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For a limited time, Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 25% Citi ThankYou transfer bonus. Avianca helps you avoid the fuel surcharges on long-haul flights with international carriers. It’s also possible to book flights with Star Alliance partners like United Airlines.

Citi ThankYou transfer bonus
Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges for Lufthansa award flights.
Credit: Pexels

However, you will need to act quickly to take advantage of this bonus. This opportunity ends at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on December 11, 2019. After that, the transfer ratio returns to the usual 1:1 transfer ratio.

Two Citi ThankYou cards that let you transfer miles to airline partners include:

Transferring ThankYou Points to Avianca LifeMiles

You can transfer your Citi ThankYou points from participating Citi credit cards to Avianca LifeMiles. Until December 11, 2019, every 1,000 ThankYou points you transfer become 1,250 LifeMiles. All qualifying transfers must complete by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time to get the 25% bonus. Most transfer requests complete within a few minutes.

So, if you’re waiting until the last minute to transfer, you should be ok. But, it’s still not a bad idea to initiate several days beforehand in case there is a delay. The fine print that transfers can take up to 24 hours to complete.

You can initiate transfers by logging into your online ThankYou account. There are no transfer fees either.

Citi ThankYou transfer bonus
Transfer your Citi ThankYou points to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio through December 11, 2019, with the Citi ThankYou transfer bonus.

There doesn’t appear to be a transfer limit for this bonus. The only true limit is your current ThankYou points balance and having to transfer in 1,000-point increments.

Avianca is also a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One. So if you have a card from one of these rewards programs, you can transfer more miles if necessary.

Redeeming Avianca LifeMiles

Transferring your ThankYou points directly to Avianca usually gives you the best redemption value. That’s because your points are only worth up to 1.25 cents each when booking the same flights directly through thankyou.com.

Before you transfer your points to Avianca (or any transfer partner) it’s worth looking for award availability. The last thing you want is a stack of LifeMiles you can’t redeem anytime soon. Also, LifeMiles expire after 12 months of account inactivity.

Here are some of the award flights to look for first to maximize this Citi ThankYou transfer bonus.

Lufthansa First Class

One of the best premium cabin experiences to Europe is by flying Lufthansa. However, this airline is notorious for its hefty fuel surcharges. Other airlines may still pass on the Lufthansa fuel surcharge. Avianca doesn’t.

However, you will still pay a $25 booking fee that Avianca tacks on all award flights.

First-class flights can cost 87,000 LifeMiles plus $31 in fees and taxes. During this transfer promotion, you only need to transfer 70,000 ThankYou points to get the required number of LifeMiles.

Award availability can be slim depending on which airport you’re flying from. Some departing airports to consider first are from Washington-Dulles (IAD), New York City-JFK (JFK), or Dallas-Ft.Worth (DFW). Your best European destination from these airports can be Frankfurt (FRA).

If first-class isn’t available, you can also look for economy class seats. A one-way main cabin award flight can cost 30,000 LifeMiles plus fees and taxes.

United Airlines Transcontinental Business Class

Unless you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, no other personal credit card lets you transfer miles directly to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. One way around that for Citi cardholders is transferring to Avianca LifeMiles first.

One of your best partner flight options is United’s transcontinental business class. It costs 25,000 miles from Neward (EWR) to San Francisco (SFO) plus $31 fees and taxes. You will enjoy lie-flat seats and one of the better United premium cabin experiences.

United Airlines Domestic Main Cabin Flights

Other main cabin flights on United Airlines will cost between 6,500 and 12,500 miles plus fees and taxes each way. Avianca still uses a distance-based award chart for domestic partner flights. For example, flying from Houston to Chicago can cost 10,000 miles plus fees and taxes.

Flights to Asia and Australasia

You can also fly to Asia and Australasia with different Star Alliance partners. For example, you can fly one-way on EVA Air from San Francisco to Taipei for 67,500 miles.

A budget-flyer option can be flying to Australia or New Zealand for 40,000 LifeMiles on either United or Air New Zealand. Look for flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago for the best availability.

Promo Awards

You can also browse the current LifeMiles promo awards section to look for deals. Pay attention to the eligible flight dates. If your flexible schedule matches the discounted flying days, you can stretch your ThankYou points even further.

Summing up the Citi ThankYou Transfer Bonus

The current Citi ThankYou transfer bonus gives you 25% Avianca LifeMiles through December 11, 2019. If you want to book a Star Alliance award flight soon, it’s worth exploring this option. When a seat is available, you can easily save hundreds of dollars in fuel surcharges on airlines including Lufthansa.

FAQs

How long does it take to transfer Citi ThankYou points to Avianca LifeMiles?

Most transfers from Citi ThankYou to your linked Avianca LifeMiles account are instant. However, just as times vary with transferring Capital One Miles, it can also take up to 24 hours in some instances. According to Citi, transfer to any airline can take up to 14 days (but this is rarely the case).

The standard transfer ratio for all Citi ThankYou airline partners is 1:1. You will need to transfer in 1,000-point increment meaning 1,000 ThankYou points become 1,000 air miles.

Periodically, Citi will offer a transfer bonus (usually 25% more airline miles) for select partners.

How much are Citi ThankYou points worth?

Citi ThankYou points are worth can be worth as much as 6 cents each when transferring to an airline partner and booking an award flight.

If booking award flights on the thankyou.com portal, your ThankYou points can be worth up to 1.25 cents each. You get this 25% travel redemption bonus with the Citi Premier. But, each point is only worth 1 cent with the Citi Prestige credit card. Your points are usually worth less than transferring to an airline partner, so you may have more flight options.

Your points may also be worth 1 cent each when redeemed for gift cards and cash rewards.

Do Avianca LifeMiles expire?

Avianca LifeMiles currently expire after 12 months of LifeMiles account inactivity. This means you must either earn more LifeMiles or redeem some for qualifying activities (like award flights) within a rolling 12-month period.

To help keep your LifeMiles account active after the promotion ends, you may want to check out the Avianca LifeMiles Credit Cards.

Before you transfer your Citi ThankYou points to Avianca, it’s well worth verifying award space is available on your desired flights. This prevents transferring miles and risk having them expire if you end up not using them. Most Citi ThankYou to Avianca LifeMiles transfers are instant. You shouldn’t have a problem searching for award space, transferring, and redeeming miles within a matter of minutes.

Josh Patoka

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