Citi ThankYou, which is one of the four major transferable points programs, has just added a new transfer partner, and it’s a unique one among transferable points currencies. It’s awesome to see how Citi keeps adding hotel partners, because in the past couple of years we’ve seen Citi add Choice Privileges, Wyndham Rewards, and Accor Live Limitless.
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Transfer Citi points to Leaders Club at a 5:1 ratio
The Citi ThankYou program in the United States has just added Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) Leaders Club as its newest transfer partner. Assuming you have one of the premium Citi cards, like the Citi Premier® Card (review), the transfer ratio is 5:1, and you can transfer points in increments of 1,000 points.
This is Citi ThankYou’s 18th transfer partner, and the fourth hotel transfer partner. Citi ThankYou is the first points currency to partner with Leaders Club, so that’s pretty cool.
There are several great cards earning Citi ThankYou points, and as long as you have a premium card like the Citi Premier, then all points can be transferred to the ThankYou airline and hotel partners.
What is Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club?
Many people understandably might not be familiar with Leading Hotels of the World or Leaders Club, so let’s talk about that. Leading Hotels of the World is a collection of independent luxury hotels, with over 400 properties in 80 countries around the globe. Chances are that you’re familiar with some of LHW’s properties, even if you didn’t know they were associated with the group.
You should think of Leading Hotels of the World as more of a hotel marketing group than as a single hotel group. LHW doesn’t manage its hotels, but rather markets a group of otherwise independent luxury hotels. As a matter of fact, many properties of smaller hotel groups, like Rocco Forte, etc., belong to LHW.
Think of Leading Hotels of the World as being along the lines of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), which World of Hyatt has a partnership with. I would say that on balance LHW properties are a bit higher end than SLH properties, as LHW has some truly iconic properties, like the Ritz Paris.
Is transferring Citi points to Leaders Club worth it?
What is award pricing like with Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club? Pricing is dynamic, and you can search award costs by logging into your account and then going through the booking process.
Let me note that what’s really cool about this partnership is that you can redeem at some independent luxury hotels that you can’t otherwise currently efficiently book with transferable points.
Based on just about all the hotels that I’ve searched, each Leaders Club point gets you about eight cents (in USD) toward the cost of a hotel stay. So when you factor in the 5:1 transfer ratio from Citi ThankYou to Leaders Club, that means you’re getting a very respectable 1.6 cents of value per ThankYou point.
That’s a really good redemption rate, though let me note a few things:
- The eight cents of value is in comparison to what LHW would otherwise charge, and in some cases you might find better rates elsewhere
- These luxury hotels almost entirely belong to programs like Virtuoso, so you are giving up some perks by booking this way
- I don’t want to jinx this, but up until now I can’t imagine there were all that many Leaders Club points in circulation, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some adjustments to redemption rates, so I’d only transfer points when you’re ready to book
The Citi ThankYou program has added Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club as its newest transfer partner. Points transfer at a 5:1 ratio, and this is a great opportunity to book independent luxury hotels that you couldn’t otherwise efficiently redeem points for.
As of now, it appears to me that Leaders Club points are worth around eight cents each toward the cost of a redemption, so given the 5:1 transfer ratio, you could be redeeming Citi points for around 1.6 cents each toward luxury hotel stays.
What’s your take on transferring Citi points to Leaders Club?