How Long Do Citi ThankYou Points Transfers Take?

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How Long Do Amex Membership Rewards Points Transfers Take?
How Long Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Transfers Take?
How Long Do Citi ThankYou Points Transfers Take?
How Long Do Starwood Preferred Guest Points Transfers Take?


If you’re collecting miles & points through credit card spend, I always recommend doing what you can to accrue transferrable points currencies. That’s because these points are much more flexible than when you’re earning an individual airline or hotel points currency. You have the flexibility to transfer these points to all kinds of travel partners, and you’re safeguarded from a devaluation in a specific points currency.

With that in mind, I’m writing a series about the three major transferrable points currencies — Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou — talking about how long it takes to transfer points, along with the other basic details you need to know about transferring points. A couple of days ago I wrote about Amex Membership Rewards, and yesterday I wrote about Chase Ultimate Rewards, so today I’m writing about Citi ThankYou.

How many airline and hotel partners does Citi ThankYou have?

As of now, Citi ThankYou has 13 airline and hotel transfer partners — that includes 12 airline partners and one hotel partner.

JetBlue-Mint-Suite - 1
JetBlue is a Citi ThankYou airline transfer partner

How long does it take to transfer Citi ThankYou points?

Below is a chart with how long it typically takes to transfer ThankYou points:

Citi ThankYou Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Air France KLM FlyingBlue1000 : 1000Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Etihad Guest1000 : 1000~ 3-6 days
EVA Air Infinite MileageLands1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
JetBlue TrueBlue1000 : 500Instant
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Qantas Frequent Flyer1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Qatar Privilege Club1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Thai Royal Orchid Plus1000 : 1000~ 3-6 days
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Hilton Honors1000 : 1500~ 12 to 24 hours

Among the three transferrable points currencies, Citi ThankYou transfers are the slowest. Only two are instant, while most transfer within a few days. That’s still pretty fast, all things considered, but not as fast as the others.

Are there fees associated with transferring Citi ThankYou points?

Nope, there are no fees associated with transferring Citi ThankYou points.

Can you transfer Citi points to someone else’s Citi account?

This is an area where Citi ThankYou is unique. Citi lets you transfer ThankYou points to anyone else’s ThankYou account, regardless of whether they’re related, live at the same address, etc. However, there are a few restrictions to be aware of:

  • Shared points expire 90 days after they’re received, so you can’t “hoard” someone else’s points in your ThankYou Rewards account
  • The recipient of shared points can’t share those same points with another member
  • You can share at most 100,000 points per calendar year, and can have at most 100,000 points shared with you per calendar year

So while there are some restrictions, this is an area where Citi ThankYou is more generous than other programs.

Can you transfer Citi points to someone else’s airline or hotel accounts?

No. While you can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to someone else’s Citi ThankYou account and then they can transfer it to their preferred loyalty program, you can’t transfer your ThankYou points directly to someone else’s loyalty program account. The name of the Citi ThankYou account and loyalty program account have to match.

Citi-Etihad

Can you combine Citi ThankYou accounts?

While Citi is generous in letting you transfer ThankYou accounts to someone else’s ThankYou account, they actually have a rather strict policy when it comes to combining your own ThankYou points accounts.

For example, let’s say you have both the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. Now let’s say you close down one of those accounts. While you can combine the points, the points from the card that you shut down expire 60 days after the account is closed. So you have to transfer those points to a partner program within 60 days, or else the points will be forfeited.

What cards earn Citi ThankYou points?

The following two cards are the best for earning Citi ThankYou points:

  • The Citi Prestige® Card offers 3x points on air travel and hotels, and 2x points on dining and entertainment; the card has a $450, though offers a $250 airline credit that helps offset it
  • The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 3x points on travel, and 2x points on dining and entertainment; the card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year

Note that you can earn the sign-up bonus on each of the above cards, which is a great way to earn a lot of ThankYou points quickly.

Should you transfer Citi points to travel partners?

In general the best use of Citi ThankYou points is to convert them into airline miles. Personally my favorite transfer partners include Air France KLM FlyingBlue, Etihad Guest, and Singapore KrisFlyer. JetBlue TrueBlue is also worth considering if there’s a transfer bonus, as there is right now. However, you only want to do this once you’ve figured out the award you want to book, have verified availability, and are sure you understand how that program works.

Air-France-Business-Class-777 - 16
Air France FlyingBlue can be a great transfer partner for Citi points

If you’re someone who prefers to redeem your points as cashback towards travel, points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card can be redeemed for 1.33 cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket. However, through July 2017, it’s still possible to redeem points for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of a ticket on American, assuming you have the Prestige Card. I’d consider that to be a very good value.

Otherwise I’d rather convert points to a travel partner than get 1.33 cents of value per point. Others will feel differently, though.

Bottom line

While I consider Citi ThankYou points to not be quite as valuable as Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points, this is still a great points currency. The ability to earn up to triple points on some bonus categories, plus the ability to transfer points to partner programs, makes this a pretty compelling currency.

Beyond that, I love the Citi Prestige® Card for the fourth night free hotel benefit, which more than justifies the annual fee to me. I consider this to be the single best perk offered by any credit card.

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Comments

  1. I feel any post mentioning thank you points is amiss if there is no mention of the 3xty point earning att access and more card. This card earns 3x ty points on all att and ONLINE purchases. This is fairly broadly defined. Amazon, united’s milageplusx app, paypal, plastiq ect… You need a premier or a prestige to transfer to airpartners but the earning rate can be tremendous.

  2. @rabbmd i think it’s 2x points now for that card but im not sure if existing card holders are grandfathered and for how long.

    @Lucky – Are you planning to do a post about SPG’s transfer partners as well?

  3. My transfers from Citi TY to Singapore frequently take 4-5 days to complete, I’ve never seen them post faster than 3 days. Might just be unlucky

  4. For awards LAX to Europe, considering hard product and coast, would you look first at star alliance through SQ or skyteam through AF? It could be a different answer depending on direction as I know YQ tends to be cheaper from Europe to US.

    Thanks!

  5. @Lucky

    Haven’t used Etihad guest before so trying to identify the sweetspots (besides Brussels Air).

    Just read your old articles about flying Etihad on AA metal at pre-devaluation prices. If this is still true, then essentially wouldn’t North America-Europe Biz on AA metal be a better deal when booking with Etihad miles than with AA… but JFK-AUH flight (biz/1st) on Etihad metal be cheaper with AA miles than with Etihad Guest? What am i missing?

    Also, how are the rates on Maroc and Oman? I tried the Etihad sight and it said the chart couldn’t be shown in US because of DOT regulations.

  6. Last time I transferred TY points to EVA on two separate order, one in the morning and the other one was created around 12hrs after the first one. The first order took less than 24hrs and the second took around 3 days.
    Looks like the orders need some approval or manual processing in EVA’s office in Taiwan. It was a Friday, and the first order get processed on the same day. The other one was created after their office hours so it did not went through until the week after that.

  7. If you have both Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards, can you close your Citi Prestige card and downgrade to another Citi ThankYou card so the 60 day rule does not apply to the ThankYou points you earned from the Citi Prestige card? Please advise.

  8. @davidw… the att access no annual fee is 2x. The att access and more is 3x. It is not available to open new but there are multiple reports of product change to it. There is a $95 annual fee, but you get 10,000 ty points with $10,000 per year essentially making it better than free.

  9. Its transferability to miles of gazillion different airlines purportedly made the starpoint the “single most valuable points currency.” Therefore, it seems to me that a series of this kind that does not include starpoints would be woefully incomplete… 😉

    Cheers from ‘Galaxy Bar’ at Hilton Athens with a breathtaking view of the Acropolis!

  10. I’m in the middle of a large Citi TY to Etihad transfer right now. Going on day 9 with no miles. E-mailed them 2 days ago, heard nothing, called a few minutes ago and they were no help, simply said to wait a few more days. I’ve already missed out on my first two flight choices, and there is only one seat left on my 3rd choice. So frustrated.

  11. DP: I transferred to EVA on 3/16 and it did not go through until 3/20.

    This seems to support @JYW’s theory if you’re only counting business days and take the time change into account.

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