If you’re collecting miles & points through credit card spending, I always recommend doing what you can to accrue transferable points currencies.
That’s because these points are much more flexible than when you’re earning an individual airline or hotel points currency. You have the ability to transfer these points to all kinds of travel partners, and you’re safeguarded from a devaluation in a specific points currency.
With that in mind, in this post, I wanted to address all the basics of transferring Citi ThankYou points. How many partners does Citi ThankYou have, how long does it take for points to transfer, who can you transfer points to, etc.
How many airline partners does Citi ThankYou have?
As of now, Citi ThankYou has 15 airline transfer partners (and no hotel partners).
|Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio|
|Aeroméxico Club Premier||1000 : 1000|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||1000 : 1000|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1000 : 1000|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1000 : 1000|
|Emirates Skywards||1000 : 1000|
|Etihad Guest||1000 : 1000|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1000 : 1000|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1000 : 1000|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||1000 : 1000|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1000 : 1000|
|Qatar Privilege Club||1000 : 1000|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1000 : 1000|
|Thai Royal Orchid Plus||1000 : 1000|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||1000 : 1000|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1000 : 1000|
Redeem ThankYou points for travel on Garuda Indonesia
How long does it take to transfer Citi ThankYou points?
Below is a chart with how long it typically takes to transfer ThankYou points:
|Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Aeroméxico Club Premier||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Air France KLM FlyingBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Etihad Guest||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Jet Airways JetPrivilege||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Qatar Privilege Club||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1000 : 1000||~ 12-24 hours|
|Thai Royal Orchid Plus||1000 : 1000||~ 3-6 days|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
As you can see, points transfers to about half of ThankYou partners are instant, while points transfers to the other partners take anywhere from hours to days.
I’d really appreciate if anyone has recent data points to either confirm or deny the above transfer times. I’ve tried to keep the list updated based on feedback, but over time we do see more and more partners offer instant transfers. For example, Etihad Guest and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club transfers didn’t used to be instant, but are now.
Are there fees associated with transferring Citi ThankYou points?
Nope, there are no fees associated with transferring Citi ThankYou points.
Can you transfer Citi points to someone else’s Citi account?
Citi lets one transfer ThankYou points to anyone else’s ThankYou account, regardless of whether they’re related, live at the same address, etc. However, there are a few restrictions to be aware of:
- Shared points expire 90 days after they’re received, so you can’t “hoard” someone else’s points in your ThankYou Rewards account
- The recipient of shared points can’t share those same points with another member
- You can share at most 100,000 points per calendar year, and can have at most 100,000 points shared with you per calendar year
While there are some restrictions, this is an area where Citi ThankYou is more generous than other programs.
Can you transfer Citi points to someone else’s airline account?
No. While you can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to someone else’s Citi ThankYou account and then they can transfer it to their preferred loyalty program, you can’t transfer your ThankYou points directly to someone else’s loyalty program account.
The name of the Citi ThankYou account and loyalty program account have to match.
Can you combine Citi ThankYou accounts?
While Citi is generous in letting you transfer ThankYou accounts to someone else’s ThankYou account, they actually have a rather strict policy when it comes to combining your own ThankYou points accounts.
For example, let’s say you have both the Citi Premier® Card (review) and Citi Prestige® Card. Now let’s say you close down one of those accounts. While you can combine the points, the points from the card that you shut down expire 60 days after the account is closed. So you have to transfer those points to a partner program within 60 days, or else the points will be forfeited.
What cards earn Citi ThankYou points?
The following two cards earn Citi ThankYou points directly:
- The Citi Prestige® Card offers 5x points on air travel and restaurants, and 3x points on hotels and cruise lines; the card has a $495 annual, though offers a $250 travel credit every calendar year (which can be used at supermarkets and supermarkets in 2021) that helps offset it
- The Citi Premier® Card offers 3x points on hotels, air travel, gas stations, supermarkets and dining; the card has a $95 annual fee
In addition to those two cards earning ThankYou points that can directly be transferred to airline partners, the following cards earn ThankYou points that can be transferred to airlines in conjunction with one of the above cards:
- The Citi Rewards+® Card (review) rounds up purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou points, and offers 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations, for the first $6,000 spent every year; the card has no annual fee
- The Citi® Double Cash Card (review) offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase, and rewards can be converted into ThankYou points at a ratio of one point per cent; the card has no annual fee
Should you transfer Citi points to travel partners?
In general, the best use of Citi ThankYou points is to convert them into airline miles. Personally, my favorite transfer partners include Air France KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore KrisFlyer, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
However, you only want to transfer points once you’ve figured out the award you want to book, have verified availability, and are sure you understand how that program works.
Redeem ThankYou points for travel on Air France
If you’re someone who prefers to redeem your points as cashback towards travel, points earned on the Citi Premier® Card can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket, while points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of an airline ticket. Unfortunately, as of April 10, 2021, ThankYou points earned on the Citi Premier can be redeemed at only one cent each towards airfare purchases.
Generally speaking, I think transferring Citi points to airline partners represents a better value.
To me, the value of Citi ThankYou points has grown significantly the past few years, thanks to additional transfer partners as well as useful transfer bonuses. Add in the fact that Citi cards have some fantastic category bonuses for spending — in particular, the no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card earning 2x ThankYou points per dollar — and earning ThankYou points has never been easier.
If you have any data points on how long Citi ThankYou points transfers have taken you, please share them below, so that I can keep the chart as accurate as possible!