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On Monday I wrote about how Citi ThankYou points are now transferable to more than a handful of airline mileage programs, depending on which version of the card you have. This adds quite a bit of value to the program, in my opinion.
ThankYou points are typically a fixed value points currency, and you can specifically redeem them towards the cost of an airline ticket, among other things. By instead being able to convert ThankYou points into miles, you can potentially get quite a bit more value. I’ve certainly redeemed miles at well over 10 cents per mile for premium cabin redemptions compared to the retail costs, something you could never do with a fixed value points currency.
My favorite new transfer partner of ThankYou points is Singapore KrisFlyer, which is one of my all around favorite frequent flyer programs. That’s because Singapore makes a lot of their first and business class award space available exclusively to members of their own KrisFlyer program, so it’s a great way to lock in first and business class redemptions on Singapore Airlines.
Anyway, I’ve received a few questions as to whether there’s any super lucrative card that accrues Citi ThankYou points that’s worth considering, either in terms of everyday spend or the sign-up bonus.
As a refresher, the three cards that offer “transferable” ThankYou points are the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, the Citi Prestige® Card, and the Citi Chairman® American Express® Card.
The Citi Chairman® American Express® Card isn’t accepting applications as best I can tell, and is designed to be more of a “lifestyle” card like the The Platinum Card® from American Express, but with less comprehensive benefits. The card has a high annual fee and only offers 1x point per dollar, so isn’t really worthwhile.
The Citi Prestige® Card also has a high annual fee at $450, but does offer a $250 annual airline fee credit, along with a $100 Global Entry application fee credit. The card also offers 2x points on dining.
However, one of these cards does offer an interesting combination of bonus categories and a decent sign-up bonus, and is worth considering for some people:
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers:
- 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- 30,000 points after another $3000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember
- Through 4/18/2015, earn 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on Dining Out and Entertainment, 2 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on Airfare, Hotels and Travel Agencies, and 1 Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Starting 4/19/2015, earn 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Travel including Gas, 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1 Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- The annual fee is waived the first year, and $125 per year thereafter. On 4/19/2015, this fee will be reduced to $95 on all accounts.
The sign-up bonus on the card is good
If you’re new to miles & points, there are definitely more lucrative sign-up bonuses out there. Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Card, and/or Ink Bold® Business Card before considering this card, in my opinion.
That being said, if you’re like me and have applied for just about every lucrative card out there, this isn’t a bad option. At the end of the day it’s potentially 50,000 KrisFlyer miles after spending $5,000, along with a $125 annual fee. The catch is that you have to wait a year for the full bonus.
Again, I’m not claiming it’s an amazing bonus, and prior to being able to transfer ThankYou points it’s not even one I would have considered, but if you’ve applied for most cards, this definitely isn’t a bad one to pick up.
This card can be rewarding for everyday spend
With 3x points on dining and entertainment, this may become my “go to” card for those categories. Three KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent on dining is pretty tough to beat, in my opinion, and certainly one ups my current favorite in that category, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
With the 2x points per dollar spent on airfare and hotels, it has a similar return to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, assuming you’re after transfers to Singapore KrisFlyer (though keep in mind the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers double points on more travel categories than just airfare and hotels).
Having this card increases the value of your other ThankYou points
Many people have ThankYou points from another Citi product, either the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card which had a nice bonus a few years back, or from downgrading other cards to a no-fee product that earns ThankYou points.
Points can be combined across all your ThankYou accounts, which means that if you have a “premium” card like the Citi ThankYou® Premier you can effectively pool and then transfer all your ThankYou points to airline partners.
This card — and the new transfer partners — aren’t game changers.
But I’ve gotten just about all of the “mainstream” travel credit cards out there, and I certainly won’t say no to 50,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles, even if it requires a bit of patience.
In the meantime, earning 3x points per dollar spent on dining isn’t half bad either!
Link: Citi ThankYou® Premier Card