Citi Points Now Transfer To Air France Instantly

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Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige® Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Citi ThankYou points are the currency accrued by the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. These are two of the most lucrative cards for everyday spend, thanks to the great bonus categories they offer.

Citi ThankYou points can be transferred to a dozen partner airline & hotel programs, including the following:

Air France/KLM | Flying BlueGaruda Indonesia | Frequent FlyerQatar Airways | Privilege ClubHilton | HHonors
Cathay Pacific | Asia MilesJetBlue | TrueBlueSingapore Airlines | KrisFlyer
EVA Air | Infinity MileageLandsMalaysia Airlines | EnrichThai Airways | Royal Orchid Plus
Etihad | Etihad GuestQantas | Frequent FlyerVirgin Atlantic | Flying Club

My favorite is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, given that the program is the best way to book premium cabin awards on Singapore Airlines. After all, who doesn’t want to fly Singapore Suites Class?

Citi ThankYou points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card can also be redeemed for paid tickets on airlines, which is a great use of those points, especially since you receive elite benefits and earn miles on those tickets.

However, Air France FlyingBlue is also a fantastic transfer partner. The program is especially useful for transatlantic travel. I just recently redeemed Citi ThankYou points for travel in Air France business class between Europe and North America, which was a great use of points.

Air-France-Business-Class-777 - 1

Last September I shared my experience transferring Citi ThankYou points to Air France, and explained how it took about 30 hours for the points to transfer.

With American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, points transfers typically range from instant to a couple of days, depending on the partner.

I transferred more points yesterday, and should note that Citi points now transfer to Air France instantly.

Citi-Air-France

I had zero miles in my account before I made the transfer.

Citi-Air-France-2

And then I checked my account again a minute after making the transfer of 1,000 miles, and the miles had already posted.

Citi-Air-France-1

That’s fantastic news. Air France doesn’t allow holds on award tickets, so it’s always frustrating to transfer points with a specific use in mind, when availability could disappear between the time you transfer points and when they actually post.

Now you can find availability, transfer the points, and then ticket instantly. That’s great.

If you are transferring points, one thing to remember is that Citi ThankYou requires you to enter a 12 digit FlyingBlue frequent flyer account number. Most FlyingBlue account numbers are only 10 digits. So you have to enter two zeroes to the front of your Air France account number when transferring points. If you don’t do that there may be a delay.

Bottom line

Air France is a fantastic Citi transfer partner, for those collecting points through the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. If you’re looking to travel transatlantic, Air France’s new business class product is great.

Air-France-Business-Class-777 - 15

Beyond that, they have some useful airline partners as well, and offer one of the best SkyTeam frequent flyer programs.

Have you transferred Citi ThankYou points to Air France FlyingBlue?

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Comments

  1. Except for that little “fraud prevention” thing that makes you go to an air france ticket counter to complete your award.

  2. I’ve always been afraid of transferring miles to Air France because of stories of them considering it “fraud” and not honoring the transfer. Do we have enough anecdotal evidence at this point that we can transfer to Air France without hesitation?

  3. I just transferred miles yesterday but forgot to add the leading zeros. Is there anything I should do to correct it or do I just wait?

    Thanks!

  4. Surcharges on AF and KLM business class saver awards are around $235 for SFO-CDG/AMS, if that helps. Just don’t forget to click *all the way through* (until you get an error that you don’t have enough miles) when transferring miles to FlyingBlue! I got burned by the calendar showing award space that wasn’t actually there.

  5. Also be aware there are actually different kinds of ThankYou points. Those earned via a credit card can be exchanged for airlines points whereas those accrued via a Citi bank account, such as the current 50,000 point offer when open a Citigold cannot. Citi does not make this clear and if you combine points you cannot tell that some of your points will be ineligible for transfer to an airline program. That is quite a gotcha.

  6. So Lucky, why is this so great with a $235 fuel surcharge fee

    Alaska Air does it for no fuel surcharge, same miles. Super easy to get Alaska Air miles.

  7. @ beachfan — Alaska doesn’t have access to full Air France inventory. Much like Delta, they only have access to a subset of inventory. And I wouldn’t say it’s “super easy” to get Alaska miles. You can buy them for over two cents each, or transfer them from Starwood. But not nearly as easy to acquire as a transferable points currency.

  8. That’s not my experience it took almost 2 weeks for my miles to post to Etihad. Also lucky says that if I got the Citibank thank you card at the end of 2015 I’d get the $250 airline spend plus the $250 for 2016 as well. That’s simply not true I didn’t use the 2015 credit because it was so late in the year and it wasnt carried over into 2016. Be careful that you believe everything he says particularly regarding thes cc’s he’s making money for every card that gets approved through his site. So naturally he’s going to make it sound like a no brainier to sign up for all these cards. Just be careful everything isn’t what it seems on face value

  9. @ Steve — This post is about Air France; transfers to Etihad still take longer. And the $250 airline credit is annual — it doesn’t carry over, but you certainly could have used it in 2015, and would still have received an additional credit in 2016. If you ever have questions about the details on these things, please ask!

  10. @ Greg @ Pat — We haven’t had issues for probably eight months or so? As long as you’re booking tickets for yourself, from your account, using your credit card, etc., it seems like things are back to normal.

  11. is air france still showing occasional phantom availability on their site that disappears when you click all the way through?

  12. @Steve – if you failed to use up the $250 credit in 2015, just how you can blame Lucky for that?! Everybody knows the airline credit is per calendar year. Lucky never tells you the 2015 credit would carry over to 2016.

    As long as you get the card in hand before the last week of December, surely you can use up the $250 credit by some mechanism.

    It is pathetic that you blame others for your own oversight not to use the 2015 credit within the required period – before the end of 2015.

  13. I read somewhere that Air France miles expire after 20 months regardless of activity. Any truth to that? Same with Singapore miles expiring after 36 months.

  14. Can you even book Air France F? Don’t you have to be an elite member with them to have access to those awards?

  15. Do you have a guide to booking with AF? Would love to know all the ins and outs (stopovers, fuel surcharges, etc.).

    Thanks!

  16. If you call Air France, they can hold award tickets. Also, I transferred by Citi Thank You points and they showed up on Flying Blue within a few minutes, but I was still not able to book using them do to a known error on their web site. I called and booked through an agent. That’s how I found out about the ability to hold reservations. Their US phone number is 800-375-8723.

  17. Report from today: I transferred Thank-You points to my Flying Blue account and they transferred instantly. I preemptively added the 2 zeroes in front of my Flying Blue account number. I was able to book a flight within minutes.

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