Getting the most value from Citi ThankYou Points

Citi ThankYou points are the least widely known of the three major transferable points currencies. Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points are most likely the first two currencies that spring to mind when you think of transferable points; and with good reason as most people would agree that they are in general more valuable than Citi ThankYou points. However, while ThankYou points might not be the most valuable currency, there is still plenty of value to find with their partners. As is the case with every transferable points currency, you will get the best value from your Citi ThankYou points by transfering those points to one of their partners rather than redeeming them for cash back or using them to book through the Citi Travel Center.

The first thing you might notice is that many of Citi’s transfer partners overlap with Chase’s and American Express’ partners. Furthermore, Citi frequently offers transfer bonuses to many of their partner programs. This means that by collecting ThankYou points in addition to Chase or Amex points you increase your odds of encountering a transfer bonus to whichever program you want to redeem through.

Credit Cards that earn Citi ThankYou Points

Citi Prestige Card
Citi Premier Card
Citi Rewards+ Card
Citi Rewards+ Student Card
AT&T Access Card from Citi
AT&T Access More Mastercard Card from Citi

By taking advantage of the sign up bonuses and bonus categories on these 6 cards offered by Citi, you will soon start to accumulate Citi ThankYou points. One important thing to note though is that you will only be able to transfer your ThankYou points to one of Citi’s airline partners if you have either the Citi Prestige Card or the Citi Premier Card. As long as you have one of those two cards, you can pool your points from all of your Citi cards and transfer them to Citi’s partners.

  • Highest Value

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue

    The Flying Blue program is a great transfer option for travelers looking to stretch their miles as far as possible by flying Economy Class. By taking advantage of Promo Awards and sweet spots such as flying from the US to Central America or the Caribbean on Delta, you can stretch your points as far as they’ll go by transferring to Flying Blue.

  • Avianca LifeMiles

    Avianca’s claim to fame is their incredibly reasonable First Class award prices on fellow Star Alliance partners coupled with the fact that they never charge surcharges. This in addition to their extremely cheap award prices for domestic travel in the US on United Airlines makes Avianca an incredibly high value ThankYou points transfer partner.

  • Etihad Airways Guest

    Etihad can be a valuable transfer partner simply because they do not belong to any alliance and therefore they have some unconventional partners that are otherwise hard to access. However, the most common usage of Etihad Guest miles for US based travelers is for award travel on American Airlines. This is because Etihad still charges the same number of points for most routes that American charged before their massive devaluation in 2016. In most cases this represents about a 30% discount over what American Airlines would charge on the same route, such as 20,000 miles to Europe or Southern South America.

  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

    Singapore Airlines is a Star Alliance carrier that has very competitive and often even industry leading award prices on many routes. So if you are looking to make use of one of these sweet spots such as flying Singapore Suites or flying from the US to Hawaii, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer is a great option for transferring your Citi ThankYou points.

  • Average Value

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

    One excellent use of Cathay Pacific miles is booking a trip with loads of stopovers. Cathay Pacific allows up to 5 stopovers on one itinerary and also uses a distance based chart. This means that the number of points that a ticket costs is determined by the aggregate number of miles of all segments of your journey. So as long as you don’t go too far out of the way for your stopovers, you can get up to 5 flights for the price of 1.

  • JetBlue TrueBlue

    Similar to American Express Membership Rewards, the transfer ratio from Citi to JetBlue is not 1:1 as it is with most of their partners, but rather 1000:800. In addition to TrueBlue points themselves having a fixed value of about 1.3 cents/point, this is not usually a great transfer option unless there is a sizeable transfer bonus.

  • Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer

    In general, Qantas’ award rates tend to be on the higher side which makes it a bad place to store your points long term. However, there are a few niche opportunities that can provide some value if you are willing to work for them. For example, Qantas has some unique partner airlines that are otherwise hard to access like Air Vanuatu and Air Niugini. Cash prices on these airlines tend to be very high, so the ability to redeem Qantas miles instead could be useful. Since Qantas has a distance based chart, you will usually get the best value when redeeming for shorter flights.

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

    Unfortunately, most Virgin Atlantic redemptions usually come with astronomical surcharges which often make the redemption not worth it. This is why it is in the average section. However, the program does have a few sweet spots without surcharges such as flying First Class from the US to Japan on ANA. If you want to take advantage of one of these opportunities, you can still get phenomenal value from transferring ThankYou Points.

  • Lowest Value

  • Eva Air Infinity MileageLands

    Eva Air simply charges far too many miles on every one of their routes to make transferring ThankYou Points worthwhile.

  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer

    Garuda’s award chart is also too expensive to be competitive relative to other Citi transfer partners.

  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich

    Malaysia Airlines also charges exorbitantly high award prices.

  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club

    Qatar charges unbelievably high award rates even compared to Citi’s other inflated transfer partner programs.

  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

    Thai Airways is yet another super inflated award program with little to no useful redemption options.

  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

    Turkish Airlines’ award prices are sometimes reasonable and sometimes inflated, but you do have to redeem Turkish miles in person at a Turkish Airlines office. Given that the program isn’t that exciting to begin with, there is really no practical reason to go through that trouble.