Citi adds American Airlines as a temporary transfer partner

Jul 18, 2021

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On Sunday, Citi made waves in the points and miles world by announcing a new transfer partner for its ThankYou Rewards program: American Airlines.

Transferred ThankYou Points can be used to secure flights, flight upgrades, vacation packages, hotel stays, car rentals, and more, according to Citi and as first reported by Business Insider. Miles will be valid for 18 months once transferred.

Although Citi says the program is temporary, running from July 18 to Nov. 13, 2021, this is great news for Citi Prestige® Card, Citi Premier® Card, Citi Preferred (no longer available) and Citi Rewards+® Card cardmembers hoping to boost their AAdvantage miles stash and American Airlines loyalists who previously had to make do without a transferrable currency option. And hopefully, this first-time-ever partnership continues sticks for the long term.

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While the Prestige and Premier cards have always allowed transfer to partner programs, this is a unique opportunity for the  Preferred and Rewards+ which don’t typically allow you to transfer your points.

The more premium Prestige and Premier cards transfer at a 1:1 ratio, while the basic Preferred and Rewards+ cards transfer at a less optimal  2:1 ratio. You have to transfer in 1,000 point increments, but there’s no cap to the number of points you can transfer.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Maximizing with the Citi Premier welcome offer

Although the Citi Prestige card is no longer available to new applicants, the second-tier ThankYou points-earning card, the Citi Premier, is offering a record-high 80,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The Premier Card earns 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent on hotels, air travel, restaurants, gas stations, and at supermarkets) and 1 point on all other spending. According to TPG valuations , these points are worth $1,360 — an impressive amount for a card with just a $95 annual fee.

Related: Competitive perks, manageable annual fee — Citi Premier credit card review

American Airlines offers great opportunities if you’re looking to redeem your points on partner airlines, such as Qatar and Etihad. Having an extra 80,000 miles in your AAdvantage account can go quite far and open up many new travel opportunities.

Related: How to redeem miles with the American Airlines AAdvantage program

Opportunities to redeem American Airline miles

One of the most straightforward ways to redeem AAdvantage miles is on American-operated flights. American charges relatively reasonable mileage rates for international flights, though domestic flights are relatively standard amounts for the travel industry.

American uses a region-based chart for pricing awards. While no price is any longer a guarantee, you should still be able to find flights such as:

  • 60,000 miles for an economy round-trip flight to South America
  • 57,500 miles for a business class one-way flight to Europe
  • 12,500 for a domestic economy one-way flight

There are also plenty of options for redeeming miles on partner flights. See our full guide to redeeming AAdvantage miles here.

Bottom line

The Citi ThankYou Rewards program remains one of the best for credit card users looking for flexible cash-back options or travel rewards. In addition to American Airlines, Citi transfer partner airlines include Avianca, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific, and AirFrance/KLM. With a great welcome offer with the Citi Premier card and the opportunity to finally transfer points earned from the two basic Citi ThankYou cards — the Preferred and Rewards+ — this is a welcomed addition for points fanatics.

Additional Reporting by Jennifer Yellin.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
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Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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