When it comes to collecting valuable points, it’s hard to beat flexible points programs like Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and American Express Membership Rewards. The ability to transfer your points to a variety of airline and hotel programs means you can always find the best value for redemption.
This week, 2 of these major flexible points programs stepped up their game by adding more airline transfer partners. Let’s take a look at the new options.
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Citi ThankYou Points
Citi has added Avianca LifeMiles as a new transfer partner for their ThankYou Rewards program. ThankYou points can now be transferred to LifeMiles at a rate of 1:1 in 1,000-point increments.
Avianca is a member of the Star Alliance and is based in Colombia. Their LifeMiles program has been known in the past for having some amazing sweet spot redemptions, especially on partner airlines. Recently, they have cracked down on some of those deals, but other amazing redemptions still remain. LifeMiles is definitely a program worth getting to know.
Avianca LifeMiles were previously only transferrable from Starwood. Starpoints can be more difficult to earn, but they offer a bonus when you transfer 20,000 points. With the regular huge bonuses on buying LifeMiles that Avianca runs, it will be interesting to see if there are any transfer bonuses from Citi ThankYou that come up in the future.
Earning ThankYou Points
There are plenty of ways to earn Citi ThankYou points. If you need a few more before you transfer over to LifeMiles, take a look at our best ways to earn ThankYou points to get some ideas.
In addition, there are several Citi Credit Cards that earn ThankYou Points.
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|Citi Prestige® Card|
|Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card|
|Citi ThankYou® Premier Card|
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase has added both Iberia and Aer Lingus as transfer partners for their Ultimate Rewards program. Iberia and Aer Lingus are both Avios programs, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points will transfer to either at a rate of 1:1 in 1,000-point increments.
Since Iberia, Aer Lingus, and British Airways are all partners in the Avios program, transfers between the different types of Avios have been possible in the past. To make a transfer, however, you had to have both accounts open for at least 90 days and show some points-earning activity. The ability to transfer directly into each of the 3 programs effectively removes these restrictions and makes things easier for people who don’t use Avios as their main program.
Iberia and Aer Lingus both use distance-based charts for their Avios programs, each having both peak and off-peak award levels. There are some sweet spot redemptions in both programs, depending on which cities you are flying to and from. Taxes and fees can vary greatly between the 3 Avios programs, so it is worth checking each one for a total cost in points and cash before transferring your points over.
Earning Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can also be earned in a variety of ways. Check out our best ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points to increase the number of points you have to transfer.
Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards from Chase are a great way to build your balances.
|CHASE PERSONAL CARD||BENEFITS & INFO|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®|
Transfer Partner Calculator
With programs changing their partners and transfer rates at different times throughout the year, it can be difficult to know what your best flexible point transfer options are at any one time.
Luckily, we have designed a Transfer Partner Calculator to keep track of the changes for you! It covers all of the flexible points options and all of the airlines and hotels they can be transferred to. We even include any transfer bonuses that may be in effect at that time. Take a look and see how easy it is to find out your available transfer programs and rates.
The more transfer partner options you have, the easier it is to use points for the flight awards you want. Depending on your desired destination, additional partners can sometimes even get you there for fewer points.
Although none of these new transfer partners are such an amazing deal that you will want to use them every time you transfer points, there are certainly valuable redemption options within each program.
It will be interesting to watch American Express over the next few months. If we’re lucky, we may see them add some new transfer partners to counter these moves by Citi and Chase.
We’re always happy to see programs adding value by increasing the number of transfer options, and we look forward to seeing which airlines and hotels these flexible points programs will add next.