Wow: Citibank Points Now Transferable to American AAdvantage

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Through November 13, Citibank ThankYou Rewards points from Chairman, Prestige, Premier, Preferred and Rewards+ cards can be transferred 1:1 into American AAdvantage. This is huge for the program and for these cards. At this point the option to transfer to American AAdvantage is temporary. (HT: MilesTalk who cites to Business Insider)

Citi Premier® Card is offering its biggest-ever initial bonus to earn 80,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

I think this temporary addition of AAAdvantage transfers is going to push me over the edge to apply for the card. And I’d point out that if you’re not eligible for the offer to earn 100,000 points with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because of 5/24 or other reasons, this is in my view the best initial bonus offer out there in my opinion.

Normally Citi ThankYou transfer partners for the Premier (and Prestige, Chairmans) card include:

  • SkyTeam: Aeromexico Club Premier, Air France KLM Flying Blue

  • oneworld: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club

  • Star Alliance: Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles

  • Non-alliance: Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

I wonder whether transfers to American are more of a test than something temporary. When American did its last co-brand deal with Citibank and Barclays, mileage transfers for Citi ThankYou Rewards were on the table, as well as taking the entire cobrand relationship. Citi wouldn’t pay the premium American wanted. However now that these deals have been getting renegotiated there could be a changed POV on one of all sides.

Bilt Rewards, the loyalty program that lets you earn points for paying rent (and has its own credit card), offers points transfers to American so it’s even more conspicuous that Citi’s program doesn’t consider they’re the largest American co-brand partner.

Already I love the transfer partners Citi offers, especially unique ones like Qatar’s Privilege Club which has really improved and is compelling especially for QSuites redemptions; Turkish Airlines which offers 48 hour award holds so you can lock in an award prior to transferring points and where first class to the Caribbean or Hawaii is just 12,500 miles one-way on United. Europe is just 45,000 miles in business class, and India 52,500 miles (plus fuel surcharges); along with EVA Airways which has a really underappreciated program as well.

However the lack of one of the large US airlines as a transfer partner makes Citi appear like a more fringe program to many than Chase Ultimate Rewards (which has United and Southwest) and American Express (which has Delta). American AAdvantage is actually the program I’ve redeemed miles in the most over the past several years, for premium cabin awards on Cathay Pacific; Qantas; Japan Airlines; British Airways; Etihad as well as Qatar.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Damn, I was going to leave the Citi family this week but hasn’t made the time. Glad you posted this Gary. Citi Double just took on a whole new meaning.

  2. This is great news but I’m also mad that I just made (a much larger) transfer from TYP to QR that could’ve been cheaper and easier with AA.

  3. Not bad. Glad I saved 70,000 TYP instead of cashing out. Citi Premier and Double Cash back in the wallet until at least November

  4. For the last year or more, Citi keeps sending emails and mail offerings to my husband to convert his Citi TY card to the Double Cash card, then another to convert to rewards +, they send me an offer to change from Rewards + to Premier (which is what I downgraded from a couple of years ago bc I had Premier & Prestige and couldn’t see a double fee but didn’t want to take a hit to my score by dropping a high limit card) and Rewards + to TY…not sure why they want us to just change cards, does everyone keep getting these offers with seemingly no major benefit change? To me a double cash is a downgrade from the TY, isn’t it?
    But on a positive I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of American transfers from Citi! I’ve wondered why no one is a transfer partner for them.

  5. I had an orphaned amount of these points (72000) and I was wondering if I was just going to cash them in for gift cards or pay the annual fee on the card yet again. Excellent timing for me. Going to cash out, close card and apply for the new one.

  6. Weren’t there big rumors about 5 years ago that this was going to happen?

    Glad it finally is actually happening.

  7. wow! This will really make me have to weigh if I’ll stay with Chase or possibly get Citi. I will have to keep an eye of if they make it permanent. If it’s not perm then Citi wouldn’t be worth it for me. I think they’ll find that having AA will make quite a few switch.

  8. Very welcome improvement, even if temporary. Unfortunately, I can’t test it out because the Citi website has been down all day for many users. DownDetector has reports from thousands of users today; they report using the full gamut of browsers, reported from locations all over the US. I have tried 3 browsers, multiple computers, and phone. Can’t log in; have attempted dozens of times for the past 7-8 hours.

  9. I don’t know what I am going to do with this. I only have like 66k citi TY points but I have a decent number of AA miles and a ton of Chase URs and Amex MRs. No mater what I want to send the citi TY points into either AA or another program that can also take URs and/or MRs or I could throw some spend on my citi cards and get to 70k ty points for a straight redemption with some other program I guess. Overall I think I am leaning towards sending at least some of the points to AA top top off the account for a redemption. Now if only I could find a country to fly to that isn’t facing constant restrictions. I hope this becomes permanent, since I like utilizing the AA program.

  10. Good news… Transfer to AA.
    Bad news… No SAAver award space available anywhere that I have tried to travel in the last 3 months.
    I am not able to use my AA miles unless I am willing to get .4 CPP.

  11. Nice development. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Citi:AA transfer is 1:1 only if the card is Citi Prestige or Premier. Otherwise it’s 2:1.

  12. I smell AA’s next mileage devAAluation coming soon…they are not known for tinkering unless something is afoot.

    As Princess Leia would say, it’s a trap!!!

  13. @Chase It was Admiral Ackbar btw. However we already know american is going to dynamic pricing just like “a real estate search tool where you can see what others have paid” as in a Delta style where the award costs what we say it does at this moment in time.

  14. Sounds to me like AA needs some cAAsh from Citi to get more personnel back to work quickly. They can’t make any real money without enough resources to run a meaningful schedule that is relatively free of cancellations.

    Dougie and his boys are like “hey, lets get some cash for miles ASAP….we can devalue the miles in 3-6 months once ops are restored so we don’t lose our butt”.

    I wouldn’t do any speculative conversions right now, the risk profile doesn’t make sense unless you make an immediate booking. I totally AAgree….as Admiral Ackbar would say, it’s a trap!

  15. The commentariot are correct; this is great for those with immediate needs, but outside of that, a trap. 6 years ago, the math would have worked out differently. These days… I mean, you basically sold me on ThankYou points specifically because they have random international airline partners instead of US ones!

  16. Gary Thank you as always for your exceptional posts and topics.
    This was indeed welcome news even if only a temporary transfer partner.
    Had it not been for your update I might have transferred at a worse valuation to American with some orphaned points left over from my closed Prestige account now a Thank You Rewards Plus card.
    I’m not sure all your readers with have this concern unless they have high balances well over 100k as I do in the hundreds of thousands .Having said that there are a few important terms and conditions to be aware of when transferring which may not always be disclosed clearly if at all.

    First there is a 100k annual limit to transferring Thank You points into a Premier account from another account and second once they transfer into that Premier account be sure to use them reasonably quick once transferred as they will expire in 60 days if unused/not redeemed in that time frame.I am still waiting to get clarification back from the Citibank folks on the exact specifics of the 100 K limit as there may be some gray area

  17. Now, don’t everyone simply express yourselves on View From The Wing. Call up American Airlines customer service and thank them for the opportunity and ask to make it permanent. Operators are standing by. N-O-W.

  18. Will the 80K bonus post right away after reaching $4K spend or does the statement need to close first? Curious if I can still pull this off.

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