While my favorite flexible rewards program will always be Chase Ultimate Rewards, I still like the Citi ThankYou program. For those who don’t know, you can earn points in this program with cards like the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige. I like the Citi ThankYou program because you can redeem points in several different ways, including booking travel directly or transferring to airline partners.
I don’t currently have the Prestige, but I do have the Premier and have had the Prestige in the past. I actually have around 130,000 Citi ThankYou points to burn across my husband’s Premier account as well as my mom’s. She owes me some points — it’s a long story.
How I Redeem Citi ThankYou Points
Recently, I cashed in the remainder of my personal stash of Citi ThankYou points for a few different excursions in London — specifically, I used 10,620 Citi ThankYou points for a tour of the Tower of London with my husband and kids in July and 6,275 points plus $29.50 for the four of us to visit Westminster Abbey. This wasn’t the best redemption option, but I was really just using up the rest of my points for stuff we planned to book anyway.
At the moment, I’m also considering using my Citi Premier points to book airfare through the portal. You get 25% more value out of your points when you book airfare with this card, and I have several trips coming up. And really, the pricing seems very good.
For my 40th birthday trip to Aruba, for example, my preferred flight on American Airlines is currently at $506 per person for our dates. However, the same flight through the Citi portal would set me back $504.13 with my Citi Premier card, which translates into 40,300 points. I’m thinking about using my remaining Citi points to book flights for us and our friends.
Still, my absolute favorite way to use Citi points is for 1:1 transfers to Air France/Flying Blue. I use this transfer partner frequently for inexpensive economy flights back and forth to Europe on Delta. I like Air France/Flying Blue because you can transfer points to this program from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. Having multiple points to transfer from makes it a lot easier to rack up the points you need for a specific redemption in a hurry.
The Bottom Line
While Citi’s flexible rewards program may not be as popular as ones offered through Chase or American Express, there are still plenty of ways to maximize its value. Personally, I tend to use rewards for flights whenever I can, whether that means transferring to an airline or booking through the portal. However, Citi’s flexible options mean you’re never tied down to a specific redemption. You can even redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, or statement credits if you want. Should you? Now, that’s a different story.
What is your favorite way to use Citi ThankYou points?
[Featured Image: Wikimedia/Carlos Delgado]
Source: frugal travel guy