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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?”
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.
Citi Prestige® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||15.49%* (Variable)||$450||0%||Excellent Credit|