Citi is out with a best-ever bonus on its Citi Premier Card, offering 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in three months.
After you pick up the card, you’ll need a way to spend those points. As a reminder, this card has an incredible earning structure, as you get 3x points on all travel (including gas stations), 2x points on dining and 1x points on everything else.
However, it’s likely the sign-up bonus points are what you care most about. And thanks to some of Citi’s outstanding transfer partners, this bonus puts some excellent travel redemptions within reach. Read on for four of our top suggestions.
Head to Europe on the Cheap
It’s a great time to have Citi points and an even better time to use Citi points to get to Europe. That’s because you can currently cash in on a 30 percent transfer bonus when you send your Citi points to Air France/KLM’s FlyingBlue program. Citi offers these transfer bonuses to different airlines regularly. It’s one of the many things that makes Citi ThankYou points worth collecting, as it’s even easier to get more out of your points and miles.
FlyingBlue recently got rid of its award chart and imposed a variable pricing system for award flights. While following Delta’s lead is a bummer, that comes with an upside: Monthly promo awards.
Air France offers dozens of routes every month at a steep sale. Their list is always worth checking out. The standout this month is for York City-JFK (JFK) to Paris-Orly (ORY) for just 22,000 miles round trip.
These current promos are on sale through the end of August 2018 and are eligible for travel from late September through late November 2018. However, you can stack this with the transfer promo to make your travels even cheaper. It means you can get from New York to Paris for just 17,000 ThankYou points round trip.
Because both of these deals end in August, they’re out of reach if you’re just opening a Citi ThankYou Premier card. But as we mentioned, the regular bonus transfers Citi offers mean it’s just a matter of time before a similar deal is on the horizon. And if you’ve got a stash of ThankYou points, act fast!
Fly to Europe in Style on Singapore Air
One of the world’s best airlines is Singapore Air, with flights in and out of Asia. But you may be shocked to find they also fly from the U.S. to Europe.
Singapore Air flies from Houston-George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) to Manchester, England (MAN) daily. It may seem random, but it’s one of many so-called fifth-freedom routes, in which airlines fly between two non-hub cities. And these are a boon for frequent travelers.
Singapore flies one of its newest Airbus A350-900s on this route, equipped with a top-of-the-line business class product. On first glance, you might confuse it with first class.
And there’s better news. Singapore charges just 65,000 KrisFlyer miles for a one-way flight in business class. That puts a high-class flight to Europe in reach with your Citi ThankYou Premier bonus points.
In addition to all the other major banks, Singapore Air is a transfer partner with Citi. That means you can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to your Singapore account. These transfers usually take a day or two. Because award availability on this route is generally wide-open, scoring a saver-level award is pretty easy.
Head to Japan
There are few better ways to get to Japan than on five-star airline All Nippon Airways (ANA). From first class to economy, it’s one of the best airlines out there. And that’s backed up by SkyTrax’s annual airline ratings year after year, as ANA regularly ranks among the best. And while ANA isn’t a transfer partner of Citi, there’s an even better way to make it happen.
You can book ANA with Virgin Atlantic miles and it is a serious sweet spot. You can fly from the West Coast to Japan for just 60,000 miles round trip, while a Midwestern or East Coast departure point will run you 65,000 points. Just beware: You must book a round-trip flight, as one-way awards aren’t allowed.
If you have a few more Citi ThankYou points to spare – or Chase or American Express, for that matter – it could be worth it to toss more into your Virgin Atlantic account and splurge for business class. That will run you just 90,000-95,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles, depending on where you depart from. Or for one of the best redemptions in the miles and points world, spend just 20,000 miles more to fly in style in first class.
Cheaper Delta Awards
Delta SkyMiles have been a real mixed bag lately. While the constant flash sales put some incredible redemptions at barnburner rates, it can be difficult to find a decent price on an average flight.
That’s increasingly true of domestic flights, as the lack of an award chart means these routes can vary wildly in price. However, Citi is a transfer partner with Delta partner airline Virgin Atlantic. And Virgin Atlantic has a far more stable award chart that you can use to book Delta domestic flights.
If you’re paying more than 25,000 SkyMiles for a round-trip domestic flight on Delta, you’re doing it wrong. And unfortunately, finding domestic flights at that rate can be a challenge these days. Yet these exact same Delta flights top out at 25,000 Virgin Atlantic miles. Availability at these rates can be spotty, but it’s always worth checking Virgin Atlantic.
If you’re looking to fly Delta One internationally, you should be looking at Virgin Atlantic award pricing, too. While Delta regularly charges 300,000 SkyMiles or more for a long-haul flight, you can sometimes snag the same flight for just 60,000 Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub miles.
As an example, check out flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND). Starting in November, these planes will be equipped with the standout new Delta One enclosed suites. Delta wants anywhere between 100,000 to 300,000 SkyMiles for a one-way flight in Delta One. But if you book through Virgin Atlantic, you can snag a seat for just 60,000 miles.
Citi ThankYou Points transfer to Virgin Atlantic on a 1:1 basis and these transfers are instant. So your 60,000-point bonus can get you abroad in style or fund some cheaper domestic flights when transferring points to Virgin Atlantic.
Citi isn’t our favorite transferrable currency, as we find Chase and American Express have better partnerships. However, this enhanced bonus is too good to ignore. And the strength of some of these transfer partners makes the Citi ThankYou Premier Card one you should consider.
Lead Photo (CC BY 2.0): Delta News Hub via Flickr
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.