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DansDeals is reporting that starting in April, Citi ThankYou Points will be transferable to both Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer and British Airways Executive Club at a 1:1 ratio.
Back in the day Citi Thank You points were incredibly valuable. They could be redeemed at a fixed amount towards the cost of a revenue ticket, which meant it was possible to earn miles when redeeming points. Many people took full advantage of this by booking tickets in expensive markets that were thousands of dollars, then canceled them, and then applied the credit towards a new ticket (or several new ticket). Unfortunately that was before my days of credit card churning.
For the past few years their points have only been redeemable towards the cost of travel at a value of one cent per point, meaning a $100 ticket would cost you 10,000 points. There’s not a lot of value for me in that, since I’d much rather earn miles that can be redeemed towards international first and business class travel.
However, the points will now be transferable to both Singapore Airlines and British Airways, which makes me rethink the program.
While British Airways miles aren’t nearly as useful as they were before the devaluation, there are still some good redemption opportunities. Nonetheless I’m not especially tempted by them, since their best use is shorthaul economy awards as opposed to longhaul first class awards. Besides, I think British Airways is now officially the sluttiest loyalty program in the industry. They’re now “partners” with Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, Starwood, and Thank You Points.
That being said, I’m very tempted by the prospect of earning Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer miles. As I posted about a few weeks ago, Singapore recently changed their mileage program to make first class awards on them much more attainable. As you can see in the linked post, with the new award chart you can fly first class on Singapore Airlines between San Francisco and Hong Kong for about 140,000 miles.
This makes it tempting to use a Thank You Points co-branded credit card for categories in which they offer bonus points. For example, the Citi Forward Card offers five points per dollar on restaurants. Five Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer miles is more tempting to me than the 2 Ultimate Rewards points I currently earn per dollar on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is my current “go to” card for restaurant spend.
I actually think the more exciting news is for college students, as there’s a Citi Forward Card for College Students which comes with the same five points per dollar on restaurants. When I first started building my credit I got a Discover card for college students that earned me 1% cashback, which wasn’t really all that exciting. So if you’re just starting to build your credit, I’d say that this card is now easily the most tempting one out there.
Like I said, though, I’m not all that familiar with the ThankYou Points program. Are there any other cards that earn ThankYou points at a more favorable ratio? Either way, this makes the program much more valuable.