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How Can I Get to Hawaii with 52,000 Citi ThankYou Points?

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TPG reader Charles tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “I have 52k Citi ThankYou points earned from my Citi Prestige card. What’s the best strategy for using them to go to Hawaii in July?”

You'll soon be on your way to Hawaii using your Citi ThankYou points!
You’ll soon be on your way to Hawaii using your Citi ThankYou points! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

One of the best perks of the Citi Prestige card is the $250 you get toward airfare each year, which you can use toward buying a ticket. As for those points, one option to consider would be transferring them to a partner airline.

You could move those points over to Singapore Airlines, where you can redeem 35,000 miles round-trip on Star Alliance partner United — just make sure you find Saver level availability. Also, note that you’ll have to call to book the ticket because you can’t book partner awards on Singapore’s site. Etihad also has 17,500-mile redemptions each way with American — again, just make sure there is Saver level availability. You could also transfer your points to Virgin Atlantic, which offers round-trip economy flights on Hawaiian for just 31,000 miles.

Your other option is to look into the redemption model for Citi ThankYou points. You can redeem points directly through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center for flights on American Airlines at a rate of 1.6 cents per point, on other airlines at a rate of 1.33 cents per point and for all other air, hotel and rental car activity (and cruise reservations) at a rate of one cent per point.

So if you redeem for American flights, that gives you $832 worth of flight credits for your 52,000 points. If you combine that with the $250 rebate I mentioned earlier, you are looking at more than $1,000 toward AA flights, and you earn miles (and elite-qualifying miles) with this option. If you redeem for other airlines, you will get 1.33 cents per point, giving you $691 in credit for your 52,000 points. So compare your options and see what works best for you.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Citi Prestige® Card

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  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge.
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for a $532 flight on any airline or $400 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.49%* (Variable) $450 0% Excellent Credit