Citi ThankYou Offering 30% Transfer Bonus To Air France KLM Flying Blue

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Through August 29, 2018, the US Citi ThankYou program is offering a 30% bonus when you convert points into Air France KLM Flying Blue miles. Points ordinarily convert at a 1:1 ratio, though during this promotion you can convert 1,000 Citi points into 1,300 Flying Blue miles.

There’s no limit to how often you can take advantage of this promotion, and the bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning that you can earn the bonus on multiple transactions.

Historically these types of bonuses have been quite rare. In May we saw Amex Membership Rewards offer a 25% bonus on points transfers to Flying Blue, though other than that transfer bonuses to Flying Blue are extremely rare. I don’t recall ever seeing a bonus from Citi ThankYou like this, and a 30% bonus is quite generous as well.

There’s probably a reason we’re suddenly seeing two of these bonuses back-to-back — major changes were made to the Flying Blue program as of June 1, 2018, and award pricing is now dynamic, rather than zone based. So the cost of many awards has gone up, while the cost of some awards has gone down.

The great thing about Flying Blue is that it gives you access to more award availability on Air France and KLM than if you’re booking through a partner program. So pricing varies, but with a 30% bonus this could be an especially good deal.

Air France’s 777 business class

You could also leverage this bonus to score a deal on a Delta ticket. Award tickets on Delta have new award pricing that’s roughly distance based rather than zone based, so in some cases you’ll pay less than before, and in other cases you’ll pay more than before. Flying Blue doesn’t impose surcharges on Delta if booking a one-way ticket from the US to Europe, for example (for travel from Europe to the US they do, though).

You could redeem 59,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way business class ticket on Delta from New York to London, which requires just 46,000 Citi ThankYou points. That’s a solid deal.

Alternatively you could pay 72,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way business class ticket from Seattle to Amsterdam, which requires just 56,000 Citi ThankYou points.

Want ThankYou points? Don’t forget about this great offer

If you want to earn ThankYou points, don’t forget that the Citi Premier℠ Card is offering a big 50,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. The card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.

This is the most rewarding Citi credit card for everyday spend, as it offers:

  • 3x points on travel, including gas stations
  • 2x points on dining & entertainment
  • 1x points on all other purchases

So if you are looking for ThankYou points, the Citi Premier℠ Card is tough to beat.

Bottom line

There’s potentially a ton of value to be had from this promotion. That’s true regardless of whether you’re trying to redeem directly on Air France or KLM, or whether you’re trying to redeem on a SkyTeam partner, where a 30% bonus could represent an excellent value.

That being said, personally I wouldn’t speculatively transfer points to take advantage of this. The promotion is around for nearly two months, and I’d only transfer points with a short term use in mind. Typically Citi ThankYou transfers to Flying Blue are instant.

Do you plan on transferring Citi points to Flying Blue with a 30% bonus?

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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  1. Thanks Ben. Just booked Air France from Zagreb-Paris-Atlanta for 21.5k + $157pp for our return from Croatia next summer (first leg on Croatia Airlines, second on AF 777). With the just announced Citi TY bonus, this cost me a grand total of 33k TY points.

  2. @Lucky and others

    I have over 150K thank you points but I’m not using my Citi card — I put all my spend on my pair of sapphire cards. I have no immediate plans for these points but I would like to transfer them somewhere to avoid paying the annual fee on the card.

    What do you think about moving them to Flying Blue with the 30% bonus — Does flying blue provide enough flexibility through their partners? is that something worth considering?

  3. @Neil,
    You’ll likely regret it if you do. Flying Blue is now among the worst programs in terms of redemption cost (miles required + surcharges). Miles also expire in 24 months unless you take a SkyTeam flight and credit the miles to Flying Blue.

  4. What’s the best way to search for flights now without the flying blue calendar monthly search. I am searching day by day for Ord Paris or Ord ams and seeing nothing in July.

  5. I’m using the app but not finding anything and have searched a ton of dates. Just says no flights available? Won’t even show me exorbitant points levels.

  6. @Mick – this July? You’ll probably not find much if any space this close in. I booked for next June and I saw biz as low as 61k one way from CDG-ATL.

  7. Citi Bank, Citi Prestige Card Stole 129,000 Thank You Points From Me. Use Your Thank You Points ASAP!

    It’s smart to take the transfer as soon as possible. Recently I had my Citi Prestige Card cancelled without notice and they stole 129,000 Thank You points from my account. They also refused to reimburse or prorate my annual fee of $450.00. Other than an email notification on the date of the cancellation I was not appraised of any problems with the account.

    Their brief explanation in the email was based on “a delinquent credit obligation(s), either paid or unpaid” in my Experian credit report (not to Citi Bank). Their only response when I contacted them was, we can cancel your account and the Thank You points at any time and without notice or reason. When the account is closed, you lose your Thank You points!

    I’d never been late on payments. The only blemish on my credit report was a $3.00 charge I refused to pay to Life Miles, Banco Popular (completely incompetent) credit card account which appeared three months after I had cancelled the card. The charge was in dispute when Citi Prestige cancelled my account and stole the 129,000 Thank you points, refusing to state a reason other than the Experian report. I tried multiple times through Citi Chat, Citi Secure Email and telephone and no one with Citi Bank, Citi Prestige would answer my questions with anymore specificity. The only remedy is a suit. Which I’ll file in the next week.

  8. Hi,
    If i take a REWARD flight on KLM for example,
    Will that count to extend my point for another 2 years?


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