Transfer Citi ThankYou Points To American AAdvantage: Should You Do It?

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points To American AAdvantage: Should You Do It?

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In mid-July we saw a fantastic development to the Citi ThankYou program, whereby it’s now possible to transfer points to American AAdvantage for a limited time. I wanted to recap this opportunity, and also share my take on whether it makes sense to speculatively take advantage of this.

Citi ThankYou adds American AAdvantage as partner

For a limited time, through November 13, 2021, Citi ThankYou points can be transfered to American AAdvantage at a 1:1 ratio. This assumes that you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, which are the cards required in order to transfer points to Citi ThankYou airline partners.

This is really exciting to see — among the “big three” carriers in the United States, American Airlines was the only one with a mileage currency that couldn’t efficiently be earned through one of the major transferable points currencies (Amex points can be converted into Delta SkyMiles, and Chase points can be converted into United MileagePlus miles).

American AAdvantage has some awesome mileage redemption options for travel on partner airlines, especially for those looking to redeem in premium cabins on Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways. For example, for a one-way business class award ticket on one of the above partners you’ll pay:

  • 60,000-70,000 AAdvantage miles between the United States and Asia
  • 70,000 AAdvantage miles between the United States and the Middle East/India
  • 75,000 AAdvantage miles between the United States and Africa

These are some of the best award redemption values out there, and this is no doubt a transfer option that many people will appreciate.

Redeem AAdvantage miles for travel in Qatar Airways business class

Earn 80K points with the Citi Premier Card

For anyone looking to earn American AAdvantage miles, this is the ideal time to pick up the Citi Premier® Card (review). The card is offering its best-ever welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou points. This was a huge bonus to begin with, but has just become even more valuable, as you can now use this to earn American AAdvantage miles.

There are lots of great benefits to the Citi Premier Card, including the bonus categories. The Citi Premier® Card offers 3x points on dining, gas, groceries, airfare, and hotels, making this one of the most well-rounded cards for everyday spending. There are several other great cards potentially earning ThankYou points as well.

Redeem AAdvantage miles for travel in Cathay Pacific business class

Should you transfer Citi points to American?

Since this transfer option has become available, lots of readers have asked if it makes sense to take advantage of this and make a points transfer. Here’s my take in general:

  • There are some phenomenal uses of American AAdvantage miles, and lots of redemptions where it could make sense to transfer points
  • That being said, a large part of the value of transferable points currencies comes from the flexibility, and you lose that when you transfer them
  • I certainly wouldn’t make any speculative transfers right now, because this opportunity is available for another three months
  • Come November, I could see it making sense to speculatively transfer some ThankYou points to AAdvantage, but only assuming you have a redemption in mind within a few months
  • American AAdvantage hasn’t devalued partner awards in about five years now, and I suspect that we’ll eventually see a devaluation of some sort
  • That brings me to another topic, which I’ll address below — while nothing has been announced, it’s possible this partnership could be extended
Redeem AAdvantage miles for travel in Etihad business class

Could this transfer option become permanent?

While this transfer option is currently available through November 13, 2021, personally I don’t think it’s out of the question that this could be extended, or even become permanent. For years points hobbyists have wondered about why Citi ThankYou points didn’t transfer to American AAdvantage miles, especially given the co-brand card relationship, and the policies of competitors.

Presumably up until recently this has come down to one of two factors:

  • American and Citi couldn’t agree on a fair price for points transfers
  • American was worried that a transfer option like this would cannibalize its co-brand card portfolio

I suppose there are a few ways to look at this temporary opportunity:

  • American is testing the waters on a transfer option like this, and what impact it has on its co-brand card portfolio, transfer volumes, and how people redeem miles
  • In light of coronavirus American views this as an easy way to generate some revenue
  • American’s economics on the cost at which transfers make sense has changed; this could be due to the ways people redeem miles, planned devaluations, etc.

Only time will tell what the real explanation is, though personally I don’t think it’s out of the question that this could be extended.

Could this transfer option be extended?

Bottom line

Through November 13, 2021, Citi ThankYou points transfer to American AAdvantage at a 1:1 ratio, which is a cool development. While this is only valid for a limited time as of now, who knows, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this become permanent. This is all the more reason to pick up the Citi Premier® Card, given the current bonus of 80,000 ThankYou points.

If you’re thinking about whether or not to transfer points, I wouldn’t make a decision just yet, unless you have a short term use in mind for AAdvantage miles. I’ll circle back on this topic in early November, when this opportunity is closer to expiring (assuming it’s not extended).

What do you make of AAdvantage being added as a Citi transfer partner? Will you transfer points?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Andrew Guest

    Just transferred and booked Qsuites to South Africa for 75k. One of the best deal!

  2. Truptravels Guest

    Great timing as i cancelled my card a month ago and needed to use them within 60 days before they were gone (thanks for the tip from a previous post)
    Note: to be able to "transfer" points, card is supposed to be active. 1st two CSR's I called wouldn't let me transfer points and only redeem for gift cards. There was no hold time so i just kept calling back and the 3rd person transferred them to AA for me.

  3. Bear Guest

    Be careful!
    Anytime I see huge bonus for buying miles or large credit card incentives it seems a large miles devaluation is not far behind.
    I assume AA Disadvantage plan will soon be"enhanced" again, by the Doug Parker clan..
    Watch out! Transfer miles only if you are going to use them soon!

  4. baflyer2 Guest

    I'm not sure if this has happened to anyone else, but I keep getting an error message when trying to transfer ThankYou points to AA. The page will say "You have [1] errors. Please correct before continuing" even though I can't see any errors on the page. Has anyone else had this problem?

  5. NYGuy24 New Member

    If Citi made this permanent it would be a boon to the citi TYP program. I'm holding my TYPs for now but may end up putting them in my AA account. It is difficult to plan future travel at this point given the constant changing state of travel which is beyond frustrating.

  6. Buzz Guest

    I have the Premier and Rewards + which offers a 10% rebate on transfers (up to 100k a year). Currently, I’ve transferred 55k (mostly to Turkish). Come November, I will likely transfer 45k to AA to take advantage of my remaining rebate. I’m Alaska MVP Gold so I get decent seats on AA now.

  7. Ferdinand Magellan Guest

    Although AA miles are not as useless as DL miles, and still more useful than rapidly depreciating UA miles, I see more likely future value in the foreign Citi partners, like Avianca, Emirates, JAL and Singapore Airlines--especially with any transfer bonus. Even within OneWorld, Cathay, Qantas and maybe Qatar seem like better bets.

    1. Caleb Guest

      UA miles may be depreciating more but I still find them infinitely more useful. The options for traveling from North America to Europe on OneWorld are dismal - the only availability on AA metal often involves convoluted overnight connections in IND or BNA or other crazy places. BA involves huge taxes. And Finnair and Iberia rarely have any availability. I'll gladly roll the dice to pay 10% more on Lufthansa or Swiss or Austria. At...

      UA miles may be depreciating more but I still find them infinitely more useful. The options for traveling from North America to Europe on OneWorld are dismal - the only availability on AA metal often involves convoluted overnight connections in IND or BNA or other crazy places. BA involves huge taxes. And Finnair and Iberia rarely have any availability. I'll gladly roll the dice to pay 10% more on Lufthansa or Swiss or Austria. At least they offer flights and don't kill you on surcharges or taxes.

    2. Evan Guest

      Yea for Europe Star Alliance availability and number of options are tough to beat.

      A little different story to Asia, Latin America, etc.

    3. Rob Guest

      I got r/t direct to Munich biz class next may for 90k AA miles plus $140 in fees and taxes two weeks ago. I’ll stick with AA. I consistently find good redemption values with them, although I am flexible on location and timing most of the time for leisure.

    4. Darlene Guest

      @Rob. What a successful redemption. Which carrier did you get it on & what is your departure airport? Thank you in advance for your reply

    5. DCS Diamond

      Although AA miles are not as useless as DL miles, and still more useful than rapidly depreciating UA miles...

      Is is possible to just avoid making blanket or dogmatic pronouncements about matters that are inherently subjective, for I find the notion that AA miles have ever more useful than UA miles to be utterly silly, especially considering, as @Caled just indicated, how many more *A partners there are to fly with by redeeming UA miles ?

    6. Mike Guest

      @DCS: "Is is possible to just avoid making blanket or dogmatic pronouncements about matters that are inherently subjective, for I find the notion that AA miles have ever more useful than UA miles to be utterly silly..."

      Because yet again, no one is allowed to have their own opinion if said opinion does not match that of DCS.

    7. DCS Diamond

      This space contains nothing but opinions of the participants. For anyone to keep repeating, like a broken record, how DCS does allow anyone to have their own opinion is just mindbogglingly ridiculous.

    8. DCS Diamond

      This space contains nothing but opinions of the participants. For anyone to keep repeating, like a broken record, how DCS does NOT allow anyone to have their own opinion is just mindbogglingly ridiculous.

    9. Mike Guest

      @DCS: "This space contains nothing but opinions of the participants. For anyone to keep repeating, like a broken record, how DCS does NOT allow anyone to have their own opinion is just mindbogglingly ridiculous."

      I'm sorry - I guess it was a different DCS who said that someone should stop making certain statements because you didn't agree with them.

      Also, DCS, maybe you should stop referring to yourself in the third-person - it only reinforces...

      @DCS: "This space contains nothing but opinions of the participants. For anyone to keep repeating, like a broken record, how DCS does NOT allow anyone to have their own opinion is just mindbogglingly ridiculous."

      I'm sorry - I guess it was a different DCS who said that someone should stop making certain statements because you didn't agree with them.

      Also, DCS, maybe you should stop referring to yourself in the third-person - it only reinforces the fact that you are nothing more than a narcissist who needs professional help.

  8. D3kingg Guest

    I have Citi Rewards + and did not get 1:1 transfer ratio. It was 2:1. But I just transferred 3,000 citi thank you points for 1,500 AA miles. I’ll take it.

  9. D3kingg Guest

    That’s cool I have 3,000 thank you points hopefully not expired. I don’t know if devaluation is necessarily a bad thing as long as there is dynamic pricing. As a self employed leisure traveler I have 100% flexibility. Pre Pandemic I saw one way business class awards on Qantas from LAX to Syd for anywhere from 70K to 450K.

  10. DCAFrank Guest

    Agree with @Andrew re: a devaluation. I recently cashed out my all my points for an aspirational trip next spring. But until it happens, the summer schedule for 2022 will open soon, and a stockpile of thank you points won't hurt.

  11. Doug Guest

    Does the current offer have lifetime language for the signup bonus?

  12. Jason Guest

    This change is so long overdue. I was about to cancel all TY cards on monday… unfortunately all my points have transferred to other partners prior to the news.

    Citi prestige 5x not available to new applicants helped make this happen perhaps?

  13. Andrew Guest

    Yea... I'm worried about the AA devalue coming up. Their partner award chart can't last forever.

  14. Sir Walter Raleigh Guest

    Impending devaluation of AAdvantage

  15. ffi Guest

    For a limited time, you can get, for each $ spend - 2 points with the double cash - send to Premier - then send the 2 TY points to AA
    Given that the best rate for general spend cash back is 2.62c- this makes the cost of an AA mile 1.31c each - better than any sale so far.
    Only makes sense if you have plans for travel - I am sure AA will devalue its charts sooner rather than later

  16. Matt Guest

    Perfect, looking forward to the devaluation to compensate for millions of TYP flooding AA’s program.

  17. Travel Points 101 Guest

    This would be great if permanent. I can transfer Chase points to United, Amex points to Delta, & Citi Thank You points to American. I thought American Airlines should be a partner a long time ago. Is there any reason why they would not do this permanently? Didn't American Express bail Delta out of bankruptcy a long time ago?

  18. DuaneU2 Gold

    "Delta SkyMiles can be converted into Amex points, while United MileagePlus miles can be converted into Chase points"

    That's backwards. You convert points to miles, not the other way around.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mike Guest

@DCS: "This space contains nothing but opinions of the participants. For anyone to keep repeating, like a broken record, how DCS does NOT allow anyone to have their own opinion is just mindbogglingly ridiculous." I'm sorry - I guess it was a different DCS who said that someone should stop making certain statements because you didn't agree with them. Also, DCS, maybe you should stop referring to yourself in the third-person - it only reinforces the fact that you are nothing more than a narcissist who needs professional help.

3
Mike Guest

@DCS: "Is is possible to just avoid making blanket or dogmatic pronouncements about matters that are inherently subjective, for I find the notion that AA miles have ever more useful than UA miles to be utterly silly..." Because yet again, no one is allowed to have their own opinion if said opinion does not match that of DCS.

2
Matt Guest

Perfect, looking forward to the devaluation to compensate for millions of TYP flooding AA’s program.

2
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