Citi ThankYou Points – How to use it for travel?

Citi ThankYou Card 3X in Travel
Citi ThankYou Points Travel

Citi ThankYou Points Travel

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer


Citi ThankYou Points

For travelling international, most of the time it is better to transfer points to participating travel loyalty programs and issue an award ticket.

For travelling domestic US, it will depend on 2 major factors:

  1. Do you have 14 days or 21 days in advance booking?
  2. Are you travelling to nearby cities?

If yes on both, sometimes purchase a ticket could be more economic than issuing an award ticket.

10 Airlines Loyalty programs in Citi ThankYou Points program

There are 10 participating airlines in Citi ThankYou points program that you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to their airlines loyalty programs.  Usually it is 1:1 transfer, unless there is special offering and promotion.

  1. Asia Miles
  2. EVA Air Infinity MileageLand
  3. Etihad Guest
  4. Flying Blue
  5. Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  6. Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  7. Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  8. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  9. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  10. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Please read the following example  why most of the time it is better to transfer points to participating travel loyalty programs and issue an award ticket.

International Travel from San Francisco to Hong Kong

Please refer to the two images above.  We are making two reservations for the same date and same route in 2 different methods by using Citi ThankYou points, from San Francisco to Hong Kong on March 29, 2015 and return from Hong Kong to San Francisco on April 14, 2015, economy class.

Option 1: We are using Citi ThankYou points Travel to book the ticket.  It requires 74,056 ThankYou points to purchase a FREE ticket, otherwise, we can pay $925.70 for the same ticket.

Option 2: We transfer 51,000 Citi ThankYou points to KrisFlyer to issue an award ticket from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program and pay $165.18 fees and surcharges  .

The above assumption is based on the award ticket is available on the dates that you prefer.  Option 2 will be a better choice because you are saving 23,056 different of ThankYou points, which is higher value than $165.18 that you paid.

If the award ticket is not available on the dates that you prefer, option 1 will be more flexible because option 1 is using your ThankYou points to “purchase the ticket” and give you more choices of availability than award seat even though it costs you more than option 2.

How to use Citi ThankYou Points to Travel?

In summary, you have 2 options to use Citi ThankYou points to travel:

  1. You can go to “SHOP-Browse Rewards” tab, then you see a column for Travel, click on “Flights”, then you can start to search for your flights.  Your search result will give you your options in purchasing the ticket.  You can use combination of ThankYou points and money to purchase your ticket.  This is a good option for people to save some part of travel fund in case they have some ThankYou points, but it is not enough to get a FREE ticket.
  2. You can transfer points to participating travel loyalty programs.  There are 10 airlines loyalty programs in the Citi ThankYou points program.  For example, if I want to redeem an award ticket through Singapore Airlines.  You need to be a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer member.  It is FREE and click on “Join Now” at Singapore Airlines site.  After you create your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer membership, you go to Citi ThankYou points, and go to “SHOP-Browse Rewards” tab, then under column for “Travel”, bottom one, you will see “Points Transfer”, click on that and you will see the 10 participating travel loyalty programs, pick “Transfer Now” under the airlines that you prefer and follow the steps to transfer your points to the participating travel loyalty programs as miles.  Usually it takes 24 hours for the transfer points to appear on your travel loyalty programs, so please plan in advance.




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