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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Premier Card
For a limited time, Citi ThankYou Rewards is offering a 100% bonus on points transferred to hotel partner Hilton HHonors. Normally ThankYou Points transfer to Hilton at 1:1, but through January 8, 2015, you’ll get 2,000 HHonors points for every 1,000 ThankYou Points you transfer.
Since Citi added 9 airline transfer partners this year Citi, Hilton is one of the least valuable ThankYou Rewards transfer partners. In my latest monthly valuations, I list Hilton HHonors points at 0.5 cents apiece, and ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents apiece. That makes transfers to Hilton downright terrible normally, and still pretty bad even with this promotion. In a vacuum, you can probably find much better ways to use ThankYou Rewards.
That said, unless you’re a character in Interstellar, then you probably don’t exist in a vacuum, so there are some scenarios where taking advantage of this transfer bonus makes sense.
- If you’re planning a major Hilton award redemption and just need a few thousand points to top off your account, this is an easy way to get them. Even if you don’t already have any ThankYou points to spare, keep in mind that they can be shared between ThankYou Rewards members immediately and at no cost. The only caveat is that shared points expire after 90 days, so don’t transfer them until you’re ready to use them.
- If you have a few thousand dormant ThankYou points and you’re planning to close your account, you should use them rather than just let them disappear. Citi lets you redeem ThankYou Points for airfare directly, and offers an array of retail and other gift cards. Both options give you 1 cent per point (more if you have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card), but if you’d rather have Hilton points, the current transfer bonus at least offers similar redemption value.
- Hilton HHonors points expire after 12 months of account inactivity, but points transfers from partners qualify as activity. If you’re approaching that 12 month mark and want to avoid losing your HHonors points, you can transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to extend the expiration date for another year. Note that transfers may take up to 14 days, so don’t cut it too close.
I wouldn’t transfer points speculatively, since you’d be sacrificing value to begin with, and despite the slew of devaluations Hilton went through last year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the program tank even further. Unless you have a particular need for HHonors points, save your ThankYou Points for another time.
Know before you go.
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