

Your Citi ThankYou Points will not expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. However, if you transfer points to someone else, those points will expire in 90 days.

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.

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). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.

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14 comments

brian sweet

November 07, 2018

Can I transfer Citibank points to Emirates Airlines ??

Erin Miller

November 07, 2018

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.

Betty

December 13, 2018

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.

harsha

May 30, 2019

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.

Jarrod West

May 30, 2019

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!

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.

joe

December 15, 2019

It appears that Cathay is no longer a transfer partner of citi!

Jarrod West

December 16, 2019

Hi Joe,

Where did you see that? According to the ThankYou point website, they appear to still be listed as a transfer partner.

Ron

January 29, 2020

When I login to my account I only have Jetblue and Sears as partners. Does anyone know what may be happening?

Jarrod West

January 29, 2020

Hi Ron,

Which Citi credit card do you have?

Jeff

January 31, 2020

Same for me, just Jetblue and Sears. I have Citi Cashback and Citi Costco cards. I guess those don’t have the other airlines as a transfer option.

mike

December 15, 2020

Unfortunately, none of us read the dumb fine print on “WHO” can transfer and who can not. What follows is from Citi’s ThankYou rewards site:

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO USE POINTS TRANSFER?
ThankYou members who have a Citi PremierSM Card, Citi Prestige® Card or
Citi Chairman® Card are eligible to transfer available and qualifying points to
their participating airline and hotel loyalty program membership accounts.
ThankYou members who have a Citi Rewards+*™ Card, a Citi ThankYou
Preferred Card, or ThankYou Points converted from Citi Double Cash cash
rewards can transfer available and qualifying points only to their participating
TrueBlue program membership account.
In addition, ThankYou® members who have a Sears MasterCard or Cit® credit
card that participates in ThankYou Rewards are eligible to transfer available
and qualifying ThankYou Points to Shop Your Way®.

Us “lowly” Citi Rewards+*™ cardholders can only transfer thankyou points to JetBlue or shop your way.

Thanks for nothing Citi.

Terence

March 09, 2022

I was just advised by Citi that you cannot transfer “shared points” to airline partners. My wife shared points from her Citi Premier to my Citi Premier and then I received an error when trying to transfer to Avianca Life Miles. Spent hours on the phone with Citi and finally the rep realized some of the points were recently shared. Your article shows that these points can be moved after being shared…

Jarrod West

March 09, 2022

Hi Terence,

Unless there has been an extremely recent change in policy, then Citi points that are shared definitely can be transferred to airline partners. If I were you I would call back and speak to another agent.

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