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select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. With that out of the way, let’s chat about the best way to redeem Citi Thank you points.
In the world of points and miles, if you want to really rack up a large amount of points to redeem for nearly free travel, you gotta be ready to hop on some great sign up bonuses when you can! Sign up bonuses are how we earn the bulk of our points and is my secret to hardly ever paying much for flights or hotels. However, once you get that big sign up bonus…. How the heck should you use it? There are a million trillion different ways to redeem points but it’s no secret that some redemptions are better than others. In this post, I’m discussing some of the best ways to redeem your Citi Thank You points when you get that elevated Citi Premier welcome bonus.
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About the Citi Premier
In the world of points and miles, the Citi Premier is often overlooked for some other players like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®or the The Platinum Card® from American Express. Why? Well, it’s just not as flashy and this card doesn’t offer quite as many benefits as the other ones I mentioned. However, make no mistake. The Premier is here to pack a big punch and allow you to earn lots and lots of Thank You points (Citi’s reward point). With 3x points on gas, dining, and groceries, you have the potential to earn 30% more than you may with some other big travel card!
Elevated Citi Premier Welcome Bonus
On any average day, you expect Citi to offer 60,000 Thank You points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after card opening. As of late though, Citi has been giving 80,000 Thank You points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months! This is marketed as ~$800 worth of points but we all know we’re gonna get more value than that.
The bonus has been increased for a while and there’s no telling when it will be gone. If you’re in the market for a new credit card to meet your points and miles goals, I would jump on it while you can!
The Citi Premier requires good to excellent credit. The annual fee is $95. The main benefit this card offers is $100 statement credit off a hotel stay more than $500 booked through thankyou.com. While it doesn’t have the best benefits, the earning potential on this card makes up for it. To apply for this card, I recommend not having applied for a new card within the last 30ish days, but some people will recommend 45-90 days to be more conservative.
If you are OVER 5/24, you can still get this card! Just note if you’re UNDER 5/24, this will count as one of the 5 slots.
Your base spending will earn 1 point per dollar. For gas stations, grocery stores, and dining (US only), and air travel/hotels, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar! This allows you to earn some major points, my friend. This is one of the best premium cards for gas… no other travel card regularly earns bonuses on gas and I think we are all spending a pretty penny on gas in the US these days!
How to Use Citi Premier 80k Welcome Bonus
Citi allows you to redeem Thank You points in a variety of ways. As with most credit card rewards, you can “pay yourself back” by redeeming points for statement credits, buy gift cards, or purchase travel. You’re on a travel website so I’m sure you can assume what I’m going to tell you… purchasing travel is the best way to get the most value out of your Thank You points.
While you can book through Citi’s travel portal, they are currently going through an update and travel past 12/31/22 is not bookable at this time. Nonetheless, I rarely recommend booking straight through the portal because you can get better value for your points by transferring to a partner.
In this article, I’m sharing the best ways you can redeem your Citi Thank You points through transfer partners.
Best transfers for Citi Thank You Points
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
The fun thing about Flying Blue is that they run promos for certain routes every month! The route changes but you can often find deals from US cities to Europe for as little as 11,500 miles in economy! The promos also apply to business and first class flights, so I like to keep an eye on the promos because you never know when a deal will come up. I’ve seen business class flights from Chicago to Paris for 50,000 miles (one way)!
You can also book a flight with Flying Blue points on a partner airline (SkyTeam) from the US to Mexico for as little as 20,500 miles. Don’t mind if I do!
Flying Blue is an awesome partner to transfer your miles especially when you can take advantage of a promo award.
If you’re short on points for an award redemption, you can also transfer points from American Express Member Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Capital One miles to Flying Blue.
Virgin Atlantic is always a favorite for their reasonable award fares from the US to Europe. If you’ve been eyeing the Delta One first class product, you can book via Virgin Atlantic to Europe for 50,000 miles one way… this can be several hundred thousand miles cheaper than using Delta miles!
On ANA, a Japanese airline, you can use Virgin Atlantic miles to book first class flights to Japan for 75,000 miles one way! Business class will cost you just 37,500 miles. That is an incredible deal.
If you’re short on points, you can also transfer from American Express Member Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Capital One miles!
This airline is known as one of the best out there. However, the sweet spot with this airline is booking with a transfer partner. Using Qatar Airways Avios, you can book a business class seat on American Airlines metal to Europe from the US east coast for 70,000 miles! To get on the famed Qatar business class product, you can book a flight from the US to Doha for 70,000 miles. This is a common redemption for a flight to the Maldives.
You can transfer Lifemiles to fly Lufthansa first class to Europe for 87,000 miles. While on the outset, this seems high compared to other redemptions I’ve described above… But for those that know, you know. Flying first class in Lufthansa is a bucket list experience for travel hackers around the world because it’s said to be one of the best in the world! This also gets you access to the famous Lufthansa first class lounge. After watching Kara and Nate’s video on Lufthansa’s first class, I had to add this flight to my bucket list and now I know it can actually become a reality!
Another awesome redemption is booking through Avianca to fly from one US coast to the other on United in their top-notch Polaris business class. For just as little as 25,000 miles each way, I may never fly transcontinental in coach again 😉
If you’re short on points, you can also transfer miles from Capital One to get enough for that redemption you need.
The reason I initially jumped on the Citi Premier with the elevated sign up bonus is because I knew Turkish Airlines offered business class flights to Europe for just 45,000 miles! To get this deal, you need to plan with plenty of time in advance and flexibility with your dates. If you want to book a Star Alliance flight (like United), you’ll most likely have to call Turkish Airlines to book those flights as they don’t always show up online.
There are also several other airlines such as Swiss Airlines and Austrian airlines you can book for 45,000 miles one way. Turkish Airlines award chart is also a bit better than Avianca for flying United Polaris across the country for just 15,000 miles!
If you’re short on points and need to top off for that redemption, you can also transfer miles from Capital One.
Singapore Airlines is known as one of the best airlines in the world and similar to Qatar Qsuites and Lufthansa first class, flying Singapore Suites is a bucket list experience! Using your bonus from the Citi Premier, you can fly from NYC to Frankfurt in Singapore Suites for just 97,000 miles! Or book a flight from the US to Hawaii for 19,500 miles. Would you rather go to Europe instead? Fly on Singapore in business class for 81,000 miles or on a Star Alliance partner in economy for 30,500 miles.
If you’re short on points and need more for that redemption you’re eyeing, you can also transfer to KrisFlyer from American Express Member Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Capital One miles.
What about hotels?
Citi partners with Choice Hotels and Wyndham Hotels. This can be a worthwhile use of your points but it depends on your goals. Wyndham Hotels actually has the most number of hotels worldwide and The Points Guy values each point at 1.1 cents. They even have a nice line of upper tier hotels!
For Choice Hotels, you’ll be looking at hotels like a Comfort Inn. The Points Guy values these points at just .6 cents. Because of that, we can get much more value for our points with other redemptions.
If you find a property you’re looking for that is a Wyndham or Choice, this *could* be a valuable redemption… However, I think you’re better off redeeming your points for a flight. In addition, since Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt are more common in the points and miles world, it can be more difficult to earn status with either Wyndham or Choice if that’s what you’re after.
What about other airlines?
In this article, I listed 6 different airlines that you can transfer to with Citi Thank You points. But Citi partners with 14 different airlines so you have many more options, as well! This list is by all means not inclusive. Even within each airline I listed in the article, there are a million different redemptions not mentioned here. Travel hacking is personal and while I added what *I* think are the most valuable redemptions, you may disagree with me!
There are certainly sweet spots within each airline’s rewards program, it just may take some digging to find. This list of ways to redeem your 80,000 Citi Thank You points is just a starting point. Use this article to book one of the redemptions listed here or just use it to dive in and find what you’re looking for.
Citi Premier is often overlooked for other major travel cards but with the elevated sign up bonus of 80,000 points, you’d be remiss not to give this card a second look! Citi has many awesome travel partners and you can get serious value out of your Thank You points. You can transfer to Turkish Airlines to fly business class to Europe for just 45,000 points or take a flight across the US in the top notch United Polaris for as little as 15,000 points. For a bucket list experience, book the Singapore Suites for just 97,000 Krisflyer miles! While I think these are some of the best ways to redeem Citi Thank You points, there are a million amazing redemptions to get a great value.