Citi ThankYou Adds Turkish Miles & Smiles As A Transfer Partner

There are four major transferable points currencies — Amex Membership RewardsChase Ultimate RewardsCiti ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Of those, I consider Starpoints to be the most valuable, followed by Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, followed by Citi ThankYou.

To me Citi ThankYou points are worth slightly less than the rest, not because of the number of transfer partners they have, but because of the quality of them. Up until now, ThankYou points have transferred to the following airline and hotel partners (along with how long those transfers usually take):

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 Infinity 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
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1000 : 1000~ 1-2 days
Hilton Honors1000 : 1500~ 12 to 24 hours

Well, it looks like Citi ThankYou has just added their newest transfer partners. Citi ThankYou points now transfer into Turkish Miles & Smiles miles at a 1:1 ratio.

More transfer options are always a good thing, and there are things to love about Turkish’s program, as well as big downsides. On the plus side, they have very reasonable redemption rates. While they don’t have an easy to use online award chart, last I checked some of their premium cabin redemptions departing North America were priced as follows (the pricing is roundtrip, and one-way awards are bookable for half that cost):

  • US to Europe — 90,000 miles business, 135,000 miles first
  • US to Middle East — 94,000 miles business, 139,000 miles first
  • US to Central Asia — 105,000 miles business, 154,000 miles first
  • US to South Africa/Far East — 135,000 miles business, 200,000 miles first

Those are good rates, though the downside is that Star Alliance awards have to be booked by phone (which I find to be incredibly annoying in this day and age), and they also add carrier imposed surcharges on award tickets, which are similar to the ones you’d pay on revenue tickets.

Citi ThankYou already has three other Star Alliance transfer partners (EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Thai Royal Orchid Plus). I’d say Turkish’s program is significantly better than the programs of EVA and Thai, so in that sense the new program addition is useful. I’m still a fan of KrisFlyer for the ability to redeem in premium cabins on Singapore’s own flights, but otherwise there are some instances where Turkish’s award chart is more compelling.

Anyone plan on using Citi ThankYou points for Turkish redemptions?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. I will absolutely use this partnership. I travel US-IST yearly, and I prefer doing so in business. This new option allows me to use the 100k TYP I have let over on my Prestige that I haven’t had a decent use for them. For those who want to travel US-Europe in business using TYP, this opens up some compelling options on Star Alliance.

    Here’s hoping for a transfer bonus sometime in the next year!

  2. thanks for sharing but it seems like almost all of your recent posts are coming from other bloggers or at least published after them reporting the same thing. Can you add more contents, like the details of the TK’s award rules etc?

  3. If you want to book a Star Alliance award ticket you have to go to a ticket office and do it in person. You can only make a reservation over the phone.

  4. Ben, Turkish has no first class, what do you mean by:
    “US to Europe — 90,000 miles business, 135,000 miles first”

  5. This is amazing! Their food is still one of the best business catering out there, and I had just applied for Citi Prestige. It’s amazing news to me!

  6. As someone who travels to and in Turkey 2-3 times a year, this alone may make me sign up for a Citi card. RT biz class awards for that price is amazing.

  7. I like to fly Turkish as an airline, but I think their loyalty program is decades behind the times. Like Jonas said. That and the scam “fuel” surcharges are deal killers. We each have our own priorities, so any addition is positive for some, but I still think ThankYou lags behind the other transfer currencies.

  8. Does anyone know what the process is for upgrading a revenue ticket after transferring points from Citi to Turkish Airlines? I can’t seem to find anything online and no one is discussing it.

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