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The 4 Best Citi ThankYou Partners — and 7 to Avoid

Dec. 2, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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  • Citi Premier Card
  • Citi Prestige® Card

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Citi’s transferable currency, ThankYou points, can be used to book travel directly through the ThankYou Rewards portal or transferred to airline partners.

Citi currently has 15 airline transfer partners, having recently added Aeromexico as a transfer partner. ThankYou points transfer to almost all 15 airline partners transfer at a 1:1 rate.

What are the best transfer partners and ways to earn Citi ThankYou points? We’ll break it down below.

Best ways to earn Citi ThankYou points

As with most miles and points, the easiest way to earn Citi ThankYou points is through their credit cards. Here are a few of the credit cards that can earn you Citi ThankYou points.

Citi Prestige® Card: Citi’s premium credit card has a annual fee and earns 5x ThankYou points on air travel and restaurants and 3x points on hotels and cruise lines. As a premium card, it also offers several ancillary benefits, like a complimentary fourth night on hotel bookings (twice per year), Priority Pass Select membership and a $250 annual travel credit.

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening* (This offer is no longer valid on our site)

» Learn more: Citi Prestige: Premium perks at a plump price

Citi Premier Card: This card has a $95 annual fee and earns 3x on travel (including gas stations) and 2x on restaurants and entertainment.

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. (This offer is no longer valid on our site).

» Learn more: Citi Premier review: Potentially lucrative for travelers

Citi Rewards+ Card: With this $0-annual-fee card, you’ll earn 2x at supermarkets and gas stations (up to the first $6,000 spent). This card also rounds up all purchases to the nearest 10 points and gives you 10% back on your first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed each year.

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com.

» Learn more: Citi Rewards+ review: Rounding up equals modest rewards

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Another card that plays into the ThankYou points ecosystem, this card earns 2% cash back on everything (1% when spending and 1% after you pay your balance). Recently Citi added the ability to convert cash-back into ThankYou points. A card that earns 2x ThankYou points on every purchase is powerful indeed.

» Learn more: Citi Double Cash review: 2% on everything is tough to beat

Redeeming Citi ThankYou points through the ThankYou portal

Citi ThankYou points can be redeemed for 1 cent per point when redeemed through the Citi ThankYou portal.

You can get better value at times by transferring to airline partners (as we’ll see below), but it’s good to have this as an option. Using the ThankYou portal may represent a better value — especially for things like using points to fly economy from the U.S. to Europe.

The 4 best Citi transfer partners

Here are our picks for the best Citi Transfer partners — in many of these cases, you’ll end up getting significantly more value than 1 cent per point with these partners.

  1. Turkish Airlines: The Turkish Miles & Smiles program burst onto the scene recently when it became easier to book United flights throughout the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) for 7,500 miles each way.
  2. Singapore Airlines: If you look at our list of Singapore Airlines sweet spots, you can find several different options for Singapore KrisFlyer miles. One of our favorites is using them to fly the ultra-premium Singapore Suites.
  3. Air France/KLM Flying Blue: The best use of Flying Blue miles is typically their monthly promo rewards. In those cases, you can find different routes available for 25% to 50% off their regular prices.
  4. Avianca Lifemiles: Along with Turkish and Singapore Airlines, Avianca is also a Star Alliance member, meaning you can use LifeMiles to book travel on United, Lufthansa and other Star Alliance carriers.

Best of the rest: other Citi transfer partner redemptions

The next four Citi transfer partners have some niche value, depending on what you’re looking to do and where you’re looking to go.

  • Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic miles are best used on partners, such as All Nippon Airways (ANA) or Delta Air Lines.
  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles: Cathay Pacific’s AsiaMiles program is a distance-based award chart. The best bang for your buck is on short flights from Cathay’s Hong Kong hub.
  • Etihad Guest: Etihad’s award chart is great for partners, such as Royal Air Maroc, Brussels Airlines or Czech Airways.
  • Qantas Airways: Qantas has a distance-based redemption chart, with flights under 600 miles costing only 8,000 miles to book. Consider transferring to Qantas if you’re looking to book short flights on either Qantas or Oneworld partner American Airlines.

Citi transfer partners that aren’t a great value

The following Citi transfer partners typically do not offer a great value for Citi ThankYou point redemptions.

  • Aeromexico.
  • EVA Air.
  • Jet Airways.
  • JetBlue TrueBlue.
  • Malaysia Airlines.
  • Qatar Airways.
  • Thai Airways.

If you have a Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi Rewards+ Card or Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, the transfer ratio to JetBlue is lower: 1,000 ThankYou points transfer to 800 JetBlue points.

The bottom line

If you’ve got a stash of ThankYou points, now you know which partners to check out. Make sure to also review our list of Citi ThankYou points sweet spots.

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card, Citi Premier Card and Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Citi ThankYou points: How to earn and use them
Find the best travel credit card for you
Travel loyalty program reviews

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