Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige® Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
How Long Do Amex Membership Rewards Points Transfers Take?
How Long Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Transfers Take?
How Long Do Citi ThankYou Points Transfers Take?
How Long Do Starwood Preferred Guest Points Transfers Take?
If you’re collecting miles & points through credit card spend, I always recommend doing what you can to accrue transferrable 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 flexibility 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, I’m writing a series about the three major transferrable points currencies — Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou — talking about how long it takes to transfer points, along with the other basic details you need to know about transferring points. A couple of days ago I wrote about Amex Membership Rewards, and yesterday I wrote about Chase Ultimate Rewards, so today I’m writing about Citi ThankYou.
How many airline and hotel partners does Citi ThankYou have?
As of now, Citi ThankYou has 13 airline and hotel transfer partners — that includes 12 airline partners and one hotel partner.
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|
|Air France KLM FlyingBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Etihad Guest||1000 : 1000||~ 3-6 days|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1000 : 500||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||~ 1-2 days|
|Thai Royal Orchid Plus||1000 : 1000||~ 3-6 days|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1000 : 1000||~ 1-2 days|
Among the three transferrable points currencies, Citi ThankYou transfers are the slowest. Only two are instant, while most transfer within a few days. That’s still pretty fast, all things considered, but not as fast as the others.
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?
This is an area where Citi ThankYou is unique. Citi lets you 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
So 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 or hotel accounts?
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 Prestige® Card and Citi Premier℠ 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 are the best for earning Citi ThankYou points:
- The Citi Prestige® Card offers 3x points on air travel and hotels, and 2x points on dining and entertainment; the card has a $450, though offers a $250 airline credit that helps offset it
- The Citi Premier℠ Card offers 3x points on travel, and 2x points on dining and entertainment; the card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year
Note that you can earn the sign-up bonus on each of the above cards, which is a great way to earn a lot of ThankYou points quickly.
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 FlyingBlue, Etihad Guest, and Singapore KrisFlyer. JetBlue TrueBlue is also worth considering if there’s a transfer bonus, as there is right now. However, you only want to do this once you’ve figured out the award you want to book, have verified availability, and are sure you understand how that program works.
If you’re someone who prefers to redeem your points as cashback towards travel, points earned on the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi Premier℠ Card can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket.
Otherwise I’d rather convert points to a travel partner than get 1.25 cents of value per point. Others will feel differently, though.
While I consider Citi ThankYou points to not be quite as valuable as Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points, this is still a great points currency. The ability to earn up to triple points on some bonus categories, plus the ability to transfer points to partner programs, makes this a pretty compelling currency.
Beyond that, I love the Citi Prestige® Card for the fourth night free hotel benefit, which more than justifies the annual fee to me. I consider this to be the single best perk offered by any credit card.