A year and half ago Citi introduced Hilton HHonors as the first transfer partner for the Thank You Rewards program. Speculation and rumors started flying about Citi adding a whole slew of travel partners in order to ramp the Thank You program up to compete with the likes of Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards as far as points transfers are concerned.
Well here we are 18 months later and Citi has done just that. They have added 7… or 8 new airline transfer partners. I say 7 or 8 because the main Thank You transfer page lists only 7 airlines as you can see in the image above. However if you look at the terms & conditions of Citi Thank You Rewards or in the FAQ you will find not 7 but 8 airline transfer partners listed. The 8th airline in question is none other than Malaysia Airlines. So is this an oversight? Was Malaysia Airlines accidentally left off or is Citi trying to keep attention off of Malaysia in light of all that has happened with them this past year?
I called Citi Thank You Rewards team and was actually able to confirm that Malaysia Airlines Enrich is in fact one of the new transfer partners. So it looks like the list is officially 8 airline transfer partners and 1 hotel program. Points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000 point increments.
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Etihad Guest
- Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
There are a couple good partners on this list though they are still far weaker that the transfer partners for UR, MR, & Starpoints which has the most airline transfer partners. Considering Citi has a pretty solid contract and working relation with American Airlines I would not be surprised to see American AAdvantage add to the list later next year as things start to slow down and finish coming together in the American/US merger.
We should also see another hotel chain added to the program in the future as well but who could be free from contracts to be allowed to sign on as the 2 hotel transfer partner???
There are some major sticking points with the transfer program. You must be either a Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige® or Citi Chairman® cardmember in order to participate in the transfer program.
So what do you think?? Does this change your view of the Thank You program? I am excited to see the development and hope it continues as this was only a great first step. The program needs a top domestic airline partner and at least 1 more viable hotel partner to really get me excited.