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To maximize your credit card rewards, I recommend that you collect transferable point currencies if you want to travel as much as possible. These points currencies can protect you against the risk of a frequent flyer program being devalued. You also have the advantage of racking up points faster with these types of programs.
People seem to be focused on Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards as the most transferable points currencies. But I believe the Citi ThankYou program is often forgotten. If you aren't already a Citi ThankYou member, I want to share seven reasons why you should.
The best welcome bonus ever
Citi ThankYou is offering the best welcome bonus ever, 80,000 ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in three months.
This card offers many benefits beyond the initial offer. The card offers excellent bonus categories, such as 3x points on dining and gas, grocery shopping, airfare, hotels, and airfare. There is also a $100 annual credit for hotel bookings. It is a simple decision to get this card if you don't have it yet and are eligible. This is a great way to increase your points earning potential at Citi.
You can earn 80K points to get lots of travel
Get 2x points for every purchase
It makes sense to use points currencies that earn you the most points for every dollar you spend. There are many cards that will help you maximize Citi ThankYou points.
The Citi Double Cash Card, which has no annual fees, is a compelling choice to maximize your points for daily spending. You get 1% cashback when you purchase the card, and 1% when you pay for it.
This card is not a cash-back card. However, if you have the Citi Double Cash and the Citi Premier, rewards can be converted to ThankYou points at a rate of one cent per Point. With the Citi Double Cash you can earn 2x ThankYou Points per dollar, which is a great return on your spending.
Get 2x points for every purchase
Transfer partners for Citi ThankYou points overlapping
People might believe that I already earn Chase and Amex points and that Citi points are too complicated. Citi has many transfer partners with Chase and Amex.
All three programs are partners with Air France KLM Flying Blue and Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. These are some of the useful partners I use regularly.
This is important because you can redeem points for a common redemption even if your points balance with Citi ThankYou is not large. To book an Emirates first-class ticket with miles, for example, you can transfer both Citi ThankYou points and Amex Membership Rewards to Skywards to ensure a single redemption.
Citi ThankYou is a partner in common with other programs
Unique Citi ThankYou transfer partners
While some may appreciate the similarities between Chase and Citi transfer partners, I believe it is important to point out Citi's unique partners. Transferable points are valuable because they allow for a wide range of redemptions. The more unique partners you have, the greater the number of redemption options.
Particularly, Citis has a few transfer partners that Chase and Amex don't have, which I find to be very valuable.
Citi ThankYou points can convert into Choice Privileges Points at a 1:1 ratio. This could make it a great option for hotel redemptions
Citi ThankYou points can convert into Turkish Miles&Smiles Miles at a 1:1 ratio. The program offers exceptional redemption value, including the ability to travel between the United States and Europe for 45,000 miles one way, or 7,500 miles in economy class, or 12,500 miles business class, within the United States (including Hawaii).
Turkish Miles&Smiles offers some amazing award deals
Transfer bonuses of great value
Transferable points currencies often offer transfer bonuses. The Citi ThankYou program is one of the most active in offering these. Citi ThankYou points can be transferred to more than a dozen airlines partners. Sometimes, the transfer ratio is higher than 1:1.
You can increase your points by strategically utilizing transfer bonuses. We have seen transfers bonuses to Air France KLM Flying Blue and Avianca LifeMiles as well as Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Avianca LifeMiles.
Citi ThankYou points can be used to travel in ANA First Class
Transfer points easily to other members
Each of the major transferable point currencies has its pros and cons when it comes the ability to transfer points. Citi ThankYou has very generous rules regarding the transfer of points to members other than family and household.
Citi ThankYou allows you to transfer up to 100,000 ThankYou Points to another member every calendar year. Although shared points expire 90 days after being received, this is a great way to combine points from multiple accounts into one redemption.
Transfer Citi ThankYou points for other members
You can redeem points for 1 cent per ticket
Although this is not how I would choose to redeem my ThankYou Points, if you have the Citi Premier Card you can redeem points for 1 cent each towards airfare.
It is usually better than the cash value you get on airfare with Amex Member Rewards cards. However, it is not as good as the rate at Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for airfare.
Points can be used to offset the cost of your airfare
People often overlook Citi ThankYou and instead focus on Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards. Given the overlap between transfer partners, I believe it is worth participating in all three programs.
This is especially true right now because the Citi Premier Card offers a bonus of 80K Points and the Citi Double Cash Card, which can earn you 2x points for everyday spending, is in addition to that card.
What do you think about the ThankYou points' value in comparison to other currencies? Are you a Citi ThankYou point holder?