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Now that a lot of us are collecting Citi ThankYou Rewards points thanks to the increased sign-up bonuses on the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, the next logical follow up question is what can be done with those points.
Points earned through the Citi Prestige® Card can be redeemed for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of an American/US Airways ticket. That’s a great value, in my opinion.
That being said, ThankYou Rewards points as such can be transferred to a bunch of travel partners, including the following airlines and hotels:
|Air France/KLM | Flying Blue||Garuda Indonesia | Frequent Flyer||Qatar Airways | Privilege Club||Hilton | HHonors|
|Cathay Pacific | Asia Miles||JetBlue | TrueBlue||Singapore Airlines | KrisFlyer|
|EVA Air | Infinity MileageLands||Malaysia Airlines | Enrich||Thai Airways | Royal Orchid Plus|
|Etihad | Etihad Guest||Qantas | Frequent Flyer||Virgin Atlantic | Flying Club|
Through May 15, 2015, Etihad Guest is offering a 25% mileage bonus when you transfer ThankYou Rewards points to their program.
This transfer bonus is a bit backwards compared to what we might be used to. Typically when there’s a transfer bonus from a transferable points currency it shows up when you make the transfer request. In this case, the transfer seems to be entirely on Etihad’s end.
When you get to the Citi ThankYou Rewards website you’ll see the usual transfer rate of 1,000 ThankYou Rewards points per 1,000 Etihad Guest miles.
However, Etihad’s website hosts the promotion whereby they’re offering a 25% bonus on points transfers. The promotion is valid for transfers through May 15, 2015, and the 25% bonus miles should be posted within seven days of the standard miles being transferred.
This is actually a fairly global promotion. The promotion page lists all the countries where Citi points transfers are eligible for the bonus, which includes several countries in Asia and the Middle East, along with the United States.
As I’ve explained before, Etihad actually has reasonable redemption rates, especially compared to most other-non US carriers. They have a roughly distance based award chart, so shorthaul redemptions are especially reasonably priced in business class:
One-way flights between Abu Dhabi and Europe cost ~50,000-55,000 miles in first class:
Meanwhile one-way flights between Abu Dhabi and the US cost 110,000+ miles in first class:
When you factor in the 25% bonus, those prices are roughly comparable to what you’d pay through American AAdvantage. That being said, Etihad does occasionally have redemption promotions, which could make this a spectacular deal. For example, back in March Etihad offered a 25% discount on select redemptions. That wasn’t the first time they’ve offered such a promotion, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
If you stacked the 25% transfer bonus and the 25% discount, you’d be looking at some amazingly low redemption rates.
I’ve been wondering whether Citi transfer partners ever have transfer bonuses, so it’s nice to see that they do. Etihad Guest has the ability to be a pretty lucrative transfer partner, given that they have a great onboard product and some of the most reasonable redemption rates for a non-US carrier.
While I’m still building up my ThankYou Rewards points (I have 100,000+ points which should hit my account within the next month thanks to the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card), a similar bonus could prove quite useful to me in the future.
(Tip of the hat to Live from a Lounge)