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Citi’s ThankYou Points can be incredibly useful in certain situations but up until now I have found them to be less useful than the points issued by Amex and Chase. Now, however, courtesy of a very surprising program enhancement (of the good kind!) Citi’s ThankYou points have suddenly been made considerably more useful…albeit for a limited time only.
Yesterday, Business Insider broke the fantastic news that Citi has added the American Airlines AAdvantage program to its list of transfer partners. Unfortunately, it seems that the transfer partnership is only going last for a few months (it’s currently set to end on 13 November 2021) but that shouldn’t detract from just how significant this sudden ThankYou program enhancement is.
Citi ThankYou Gets More Interesting
As most of you reading this will probably know, Citi is American’s longest standing credit card partner but despite this strong partnership the American Airlines AAdvantage Program has never appeared on the list of Citi’s ThankYou transfer partners. Why AAdvantage has never been a Citi transfer partner has been one of the miles and points hobby’s longest running questions and the fact that Citi points have never transferred over to any of the major US airline programs has long been the ThankYou program’s major weakness.
Temporarily, that major weakness is no longer there as through13 November 2021, Citi ThankYou Points earned by the Citi Prestige Card and the Citi Premier Card are transferable over to AAdvantage in a 1:1 ratio. The points earned by all other Citi ThankYou cards are now transferable over to AAdvantage in a 2:1 ratio. This last fact is a little surprising as points earned by these other Citi ThankYou cards can’t usually be transferred to any of the ThankYou program’s travel transfer partners unless they’re pooled with points earned by one of the two fee-bearing ThankYou cards.
What all this now means is that for points posted to a cardholder’s ThankYou account by 13 November, the Citi Prestige Card will effectively earn 5 AAdvantage Miles per dollar on airfare while the excellent Citi Premier Card will effectively earn 3 AAdvantage Miles per dollar on hotel spending, gas, dining, airfare spending, and groceries. What’s even better is that the excellent Citi Double Cash Card (review) will now effectively earn 2 AAdvantage Miles per dollar on all spending when paired with a Prestige or Premier Card. That comfortably beats what most Citi/AAdvantage co-branded cards offer.
When you consider the fact that AAdvantage Miles can be used to book some truly fantastic premium cabin awards on Airlines like JAL, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, and Qatar Airways without breaking the bank, this sudden change to Citi’s loyalty program makes earning ThankYou points between now and the middle of November look considerably more interesting.
How To Transfer Points To AAdvantage
When you hard over to the ThankYou Program from your Citi online account it may not be immediately obvious where the option to transfer points is to be found. The key is to click on the “see all ways to redeem” link that you should find a little below the sentence that shows your points balance on the ThankYou program’s homepage…
…and then you’ll need to click the link for “transfer and share” that should appear on the page.
From there, simply follow the instructions that appear on the screen and you should find that the AAdvantage program is the first transfer option that you’re presented with.
I’d like to be able to tell you how long a transfer between Citi and AAdvantage takes but as Citi refuses to let me enact a points transfer without verifying my identity via my US phone (which doesn’t work where I am right now), I’m going to have to wait until I have a free moment call Citi and get my transfer enacted or verified that way.
I suspect that the transfer will be instantaneous but I’ll report back here when I have evidence that this is really the case.
From now until 13 November 2021, Citi ThankYou Points can, for the first time ever, be transferred across to the American Airlines AAdvantage Program. Holders of ThankYou Cards that (usually) charge and annual fee can transfer points across in a 1:1 ratio while holders of all other ThankYou cards can transfer points across in a ratio of 2:1. If, like me, you love using AAdvantage Miles to book premium cabin awards for travel with the likes of Etihad and JAL and you hold a Citi Premier or Prestige Card, this is probably one of the best pieces of news you’ve heard out of the miles & points world for some time…it’s just a shame that this looks to be a temporary program enhancement.