Which Citi ThankYou Rewards Transfer Partner Is Best?
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Premier Card
Update 7/23/17: Three additional transfer partners have been added to the ones listed below — JetBlue at a transfer ratio of 1 to 0.5 points, Sears Shop Your Way at a ratio of 1 to 12 and JetPrivilege at a 1:1 ratio.
TPG reader DJ tweeted me to ask a question about Citi Transfer partners:
@thepointsguy– “I recently got the Citi Premier card with the 50k bonus. What is the best Citi transfer partner in your opinion?”
One of the hottest credit cards on the market right now is the Citi Premier card. I recently got it with a 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Citi just changed the bonus categories on the card back in April, and now you can earn 3 points per dollar spent on all travel and gas purchases, and 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment. If you spend a lot in those categories, you should definitely consider this card even apart from the sign-up bonus.
ThankYou Points transfer to 11 different airline partners at 1:1, and Hilton HHonors at 1:1.5. Here’s the complete list:
- Asia Miles
- EVA Air
- Etihad Guest
- Flying Blue
- Garuda Indonesia
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Virgin Atlantic (25% transfer bonus through August 23, 2015)
- Hilton HHonors (1:1.5)
DJ already has the card and is wondering which partner can offer him the best value. I may be biased, but I’d have to pick Singapore Airlines. I flew with Singapore in first class recently by transferring ThankYou points to my KrisFlyer account, and had an amazing experience — Singapore is truly one of the best airlines in the world. The airline flies between New York-JFK and Frankfurt, and at saver level this route is only 57,500 miles one-way in first class. Basically, with the Citi Premier sign-up bonus and a little bit of spending, you can get a transatlantic flight worth over $4,000 on one of the nicest airlines. You can use those points on other Star Alliance carriers as well, but you’ll have to call to book partner awards.
I also recommend Virgin Atlantic. While Virgin charges hefty fees for award flights on its own metal, the airline has several partners that don’t (Delta Saver awards can be a great value); however, you need to call to book some of them. Virgin Atlantic generally has lower mileage requirements (like 80,000 miles round-trip to London), so even if you do get hit with fees, you can still get 2-4 cents per point in value.
Finally, I think Flying Blue is a a decent transfer option. The program runs promo awards every few months that offer discounts of up to 50%. The value of these awards has gone down, but Flying Blue does offer access to SkyTeam awards, and sometimes you can find a valuable deal there.
Overall I’m happy that Citi has upped its game in the past year, and I’m glad I have a thriving ThankYou account to use with my favorite airline partners.
For more advice on redeeming Citi ThankYou Rewards, check out these related posts:
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