Fly to Europe for 8,270 Points and Other Ways to Maximize the Citi Transfer Bonus

Jul 8, 2018

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Yesterday, Citi announced a great opportunity to get more value out of your ThankYou points. Now through August 29, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue mileage program with a 30% bonus.

When stacking the transfer bonus with Flying Blue’s monthly promo award, you can fly to Europe for as little as 8,270 points one-way or 16,540 points round-trip. Right now, flights from Houston (IAH) and Washington DC (IAD) to Europe are half-off under this month’s promo. You’ll have to book travel between August 31 and October 30 to receive the mileage discount.

Here are a few examples of flights you can book with bonus, and how many ThankYou points you’ll need to convert to Flying Blue miles:

From To Lowest Rate
Discount Miles
Citi ThankYou Transfer
Houston London 21,500 50% 10,750 8,270
Houston Dublin 21,500 50% 10,750 8,270
Houston Rome 21,500 50% 10,750 8,270
Washington DC Lisbon 21,500 50% 10,750 8,270
Washington DC London 21,500 50% 10,750 8,270
Washington DC Budapest 21,500 50% 10,750 8,270
New York Berlin 21,500 N/A 21,500 16,540
San Francisco  London 21,500 N/A  21,500  16,540
Chicago Paris 22,000 N/A 22,000  16,925

Even with its award chart changes, Flying Blue is still one of the best options to get from the US to Israel. You’d need just 25,000 miles or 19,231 points for a one-way flight, or 38,462 points for a round-trip itinerary.

The economy class cabin on Air France.

If you want to fly in style, you can snag one-way business class awards to many European destinations (and Israel) for just 53,000 miles or 40,770 ThankYou points. Here are more examples of the points needed for one-way flights in business class to Europe, North Africa and Israel.

From To Miles
Citi ThankYou Transfer
New York (JFK) Tel Aviv 53,000 40,770
Washington DC (IAD) Marrakech 53,000 40,770
Los Angeles (LAX) Rome 53,000 40,770
Dallas (DFW) London 53,000 40,770
Miami (MIA) Barcelona 53,000 40,770
Los Angeles (LAX) Budaspest 53,000 40,770
San Francisco (SFO) Lisbon 55,000 42,309
Detroit (DTW) Amsterdam 60,500 46,155

If you can find availability, you can even snag a seat on Delta’s new business class suite that’s flying on its A350 between Detroit (DTW) and Amsterdam (AMS) for just 46,155 ThankYou points.

Earn Citi ThankYou Points and Sign Up for Flying Blue

If you don’t hold a Citi card that earns ThankYou points, there are a few options to consider, although only one is currently offering a sign-up bonus. The  Citi Premier® Card is offering a 50,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Other options include the Citi Prestige, Citi Thank You Preferred and AT&T Access Card from Citi, although none are currently offering sign-up bonuses.

If you don’t already have a Flying Blue account, you can sign-up here.

Find Award Availability and Transfer Points

Make sure you find award availability on your preferred route before you move your ThankYou points since the transfer is permanent. Transfers should be instant, so you won’t be waiting around worrying if your flight will still be there tomorrow. Unfortunately, Air France recently got rid of its award calendar so you’ll have to search day-by-day for flights.

Once you’ve found an itinerary you want to book, transfer your ThankYou points to Flying Blue. Log in to your credit card account, under “Rewards and benefits” click “ThankYou Rewards.” This takes you to the ThankYou homepage, where you’ll find the option to transfer points under “More Ways to Redeem” and then select “Points Transfer.”

Book Your Award

The one downside to the Flying Blue program is the taxes and fees they charge on award tickets. It can get pricey if you’re flying Air France or KLM metal. Delta flights are usually exempt from the fuel surcharges. As always, you’ll want to maximize the purchase by putting it on a card that earns bonus points for travel and provides travel insurance:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express — 5x points on airfare
  • Citi Prestige — excellent travel insurance and 3x points on travel
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve — great travel insurance and 3x points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card  — solid travel insurance and 2x points on travel

Bottom Line

To truly get dirt cheap rates to Europe, travelers are limited to just two US departure cities. But if you can take advantage of the deal, flying to Europe for 8,270 points one-way or 16,540 points is about as low as it can get. If you’re flying elsewhere, this transfer bonus can still be an excellent use of Citi ThankYou points.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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