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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi ThankYou Premier Card
Citi ThankYou Rewards has for a long time been the pipsqueak little brother to the major transferable points programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Without transfer options, the most you could hope to get from ThankYou points was about 1.25 cents apiece, and that was only for Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cardholders who redeemed for travel through the ThankYou Rewards travel center. Otherwise, ThankYou points were generally worth just 1 cent each toward gift cards or travel for other cardholders.
Now it seems Citi is stepping up its game with the introduction of 8 new transfer partners to go alongside its one existing partner, Hilton HHonors.
The new partners include:
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- Garuda Indonesia
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
The standouts are Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, plus Garuda Indonesia, which helps give ThankYou Rewards a door into all three airline alliances (Star Alliance, OneWorld, and SkyTeam, respectively). All of these partners transfer at a 1:1 ratio, while Hilton transfers at 1,500 HHonors points : 1,000 ThankYou points). For some reason, Malaysia Airlines doesn’t yet appear as an option on Citi’s website, but I confirmed with Citi reps that it is indeed a new transfer partner.
While the new transfer options are still restricted to Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige, and Citi Chairman cardholders, they open up a world of possibilities for ThankYou Rewards, adding massive value not only to the points themselves, but to the Citi credit cards used to earn them. The Citi ThankYou Premier, for example, comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points: 20,000 after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of cardmembership, plus another 30,000 after spending $3,000 in the first three months of the second year of cardmembership. The annual fee of $125 is waived for the first year, but not the second.
Formerly, those 50,000 points were worth about $625 in travel. I would now value ThankYou points at no less than 1.5 cents apiece, and probably slightly higher due to their flexibility. That means the Citi ThankYou Premier now offers at least $750 worth of value, 20% more than before these transfer options were available. The same could be said of points earned from other ThankYou Rewards cards, like the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. Since ThankYou points can be combined between accounts, all the points you earn on other cards will also be eligible for transfer partners once you have the Premier, Prestige, or Chairman cards.
It’s always nice to be able to report an increase in the value of points and miles. This improvement by Citi is only good news for frequent fliers, as it not only increases the value of ThankYou Rewards, but also puts a new, legitimate competitor in the ring of transferable point programs. Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come from Citi.
Hat Tip: View From the Wing
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees