Garuda Indonesia No Longer a Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner

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In an unannounced move, Citi ThankYou Rewards has eliminated Garuda Indonesia from its list of airline transfer partners. While the relationship was somewhat lackluster due to the limited Garuda routes and high prices on partner awards, this frequent-flyer program produced what was arguably the best-ever award sale a couple of years ago when it offered a crazy 90% off award tickets.

Impact of the Termination

Garuda is the national carrier of Indonesia with 142 aircraft. The airline operates primarily within Southeast Asia with a small selection of long-haul international routes. Currently, there are no U.S. flights, a single Amsterdam flight connecting travelers to Europe, and service to Asia-Pacific hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan.

Garuda Indonesia is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, and the frequent-flyer program, GarudaMiles, allows redemptions with all 20 member airlines. However, the pricing for SkyTeam awards isn't especially competitive, and the limited selection of routes operated by Garuda has made finding good values particularly difficult.

Our Take

We never like it when a transfer partner is eliminated; it's better to have more options—even if you don't frequently use some of them. However, unless you travel frequently to Indonesia, the disappearance of this partnership shouldn't affect the value you can get from your ThankYou points. You can still transfer Citi Points to 14 airline programs including Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Singapore KrisFlyer, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Although this development sets a worrisome precedent for no-notice program changes, we don't see this as a game-changer for most ThankYou cardholders.

With Amex, Chase, and Capital One all recently expanding their lists of transfer partners, we'll keep our fingers crossed that Citi feels some competitive pressure to replace GarudaMiles—hopefully with a more valuable program.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Ignacio Medina says:

    Garuda Indonesia is under pression from its shareholders (the government) to reduce the accrued losses during the last years. Citi probably didn´t pay for the miles redeemed to their programme as much as they wanted so that´s why they decided to stop the partnership. Anyway, not a great chance for Citi´s users.

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    There are other recent promotions and new AA agreements that overcome this small change. This should not really be viewed as loss, but simply change.

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    Mostly agreement that it’s not a big loss, at all, except, of course, for those that had upcoming plans to use them.

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    Citi is getting worse by the day!

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    This is unfortunate. I plan to do a swing through Indonesia to see the Komodo dragons and visit some of my other favorite places in the country and this could’ve been useful. Cheap flights can often be found that make mileage redemptions a bad value, but sometimes not, as when I found myself needed to fly from Bali to Singapore last minute a couple years ago.

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    It’s not a loos. I still don’t understand why they don’t add AA as a transfer partner.

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    Too bad I missed that 90% off, and now it’s gone.

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    Less and less airline transfer program,however even it exists,Garuda mileage program is not worth to transfer Citi point.

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    If Citi is going to lose a partner, this one is not so bad. Maybe it opens up room for another partner instead!

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    Very sad to see this.

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    Even during the 90% off promotion, manty people had to go to a physical Garuda ticket office to book, which only exist in cities like NYC, so it wasn’t useful to most people.

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    Eh, I agree that they must not have had a lot of traffic using them. Sad to see a deduction in transfer partners but I wonder if Citi will replace them with someone else. Ok I’m beating an old hope but maybe they are talking with AA?! I just don’t see why AA hasn’t gotten onboard with credit card transfers.

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    The Arts Traveler says:

    I don’t think this will be much missed. Bring on Alaska Air or Lufthansa. With Miles & More you can book a non-stop in business class from the USA to CPH for 42,000 with NO fuel surcharges. Did it myself.

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    This is my first time hearing of this airline too!

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    Not auspicious, but these moves are normal in airlines relationship.

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    Pretty small airline so more of a niche one that wont impact too many travelers

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    Citi strikes again!

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    Garuda Indonesia also devalued their award chart recently.
    It is a totally useless program now.

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    Hmm, not a big loss though. But you always hate to lose a partner.

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    I also had never heard of this airline except for the very cheap award sale that they had a while back. Except for a very select few, this is not a transfer partner loss that many will notice.

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    I can’t imagine the airline turning down Citi cash! Must have been so infrequently used that Citi decided it wasn’t worth the hassle…

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    Not a big loss for people who can redeem points from City ThankYou.
    It seems to me that Garuda Indonesia is not largely used.

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    Steven William Van Meter says:

    What is refreshi9ng is the fact that you can transfer points from fourteen programs!! Not every offer allows for such flexibility.

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    ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    I must be old, cause I never heard of this airline.

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    While its never good to have partners taken away, I dont believe this is going to have an impact on most Citi customers.