Citi ThankYou Points Transferable to 12 Airlines & Hilton

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Citi ThankYou Points are transferable to one hotel and 12 airline programs. Folks who have a Citi Prestige® Card, Citi ThankYou Premier, or Citi Chairman card can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to (click links for posts on basics and sweetspots of that program):

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points, and 1,000 ThankYou Points to 500 Virgin America Elevate points.

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This incredible step forward for Citi ThankYou Points puts them in the ranks of the big four transferable points programs.

Certainly I would like to see more and better partners added to the transfer possibilities, specifically Citi’s partner American Airlines, but this is a great start and there is value with Citi’s current transfer partners.

  • What are the best Citi ThankYou Points transfer partners?
  • How can you get ThankYou Points?
  • How can you transfer ThankYou Points?
  • What are the other ThankYou Points redemption options?

Best Transfer Partners

Singapore KrisFlyer

The best Citi ThankYou points transfer partner is Singapore KrisFlyer. Singapore was already a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Now it is even easier to get the most useful Star Alliance miles for travel in the Western Hemisphere.

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so its miles can be used to book flights on any of the 28 member airlines. Singapore miles are also the only miles that can be used to book the ultra-luxurious Singapore Suites.

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Singapore Airlines collects fuel surcharges on most award flights, but not those flown by United, Taca, Avianca, and Copa. Here are some of my favorite Singapore Airlines awards (click the links for full posts on them):

  1. Between the continental United States and Hawaii on United flights for 17,500 miles each way in economy and 30,000 miles in First with no fuel surcharges. United charges 22,500 and 40,000 miles respectively for the same flights! (Get the flat bed in first!)
  2. Two free one ways to Hawaii plus a roundtrip to South America for 50,000 miles total in economy and 80,000 miles in Business/First with no fuel surcharges. United would charge a ton more miles.
  3. Two free one ways to Hawaii plus a roundtrip to Central America or two free one ways to Central America plus a roundtrip to Hawaii for 35,000 miles total in economy and 60,000 miles in Business/First with no fuel surcharges. United would charge a ton more miles.
  4. Booking Singapore Suites, one of the world’s nicest First Class products on the A380. Singapore miles are the only way to book the award, which is pricey in miles and includes a fuel surcharge, but is worth it for lovers of luxury.

See “Sweet Spots on Singapore, Suites Class from 32,000 Miles” and “Awards on United and Partner Flights Booked with Singapore Miles.”

Air France Flying Blue

Flying Blue miles are the key to booking Promo awards: 12,500 mile awards to anywhere in Europe or Israel. Flying Blue miles can be used to book any SkyTeam award space, and Flying Blue has a very cheap award chart to many places including Hawaii (15,000 miles one way.)

Here is my full post on the best options to book with Flying Blue miles.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic miles can book super cheap one way awards to London:

  • 17,500 miles in economy
  • 27,500 miles in Premium Economy
  • 40,000 miles in Upper Class (flat bed Business Class)

These awards have fuel surcharges, but they are so much cheaper in miles than other airlines charge that fuel surcharges may be worth paying.

Virgin Atlantic miles can also be used to book awards on partners like Delta, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian. You can book a roundtrip to Buenos Aires on Delta for only 45,000 miles and no fuel surcharges!

Here is my full post on the best options to book with Virgin Atlantic miles.

How to Get ThankYou Points

The easiest way to earn a bundle of ThankYou Points is with the Citi Prestige® Card, which has a huge sign up bonuses and big category bonuses. Like I mentioned in the update at the top of this post, this sign-up offer is scheduled to change very shortly (in five days), and while I don’t know exactly what those changes will be yet, the bonus most likely will drop like the Citi ThankYou Premier’s did in January of this year (hopefully not to zero, like the Premier).

Citi Prestige® Card:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 40,000 ThankYou Points after $4,000 in spending
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air travel fee credit:  $250 annual credit ($500 first year of cardmembership)
  • Lounge access: Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free on all paid hotel stays (no blackout dates)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450 not waived, well worth it

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

How to Transfer

You can read the step-by-step detailed instructions of how to transfer Citi ThankYou Points here.

From thankyou.com, look for the Points Transfer on the Do More tab.

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You’ll see the redemption options. I initiated a transfer to Singapore Airlines to see how the process works.

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As with Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards transfers, you must send increments of 1,000. Interestingly the name on the Singapore Airlines account is already pre-set to the cardholder’s name, so it doesn’t look like you can transfer to anyone else’s account. (Of course, I can book anyone an award from my Singapore Airlines account.)

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Other Redemption Options

Before the transfer option to airlines, the best redemption option for Citi ThankYou Points was to redeem for any flight on any airline for 1.25 cents of value per point. Most flights could be booked on thankyou.com and other flights by calling 800-THANKYOU.

You can still redeem ThankYou Points earned by the Citi ThankYou® Premier for 1.25 cents each on any airline. ThankYou Points earned by the Citi Prestige® Card can be redeemed on any airline for 1.33 cents each. I don’t plan on using ThankYou Points for 1.25 or 1.33 cents each because I know I can get far more than 1.25 cents of value from the points as Singapore miles.

For free economy flights, I’ll continue to use my Arrival miles, since the 40,000 bonus miles earned on the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® can also be used for free flights on any airline but cannot be transferred to any airlines.

There are other redemption options for ThankYou Points, like merchandise. Avoid these options like the plague for their low return on ThankYou Points.

Two Final Thoughts

  1. This transferability is really nice if you ever want to close the ThankYou card.

With cards that earn bank points, those points disappear when you close the card. (Not so for cards that earn airline miles or points.)

It would have been tough to redeem your balance close to zero before closing the card with the prior redemption options. Now you can always transfer out points until your balance is under 1,000.

  1. I really, really hope Citi adds American Airlines as a transfer partner.

Citi has purchased billions of American Airlines miles as part of their partnership with the co-branded American Airlines cards, so it is strange that American Airlines isn’t on the transfer list. Making it stranger: it’s not as if the only way to earn American Airlines miles from a credit card is with the co-branded American Airlines cards. American Airlines miles are a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest points, which you can get from the SPG credit cards.

Bottom Line

Citi has 12 airlines to which you can transfer ThankYou points at a 1:1 rate.

You can get 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

The best transfer partner for those ThankYou points is Singapore KrisFlyer. The Singapore Airlines program allows redemption on all 28 Star Alliance airlines including United flights with no fuel surcharges.

There are some amazing gems on the Singapore Airlines award chart, and Singapore miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites, one of the world’s nicest First Class products.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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73 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm! 50K is a nice bonus, even over two years.

    But I’m still unconvinced this card bests the Chase Sapphire one for ongoing spend.

    Though it does offer 3x on dining and entertainment (and the CSP offers just 2x on Dining and no bonus for Entertainment), the CSP offers 2x on ALL Travel-related expenses (taxis, trains, planes, hotels, cruises, etc.), which I’d think would make for much nicer point accrual.

    Also, the CSP is $95/year vs. this card’s $125/yr.

    Are there any big benefits of this card over the CSP that I’m overlooking?

    • No, but why not get both cards? The spending bonuses will take a long time to be more important than the sign up bonuses.

      • Good point.
        I already had the CSP, so can’t get another bonus on that, unfortunately.
        I did apply for the Premier, and am waiting for Citi’s decision.

    • By calling Singapore. Click the links in this article about booking Singapore awards for full step-by-step details.

  2. If only Singapore Airlines did not charge those huge fees. Imagine a family of 2 adults with 11YO girl plus an infant on a trip from SIN to JFK via FRA! Even though we already accumulated with my wife some 400K Membership Reward points, paying $2K in taxes and fees does not make much sense to fly in business class as the same points might be transferred somewhere else, correct?!

    • If those fees turn you off, use your Singapore miles to book United flights. You will pay only government taxes and no fuel surcharges.

      • The problem with UA is Saver Award availability in Bus/First sucks. NA>Europe next year is almost nonexistent. I’m having problems using my UA miles.

  3. if only Citi offers a better bonus without the breakup in two years, it could be a big winner against Saphire P. I m not too worry about the fee since calling in will likely get a reduce or waive second year based on big MS spending.

    • For me, the split bonus has been nice because it meant breaking up the min spending requirement also, but I see your point.

  4. Scott,
    You don’t mention anything about redemption options with the other transfer partners (besides Singapore). Any interesting redemptions in these other lesser known airlines’ award charts? As an example, I heard there may be some interesting routings with Garuda. Think you could do a follow up post breaking down the other 6 transfer partners highlighting cons and any pros?
    Thanks!

  5. Just a warning to those who are thinking go using those Kris Flyer points for United Hawaii flights. The lowest level coach fares are pretty available. However, the First class is almost never available to anyone but the elites. There are rare exceptions, but most that show up on the United site are split cabin where you might fly first to Houston and then coach to Hawaii. If you manage to get First class, you are very lucky. Don’t count on it.

    • Award space in First Class is much better as the dates approach. You can book economy with Singapore KrisFlyer miles then change to First Class for the mileage difference plus $20 per ticket if the space opens up.

  6. The “hotel transfer partner” is a joke. Hilton points are worth about 0.5 cents each, so the transfer to Hilton nets you about 0.75 cents/TYP in value. (And some of us are too lazy to use Krisflyer to book our UA awards when it’s so much easier to just go with UA.)

    For me its CSP all the way, folks!!

  7. […] I expect to get into Chile over land. But at some point I’ll use miles to move on to another South American destination. The best miles within South America are Singapore miles because any one way within the continent is 12,500 miles in economy and 20,000 in business. I get my Singapore miles from ThankYou Points. […]

  8. […] But even on a one night stay at a chain hotel where I have the hotel’s credit card, the Citi Prestige® Card‘s 3x hotel category bonus is usually a better option. Since I value ThankYou Points at 1.8 cents each, getting three points per dollar is like a 5.4% return for me. I can either use the points for 1.6 cents off American Airlines and partner flights or transfer them to 11 types of miles. […]

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