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It’s great to see Citibank getting so aggressive.
They’ve improved the value of the points by making them transfer to miles with several airlines.
And now we’re even seeing a promotion with Etihad where you get a bonus for transferring.
Etihad is offering a 25% bonus on points transferred in from Citibank through May 15.
This applies across regions where Etihad is a points transfer partner with Citi, including the United States.
This promotion is on the Etihad side, rather than on the Citi side, so as a result when you go to transfer points from Citi you see the usual 1000 points transferring to 1000 miles. Etihad will post the additional bonus miles within a week.
The Etihad program is roughly distance-based in pricing, so Europe – Abu Dhabi is quite reasonable, for instance Dusseldorf-Abu Dhabi first class can be had for just 39,000 Citibank points with this offer. Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi would be 86,000 Citibank points.
American AAdvantage awards remain a better deal for first class generally — 90,000 points for US – Abu Dhabi and even beyond within the region and 40,000 points for Europe – Abu Dhabi and beyond.
Roughly speaking this deal brings the Etihad Guest price down to the AAdvantage price for non-stops with Abu Dhabi as the start or end. But it opens up the possibility of Etihad premium redemptions for Citi points holders.
Etihad points can also be used to redeem for Philippine Airlines business class, something that’s almost always available from the US.
(HT: Live from a Lounge)