The Citi Prestige offer mentioned in this post is expired. See the new offer and analysis here.
Citi ThankYou Points have added a new airline transfer partner–its 12th–Virgin America Elevate Points. The normal transfer ratio will be 1,000 ThankYou Points to 500 Elevate Points, but there is a 25% transfer bonus through October 21, 2015, so 1,000 ThankYou Points equal 625 Elevate Points at the moment.
How ThankYou Points Work
As a quick refresher, there are two ways to use ThankYou Points:
- Use them like cash to purchase any flight on any airline with no blackouts. They are worth 1.25 to 1.6 cents toward any cash fare depending on the airline and the Citi cards you have.
- Transfer them to one of the 12 airline partners or to Hilton points. Then your points are whatever miles you chose, subject to that award chart and those rules.
How to Get ThankYou Points
Right now the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card come with 50,000 and 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points respectively after $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. You can even get both just eight days apart for 96,000 bonus ThankYou Points.
New Full List of 13 Transfer Partners
The full roster of Citi airline and hotel transfer partners, all 1:1 unless noted:
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Etihad Guest
- Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Qantas miles
- Virgin America Elevate (2 TY -> 1 Virgin America)
- Hilton HHonors (2 TY -> 3 Hilton)
Best Uses of Virgin America Elevate Points
Virgin America points are worth about 2 cents each toward Virgin America flights. They are usually worth more than that when redeemed on award charts for Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia flights. The only one of those partners on which Virgin America collects fuel surcharges is Virgin Atlantic.
- 20k Virgin America points (32,000 ThankYou Points) is a roundtrip between the western United States and Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines
- 3k Virgin America points (5,000 ThankYou Points) is a one way interisland flight on Hawaiian Airlines
- There are tons of other great deals on Hawaiian Airlines flights to Asia and Australia. Prices one way/roundtip:
- 35k Virgin America points (56,000 ThankYou Points) + $1,100 is a roundtrip from New York, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, or Chicago to London in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
- There are other great deals on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flights from Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Vancouver
- 80k Virgin America points (128,000 ThankYou Points) + $130 is a roundtrip from Los Angeles to Australia in Virgin Australia Business Class
Citi ThankYou Points are putting the pressure on Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.
First Citi started offering huge sign up bonuses on both the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. While those bonuses are active, Citi has steadily added more airline transfer partners. In the last few months, it has even begun to offer occasional transfer bonuses.
The newest transfer partner is Virgin America Elevate points, and there is a 25% transfer bonus on the normal 2:1 transfer rate for the next month. Virgin America points are worth about 2 cents each for Virgin America flights or can be worth more on the super cheap award charts that Virgin America publishes for travel on Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, and Hawaiian.