How To Use Citi ThankYou Points To Travel The World

How To Use Citi ThankYou Points To Travel The World
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Citi ThankYou points are yet another transferrable credit card mileage currency that is really lucrative for traveling the world. And, with the Citi Prestige card's sign-up bonus increasing the 75,000 points this month, this guide may be more important than ever.

How To Use Citi ThankYou Points To Travel The World

Yes, the Citi Prestige will be raising their bonus to 75,000 points on July 23rd. To qualify, you'll have to spend $7,500 in the first three months of card membership. It's one card I keep in my wallet, even after some negative changes over the past year. The "4th Night Free" perk saves me hundreds of dollars a year alone, making this card a must-have for me.

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So, what can you do with 75,000 points?

Use Them To Buy Flights

At a rate of 1.25 cents per point, you can purchase flights using Citi ThankYou points. While not as lucrative as the Chase Sapphire Reserve's 1.5 cents per point redemption rate, it's still a good option for travel, especially considering you still earn airline miles and elite status accrual redeeming through this method.

Use Them To Transfer To Citi Partners

In 2015, Citi began allowing members to transfer Citi points to a number of partners, like other programs such as Ultimate Rewards, SPG, and Membership Rewards. Currently, there are 14 airline and hotel partners that Citi members can transfer to. They include:

  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Air France/KLM
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas Airlines
  • Qatar Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • jetBlue
  • Jet Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hilton

Nearly all of these transfer at a 1:1 ratio. JetBlue transfers at a 1 Citi to 0.8 jetBlue ratio, and Hilton at 1 Citi point to 1.5 Hilton points (though there are often transfer bonuses for this partnership).

However, just because the program has a brand as a transfer partner, doesn't mean that the program is a good one to transfer to. For instance, I value Citi points at about 1.5 cents per point. By transferring to Hilton, you're not getting a good transfer rate, since it takes a lot of Hilton points to earn a free night (check out our guide to Hilton if you want to learn more).

Good Transfer Partner Options

There are some sweet spots, however. One is transferring to Singapore Airlines, as I did to help accrue enough points to redeem a business class flight to the Maldives. If you wanted to go even fancier, you could use 76,000 Citi points to transfer to Singapore, and redeem for a one-way ticket in Singapore Suites class from New York to Frankfurt, Germany. If you can score two award seats, you could even turn the two seats into a double bed!

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are also good on partner airlines. It would only take 20,000 miles to fly one-way in business class on United domestically, compared to 25,000 miles if using United MileagePlus miles. To Hawaii, you'll save between 5,000-10,000 miles each way flying United using Singapore points rather than United miles, each way.

Another is Air France/KLM's Flying Blue program. Their "Promo Awards" are the best deal, which are specific routes that are discounted 25%-50%. That means that you'll only have to use 46,875 Citi points to fly business class one-way to Europe. You can also combine your Ultimate Rewards points into your Flying Blue account, since they are a transfer partner as well. FlyingBlue also considers North Africa and the Canary Islands as Europe, so you could fly from the US to those countries for a lesser rate. Check out our guide on Flying Blue if you're interested in learning more sweet spots in the program.

Etihad is one of my favorite airlines to fly, but their miles aren't very useful to fly the airline. Instead, their value lies in the partners that Etihad has. So, if you're following along, that means transferring Citi points to Etihad miles at a 1:1 ratio, to fly a completely different airline. Using this method, you could fly round trip business class on Brussels Airlines for 88,000 miles to Europe from the US.

Overall

Overall, Citi points can be quite valuable for the frequent traveler, especially if you like traveling in business class. If you ever need any help redeeming your miles, please reach out to me in the comments!