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Citi ThankYou: Transfer Partners & Transfer Times [2021 Edition]

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Citi ThankYou points are one of the three big transferable currencies in the miles & points world and can be earned by using select Citi credit cards (e.g. the Citi ThankYou Premier card & the Citi Prestige card), and these points can be transferred across to a variety of other loyalty programs affiliated to major airlines.

Citi ThankYou Program

At the time of writing, the Citi ThankYou program has 16 travel transfer partners (one of which is dormant), and all are loyalty programs affiliated with airlines – Citi ThankYou does not offer transfers to hotel loyalty programs.

This can make it easy to claim that Citi ThankYou points are the weaker of the three major credit card currencies, but that ignores the fact that ThankYou points can be easier to earn than Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and it ignores the fact that Citi has one or two useful unique transfer partners too.

Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners

The list of Citi ThankYou airline transfer partners covers airlines across all three major alliances (which should keep most people happy) and includes favorites like Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (useful for great quality premium cabin awards and good value awards via the Spontaneous Escapes program), Etihad Guest (great for excellent redemptions on American Airlines) and Flying Blue (useful for discounted deals via Flying Blue’s monthly Promo Awards).

Citi’s ThankYou program offers a number of transfer options that you won’t find offered by Chase or American Express and these include the Qatar Airways Privilege Club (which can offer amazing value through its Easy Deals offers), Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles, EVA Air, and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus…but it’s the partners that the ThankYou program shares with other programs that are often the most useful.

The loyalty programs of airlines like Air France/KLM, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines (amongst others) partner with one or both of Chase and American Express (as well as with Citi’s ThankYou program) so this offers up a great opportunity for miles & points enthusiasts to pool points from more than one source to allow them to build up enough miles & points to book whatever great award they’ve found.

Overall, the value that each person gets from transferring ThankYou points to these airlines will vary depending on what the points are eventually used for (premium cabin awards mostly offer better value than Economy Class awards and some airlines add surcharges to their awards while others don’t), but Citi has more than enough great transfer partners to make it reasonably easy to find a good-value use for its ThankYou points.

Transfer Times

As far as transfer times go, the information you see in the tables above is a guideline only – some transfers can be reliably instantaneous while with others, the time taken to transfer Membership Rewards points can vary significantly

I generally avoid moving points across to an airline program that doesn’t reliably offer instantaneous transfers unless I can place the award(s) I want to book on hold – the last thing I want to happen is for award availability to disappear in the time between actioning a transfer and the points arriving in my airline loyalty account.

Transfer Fees

Unlike American Express, Citi, like Chase, doesn’t charge a fee for transfers to any of its partners.

Transfers To Other People’s Loyalty Accounts

Citi prohibits users from transferring ThankYou points into loyalty accounts where the details on the recipient account don’t match with the details on the Citi ThankYou account.

Transfers To Other People’s ThankYou Accounts

Citi allows cardholders to transfer ThankYou points to any other ThankYou account they choose…but there are some important restrictions you should be very aware of:

  • A maximum of 100,000 points can be shared with other ThankYou accounts each calendar year.
  • A maximum of 100,000 points can be received from other ThankYou accounts each calendar year.
  • Points transferred to/from another ThankYou account will expire 90 days after the transfer has taken place and there’s no way to extend their validity period.
  • Once points have been transferred to a new ThankYou account they cannot be re-shared.

Transfers to other ThankYou accounts can be useful in circumventing the restriction on transferring points to other people’s loyalty program accounts but, bearing in mind the points will expire within 90 days of a transfer, the recipient of the points should always have a solid plan for the points before a transfer is enacted.

Popular Cards That Earn ThankYou Points

  • Citi Prestige Card (5 points/dollar on dining & on air travel, 3 points/dollar with hotels and cruise lines)
  • Citi Premier Card (3 points/dollar on dining, air travel & hotels as well as at supermarkets & gas stations)
  • Citi Double Cash Card (No annual fee 2% cash back on all purchases which can be converted to 2 ThankYou points/dollar when paired with a Prestige or Premier Card)
  • Citi Rewards+ Card (No annual fee & 2 points/dollar at gas stations and restaurants)*

*It’s best to pair this card with a Premier or Prestige card to get the most use out of your ThankYou points (i.e so you can transfer them to airline loyalty programs)

Bottom Line

Citi’s ThankYou program may not have the strongest lineup of transfer partners out of the three main transferrable currency programs, but it still has a lot of very good uses.

With various ThankYou cards offering great earnings rates on travel, dining, and gas it can be easy to build up an impressive balance of ThankYou points quite quickly, and with Citi occasionally offering transfer bonuses as well, it doesn’t have to take much effort to earn enough points for a valuable airline award.

A Fantastic No Annual Fee Card

The Freedom Flex Credit Card is a no annual fee card from Chase and although it was only released in September 2020, it has quickly become a “must-have” credit card for fans of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. Fantastic earning rates, useful benefits, and no annual fee is always a winning combination.

Some Of The Great Earning Rates & Benefits:

  • 5% cash back (or 5 points/dollar) on:
    • Up to $1,500 of spending in quarterly revolving categories
    • Travel purchased through Chase’s travel portal
    • Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3% cash back (or 3 points/dollar) on:
    • Dining (includes take-out and delivery)
    • Spending at drugstores
  • 1% cash back (or 1 point/dollar) on spending in all other categories
  • Complimentary cell phone protection

Click for more details on the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

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