Citi ThankYou Rewards adds a hotel transfer partner
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Transferrable points, including Citi ThankYou Rewards, are especially valuable because you aren’t locked into redeeming with just one airline or hotel loyalty program. Instead, you can transfer rewards to a wide variety of programs.
That’s right: Citi ThankYou just added a hotel transfer partner, Choice Privileges. And in doing so, Citi also added its first 1:2 transfer ratio partner. For every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points you transfer, you’ll get 2,000 Choice Privileges points.
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How to transfer Citi ThankYou points to Choice
You’ll see a splash notice at the top when the next page loads.
Scroll down and you’ll see Choice Privileges listed at a 1:2 transfer partner.
Click “Continue” and then decide how many points you want to transfer. You’ll need to enter your Choice Privileges account number, and the terms note that you must have the same first and last name on your ThankYou account and Choice Privileges account.
If you go forward with your transfer request, you’ll get to review your request before submitting it. On this page, Citi ThankYou notes, “Transfers to Choice Privileges® are often completed within 24 hours, however, the process may occasionally take up to 5 business days.”
Once I clicked “Transfer now” and entered a code sent to my cell phone, I got confirmation that Citi initiated the transfer. By the time I refreshed my Choice Privileges account, the 2,000 points were already in my account. So, you can expect that the transfer may be as soon as instant.
Should you transfer Citi ThankYou points to Choice?
Just because you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Choice Privileges at a 1:2 ratio doesn’t mean you should.
There’s certainly plenty of value to be found in the Choice Privileges program. For example, you can often book well-located Cambria and Ascend Hotel Collection properties in major cities for 30,000 points or less per night. And I love booking centrally-located hotels in Europe, Japan and New Zealand for as low as 6,000 points per night.
I often book Choice hotels during my travels due to the program’s lucrative promotions and the value I can get when redeeming Choice points. But, the award chart has certainly become inflated in some regions and there are several ways in which Choice Privileges should improve its loyalty program.
TPG’s valuations peg the value of Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each and Choice Privileges points at 0.6 cents each. So, even with the 1:2 transfer ratio, you’ll still effectively lose 0.5 cents per ThankYou point when you transfer to Choice on average. In short, there are more valuable transfer partners in the Citi ThankYou Rewards program.
However, if you want to transfer points into Choice Privileges, doing so from Citi ThankYou is currently your best option. After all, American Express Membership Rewards transfer to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio, which means you’ll effectively lose 1.4 cents per point transferred. Further, while Capital One announced it would add Choice as a transfer partner back in April, transfers still aren’t active.
It’s excellent that Citi ThankYou added its only hotel transfer partner. And Citi should be applauded for adding this partner at a 1:2 transfer ratio. This ratio provides enough value that it could make sense to transfer Citi ThankYou points to Choice Privileges for a high-value redemption.
If you’re looking to earn Citi ThankYou points, you’ll need a Citi ThankYou Rewards card. One of the top options is the Citi Premier® Card, which currently offers a sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. If you transfer these bonus points to Choice Privileges, you will get 160,000 Choice points. And, these points would be enough for 20 nights at several centrally-located properties in Tokyo, Japan.
Correction: This article previously stated that Choice Privileges is Citi’s first hotel transfer partner. However, Citi ThankYou points previously transferred to Hilton Honors — we’ve corrected this error throughout the article and in the headline.
Featured image of a river in Osaka, Japan near a centrally-located hotel you can book with Choice points by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.
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