Citi Announces A New Transfer Partner - Everything You Need To Know

Citi Announces A New Transfer Partner - Everything You Need To Know

Citi has added Emirates to their list of transfer partners. We detail everything you need to know about Citi's new partner and whether transferring Citi points is worth it.

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Emirates A380 plane

Citi is an advertising partner.

Citi has announced it's adding one more airline to its Citi ThankYou rewards program: Emirates Skywards, known for one of the most luxurious first-class products in the sky. While Emirates only services a few major airports in the United States, it's a dominant airline in Europe and the Middle East. So if you have a large amount of Citi ThankYou points and plan on making a trip over the Atlantic Ocean, you now have a new transfer option.

Citi ThankYou points to Emirates Skywards

You are now able to transfer your Citi ThankYou points to Emirates Skywards at a 1:1 ratio. You will need to transfer at least 1,000 Citi ThankYou points, and this transfer cannot be reversed.

While Emirates is not part of an airline alliance, it has multiple airline partners. With Emirates Skywards points, you can book flights with:

  • Air Mauritius
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Copa Airlines
  • easyJet
  • GOL
  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Jetstar
  • Korean Air
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • S7 Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Portugal

In addition to having several flight partners, Emirates flies a long list of routes. However, there are few, if any, routes within the United States.

Unfortunately, Emirates is not the best transfer partner. You will need a significant amount of points for many flights, and many of these come with fuel surcharges that can run in the hundreds of dollars. Plus, if you primarily travel within the U.S., this partner doesn’t help much.

How does Citi’s list of travel partners compare?

Citi’s transfer partners are great for international travelers. At first pass, there are not any options available for domestic travel. However, some of these airlines are part of airline alliances that have domestic airlines as partners.

For example, AeroMexico is part of the SkyTeam alliance with Delta Air Lines. Also, Singapore Airlines is part of the Star Alliance with United Airlines. Unfortunately, transferring your points to an airline program to then use with one of their partners may not be the most valuable use of them, since points tend to lose value as they move through different programs. Before you decide to transfer your points, analyze the point value to determine whether the redemption is worth it.

Citi transfer partners

PartnerTransfer ratio
AeroMexico1:1
Asia Miles1:1
Avianca LifeMiles1:1
Emirates1:1
Etihad Airways1:1
EVA Air1:1
Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)1:1
JetPrivilege1:1
Malaysia Airlines1:1
Qantas1:1
Qatar Airways1:1
Singapore Airlines1:1
Thai Airways1:1
Turkish Airlines1:1
Virgin Atlantic1:1

Other credit card issuers with transfer partners

American Express

  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alitalia
  • Aer Lingus
  • ANA
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Airlines
  • El Al
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Choice Privileges Hotels
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Chase

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Emirates
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Capital One

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Air France & KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates (2:1)
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines (2:1)
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Accor Live Limitless (ALL) (2:1)

How do the changes affect Citi point value?

Citi ThankYou points are generally valued around 1.5 cents per point. Many of the redemption options for these points (i.e. gift cards, statement credits and purchasing merchandise) earn a modest 1 cent per point. As with many credit card rewards points, the best redemption is going to be on travel.

The addition of Emirates Skywards does not improve the value of Citi ThankYou points. Emirates is a difficult partner to utilize because of low point value and high fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Which Citi Cards let you transfer points?

The Citi Prestige® Card and Citi Premier℠ Card allow you to transfer Citi ThankYou points. They are not uniform in their benefits:

Rewards rateSign-up bonusAnnual fee
Citi Prestige® Card3x points on air travel and hotels, 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.50,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening$495
Citi Premier℠ Card3x points on travel, including gas, 2x points on dining out and entertainment and point per $1 spent on other purchases60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening$95

You also earn ThankYou points with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card and Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card. While these cards don't allow you to directly transfer points to Citi's transfer partners, you can transfer points from these cards to the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier℠ Card.

Rewards rateSign-up bonusAnnual fee
Citi Rewards+℠ CardEarn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com$0
Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other PurchasesEarn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening$0

How to Transfer Citi ThankYou points

If you would like to transfer Citi ThankYou points to one of Citi's airline partners, it is a simple process:

  1. Go to your Citi customer portal. Find the section on the right titled “thank you from citi.” Click the “points summary” tab.
  2. In the top header, find the blue box titled “Do more. Ways to use points.”
  3. Find the program you want to transfer points to and click “transfer now.”
  4. Link your frequent flyer account for the respective program.
  5. Finalize the transfer.

It is important to know that points transfers can sometimes take a few days to process. So if transferring points is your plan, be sure to give yourself enough time to transfer the points and book the flight accordingly.

Is it worth it to transfer Citi ThankYou points?

The short answer to this question is “maybe.” Each redemption is unique, so each potential redemption should be calculated individually.

How do you know if transferring Citi ThankYou points is worth it?

Citi ThankYou points are generally worth 1.5 cents per point. If you are able to find a redemption that earns around 1.5 cents per point, it can be worth it. To calculate the value of the transferred points, use this equation:

Cash price (minus any taxes and fees that you would have to pay with an award booking) / Number of points needed for flight = Value of transferred miles

The information related to the Citi Prestige® Card, Citi Premier℠ Card and Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card have been collected by ValuePenguin and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).