Ultimate Guide to Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners

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Citi ThankYou Rewards can offer massive value if you know how to leverage the extensive list of Citi transfer partners. You can transfer ThankYou points to 17 different airline frequent-flyer programs and one retail partner. This gives you tremendous flexibility when it comes time to book award travel.

Although it's possible to redeem your points for a fixed value towards travel or retail redemptions via thankyou.com, the best way to maximize your Citi ThankYou Points is by transferring to one of the airline partner loyalty programs we've listed below.

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about the Citi ThankYou transfer partners.

How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points

Before we dig into each of Citi's transfer partners, you should know that many credit cards issued by Citi don't come with the option to transfer points. In addition to co-brand cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® that earn rewards with a specific loyalty program, there are several “Citi ThankYou cards” that can't access transfer partners.

However, if you hold either the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card, you can pool Citi ThankYou points earned across all ThankYou Points earning cards to transfer to airline partners.

Cards that Can Transfer ThankYou Points to Partners

Citi Prestige® Card
Citi Prestige® Card
Annual Fee$495
This card is no longer available to new applicants.
  • $250 Travel Credit each calendar year
  • 5X points on air travel and at restaurants; and 3X points at hotels and on cruise line purchases
  • 4th Night Free when you book any eligible hotel through thankyou.com
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership
  • This card is no longer available to new applicants
  • 5X points on air travel and at restaurants
  • 3X points at hotels and on cruise line purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Citi Premier® Card
Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Premier card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. This card is best-in-class for rewards on air travel and hotel spending, and it tops our list of the best cards for gas & fuel purchases with a generous 3X ThankYou® Points.
  • 80,000 point signup bonus worth $800 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 3X points per $1 on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
  • Annual Hotel Benefit: Save $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through ThankYou.com
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, and at gas stations
  • 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
  • 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Offer 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. (After that, the (Variable) APR will be 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness.)
The Citi Double Cash is a dynamic, no-annual-fee cash-back rewards card that allows you to earn 2% traditional cash back, or convert your rewards to ThankYou Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio (2x ThankYou points per $1). When paired with a premium ThankYou Rewards earning card, the Citi Double Cash is now the best card available for everyday, non-bonus purchases.

If you're looking to pay down debt or finance a larger purchase, this card also comes with one of the best available introductory APR offers on balance transfers.
  • 2% cash back on every purchase - 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the (Variable) APR will be 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • No annual fee
This card makes earning rewards simple with no need to worry about keeping track of bonus categories for purchases with specific types of merchants. You'll earn 2% cash back on every purchase—1% when you buy and 1% when you pay. Citi cash rewards now also convert to ThankYou points at 1:1 ($10 = 100 ThankYou points).

Note: The Citi Double Cash features limited transfer partners unless you hold a Prestige or Premier card

Cards that Cannot Transfer ThankYou Points to Partners

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Sign-up bonus of $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, issued as 20,000 ThankYou® Points
  • 5% cash back in your top eligible spend category on up to $500 of purchses each billing cycle
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for--the top earning category adjusts automatically each month to the eligible category in which you spend the most.
  • Excellent intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent
  • 1% cash back thereafter, plus, you'll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • Eligible spending categories are: Restaurants, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs and Live Entertainment.

Citi Rewards+® Card
Citi Rewards+® Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus FOR A LIMITED TIME, earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • Sign-up bonus of 20,000 ThankYou Points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening
  • Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase with no cap
  • 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X point per $1 thereafter
  • Top intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers
  • 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter
  • 1X Points on all other purchases
  • Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
Citi Rewards+ Student Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
Great intro card for students that offers a modest sign-up bonus and earns ThankYou Points. The Citi Rewards+ Student card provides useful bonus categories, plus the card automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on each purchase.
  • Sign-up bonus of 2,500 ThankYou Points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening
  • Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase with no cap
  • 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X point per $1 thereafter
  • 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter
  • 1X Points on all other purchases
  • Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
AT&T Access Card from Citi
AT&T Access Card from Citi
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn 10,000 Bonus ThankYou® Points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening
  • 2X points on purchases made online at eligible retail and travel websites.
  • 2X points on products and services purchased directly from AT&T.
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Cardholders earn ThankYou points by swiping a Citi ThankYou Points earning credit card to make purchases. You can earn thousands of additional points per year by using Citi ThankYou cards that offer extra points on purchases in bonus categories like travel, restaurants, supermarkets, or entertainment.

Depending on what categories you spend money in, certain cards will be a better choice than others. To transfer your Citi ThankYou points to partners, you need to hold either the Citi Premier or Prestige Card.

Citi Transfer Partners

These are the 18 Citi ThankYou transfer partners. Of those, 17 are airlines:

  • American Airlines AAdvantage (temporary through November 13, 2021)
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • InterMiles (formerly Jet Airways JetPrivilege)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

The Citi transfer partners also include one shopping rewards program.

  •  Sears ShopYourWay Rewards

Below you will find more information about the best redemptions within each program.

American Airlines AAdvantage

American AAdvantage is one of our favorite frequent flyer programs. American miles can be redeemed for travel with 22 different airlines to over 1,000 destinations. In July 2021, Citi announced that transfers to American would be a temporary option for ThankYou points until November 13, 2021.

American is one of the first programs to consider for business- and first-class award travel. With elite partners like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways, you can book some of the best premium cabin experiences in the world with American miles. American charges fewer miles than the competition for many of these flights, and you can even put an award ticket on hold for up to five days while you organize the other parts of your trip.

Only time will tell if this valuable addition to Citi's airline partners will become permanent. But, for now, American AAdvantage is an exceptional way to spend your ThankYou points.

Aeromexico Club Premier

For folks not familiar with Aeromexico's Club Premier program, award prices appear much higher than comparable programs at first glance. Why? Club Premier awards are priced in kilometers rather than miles. Unlike Amex Membership Rewards, which transfer to Club Premier at a rate of 1,000 to 1,600 (factoring in that 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers), ThankYou points transfer at a flat rate of 1:1, making this a poor value for your Citi points. You effectively lose value, even though the transfer ratio is 1:1.

The only circumstances where it makes sense to transfer Citi points to Aeromexico would be:

  • To top off your account if you are a few thousand points shy of a specific redemption
  • If a substantial transfer bonus was announced, in the realm of 50-60%

Initial reports show that Citi transfers to Aeromexico take around 6 days. If you have any data to share on transfer times, please reach out in the comments. Check out our comprehensive guide on Aeromexico Club Premier awards and sweet spots for more info.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Flying Blue, the mileage program for Air France and KLM, is one of our favorite Citi transfer partners. Both airlines are part of the SkyTeam Alliance, so you can use Flying Blue miles to book travel on partner airlines like Delta, Korean Air, and Alitalia, as well as many other SkyTeam member airlines.

With Flying Blue, there are two main ways to get the most value out of your points. The first is with Flying Blue’s Promo Rewards. Each month, award flights to/from specific cities go on sale from 25-50%. If you catch the right deal, it’s possible to book economy flights to Europe for as few as 14,500 miles each way.

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Air France KLM Flying Blue

The second sweet spot is that for specific destinations, Flying Blue offers far better prices than other airlines because they use a region-based award chart. The reason their prices are better is that Flying Blue places some countries in different regions than other airlines do. For example, they consider Algeria, the Canary Islands, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to all be part of Europe. So, you can fly there in business class for as few as 53,000 miles each way:

Flying Blue Algiers example

Most other frequent-flyer programs consider these countries to be in the Middle East or North Africa, meaning they charge many more miles for these destinations.

Transfers to Flying Blue are generally instant. You can find more itineraries where Flying Blue outshines its competitors in our guide to Air France/KLM award sweet spots.

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles is excellent for travel on Star Alliance carriers like United, Lufthansa, and Air Canada. In addition to the main highlight of the program, its competitive mileage pricing for award tickets, Avianca doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges from partner airlines. Most Star Alliance carriers do charge these fees. So, using Avianca miles can save you hundreds of dollars each way.

Another advantage of LifeMiles is that if you book an itinerary that includes both first or business class and economy flights, you’ll pay fewer miles than if the entire trip was in a premium cabin. Most airlines are happy to charge you the full business class price if any part of your journey is in business class — even if it’s only the shortest flight!

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Avianca LifeMiles

For example, Avianca usually charges 63,000 miles each way for business class flights from the US to Europe. As seen above, you can fly SWISS Business Class from the US to Zurich and then economy from Zurich to your final destination (in this case, Barcelona), and the total price drops to 60,240 miles. The exact amount will vary depending on what percentage of your trip is in business class vs. economy

Since intra-Europe business class only guarantees you a blocked middle seat and perhaps a meal, I’m happy to take a short flight in economy to save a few thousand miles.

The biggest challenge with using LifeMiles is Avianca's website: while it often works as expected, other times, you won’t find seats available with LifeMiles even when they are bookable through other Star Alliance partners. Even more frustrating, you’ll sometimes find that award seats are available segment-by-segment, but not for an entire trip.

Using the same example above, you might find flights available when searching for San Francisco–Zurich and for Zurich–Barcelona, but not when searching San Francisco–Barcelona. In this latter case, it’s possible to request a manual booking by emailing LifeMiles customer service (preferably with screenshots of their website showing your search results).

Still, it can take a couple of days to get a ticket booked this way — which carries the risk of award space disappearing before you can secure a ticket. Fortunately, transfers to Avianca are generally instant.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance. That means you can use Asia Miles to book award flights on airlines like American, LATAM, Japan Airlines, and Qantas. Note that Asia Miles passes on fuel surcharges from carriers like British Airways and Qatar, so it’s not a preferred option for those partners. The number of miles required to book a ticket is generally similar to other loyalty programs.

Asia Miles is also an attractive option for more complicated itineraries courtesy of generous routing and stopover rules — if you’re flying all Oneworld airlines, you can have a whopping five stops on a round trip. Award prices are based on your total trip distance (rather than on a flight-by-flight basis). So, this can be particularly useful if you plan to visit several cities on a single trip.

And if you want to experience Cathay Pacific’s own award-winning business class or first class, using Asia Miles will get you access to award seats several weeks earlier than miles from most partner programs.

Emirates Skywards

Emirates is a recent addition to the list of Citi transfer partners; Emirates Skywards became the 16th ThankYou partner airline program in April 2020. Emirates follows in the footsteps of Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer as one of just three programs to accept transfers from all five of the major flexible rewards currencies.

While Emirates isn't as highly regarded as better-known international programs, there are a few sweet spots that present top value. These include 90,000 miles round-trip between the U.S. and Europe flying business class on Emirates 5th freedom routes. You can also upgrade relatively affordable economy fares to business-class with miles — somewhat negating the hefty fuel surcharges Emirates applies to all awards. We cover plenty of top Emirates redemptions in detail in our post highlighting the best uses of Emirates Skywards Miles.

Booking Emirates awards can take a little creativity as you can't search all partner awards on the Emirates website. You will need to search via partner sites, then call Emirates (800-777-3999) to book JAL, Korean, and South African Airways awards. It's also worth noting that you can't book the lowest saver-level awards one-way, you need to book round-trip flights.

Etihad Guest

Etihad isn’t part of an airline alliance, but it has a diverse network of partners — including some major ones like American, Alitalia, and Brussels. Etihad also partners with smaller carriers like Air Serbia, Philippine Airlines, Virgin Australia, and Royal Air Maroc that are hard to book otherwise. While Etihad Guest miles aren’t particularly attractive for booking Etihad flights, there are some advantageous opportunities for partner redemptions.

American Airlines flights are particularly attractive since Etihad charges the same price for American flights that AA used to before its March 2016 devaluation. This includes 25,000 miles one-way for lie-flat business class on transcontinental flights, and 50,000 miles one-way to fly business class from the US to Japan.

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Etihad Guest

Another useful redemption with Etihad Guest miles is for business class flights on Royal Air Maroc and Brussels Airlines. That means you can fly nonstop from New York (JFK) and Washington (IAD) to Casablanca (CMN) or Brussels (BRU) for just 44,000 miles each way.

To use Etihad Guest miles for flights on American, Royal Air Maroc, and other partner airlines, you’ll need to call the Etihad Guest service center. Transfers to Etihad Guest usually take about 1 hour, and partner awards must be booked at least 24 hours before departure.

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands

If you try to research Taiwan-based EVA Air’s Infinity MileageLands program, the most compelling thing you’ll find is that some people really enjoy the program’s name. That’s because when it comes to award tickets, EVA doesn’t have a lot to offer.

You can book virtually all routes that EVA offers for fewer miles with Singapore KrisFlyer miles or Avianca LifeMiles. EVA passes on fuel surcharges from partner airlines and doesn’t provide any more award availability on EVA flights to Infinity MileageLands members than it does to members of partner airlines.

If you do find a good use for them, transfers to Infinity MileageLands are immediate.

InterMiles (previously Jet Airways JetPrivilege)

With the demise of Jet Airways into insolvency, this transfer option doesn't rank high on our list of best ways to use your Citi points. InterMiles is the rebranded loyalty program for Jet Airways, a grounded airline based out of Mumbai.

It's effectively an orphaned loyalty program that now retains Jet Airways' parent airline, Etihad, as the only airline for earning and redeeming points. However, we don't see it providing the same value as Etihad Guest (one of Citi's best transfer options). You can also earn and redeem InterMiles via EaseMyTrip.com, an online travel agency/platform based in India.

If you need to transfer Citi points to InterMiles, transfers are typically instant.

JetBlue TrueBlue

JetBlue TrueBlue is by far the most accessible Citi transfer partner to use. Unlike other loyalty programs that make a certain number of seats available for a fixed mileage cost, TrueBlue redemptions are based on the cash price of the flight. This means you’re not going to find a super cheap points ticket on a day when airfares are expensive.

However, JetBlue makes the booking process completely painless: TrueBlue points have no blackout dates. As long as there is a seat for sale, you can book it with your points. On average, TrueBlue points are worth about 1.3 cents each; the actual value varies from one flight to the next, ranging from as little as 1 cent to as much as 1.5 cents.

Here’s an example flight for $89:

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to JetBlue TrueBlue

For the same itinerary, JetBlue is charging 5,700 TrueBlue points + $5.60 in taxes.

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to JetBlue TrueBlue

If you were to book this flight through the ThankYou Travel Portal, you’d pay 8,900 ThankYou points at 1 cent per point (with the Prestige Card) or Citi Premier. So if you want to use ThankYou points to book flights on JetBlue, it’s usually better to transfer them to TrueBlue first. But, always compare prices before transferring your points.

Transfers to JetBlue are generally instant. Additionally, JetBlue is the only partner you can transfer to without a Prestige Card or Citi Premier. However, if you don't have one of those cards, you’ll get fewer TrueBlue points (1000 ThankYou Points = 800 TrueBlue points).

JetBlue currently flies to destinations in the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean. And JetBlue recently started flying to London in 2021. You'll find more details in our JetBlue TrueBlue points guide.

Malaysia Airlines Enrich

Malaysia Airlines Enrich used to be an interesting mileage program with several sweet spots. However, following a 2017 devaluation, it no longer has much to offer. Award prices for Malaysia Airlines flights fluctuate depending on cash fares (and you can’t book the cheapest economy tickets, so you usually get a terrible redemption rate). Distance-based partner award prices are consistently higher than other Oneworld programs.

If you have some Enrich miles to top off or find a good redemption, though, transfers to Enrich take 1-2 days.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Like Cathay’s Asia Miles, Qantas uses a distance-based award chart that calculates the price of your ticket based on the distance between your origin and destination (regardless of intermediate stops). The best use of Qantas Frequent Flier points is usually short journeys: Qantas charges 8,000 points each way for trips under 600 miles and 12,000 points each way for flights between 600-1200 miles.

Qantas Frequent Flyer AA award

Qantas doesn’t charge any fees for close-in booking. Changing a ticket will cost you 5,000 miles, and canceling costs 6,000. However, international Classic Flight Rewards booked before February 28, 2022 can be changed or cancelled free of charge until December 31, 2022.

Transfers from Citi ThankYou points to Qantas Frequent Flyer take 1 day.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Qmiles

Qatar Airways Privilege Club doesn’t publish an award chart. However, there's a calculator on their website that tells you how many Qmiles they charge for Qatar Airways flights. Before December 2020, you'd find that award rates weren't great. However, in December 2020, Qatar slashed award costs by up to 49%. Now, you can fly between the U.S. and Doha for:

  • 35,000 miles in economy
  • 70,000 miles in business class
  • 105,000 miles in first class (although first class isn't currently operating on these routes)

Onward connections to destinations in Asia and Africa aren't terribly much more. For example, a flight from the US to India will cost you 40,000 miles in economy or 80,000 miles in business class. And flights to the Maldives cost just 42,500 miles in economy or 85,000 miles in business class:

Qatar Privilege Club QMiles cost from LAX-MLE

These changes turned Qatar Qmiles from an irrelevant program to one of Citi's better transfer partners — but only for Qatar award flights.

The Qcalculator only applies to flights operated by Qatar. Partner awards booked with Qmiles use an expensive distance-based award chart. Prices start at 12,500 Qmiles each way for economy flights under 500 miles in length and climb sharply from there.

Qatar Qmiles partner award chart

Transfers from Citi ThankYou points to Privilege Club take 1-2 days.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer is one of the most accessible Citi transfer partners because you can supplement your balance by transferring points from Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Rewards, or Marriott Bonvoy. Singapore is part of Star Alliance, partnering with airlines like United, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Thai Airways.

With Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, there are some great options to use your points, especially if you want to fly in Singapore’s luxury Suites Class on the A380. That’s because Singapore makes more award space available to KrisFlyer members than to members of partner programs like United MileagePlus and Avianca LifeMiles. You can redeem 86,000 miles to fly one way from New York to Frankfurt in Suites Class.

Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to book Singapore First Class

More affordable flight options with KrisFlyer include flying United Airlines in economy from the U.S. to Hawaii for 17,500 Singapore miles or 27,500 miles in economy to fly any Star Alliance member from the U.S. to Europe. There are also some excellent opportunities to use Singapore miles on Alaska Airlines flights, like 12,000 miles each way for economy tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii or Alaska.

Like Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, the KrisFlyer program passes fuel surcharges along to customers. So, your cost can vary dramatically depending on the airline operating your flight. You might find yourself paying anywhere from $5.60 to over $500. (Lufthansa, for example, is known for its high fuel surcharges).

If you find availability on a Star Alliance airline but don’t want to pay fuel surcharges, Avianca LifeMiles may be a better option – usually, you should be able to book the same flights with LifeMiles for less cash and more miles.

Transfers from Citi ThankYou points to Singapore KrisFlyer usually take 1 day to process. We've outlined a few other great deals in our article on Singapore KrisFlyer sweet spots.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

There’s not much to see here: Thai Airways instituted a significant devaluation of its award program effective October 1, 2019, with many routes seeing considerable increases in the number of miles required.

For example, domestic flights within the US start at 17,500 miles each way in economy — which isn't terrible but isn't good either. However, if you want to fly from the US mainland to Hawaii, it would cost an eye-watering 65,000 miles each way. Flights from North America to Asia cost 67,000 miles each way in economy and 132,000 miles each way in business class.

In virtually all cases, you’ll pay fewer miles (and avoid fuel surcharges) by booking flights through Avianca LifeMiles or Turkish Miles & Smiles instead. Even worse, transfers to Royal Orchid Plus take 3-7 days.

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

For a long time, most people have ignored Turkish Airlines because of its complicated award booking processes; purchasing a ticket with miles used to require physically going to a Turkish Airlines ticket office. However, Turkish has improved its processes, so booking tickets has become much more manageable.

By far, the most impressive sweet spot of Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is its domestic flight awards. Flights anywhere within the U.S. cost just 7,500 miles in economy and 12,500 miles in business/first class. That includes flights from anywhere in the US to Alaska and Hawaii on United Airlines.

Turkish Airlines also offers some other sweet redemptions like 45,000 miles one-way between the US and Europe in business class, and 75,000 miles each way for business class flights between the US and Oceania. Check out our post on Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Award Chart Sweet Spots for more.

You can book some partner itineraries online. Use United Airlines’ website to search for availability (make sure you’re not logged in!), and then try pricing it on Turkish's website. If the itinerary doesn't come up, call Miles&Smiles to verify they see the same thing and make your reservation. Transfers to Miles&Smiles take 1 day. So, make sure to put award seats on hold before you transfer.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

In addition to being a Citi partner, Virgin Atlantic is also partners with Amex, Chase, and Marriott (but not with CapitalOne) making it easy to accumulate a lot of Flying Club miles quickly.

That’s not the only thing that makes Flying Club attractive. Virgin Atlantic offers some exceptional award rates — though you can often pay far more in taxes and fees when booking on Virgin Atlantic. But if you choose flights carefully, it’s possible to avoid those high fees.

In many cases, the taxes and fees are far outweighed by the mileage savings. For example, flights from the U.S. to London can cost as little as 10,000 miles in economy and 17,500 in premium economy. Compare that to that to 30,000 or 50,000 miles charged by other airlines for the same class of service, and even when you factor in taxes, you’re coming out ahead. On Virgin flights, you can expect to pay around $150 in economy, $275 in premium economy and $725 or more in business class.

Flying Club example JFK-LHR

Virgin Atlantic is not part of an alliance, but they partner with several other airlines — including Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia, and All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Virgin used to offer excellent award rates for Delta award flights. However, Virgin killed off most of its Delta sweet spots in January 2021. The one sweet spot that's left is for business class awards between the U.S. and Europe. For example, book this nonstop flight from Atlanta to Paris for 50,000 miles and $5.60:

Virgin Atlantic Delta award example

Using Virgin Atlantic miles to book flights with ANA offers incredible value. You can book round-trip flights between the U.S. and Japan on ANA for 22,500-32,500 Flying Club miles each way in economy, 35,000-47,500 miles each way in business, or 45,000-60,000 miles each way in first class. For reference, United charges 110,000 miles for a one-way ticket in first class to Japan. So, by booking the same flights with Virgin Atlantic, you’re paying half the miles! You’ll generally pay around $200 in surcharges and fees.

Most Virgin Atlantic and Delta flights can be booked online at virginatlantic.com. However, not all cities show up on Virgin’s website – if you can’t find your city, or you want to book flights on other partners, you’ll have to call them at 1-800-365-9500. Fortunately, Virgin has knowledgeable and friendly staff and short hold times.

Transfers to Flying Club generally are immediate, but Flying Club agents can put a flight on hold for 24-72 hours (depending on the partner). So, you can lock in your award ticket before transferring your ThankYou points.

Shop Your Way Rewards

In addition to its 17 airline partners, you can also transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Shop Your Way Rewards (SYWR), the loyalty program for Sears and Kmart. Points transfer at a 1:12 ratio, but 10 SYWR points are only worth 1 cent, so that means points transferred to Shop Your Way are worth 1.2 cents each toward Sears and Kmart merchandise. Probably not worth it unless you have a specific use in mind.

Tips for Maximizing Citi ThankYou Partners

  1. Always make sure flights or hotel nights are available with points before you make a transfer. Where possible, put flights on hold before you transfer.
  2. Check the cost of booking the same flight through the ThankYou Travel Portal. In some cases, you’ll spend fewer points and less cash booking with ThankYou points directly than transferring to a partner program.
  3. Remember, each airline partner has its own list of partner airlines – you’re not limited to flights on the airline that owns the program.
  4. Transfers can’t be reversed: You can never transfer points back to Citi ThankYou, so plan your transfers carefully.
  5. Comparison shop: in most cases, the same flight can be booked by several Citi transfer partners. So be sure to compare the points, taxes, and fees required before you decide on a partner program.

Remember:

  • Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic can book Delta flights
  • American, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Malaysia, Qantas, and Qatar can book American flights
  • Avianca, EVA, Singapore, Thai, and Turkish can book United flights

ThankYou Transfer Partner FAQs

Can I transfer Citi ThankYou Points to United MileagePlus?

No, you can’t transfer Citi ThankYou Points to United, but you can transfer them to Avianca, EVA, Singapore, Thai, and Turkish because those programs are Star Alliance partners that can book flights on United.

Can I transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Delta SkyMiles?

No, you can’t transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Delta, but you can transfer them to Air France/KLM or Virgin Atlantic and use those programs to book flights on Delta.

Can I transfer Citi ThankYou Points to American Airlines AAdvantage?

Yes! Citi recently added American Airlines as a temporary transfer partner through November 13, 2021. It isn't clear if this relationship will be extended. But even if it ends as scheduled, you can still transfer Citi points to Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Malaysia, Qantas, or Qatar and use those airlines’ miles to book flights on American.

Can I transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Alaska Mileage Plan?

No, you can’t transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Alaska, but you can transfer Membership Rewards to Cathay Pacific, Qantas, or Singapore and use those miles to book flights on Alaska.

Can I Use Citi ThankYou Points to Book Travel for Others?

Generally, airline partners don’t have a problem with you using your points to book travel for someone else. (Some have restrictions, though – for example, Singapore limits the number of other people you can book tickets for, and Turkish reportedly requires that the first booking you make match the name on the Miles&Smiles account). However, it's generally against rewards programs’ terms and conditions to make a reservation with your points or miles in exchange for money or other compensation. As long as you’re only booking for people you know, you shouldn't run into any problems.

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Comments

  • I wish the list of airlines included more US airlines as I typically only fly within the US, Only Jet Blue and temporally American are on the list, Lets included Delta, United, Southwest, Frontier and others.

  • How about a list of the prices to buy each programs points at their lowest price? If you have a limited number of points to transfer, good to know which ones can be bought for cheap and which ones are more expensive, possibly making a point transfer to those expensive to buy points program more valuable. Every program has its sweet spots for points usage, but should also be looking at the best programs to transfer to vs. pay for points.

  • Pink Wallet says:

    Are there any airlines from India where TY points can be converted to?

    • ThankYou Rewards doesn’t directly partner with any airline programs based in India, but there are several partners whose miles can be used to book flights with India-based carriers.

      Singapore Krisflyer miles can be used on Air India and Vistara, Avianca and Turkish miles can be used on Air India.

  • Shame there’s a lack of hotel partners, that would round it off I think.

  • I do not think that people are too excited to make transfers to the Sears program.

  • My favorite is american airlines and asia miles as transfer partners. I hope they make the american airlines one permanent.

  • Thanks for this very comprehensive guide. I’m glad that Citi is finally allowing transfer of TY points to AA.

  • Would love to know how many people make use of some of the more niche options, EVA Air for example.

  • Great guide! I continue to believe you can get great value out of TYP as detailed above.

  • Great information on Citi Thank You points and transfer partners. This will be useful for maximizing our points.

  • If Citi keeps AA as a transfer partner I’m going to seriously consider getting into their ecosystem.

  • This program would really get a boost to be on roughly equal terms with AMEX and Chase if they could get AA to partner with them long term after the trial period ends in November…add the possibility of maximizing miles through a combination of Citi premium cards with the Double Cash card and this program could make some major gains on their competitors.

  • Great to know you can transfer to Singapore, Avianca, etc. to redeem United flights indirectly

  • As TYP points collector, it’s extremely useful post, thanks a lot.

  • Thank you for the informative write-up! My favorite transfer partner is Avianca. Even though the website can be a little wonky (as you said), I have still found some incredible value in getting business class seats at some pretty incredible prices when mixed with economy. Appreciate your thorough post!

  • This great to know! I will be keeping an eye out to see if Citi makes AA a permanent transfer partner. That really would be the only reason for me to get a card with Citi that I can transfer points to partners.

  • I think very few people actually convert the points into the EVA miles.

  • Citi has good reward cards. It was be a positive addition to have AA as a partner.

  • Citi has horrible customer service.

  • Need to build up a balance to transfer some out.

  • It’s all about TYP -> AA -> QR for me right now. QSuites to Africa! 😀

    • One of my absolute favorites! I just booked it myself last night: JNB-DOH-SFO to really maximize the sweet spot.

  • According to
    https://www.thankyou.com/cms/thankyou/help.page?csccode=TYPOINTS-PTXNG&pageName=help&src=TYUSENG
    Citi “ThankYou points converted from Citi DoubleCash cash rewards can transfer available and qualifying points ONLY to their participating TrueBlue program membership account.”
    So, contrary to what a number of travel blogs say, the Thank You points from the Citi DoubleCash card can NOT be transferred to airline frequent flyer accounts (other than JetBlue). So, this situation renders the Citi cards less flexible than Amex Blue for Biz or Chase Freedom Unlimited, for those of us whose rewards collecting goal is airline tickets (other than on JetBlue or directly through bank travel portal).

    • Hi Stephen, this is true only if you do not have one of the cards that allow transfers to the full lineup of partners. If you have Double Cash + Citi Premier, you can move points from the former to the latter and then have all the transfer partners as options.

      I absolutely agree this is more restrictive than Amex Blue Biz Plus, but it’s really the same situation if you just have a Chase Freedom Unlimited card. You still need an Ultimate Rewards card with an annual fee to transfer the points you earn with Freedom Unlimited to partners.

  • Wish they would add AA as a partner!

  • Great information! I have some Krisflyer miles that will expire in late 2019 – so I’m just starting to think about my options. This helps give me some ideas on what I can do – thank you! As well – I would like to get the Citi Premier card this year – and your article helps give me some perspective on some of the different redemption options.

  • Fantastic write up. Your posts are becoming a must read now when looking for tris to aspiration laces across the globe.
    I actually think that the Double Cash card earning 2X is a game changer if you also have the Premier. This combo should be in everyone’s wallet for regular spend.

  • Would be more valuable if US Carriers accepted them.

  • I like the Krisflyer Miles transfer. Gets my Singapore Airlines Suites.

  • Thank for for the info. I never knew these features of Citi card. It’s great that Citi allowing to transfer to other airlines. Do they have an automatic transfer function. e.g. when my citi points reaches a cetime level it will automatically to my designated airline?

  • I don’t have any citi cards at the moment but am considering it so this guide is helpful

  • I always love your guides here. So in depth and informative. I’ve been wanting to make the Prestige work but unfortunately my situation can’t justify $245 on this card. Maybe someday.

  • Sundee BUMGARNER Neff says:

    I had a Citi AA card for well over a decade. I used it was a debit card and was able to keep up with a zero balance for about 5 years. However, the last five years they gouged me way more than I ever benefitted. I won’t ever have another Citi card because of the ridiculous rates they charged after being only a day late with payment about once a year.

    • Completely understand your take from your past experience. I’ve certainly banned particular companies from my life for their behavior. However, here, consider that if you picked them up again, this time around you could be the winner, if executed properly.

  • Great and comprehensive post! I really appreciate this!!

  • I agree with you Erik it would be a game changer if American would become a partner with Citi on transferring points. I know that Citi would get a lot of my business. I think that which ever card company did would get a big boost of business. It would be the only reason I would consider a Citi card.

    Right now Citi Thank You points are not a priority for me. UR and MR are just a better fit.
    Now if the Double Cash Back card offered transferring to partners and no AF then I would get it. Right now it’s a teeter totter consideration about whether or not to get it.

  • I hope they get more partners, the US domestic partners list is absymal

  • Citi being the only transfer partner to Citi is attractive for longhaul domestic redemptions.

  • I find it strange that only NON North American carriers accept the ThankYou points.

  • Yiming Dong says:

    Very useful information. Thank you.

  • The sweetspots of Krisflyer program mentioned in this artcile are great!

  • Thanks for all the information. To me the Citi points seem less flexible so I’ve been saving my points elsewhere. The information will be useful if I do start saving these points though.

  • Thanks for the comprehensive guide. I read recently that Citi was considering adding AA as a Thank you points partner. Is there any update on this possibility?

  • If only Citi introduces some hotel transfer partners then Citi will be better than Chase IMHO.

    • And maybe one domestic airline. Alliance partners are great but this would be more appealing to the masses with two or three solid partners.

  • Wow, this covers a lot of airlines. And I notice that Citi Thank You credit card is no longer in the mix.

  • Good overview. I especially appreciate you letting us know which programs offer poor value for our miles/points. I’ve been building up my TYP balance with an eye on an amazing trip with one of these partners – I just don’t know which one yet! ?

  • Not too familiar with Citi points so this is a great guide

  • Citi ThankYou points are very valuable! My favorite redemption was transferring them to Singapore Airlines for the first class suites!!

  • Excluding certain “destination” hotels, the best use of the points is convert them into miles at this moment.

  • This is Definitely a comprehensive guide! I’m not yet collecting TY points but if I ever do, this article will help me optimally use them. Thank You! (Haha)