(EDITOR’S NOTE: I WAS TOLD BY CITI TODAY THAT THE NEWS ABOUT THANK YOU POINTS TRANSFERRING TO OTHER AIRLINES IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. YOU CAN READ MORE HERE. I PREFER NOT TO DELETE OLD POSTS, BUT KNOW THAT THE INFORMATION BELOW IS, SADLY, FALSE).
In order to simplify my life, I decided a while back that I would just ignore everything I read anywhere about Citi Thank You Points. I have little-to-no patience for programs that offer points that can only be used in exchange for cash (ie, 10,000 points gets you $100 worth of travel). Oh, unless Capital One is offering 100,000 points for doing nothing. Thank You Points was that type of program and what with work, the kids, my love of cereal (?), my occasional desire to sit around and do nothing, I couldn’t find the time to get excited about that.
Dan’s Deals is reporting (a blog…reporting????) that April 1st Thank You points will now transfer into British Airways and Singapore Airlines frequent flyer programs. I don’t know much about Singapore, so I’ll leave it to the others to talk about going to Asia. But I do know about British Airways, and this is a pretty big deal.
Why? The current best offer is 50,000 points after $2,500 spend in 3 months with the first year fee waived. Those 50,000 points transfer to Avios at 1:1. (An earlier version of this post had an outdated offer…thanks to View from the Wing for pointing to this link).
How do you know how many points you need for an Avios flight? Good question. I use Wandering Armenian’s pretty awesome Avios calculator.
Those BA miles are so valuable on short-to-medium haul nonstops. New York to Florida flights are just 15,000 miles roundtrip (all flights coach – I don’t need to burn miles for first class for a 2.5 hour flight). New York to San Juan is just 20,000. New York to San Jose, Costa Rica, just 25,000. NYC to Caracas (?) 25,000 miles. Use the calculator – it’s kinda fun.
It also changes how I think about frequent flyer miles. I generally save my miles for awards that I would never actually spend cash on – typically longer-haul business class. I don’t really see the value in avoiding a $200 flight by spending 25,000 miles.
However, since there are few (if any?) long-haul values on the Avios chart, most people (in the US, at least) are using those miles for these shorter types of trips. In which case I don’t think it’s crazy to use 15,000 miles to go to Florida (or 20k to go to Puerto Rico). For the 4 of us to go to Florida, it’s generally about $1200. I’d gladly spend 60,000 Avios points for that (especially if I’ve used the 50% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards so that only costs me 40,000 MR points for 4 tickets).
When those Thank You Points were only transferable to cash, you would get $500 of spending value for that 50,000 point signup — less than 2 tickets to Florida. Now, the value has doubled, since you can get 3 tickets to Florida for that. Nicely done.
I’ll be adding that card to my list for my next churn.