The 6 Best Citi Transfer Partners
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You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to fly to Hawaii for just 7,500 points, fly to London for as few as 10,000 points, or book business class to Europe or Africa for as few as 44,000 points. And, thanks to the high earning rates on the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Rewards+® Card, you can accumulate ThankYou points quickly to take advantage of these sweet spots.
However, not all Citi ThankYou transfer partners have equal weight. Which are the best Citi ThankYou points transfer partners and which ones should you ignore? We’ll break it down below.
The best Citi ThankYou transfer partners
Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best Citi ThankYou points transfer partners. In many of these cases, you can get significantly more value than 1 cent per point with these Citi points transfer airlines.
1. Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
We recommend the Citi miles partner Turkish Miles&Smiles program for its spectacular sweet spots across its award chart. Fly to Hawaii for 7,500 miles each way or business class to Europe for just 45,000 miles — one of the cheapest business class awards to Europe.
2. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
We've covered the many Singapore Airlines sweet spots, but Singapore Airlines also releases more award availability to KrisFlyer members. KrisFlyer miles are the best way to book premium cabins on Singapore — and a good way to get outsized value from your Citi ThankYou points.
For a once-in-a-lifetime flight and airport experience, consider saving up enough points to fly first or business class with the airline. With the right flight, your premium cabin airfare will get you access to world-class lounges.
3. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club offers excellent value across a spectrum of awards from 10,000-point economy flights to London to 45,000-point ANA first class awards to Japan and 50,000-point Delta business class awards to mainland Europe.
4. Air France/KLM Flying Blue
The combined loyalty program for Air France and KLM, Flying Blue, uses a quirky point-to-point award pricing scheme. But, it can be worth digging through to find flights as low as 15,000 miles in economy or business class flights starting at 56,500 miles to Europe or Northern Africa.
5. Avianca LifeMiles
Use Avianca LifeMiles to book travel on United, Lufthansa and other Star Alliance carriers to Europe from 20,000 miles each way in economy or from 60,000 miles each way in business class. Or fly to southern Africa for 40,000 miles each way in economy or 78,000 miles each way in business class.
» Learn more: The things Star Alliance is doing right
6. Etihad Guest
Etihad’s rewards program offers some shockingly low award rates. For example, you can fly Royal Air Maroc business class to Africa or Brussels Airlines business class to Europe for just 44,000 miles each way. Etihad Guest still uses the pre-2016 award chart for American flights, which includes gems to Europe, Japan, South Korea and South America.
Best of the rest: Other solid Citi transfer partner redemptions
The following Citi transfer partners may provide some value, depending on what airline you're hoping to book and where you want to go.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: The Asia Miles program can offer solid redemption rates, but only if you have time and patience. In many cases, the airline will require you to fill out a web form to request a mileage award booking, which isn't the most convenient process.
Choice Privileges: You can get excellent value from Choice points in Europe and Japan — especially after factoring in the 1:2 transfer ratio you get with the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Prestige® Card (1:1.5 ratio for other ThankYou Points cards). However, hotel redemption rates can change throughout the year, making it hard to find value reliably.
Emirates Skywards: Emirates first class is no longer bookable through most partner loyalty programs. You'll need Emirates Skywards if you want to book an Emirates first class seat — one of the best first class seats around.
JetBlue TrueBlue: In a recent NerdWallet analysis, TrueBlue points were found to be the most valuable U.S. airline currency — worth 1.5 cents each. However, JetBlue points have a relatively fixed value. So, you can't get outsized value through this transfer partner.
Qantas Frequent Flyer: Qantas has a distance-based redemption chart, with economy flights under 600 miles costing only 8,000 miles to book. That makes Qantas worth considering for short flights.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club: In a rare move, Qatar has slashed redemption rates and fees on awards over the last few years. Now, Qatar is an excellent option for award flights to Doha or onward to India or the Maldives.
» Learn more: How to make the most of Qatar Airways economy class
Citi ThankYou transfer partners you should ignore
The following Citi transfer partners generally do not offer great value for Citi ThankYou point redemptions: Aeromexico, EVA Air and Thai Airways.
If you want to exceed the baseline value of 1 cent per point, you’d be wise to transfer your ThankYou points to one of the other transfer partners. However, for the right flight and in the right circumstances, even some points value is better than none.
Make a judgment call on which flights are right for you to book with your ThankYou points. However, remember that ThankYou points get 1 cent per point when redeemed for cash. If an award redemption offers less than 1 cent per point in value, you're better off redeeming ThankYou points for cash and then booking a cash reservation with your preferred credit card. If you use this method, you get the added bonus of earning rewards from your credit card and the hotel or airline that you're booking with.
For instance, let's say you have 50,000 ThankYou points to burn and want to buy a $412 flight on Thai Airways. If the award flight is more than 50,000 miles, you're better off converting your points to cash. By converting your ThankYou points to cash back, you'll get $500 to cover the cost of the flight and have money left over to use on your trip.
About the Citi ThankYou point transfer partners
Currently, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to nearly 20 airline and hotel loyalty programs. Points generally transfer to airline partners at a 1:1 ratio — although some cardholders (including those spending on the Citi Rewards+® Card) get 20% fewer points when transferring to JetBlue.
Citi also partners with Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards. ThankYou Points transfer to Choice Privileges at up to a 1:2 ratio, while they transfer to Wyndham Rewards at up to a 1:1 ratio.
Citi Premier® Card holders and Citi Prestige® Card holders get the best transfer ratios. Holders of the Citi Rewards+® Card, the Citi® Double Cash Card and others get up to 25% fewer points on transfers.
Retail-wise, you can also transfer Citi ThankYou points to Sears' Shop Your Way loyalty program. You'll get 10 Shop Your Way points for every Citi ThankYou Point transferred.
Transfer ratios might vary by credit card
Citi Premier® Card holders get more value than other Citi cardholders from the following ThankYou transfer partners:
Choice Privileges (1:2 versus 1:1.5).
JetBlue True Blue (1:1 versus 1:0.8).
Wyndham Rewards (1:1 versus 1:0.8).
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
If you're considering transferring Citi ThankYou points …
Remember that Citi ThankYou points can be cashed out or used for travel at 1 cent per point. So make sure that you're getting at least 1 cent per point in value before transferring ThankYou points to an airline, hotel or retail partner.
Thankfully, Citi's wide-ranging airline transfer partners — and two hotel programs — provide plenty of options. There are six ThankYou transfer partners likely to get you the most value for your points and a few partners that you can probably ignore.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card