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A long-desired partnership has finally happened — but it's only going to be around for a limited time. Now through Nov. 13, 2021, Citi cardholders can convert ThankYou points to American Airlines AAdvantage miles.
This temporary transfer partner relationship opens valuable new uses for Citi ThankYou points.
For many, this transfer partnership has been a long time coming. American Airlines has partnered with Citi for decades to issue AAdvantage co-branded credit cards. For years, points and miles nerds hoped that this credit card partnership would lead to Citi adding American as a ThankYou transfer partner. Now, the wish is finally coming true, although only for a few months.
Here's what you need to know about Citi's new temporary transfer partner and why you might want to take advantage of this opportunity.
Transferring ThankYou points to American Airlines
Until Nov. 13, 2021, Citi ThankYou points can be converted to American Airlines AAdvantage miles at a ratio of up to 1:1. However, the transfer rates depend on which card you have.
Cardholders of the Citi Prestige® Card, Citi Premier® Card or Citi Chairman Card can transfer ThankYou points to American Airlines at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
Citi ThankYou Preferred and Citi Rewards+® Card customers need to transfer 2 ThankYou points for every 1 AAdvantage mile.
How to transfer ThankYou points to American Airlines
To get started, log into your Citi ThankYou account and browse to this webpage. Enter how many ThankYou points you'd like to transfer or how many AAdvantage miles you'd like to receive. Note that points must be transferred in 1,000-point increments.
Next, enter your AAdvantage number (twice), read the important disclaimers and accept the point transfer terms and conditions. Then, click "Continue" to move to the summary page.
On the next page, review your transfer details and click "Transfer Now" to initiate the transfer.
Great uses of American Airlines AAdvantage miles
American Airlines AAdvantage miles are some of the most flexible mileage currencies around. In addition to using miles for American Airlines award flights, you can redeem miles on more than 20 partner airlines.
And, you can fly almost anywhere you might want to go. American and its Oneworld partners alone combine to serve around 1,000 destinations in 170 countries.
On American Airlines flights
Unlike Delta and United, American Airlines still publishes an award chart. Thanks to Web Special award pricing, you might be able to fly nonstop across the country for 7,500 miles in economy or 20,000 miles in lie-flat business class.
Web Special pricing also applies to international flights. For example, you can fly from New York City to Lima, Peru, for just 15,000 AAdvantage miles each way on almost any date in May 2022:
However, during high-demand dates, you may need to pay extreme prices to fly overseas — especially in American Airlines business or first class:
On flights with partner airlines
You may be able to score an unexpected deal on American Airlines by booking a Web Special. But to get predictable award pricing, you'll need to find award availability and fly on American Airlines partners.
Fly partner airlines between the U.S. and Europe for as few as 22,500 miles each way on off-peak dates. Or, upgrade to premium economy for 40,000 miles each way or business class for 57,500 miles each way:
Other tempting international business class options include:
60,000 miles for business class to Japan or South Korea.
70,000 miles for business class to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent or most parts of Asia.
75,000 miles for business class to Africa.
Credit cards that earn ThankYou points
Citi recently closed new applications for its Citi Prestige® Card, which leaves just two Citi credit cards available to new cardholders that earn Citi ThankYou points and allow transfers to American:
There's good news if you want to boost your Citi ThankYou points balance to take advantage of this temporary transfer partner. The Citi Premier® Card is currently offering an excellent sign-up offer: Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
If transferred to American Airlines, this one sign-up bonus alone earns you enough miles to fly round-trip to Europe in premium economy on dates with MileSAAver award availability.
Or, you'd have more than enough miles for a one-way Qatar Qsuite business class award from the U.S. to the Middle East, India or the Maldives.
Comparatively, the sign-up bonus on the Citi Rewards+® Card isn’t as exciting: Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
However, the card has no annual fee and other valuable perks. For example, Citi Rewards+® Card cardholders get a 10% points rebate for the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed each year. That means you'll get a 10,000-point rebate if you transfer 100,000 ThankYou points to American Airlines — or any of Citi's 16 other airline transfer partners.
If you're considering transferring ThankYou points to American
Citi ThankYou points aren't as well-loved as Chase Ultimate RewardsⓇ points or AmEx Membership Rewards. But adding American Airlines as a temporary transfer partner indicates that Citi is working on making the program more valuable.
If you have Citi points, don't forget about other transfer partner sweet spots — such as flying to Europe in business class for 45,000 points each way or flying to Hawaii for 7,500 points each way in economy or 12,500 points each way in business class.
If this temporary American Airlines transfer partnership has you eyeing ThankYou points for the first time, the Citi Premier® Card is a great way to get started in the program. You can jump-start your balance with an excellent sign-up bonus and then continue earning thanks to lucrative spending categories.
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 2021, 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