How Long Does it Take ThankYou Points to Transfer?

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Since award space can be a scarce resource, it is important to note that not all transferrable points transfer to their partners instantaneously.

This is the third post of a four part series going over how long it takes each type of transferrable point to transfer to its partners. Today’s post is about the transfer times between ThankYou Points and each of its 12 airline partners and one hotel partner. 

ThankYou Points Transfer Times

Most ThankYou Points don’t transfer instantaneously but thankfully most don’t take longer longer than two days. I have never transferred ThankYou Points to Etihad, but if you have and remember how long it took, let us know in the comments. It would be nice to define a smaller window than one to twelve days.

ThankYou Points Don’t Transfer to All of Those Partners 1:1

Unless there is a transfer bonus or an extremely cheap mileage price, it’s probably not a good idea to transfer your ThankYou Points to these partners.

  • Virgin America Elevate (1,000 TYPs : 500 Elevate Points)
  • Hilton Honors (1,000 TYPs : 1,500 Hilton Points) 
  • JetBlue (1,000 ThankYou Points : 500 TrueBlue Points)

Yes, you get a better than 1:1 transfer rate with Hilton Points, but that’s because one Hilton Point isn’t very valuable (roughly .4 cents each)

Putting Awards on Hold

Of course, the transfer times above are what you will almost always see, but occasionally there may be a mishap with a transfer and you’re left waiting in limbo. These cases are not common, but if it happens to you, here are some tips about how to put ThankYou Point transfer partner awards on hold when possible.

Cathay Pacific

Looks like you might be able to put Cathay Pacific awards flying their own planes on hold for quite a while. Read more about putting Cathay Pacific awards on hold in this Pointhacks post.

Etihad

24 hour holds are allowed on Etihad awards flying Etihad planes, but no holds are allowed for partner awards. Since transfer times to Etihad from ThankYou Points are the most variable, I would definitely utilize the free hold if you’re booking an award flying Etihad.

Flying Blue 

Flying Blue is known for holding awards for free for up to 48 hours, but this is also going to depend on the agent. If you don’t like what you hear, hang up and call again.

Garuda Indonesia

I’m not sure for how long but it appears you can put Garuda Indonesia awards on hold for free.

Singapore

Singapore doesn’t “officially” allow holds, but supposedly it is possible to put a Singapore award on hold for free. Some say you have to have 50% of the required mileage already in your account, others say 30%, and others have reported needing none. I think this is a case of YMMV. If you don’t get a good agent, call back until you find one that will hold your award.

Upon Arriving has a post with tips outlining how to put a Singapore award on hold.

Virgin Atlantic

Award holds are allowed for free with Virgin Atlantic, no tricks or tips needed! You can put an award on hold for 48 hours.

Bottom Line

There seems to be more lag time between Citi ThankYou Point transfers than any other transferrable point I’ve looked at so far. Please share your experiences below if you have had starkly different transfer times than what’s listed above, or consistently seen instant transfers to any other partners aside from those listed.


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.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I found those great cheap Brussels Airline Business Class tickets for the dates I needed and for 2 seats. I initiated the TY point exchange to Etihad. It took a full 5 days for them to get there and I lost the seats 3 days into that cycle. Since there are several good partner deals with Etihad I suggest just moving TY points there. I have done this now. Yes, I could lose those points, but I also needed to cancel our Prestige and Premier cards and would lose those points sooner. Most of those 2 day transfers is probably worth holding onto points, but not Etihad. I kicked myself good for not having already moved TY points to Etihad.

  2. My Etihad points took 17 days to post this January. I originally had multiple options to book, but they were all gone by the time my points posted.

    • Wow, that’s awful…I would have been angry. Did Etihad Guest or Amex (not sure who’d be more at fault there) offer you anything as compensation?

      • No, they didn’t. After 14 days of waiting I filed to have my points restored to TYP, but they said it would take a few days to restore the points. In the meantime, the points posted to Etihad, so Citi told me I was just out of luck. I cancelled one of my Citi cards when it came up for renewal recently and the agent gave me 2500 TYP when I told her about the experience. That was it. I am planning to cancel my Prestige this spring. (I had another unfortunate experience with TYPs, and I am done with them!)

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