According to DansDeals, Citi is currently in the process of changing bonus qualification rules on its lineup of credit cards. Official Citi AAdvantage offers already show 48-months restriction. There are a few zombie links out there with the old language, but it’s unclear as to how long they will be alive. According to one commenter on this DoC post, here is a non-affiliate link for Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard that still shows 24-months restriction. Grab it while you can (if eligible).
For now, Citi Premier card (as shown on our affiliate site) still has 24-months language:
Very rarely do we use “limited-time offer, get it now!!” verbiage on this blog. But this is one of those times when it’s warranted. It’s possible that Citi will keep the current language on Citi Premier card, but then again, maybe it won’t.
If you’ve cancelled your Citi Premier card more than 24 months ago, I strongly recommend you consider applying right now. To be clear, if you’ve never had it, then it’s moot point.
Here are the details on the bonus:
Keep in mind that you are not eligible for the bonus if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months. This card pays us commission if you would like to support the blog. Thanks in advance!
There is a LOT you can do with 60k Citi Thank You points. Even if you are not into travel, getting $600 worth of gift cards is nothing to sneeze at.
Transferring points to miles
While redeeming points toward revenue fares at 1.25 cents apiece is a good deal on its own, under the right circumstances, transferring to traditional miles can be leveraged to your advantage. The most valuable transfer options at the moment are probably Singapore KrisFlyer, Air France Flying Blue and Jet Blue. All transfer on 1:1 basis from Citi Thank You program. Let’s take a look at how we can utilize these programs for family travel.
Singapore KrisFlyer: The transfer takes 1-2 days. It costs 12,500 miles one-way to fly to Alaska on United, compared to 17,500 through United Mileage Plus. Also, it costs 17,500 miles one-way to fly to Hawaii, compared to 22.500 through United program.
Air France Flying Blue : The transfer is reportedly instant. I do recommend you call Air France and put your award tickets on hold first (free). The reason? Occasional phantom availability on the website. Air France miles can be redeemed for one-way tickets on Delta. Sweet spot: It costs 15,000 miles one-way to fly to Hawaii and Caribbean (less than through Delta’s own program).
You can also redeem miles for economy tickets to Europe on Air France metal and pay minimal fuel surcharges. The normal cost is 25,000 miles one-way (a decent deal from West coast). However, they regularly have a a 25% and 50% off sale on award mileage requirements from certain cities in US. Potentially, you can fly for 12,500 miles (Thank You points) one-way to most of Europe and even Israel.
You may want to open an account now because apparently, opening it and transferring miles immediately triggers fraud warning. Last time I did transfer to Air France, they let me put tickets on hold for 14 days before I had any miles in my account. YMMV
Fancy an anniversary trip to Tahiti with your spouse? Air France program is your best bet. It costs as low as 25k miles to fly one-way from LAX to Papeete. Availability is usually decent because Flying Blue releases more award seats to its own members. But what about fuel surcharges?
Well, let’s compare the cost to other programs. AAdvantage charges 80k miles roundtrip on partner Air Tahiti Nui, plus $80 in taxes. Delta charges 100k miles, plus around $80 in taxes on Air France (its partner), and much more on Air Tahiti Nui.
Or you can book an award via Air France program which can be reserved online (unless there is a glitch). You’ll pay as low as 50k miles, plus $190 in taxes for economy roundtrip ticket. And you’ll get a much better award availability. Air France website is a bit wacky, so you may have to call in, especially when trying to piece together a trip that includes Delta leg from your home airport.
If both spouses sign up for Citi Premier card, they will be able to get two roundtrip tickets to Tahiti. You can also use Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards or Marriott points to top up your account in case the price is higher. It does fluctuate, and 50k miles roundtrip is the lowest I’ve found for LAX-PPT roundtrip flight.
You may have seen me mention low-cost carrier French Bee that is operating flights from Tahiti to San Francisco. This may be a better deal than using miles, so always compare all of your options.
Jet Blue program: the rate via points is tied to revenue price. In general, you can expect to get between 1.3-1.8 cents per point, depending on the route. We recently used Jet Blue points for a non-stop flight form Orlando to Salt Lake City, and got 1.5 cents per point.
Cruising: an excellent option for using Thank You points
While Citi doesn’t advertise this benefit for some reason, you can get 1.25 cents per Thank You point towards hotels, car rentals and cruises. At least this has been the case so far. By that logic, you will be getting $750 in value from just one Premier card. Sure, occasionally there are ways to get discounts on cruises, but they are often tied to specific cruise lines.
Plus, there is something to be said on the beauty of keeping things simple. All you have to do is pick a sailing, call Citi Travel Center and apply points towards your cruise. Boom. If you don’t have enough points to cover the entire bill, you can simply co-pay with a credit card. Speaking of, Citi Premier would be a decent choice because it earns 3 points per dollar on travel. For what it’s worth, that’s how I used my points from Citi Premier card. You can combine Thank You points with anyone for free.
See my post on this topic that contains tips on getting the best cruise deal You can also read my series of posts from 2013 when we took our two young kids on Carnival cruise to Western Caribbean:
Visiting beautiful Turks and Caicos in 2009
Readers, are you considering applying for Citi Premier card with the idea of using bonus towards a cruise?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.