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I’m going to show you one of the remarkable uses of Citi points. Would you believe 60,000 points is enough for (8) flights to Hawaii — and not just from the West Coast, but including connections from the East Coast as well?
Citi has a number of ‘oddball’ airline partners like EVA Air, which offers some fantastic award values and Garuda Indonesia which offers some amazing award sales (they once ran 90% off all awards, even in first class).
One of those ‘oddball’ Citi transfer partners is Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles. Turkish Airlines offers some great award redemptions. They add fuel surcharges onto redemptions, their pricing is very reasonable.
- They charge 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Turkey — or anywhere in Europe — in business class. They charge 98,000 miles roundtrip between the US and North Africa via Istanbul.
- Asia or South Africa is 135,000 miles roundtrip in business class.
- Turkish Miles & Smiles also offers companion award tickets for fewer miles in conjunction with a paid ticket, e.g. US – Istanbul at 63,000 miles roundtrip.
Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo
One of the oddball things about Turkish Miles & Smiles is that they used to put Hawaii in the same Oceania region as Australia, so Honolulu – Auckland – Sydney on Air New Zealand was just 25,000 miles each way.
Nick Reyes reports that Hawaii has now been moved to the same region as the U.S. No more cheap Australia awards, but since all of the U.S. is in a single zone there are now cheap Hawaii awards.
- Domestic U.S. flights are 7500 miles each way in coach
- And 12,500 miles each way in business (domestic first) class
You can use Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles to fly United’s premium cabin domestically for 25,000 miles roundtrip.. not just between, say, Washington Dulles and Los Angeles but even all the way to Hawaii!
Making Turkish award bookings is interesting. They don’t let you book partner awards on their website. In theory you call, put the award on hold, and then physically go to one of their ticket offices to issue the award. That’s silly, and unnecessary.
You can make a booking by e-mail. You can get the email addresses of their various offices on their website. I’ve personally had good luck dealing with their LAX ticket office at reservation.lax -at- thy.com. Bear in mind they don’t work evenings and weekends.
You’ll let them know you are asking about a partner airline award booking, and give them the passenger name(s), the Miles & Smiles account number, and the specific itinerary you want.
They’ll respond with what’s need to make the booking:
- A redemption form to sign
- A credit card form along with a photo of both the front and back of your credit card (my guess is their process is anything but PCI compliant)
- Copy of your photo ID
- Copy of your Turkish Miles & Smiles membership card, the digital card you can pull up in their app will do. They literally want you to send them a copy of information they already have in their app.
You’ll transfer the points, they take about 48 hours to move over, and then when the points become available they’ll issue your award over e-mail.