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Here are some of the different ways the 10xTravel team would use the Citi Premier Card 80,000 points bonus.
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The Citi Premier Card is one of the favorite cards amongst the 10xTravel team. Citi ThankYou Rewards points are often overlooked in favor of other transferrable point currencies, but you shouldn’t ignore the power of ThankYou Rewards. Let’s take a look at the ways the 10xTravel team would put these points to use.
So when this idea came around I had a few different ideas floating around in my head, and then some huge news was released this weekend making and it made this question a no-brainer for me.
From July 18 to Nov. 13, Citi ThankYou Rewards cardmembers can transfer points to the American Airlines AAdvantage program. The Citi Premier Card transfers ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio, so I would transfer 75,000 points and have 75,000 AAdvantage award miles.
Now you may be wondering why I would instantly transfer almost my entire welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou Points to American Airlines AAdvantage and it’s not to fly on some lavish American first-class flight. Instead, I would use 75,000 AAdvantage award miles to fly from Los Angeles through Doha, Qatar, and on to Cape Town, South Africa, on Qatar Qsuites.
Not only is this one of the best uses of Citi ThankYou Points (through Nov. 13), but I think it’s one of the best redemptions available. Now of course 75,000 miles is for a one-way trip for one person, so I would have to find a way back, but even if I have to pay for an economy-class seat on the way home, it will have been worth it to me.
All that said, remember this is currently a limited-time transfer partner so if you’d like to utilize the Citi Premier Card bonus to travel one of the best business class products in the sky and get 25 hours of business-class bliss, you should consider adding the Citi Premier Card to your card strategy soon.
Turkish Airlines miles are hard to earn. Besides flying Turkish Airlines or other Star Alliance partners, you can earn them by transferring Citi, Marriott or Capital One points. I prefer to use my Marriott Bonvoy points for hotel stays, and Capital One apparently doesn’t want me as a cardholder. So transferring Citi ThankYou points to Turkish Airlines is my only option.
If this isn’t the first team article you are reading, you’ve seen me talk about Europe before. This is one of our favorite travel destinations, and my husband and I can go back to Europe again and again and never get tired.
Flights to Europe are long, and I prefer to fly there in a lie-flat seat, so I am always on the lookout for business class bargains. So here’s one — you can fly from the U.S. to Europe on Turkish Airlines one-way in business class for just 45,000 miles plus about $200 in fees.
You don’t necessarily have to fly on Turkish and connect in Istanbul, Turkey. Other Star Alliance carriers also fly from the U.S. to Europe. Surcharges vary and could be high on Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines but are reasonable on other partners, such as United Airlines or LOT Polish Airlines.
So 80,000 ThankYou points is almost enough to get me to Europe and back in business class! I can earn the remaining points by strategically using the Citi Premier Card and maximizing the bonus categories, such as 3X per dollar spent at supermarkets, gas stations and air travel.
I also fly to Israel often, and again, Turkish has a really attractive rate for business class. One way in business class for just 47,000 miles? Sign me up! The same flight on United can be as high as 93,000 points, so this is an incredible bargain.
I think you get my point, and I don’t need to bombard you with further examples. Eighty thousand points is an amazing offer. The annual is a reasonable $95, and I can’t wait to get this card.
It’s no secret that Qatar Qsuites is an aspirational redemption for many travelers, and I had the good fortune that my last international trip before the world shut down was a Qsuite flight from Doha, Qatar, to New York (JFK). The limited-time addition of American Airlines as a transfer partner is amazing, but Qatar Airways is actually bookable with ThankYou Points even without American Airlines as a transfer partner. Citi ThankYou Points are the only flexible points program that transfers to Qatar Privilege Club. The program used to have prohibitively high award redemptions and taxes and fees, but Qatar made some major changes at the end of 2020 reducing the points required for some routes by as much at 49%.
Flying Qatar via an American Airlines redemption has some amazing sweet spots, but because of American’s third-region rule, you also can’t route to certain regions as one award segment.
U.S. to Asia Region 1 (Japan and Korea); Asia Region 2 (Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam) and South Pacific (American Samoa and Samoa, Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu). Read more about American’s regions here.
However, Qatar has no such restrictions and allows you to book these routings as one segment. You can use Qatar’s Qcalculator to look at the points required for different routings.
So let’s compare Qatar’s redemptions to AA redemptions on Qatar metal on certain routes:
|Route||AA Redemption||Qatar Redemption|
|U.S. - Doha||Economy: 40,000|
|U.S. - Dubai||Economy: 40,000|
|U.S. - Bangkok||Economy: 65,000|
|U.S. - Tokyo||Economy: 62,500|
|U.S. - Sydney||Economy: 82,500|
So transferring your ThankYou Points to Qatar gets you a one-way economy ticket all the way to Australia, and while the 80,000-point welcome bonus by itself will not get you farther than the Middle East, it will get you close to routing to other parts of Asia and the South Pacific.
If you pair a Citi Premier Card with great everyday spend cards, such as the Citi Double Cash Card and the Citi Custom Cash Card, you’ll have a powerful high-earning, low-fee way to fly long haul in style and comfort.
Jeffrey Lucas Jr.
I was just plotting my first all points international trip with a family in tow when COVID-19 struck. I’m not sure the world is ready for the Lucas Troop to start its world wandering. But if it were, I would be looking towards a trip to Athens, Greece.
I am going to cheat a little and work with 160,000 Citi ThankYou Points, as my wife is Player 2 and we tend to make similar moves to get our family of seven all to the same place.
Citi ThankYou Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Emirates, which has a direct flight from Newark (EWR) to Athens that will run me 22,500 Skywards each way for economy. I would take a positioning flight to New York and probably hang out in the city for a day or two before taking our flight to Greece. If you’re doing the math right, I would need 315,000 Skywards Miles to complete the international leg of my trip.
With 3X earnings on supermarkets, restaurants and fuel, chances are after the points from meeting the minimum spend I would have enough points to purchase four tickets with the bonuses from the Citi Premier Card.
If you have children, you could probably top off this redemption with just a few thousand Membership Rewards Points or Ultimate Rewards Points to complete your trip..
But I still need to buy three more tickets.
Even so, I would purchase the remaining tickets by transferring my American Express Membership Rewards points to Emirates to complete the last three tickets and get my whole family of seven to Greece and back for just taxes and fees of $875 (about $125 per ticket) instead of the far less attractive price of $5,186.
I would use one of Citi’s transfer partners Avianca LifeMiles to book a business-class flight with Swiss International Air Lines. Citi ThankYou points transfer to LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. Swiss’ latest product is the 777-300 ER and has an excellent business class with lie-flat seats. For 63,000 LifeMiles (plus $49.53), I can catch a nonstop flight in February from Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH).
It just so happens that I have almost 80,000 Citi ThankYou points burning a hole in my pocket, and this is exactly the motivation I need to figure out how I want to use them.
I feel like winter vacations don’t get as much love as tropical oasis trips, so I want to focus on a skier’s dream—Zurich.
To get there, I would use one of Citi’s transfer partners Avianca LifeMiles to book a business-class flight with Swiss International Air Lines. Citi ThankYou points transfer to LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio.
Swiss’ latest product is the 777-300 ER and has an excellent business class with lie-flat seats. For 63,000 LifeMiles (plus $49.53), I can catch a nonstop flight in February from Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH). Because Avianca is part of Star Alliance, I compared the price of this same flight if booked through United Airlines and it was 12,000 more miles, so I think we’ve got a deal.
This is only a one-way flight, so I still need to figure out how to get back. After the Citi Premier Card’s welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou Points, plus the additional 4,000 points (at least) I’d earn from the minimum spend, I’d be 9,000 points shy of having enough to book both the business trip out and the return trip in economy with Swiss.
With this card’s 3X earning rate on groceries, dining and gas, I would be able to earn the remaining points for my economy flight (although I’d be looking at the business-class seats longingly on my trip home). Cash prices for these exact flights total $5,138, so I’m pleased with the value I’m getting out of these Citi ThankYou Points.
I’m considering following the two ways to book our flights to Doha: via Qatar Privilege Club or via the AAdvantage program if it’s still an option in November or December 2021.
The Citi Premier Card has re-entered the credit-card octagon throwing uppercuts with a heavy-weight welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou Points, and I don’t know about you, but it’d like to get in on this action.
I held the Citi Premier Card in the past and foolishly closed it about two years ago. Luckily, I’ll be eligible to open it again soon (see Citi Bonus and Applications Rules) and can’t wait to get my hands on this card again for a few reasons.
First of all, it’s 80,000 points we’re talking about. Second, Citi’s partner programs Qatar Airways Privilege Club and American Airlines AAdvantage are exclusive to Citi ThankYou Rewards, even though the latter is a limited-time affair.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is also a partner of Capital One Venture Rewards, but the transfer rate of 2:1.5 isn’t amazing and I don’t hold any Capital One credit cards to access the transfer partner otherwise.
Qatar will be hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, which is as good a reason as any to visit the country for the first time. My husband and I went to World Cup 2018 in Russia and had such a blast, we’re considering going to Qatar to watch a match or two to enjoy the atmosphere. We’re usually economy people, but I wouldn’t mind experiencing Qatar Qsuites and arriving in Doha (or returning home) well-rested.
We’re not 100% in, but if we went to Qatar for the World Cup, we would be flying from Salt Lake City (SLC) either via Los Angeles (LAX) on the Airbus A350 or via Seattle (SEA) on a Boeing 777-300ER equipped with Qsuites.
I’m considering the following two ways to book our flights to Doha: via Qatar Privilege Club or via the AAdvantage program if it’s still an option in November or December 2021.
With American Airlines, we would need 70,000 miles per person, and in this case we both would apply for the Citi Premier Card to book two flights with points. We could even add a domestic connection from Salt Lake City to either airport at the same mileage rate.
If the AAdvantage program is no longer a transfer partner by the time we book our flights (the award calendar opens 331 days in advance), then we would use Qatar Privilege Club, a permanent partner of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program. In that case, we would need to redeem 70,000 miles per person as well but without the option to add a domestic leg.
And if business class isn’t available on our preferred dates, we would redeem the 80,000 miles to book two tickets to Qatar in economy class.
None of this is set in stone, but it’s always good to have a plan in place when looking to attend popular events.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.