Citi ThankYou Points Now Transfer To Airlines

There have been rumors about Citi ThankYou points transferring to airline miles for nearly as long as Air India has been betrothed to the Star Alliance, but it looks like holders of the Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige, and Citi Chairman cards will now be able to transfer points to selected airline partners.

Citi TY

Citi ThankYou points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the following airlines:

  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

ThankYou points are also transferable to the Hilton HHonors program at the rate of 1,000 ThankYou points to 1,500 HHonors points, but that’s not a great value in most situations, and I’d try to avoid that if possible. I value HHonors points at about 0.4 cents each, so to me that’s like getting ~0.6 cents of value per ThankYou point.

It is worth noting the Terms and Conditions state “it may take up to fourteen days for the ThankYou Points to post to your participating travel loyalty program member account.” That’s an outrageous transfer time, so hopefully that improves as the initial kinks get worked out, or that’s just them trying to under promise and over deliver.

In general, the best value here is going to come from transferring points to the Singapore KrisFlyer program.

I love the KrisFlyer program, mainly for redemptions in Singapore Airlines premium cabinsSingapore is one of the airlines that releases lots more premium cabin award space to members of their own KrisFlyer program than to members of partner airline programs. For example, you can’t use miles from most of their Star Alliance partners for first class awards on Singapore, while you can redeem Singapore miles for their premium cabins.

Singapore-KrisFlyer-Redemption
Redeem ThankYou points for Singapore Airlines Suites Class

And since they don’t release this space to many of their partner airlines, availability is actually quite good for KrisFlyer redemptions. They recently even started making two Suites Class award seats available for flights to the US, so it’s now possible to book the “double bed in the sky” on miles to the US for two.

As a reminder, Singapore KrisFlyer was already partners with Chase Ultimate RewardsAmerican Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, so now the “major” flexible points currencies are all transfer partners with KrisFlyer. 

This should make it easier for those who have lingering ThankYou point balances to top off other accounts, but at this point I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to accrue additional ThankYou points, since their cards aren’t as lucrative as they used to be.

Comments

  1. dbeach says

    Wow, great news. CX is also a MR transfer partner, so that could be useful as well. Their award prices for first are kind of outrageous, but business class doesn’t look too bad.

    Too bad the Citi Forward with 5X dining isn’t around anymore.

  2. KahunnaTravel says

    Interesting – the web page implies a credit card linkage is required to do a transfer, but an actual reading of the terms and conditions shows no such linkage – though it does refer to an “eligible account” but then does not define it. I’ve 30K+ ThankYou points from my banking relationship with Citi – and earn more each from basically doing nothing but normal banking. Been wondering what to do with these things. Now I have some ideas. Thanks for the tip Ben.

  3. Robert says

    If only Singapore Airlines did not charge those huge fees. Imagine a family of 2 adults with 11YO girl plus an infant on a trip from SIN to JFK via FRA! Even though we already accumulated with my wife some 400K Membership Reward points, paying $2K in taxes and fees does not make much sense to fly in business class as the same points might be transferred somewhere else, correct?!

  4. Lynn says

    Hmmm…….so assuming the only international destination I ever want to go to is Europe, it seems that 20,000 points I received for getting the card will not do me much good for flights with the listed airlines, correct?
    If this is the case, my thought is that I shouldn’t spend the extra $3000 to get the additional 30,000 points in my second year – I should just cancel the card. The spend would be better used with my Chase Sapphire……..right?

  5. Golfingboy says

    I am not sure why you and Gary do not feel the Prestige is as lucrative. It is certainly a much better card than the AMEX platinum and thanks to flight bonuses and annual relationship bonus, I earn 2.1 points per $1 spent on every single purchase (3.1 for dining). Yes, there are cards that are better in specific categories like 3 points for gas purchases or 5 points for office store purchases, but AFAIK there is no card that gives you 2+ points on all purchases that offers the ability to transfer into airline miles.

    This does not factor in many other unique benefits that comes with the card.

  6. Miles says

    @KahunnaTravel Banking points cannot be transferred.

    @Golfingboy References to flight points have been removed from some of the Prestige marketing materials, suggesting this feature might bite the dust soon.

  7. Winston says

    Can you write a post to talk about these airlines’ frequent flyer programs? It wouldn’t make sense to do the transfer if those miles are like delta’s skypeso.

  8. RockStopper says

    Great news to see points gain value instead of being devalued!

    Kicking myself for using up my 2x75k Citi thank you redemptions over the last years(last one redemption just a week ago) for the student loan rebates which gave me just 1cent per point cash value.

    Oh well, cash in hand is always a good thing. Nice my Amex MR and future accumulated Citi TY points all can transfer to Cathay and SQ.

  9. AK Credit says

    I have a feeling after the merger with AA and US is complete,Citi will have AA as a transfer partner. If Citi wants to compete with AMEX and Chase they should put AA as a Transfer Partner. I have a question
    I have a Forward account, is there anyway if i call CITI and ask them to upgrade my account to a Thank You Premier without an inquiry and still receive a bonus? or even an AA Card?. thank you in advance.

  10. lucky says

    @ Lynn — You can combine the points with some of the same partners as Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, you could transfer the points to Singapore KrisFlyer, where you can also transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. So I would spend $3,000 in order to get an extra 30,000 points, in your shoes.

  11. Golfingboy says

    @miles

    It is still in the terms: https://online.citibank.com/US/JRS/portal/template.do?ID=GACTermsBenefits

    As of right now, there is one known fact, it is a benefit of the card, the rest is just speculation. So at this point the Prestige card is a better card for all around points earning than the Sapphire or any of the AMEX cards assuming you do travel quite bit. That does not factor in many benefits like generous trip delay reimbursement program, generous baggage delay

    I also have a feeling they will add AA/US as a transfer partner down the road.

  12. Joey says

    @Lynn, for 20,000 points, you can travel to Europe on Singapore Airlines either on its JFK-FRA route or IAH-DME route. An economy seat would cost you 17000 Krisflyer miles plus fuel surcharges (which normally is around $200-$300, unfortunately.

  13. Itsyehuda says

    Ben

    You got the Hilton ratio wrong. You get 1500 hilton points for 1000 Thank You Points.

  14. Nic says

    Lets not be so happy, probably this means there are taking away some benefits as it is rumored for the prestige card. If you compare this additional benefit to the benefits they will take away its rather a sad day.

  15. Miles says

    @Golfingboy They removed mention of the flight points and companion pass from the website some time ago. That never bodes well.

  16. Miles says

    @Golfingboy UPDATE: The T&C on the Prestige application lists Flight Points as only being offered for tickets booked through October 18, 2014. Effective October 19, 2014, you receive 3 points per dollar on airfare, hotels, and travel agencies, and 2 points per dollar on restaurants and entertainment.

  17. Ivan Y says

    Could’ve sworn that some of our cards had ThankYou points but they are tied EasyDeals :(

  18. Robert says

    I received a brochure from Citi regarding the adverse changes to the Citi Prestige. Of note, it says:
    “Turn points into miles for select international airlines like Air France, by the end of July”. Flying Blue would be a great addition.

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