Creative Failed Attempts for a Citi ThankYou Card with Airline Transfer

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Premium Citi ThankYou cards have introduced airline transfers to a small group of non-US airline programs including Singapore Airlines.

The catch is that transfer eligible cards have high annual fees and meager sign-up bonuses. These include the ThankYour Premier and Prestige with $125 and $450 annual fees, respectively.

The best current offer of which I aware for the Premier is 20k bonus for $2k spend and annual fee waived, then another 30k bonus for $3k spend in the first three months of the 2nd year, for which the annual fee probably can’t be avoided unless the bonus posts on the same statement as the annual fee.

For the Prestige there is a 30k bonus for $2k spend in three months but the $450 annual fee is not waived. Most of the unique benefits of this card are being phased out for all card holders in October, 2014.

I have several no annual fee ThankYou Preferred and ThankYou cards, none of which are transfer eligible. Since Citi is pretty flexible at converting cards I thought I would try to be creative to get a transfer-eligible card with no credit inquiry. Not worth it to me.

  • Offered to upgrade any of my existing cards to Premier. Yes, can be done, but no bonus and $125 annual fee will be charged immediately in first year.
  • Offered to convert a Citi AA Executive card to the similar $450 annual fee Prestige. Nope, account not yet open for at least 12 months to be eligible for a conversion. And may not be possible then anyway since competing products.

So what does that leave? Finding a friend with an eligible account since ThankYou points can be transferred to any member, though they do expire within 90 days if not used or transferred to an airline. Since I don’t have an immediate need, I will bide my time and keep making friends. Maybe a better ThankYou Premier offer will appear.

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WillRapid Travel ChaiJoeyThe Miles Professor Recent comment authors

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@The Miles Professor – I read in the T&C that one can only transfer TY Points to a partner account in the same name as the credit card holder. Do you find that to not be true?


Sorry to hear of the failed attempts, but thanks for sharing your experience with us! I, too, will wait for a better offer to come. Which of the airline transfers would you use it for? I know several blogs recommend transferring these points to Singapore Airlines, but I think it’s easier to just transfer UR or MR points to SQ & use these ThankYou points to try out Etihad, the only airline in the list that’s not part of the big 3 alliances.

The Miles Professor

If you really need to transfer, I can help out 🙂