Should You Transfer Citi Points To Hilton With A ~33% Bonus?

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Citi ThankYou points can be earned through cards like the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. This is a points currency that has become more useful over the past couple of years, as Citi added over a dozen airline and hotel transfer partners. As of now, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to the following programs:

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 personal favorites are Air France/KLM FlyingBlue, Etihad Guest, and Singapore KrisFlyer, as I find they have the best redemption values.

The only Citi ThankYou hotel transfer partner is Hilton HHonors, and points ordinarily transfer at a ratio of 1,000:1,500.

Well, at the moment Citi is offering a ~33% bonus when you convert Citi ThankYou points into Hilton HHonors points. Through February 8, 2017, Citi points convert into Hilton points at a 1:2 ratio.

hilton-bonus

The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning that the points should post at the increased rate as they transfer, rather than weeks later.

However, even with the bonus I wouldn’t recommend redeeming Citi ThankYou points in this way. Personally I value Citi ThankYou points at ~1.5 cents each and Hilton HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each, so even with the 1:2 transfer ratio you’re losing about half the value of your Citi ThankYou points.

Conrad-Koh-Samui
The Conrad Koh Samui costs 95,000 HHonors points per night

Of course if you’re just trying to top off your Hilton account for a free night it could make sense, though this isn’t a way I’d generally choose to earn Hilton HHonors points.

Keep in mind that at a minimum you can redeem Citi Thank You points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket. So that’s the absolute minimum value you’ll want to get out of these points, in my opinion.

Bottom line

Generally converting transferrable points into hotel points isn’t a good deal. Perhaps the one exception is transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt Gold Passport. Other than that, I think the transfer ratios are usually way off. In the case of Citi and Hilton, the normal transfer ratio should usually be higher than 1:2, in my opinion, not factoring in any promotion.

But if you have a lot of Citi points and want to top off your account for a free night, I guess this is better than nothing.

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Comments

  1. it really dpeneds on your upcoming stay, conrad bora bora will be soon open , and now you can book at 80k a night ,this would be good value more than with over 1.5c a point.

  2. Not really related but is there a way to get AA miles from Citi ThankYou Points? Been looking into them card and AmericanExpress but neither transfer directly to AA (except SPG) so I’m not sure which would be the best way to go.

  3. A CENT is a CENT but a POINT is NOT a POINT if different programs award different numbers of points for the same or a comparable transaction. That is why 1.5 cents per CITI POINT does not necessarily have a higher “value” than 0.5 cent per HH POINT. The concept is actually trivial to understand but it inexplicably trips almost all but very, very few (one or two, at most) enlightened travel bloggers…

  4. For a company with a big footprint, Hilton gets very little discussion on these boards…wonder why that is…

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