Where are our Citi enthusiasts? Citi ThankYou Rewards has had a tough time in recent years with the gutting and then demise of the Citi Prestige® Card, Citi’s answer to other top-tier travel cards.
Since then, however, Citi has been working to bring back members with the launch of its Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and its temporary inclusion of American Airlines AAdvantage as a transfer partner. Now, Citi has taken another step in the battle for your loyalty with the addition of its very first hotel transfer partner.
Let’s take a look at Citi’s new partnership with Choice Privileges and why we’re excited by the news.
Citi ThankYou Rewards and Choice Privileges
Citi already features 16 airline transfer partners representing each of the world’s major airline alliances. Unfortunately, however, it has not had — until now — any hotel transfer partners. That’s now changed with Citi’s addition of Choice Privileges as its newest transfer partner.
The most exciting part of this announcement, aside from another use of your Citi ThankYou Points, is the transfer ratio that Citi is offering. It’s also slightly confusing, given the ratios Choice Privileges has with other transfer partners.
- For Citi Premier® Card and Citi Prestige® Card holders, Citi ThankYou Points transfer to Choice Privileges at a 1:2 ratio, meaning that 1 Citi ThankYou Point becomes 2 Choice Privileges points
- For Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, Citi ThankYou Points transfer to Choice Privileges at a 1:1.5 ratio, meaning that 1 Citi ThankYou Point becomes 1.5 Choice Privileges points
- American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio
- Capital One miles will — later this year — transfer to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio
As you can see, Citi has doubled the value of its points in relation to Amex and Capital One. This is intriguing considering our valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points is 2.2 cents compared to Citi ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents. Capital One miles, meanwhile, are valued at just 1.4 cents.
Is It Worth It?
Choice Privileges points aren’t talked about all that much in the world of award travel, but they should be. Choice Hotels has thousands of hotels around the world, with especially good redemptions in both Scandinavia and Japan.
Consider the Nordic Light Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection in Stockholm. You can reserve a 1-bedroom suite here for 4 people for just 20,000 points per night in November. The cash rate of that room? $389, including tax. Even better, the hotel includes a free full breakfast, which can save you a bundle when traveling in Sweden.
If you hold one of Citi’s better cards, you’ll need to transfer over just 10,000 Citi ThankYou Points to make this booking. At this rate, you’ll be redeeming your Citi points for 3.89 cents each, which is more than double our valuation.
Hot Tip: Choice Privileges doesn’t put a cap on the room types for which you can redeem points. This means you can redeem suites for the same cost as a standard room!
Choice Privileges can be a very valuable rewards program when you’re redeeming points. Although you’re limited to a booking window of 100 days in advance, redeeming points is both easy and worthwhile in many circumstances. Citi ThankYou Rewards’ addition of a hotel transfer partner is exciting — but even more exciting is the ratio at which Citi ThankYou Points will be transferring over to Choice Privileges. At a 1:2 ratio, Citi has handily beat out its competition and created a very alluring opportunity for its cardholders.
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Featured Image Credit: