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Citi ThankYou Rewards has made another stride forward by adding Qantas as its eleventh airline transfer partner, and twelfth transfer partner overall.
After ThankYou Rewards massively expanded its transfer options last summer (with the addition of 9 new partners, including Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles), the program bulked up further when it added Flying Blue in August and Virgin Atlantic just over one month ago. Now, Qantas Frequent Flyer is also available for 1:1 points transfers from ThankYou Rewards.
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program now boasts the following roster of transfer partners (all of which transfer at 1:1 except for Hilton HHonors, which is 2:3):
- Air France-KLM
- Asia Miles
- Etihad Airways Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- Hilton HHonors
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Qantas Freqent Flyer is not a transfer partner of any of the other major flexible points programs (Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, or Starwood Preferred Guest), giving ThankYou Rewards another unique transfer option. Qantas is the fourth Oneworld alliance airline to make the list, offering a bit of redundancy and I’m sure leaving many ThankYou Rewards members wondering if American Airlines AAdvantage is on the horizon.
Adding Qantas is yet another improvement to Citi ThankYou Rewards, which has gained on the competition impressively over the last year. Later this week I’ll write more about what this addition means, and how you can maximize Qantas as a transfer partner, given that awards to Australia are among the most difficult to book.
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 currently offers 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.
Citi Prestige currently offers a more modest sign-up bonus of 30,000 ThankYou Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, but the card comes with an impressive array of benefits.
In my most recent monthly valuations, I list ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents apiece, 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.
Know before you go.
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