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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Premier Card
Last summer, Citi ramped up the value of their ThankYou Rewards program by adding 8 new transfer partners (including Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles) along with Flying Blue shortly after. While most of these Asian/Middle Eastern frequent flyer programs are not as lucrative as programs based in North America, there are still great values to be had, as TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Jason Steele wrote about in this follow-up post.
Citi just announced the addition of yet another new transfer: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Similar to their other partners, you’ll be able to transfer at a 1:1 ratio.
In addition to Virgin Atlantic, Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cardholders can also transfer unlimited ThankYou Points to 11 other participating hotel and airline loyalty rewards programs including:
· Air France-KLM
· Asia Miles
· Etihad Airways Guest
· EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
· Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
· Hilton HHonors
· Malaysia Airlines Enrich
· Qatar Airways Privilege Club
· Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
· Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Boosting Your ThankYou Points
You can only transfer points to airline partners if you have the Citi Premier, Citi Prestige, and Citi Chairman cards. The Citi Premier 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.
I now value ThankYou points at 1.6 cents a piece, meaning the sign-up bonus for the Citi Premier now offers at least $800 worth of value, 20% more than before these transfer options were available. Since ThankYou points can be freely and instantly shared 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.
For ideas on how to use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles, check out this post on How to Use Virgin Atlantic Miles Without Fuel Surcharges.