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Many people who are new to travel credit cards wonder if you can convert credit card points into airline miles. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy. For instance, American Airlines makes it extremely difficult to transfer credit card points. However, for a limited time, you can transfer Citi points to this major airline.
How To Transfer Citi Points To American Airlines
A handful of Citi credit cards offer American Airline point transfers for a limited time.
Here are some of the high-level details:
- Point transfers start on July 18, 2021
- The transfer promotion ends on November 13, 2021
- Any Citi credit card that earns ThankYou points qualifies
- The transfer ratio is either 1:1 or 2:1 (depending on the card)
- Transfer points in 1,000-point increments
- The daily transfer limit is 500,000 ThankYou points
These ThankYou credit cards have a 1:1 transfer ratio:
And the transfer ratio is 2:1 for these two cards:
- Citi Rewards+® Card
- (Discontinued) Citi ThankYou Preferred
In a nutshell, if your ThankYou card has an annual fee, your transfer ratio is 1:1 However, you need 2 Citi points to make 1 American Airlines mile with a no annual fee credit card.
If you’re planning on booking an award flight in the remaining months of 2021 or in 2022, you must complete the transfer by November 13, 2021.
Will The Ability To Transfer Citi Points To American Airlines Be Extended?
There currently isn’t an indication the Citi-American Airlines transfer relationship will extend or become permanent.
if you don’t have a Citi credit card with a 1:1 ratio, consider the Citi Premier® Card. New applicants can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points (up to 80,000 American Airlines miles) by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus can be worth at least $800 in award flights.
Some of the Best Ways to Use American Airlines Miles
Here are some of the ways you might redeem your American Airlines miles.
Domestic American Airlines Flights
Domestic flights within the continental United States and Canada can be the most convenient redemption option. Flying within the states has the fewest travel restrictions.
One-way award flights cost the following amounts:
- Flights longer than 500 miles: 12,500 miles
- Flights shorter than 500 miles: 7,500 miles
- Alaska: 15,000 miles
- Hawaii: 20,000 miles (off-peak) or 22,500 (peak season)
Canada is planning on opening its border to fully vaccinated Americans in September if the pandemic doesn’t worsen. These award flights can help you visit family as the border opens for the first time since early 2020.
You might be able to save a few miles by booking a web special.
International American Airlines Flights
International travel in premium cabins can provide the best redemption value on most legs. However, an economy award seat can be an effective way of redeeming your miles too.
Economy class award flights cost the following for one-way tickets:
- Mexico: 12,500 (off-peak) or 15,000 (peak)
- Central America: 12,500 (off-peak) or 15,000 (peak)
- Caribbean: 12,500 (off-peak) or 15,000 (peak)
- Europe: 22,500 (off-peak) or 30,000 (peak)
Business and first-class tickets cost the following amount each way:
- Mexico: 25,000
- Central America: 25,000
- Caribbean: 25,000
- Europe: 57,500
Oneworld Partner Flights
If American Airlines doesn’t directly serve your desired destination, oneworld alliance flight can be the next-best option.
The travel options include:
- Alaska Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Due to global travel restrictions, you may not be able to visit certain countries soon. Australia, New Zealand, and much of Asia come to mind. However, a favorite partner flight route is booking a business class seat to Tokyo on Japan Airlines. A business class seat costs 60,000 miles one way or 80,000 miles for a first-class ticket.
Alaska Airlines can also be an exciting option to visit Hawaii if you live on the West Coast. A one-way main cabin seat costs 22,500 miles. It’s not the cheapest award flight to Hawaii but it’s an option if the point redemption value is better than paying cash for your circumstances.
Alternatives to Transferring Citi Points
The Citi point transfers may not be the best option if award space isn’t available for your flight dates or your tickets have a cheap cash price. Instead of transferring your miles, you may consider these alternatives.
Book Award Flights on ThankYou.com
Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cardholders can redeem ThankYou points at ThankYou.com for 1 cent each on upcoming trips.
Usually, your miles can be worth more when you book directly from the airline. But for one reason or another, skipping the point transfer and using the Citi ThankYou travel portal can be the better option.
With the Citi Rewards+ Card, you get a 10% of your redeemed points back (up to 100,000 points per year). This makes each point worth 1.10 cents by using ThankYou.com.
Use an American Airlines Credit Card
If you fly American Airlines consistently, a co-brand American Airlines credit card can be the better option, especially since you can only transfer Citi points to American Airlines for a limited time. Consumer and small business credit cards are available.
There are several card options but here are some of the best options for travelers.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® offers these perks:
- Admirals Club membership for the cardmember and up to 2 guests
- The first checked bag is free for you and up to 8 companions
- 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Earn up to 2x AAdvantage miles on purchases
New cardholders can earn a 50,000 miles signup bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $450 but several Admirals Lounge visits can easily offset this charge.
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Casual travelers will benefit more from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. You won’t get Admirals Club access but the annual fee is a reasonable $99 ($0 for the first 12 months).
Featured card benefits include:
- 1st checked bag is free for you and up to 4 companions
- 25% in-flight savings on food and beverages
- Preferred boarding
- Earn up to 2x miles on purchases (includes restaurants and gas stations)
- One-time $125 flight discount after $20,000 in purchases per membership year
New cardholders can earn 50,000 miles signup bonus after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $99.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
Small business owners can benefit from the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® as the Citi points transfer offer doesn’t apply to business credit cards.
Card benefits include:
- The first checked bag is free
- 25% savings on in-flight food, beverages, and WiFi
- Earn up to 2x miles on purchases
- Preferred boarding
- American Airlines Companion Certificate (domestic main cabin) after $30,000 in purchases per card membership year
New cardholders can earn 65,000 miles signup bonus after $4,000 in purchases in the first 4 months. The annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months and then $99 on your first renewal.
Do Citi points transfer to American Airlines? Yes, but only until November 13, 2021. While this opportunity is rare, you should compare the redemption value of redeeming points directly through Citi’s ThankYou.com if award seats are unavailable for your travel dates.
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