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Some time ago, certain Citi ThankYou cards gained the option to transfer points to travel programs.
This was a significant update to the program, and the value of ThankYou points increased dramatically.
While Ben has written about how to redeem ThankYou points in the past, we’ve never gone over the actual mechanics of how to move points to a travel program. I was explaining this to someone last night, and figured I might as well share the steps here as well.
Now, I need this to have somewhere to point people who have no clue what to do, so if you’ve transferred Citi points in the past (or don’t find things like this particularly challenging), this post isn’t for you. Here’s a porcupine eating pumpkins instead.
First things first: not all Citi ThankYou points can be transferred
There are several ThankYou products out there, but only two of them have points that you can transfer to airline partners. And that’s okay, because those are the two you want anyway.
The Citi Prestige® Card is the “premium” card, and has a $450 annual fee. Which is a lot, for sure, but it has tons of perks which help offset that, including:
- A $250 annual airline credit
- A fourth night free hotel benefit
- The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
- A $100 Global Entry fee credit
You also get triple points on air travel and hotels, double points on dining at restaurants and on entertainment, and one point for all other purchases, and no foreign transaction fees, so I think it’s worth it.
Meanwhile the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), and is great for earning points on daily spend. You earn three ThankYou Points per dollar spent on a broadly-defined travel category (that includes gas!), double points at restaurants and on entertainment, and one point for all other purchases, and still no foreign transaction fees.
Both good cards, and you need one (or both, like me), in order to transfer ThankYou points to travel partners.
Okay, I have the right cards. But should I transfer ThankYou points?
Maybe not. If you have the Citi Prestige Card you can always redeem your ThankYou points for 1.25¢ per point towards travel on any airline. This can be a pretty good deal, especially for domestic economy. You’ll even earn miles.
Compared to that, the transfer partners aren’t necessarily as compelling. There are some values to be found with Air France FlyingBlue, Singapore KrisFlyer, and Virgin Atlantic, but you’ll definitely want to compare your options and determine the best value for your points.
I definitely want to transfer my points.
Log in to your Citi account. If you have multiple Citi cards, scroll until you see the Prestige or Premier, then click on “Points Summary” on the right side of the screen.
If you have multiple ThankYou cards, you’ll then be asked to confirm which points you want to view. If you only have one card, you’ll skip this screen.
At the top of your Points Summary screen, there’s a menu for Travel — mouse over that.
From the drop-down, click on “Points Transfer”:
At this point you’ll see a list of the various airline and hotel programs you can transfer ThankYou points to.
I actually needed to transfer some points to Virgin Atlantic, so scrolled to the bottom of the page and clicked the “Transfer Now” button.
While this screen is slightly different for each partner, the basics are the same:
- Program description and transfer limitations
- Transfer ratio from ThankYou
- Spaces to enter and confirm your loyalty program account number
- Terms and Conditions (that you have to agree to)
Once you’ve chosen the number of points you want to transfer and entered your details, agree to the terms and click the yellow button. You then have a chance to review your transfer details:
Click “Confirm Transfer” and you’ll receive a message that the transaction is in process.
Note that while it says transfer to Virgin Atlantic can take 14 days, it took about 14 seconds before my AwardWallet account showed the new balance:
Whether or not transferring ThankYou points to travel partners is a good deal is highly dependent upon your situation, but it’s an easy process. The transfer time to partners is getting better as well, so that’s nice.