This is totally awesome to see, and may make the Citi ThankYou program more appealing to many.
Citi ThankYou adds American AAdvantage as a partner
Citi ThankYou points now transfer to American AAdvantage miles at a 1:1 ratio, assuming you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige. This is a limited time opportunity that’s currently available through November 13, 2021.
This is really exciting to see — among the “big three” carriers in the United States, American Airlines is the only one with a mileage currency that hasn’t efficiently transferred to another currency (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.
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). For a limited time, 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.
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 fo competitors.
Presumably up until now 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.
Citi ThankYou points now transfer to American AAdvantage at a 1:1 ratio, which is a really exciting 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.
What do you make of AAdvantage being added as a Citi transfer partner? Will you transfer points?
(Tip of the hat to Business Insider)