Citi temporarily adds American Airlines as a mileage transfer partner!

In a surprise move, Citi has added American Airlines as a transfer partner for their ThankYou Points (TYP) earning credit cards.  What's especially intriguing is that even no annual fee cards that normally don't offer transfers to loyalty programs are eligible for this new and temporary partnership, albeit at a lower transfer ratio.  Citi's premium line of cards, including the Prestige and the Premier, both have 1:1 transfer capability with AAdvantage miles (1,000 TYP = 1,000 AAdvantage miles).  Whereas no annual fee cards, including the ThankYou Preferred and the Rewards+, get a 2:1 transfer ratio (1,000 TYP = 500 AAdvantage miles).  This transfer partnership is valid from July 18 through November 13, though one could speculate that it could be extended.


American Airlines AAdvantage program was the only loyalty program out of the three U.S. legacy carriers that didn't have a 1:1 transfer partner with any credit card accounts.  Delta has long been a transfer partner with Amex Membership Rewards (MR), and United with Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR).  Citi's new partnership makes sense as they, along with Barclays, are the co-branded providers for AAdvantage's line of credit cards.

Game changer for the Citi TYP?

Citi TYP have been typically the least valuable out of the big 3, falling behind Chase UR and Amex MR in terms of valuable transfer partners.  You could still leverage great value out of Citi TYP with partners such as Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines, although Chase UR and Amex MR both also have these partners.  Citi's addition of AAdvantage miles could be a game changer for TYP provided it's here for the long run.  AAdvantage miles have retained their value better than United and Delta miles as they are the lone carrier that doesn't have variable priced awards and actually still publishes an award chart, though of course this is subject to change at any time.

Transfer Citi TYP to AAdvantage miles and redeem for Japan Airlines first class

How long do transfers take?

Whereas many of Citi's transfers are instantaneous, some could take upwards of 24 hours such as Singapore Airlines.  The initial reports is that transfers between Citi TYP and AAdvantage miles take 12-13 hours, so be mindful of that if you plan on booking AAdvantage awards.  Fortunately, AA does allow you to hold awards for up to 5 days without a fee or penalty, so the 12-13 hour transfer time shouldn't be a problem for those wishing to book AAdvantage flights as you could just hold the award flight now, and then transfer the miles over and finalize the booking within 5 days.


Bottom line

This new transfer partnership is a welcome and surprising addition for Citi TYP.  AAdvantage miles are amongst the most valuable mileage currencies out there, so being able to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio ups the game significantly for the Citi Premier and Prestige cards.  The Citi Premier card currently has a limited time sign-up bonus offer of 80,000 TYP points, which equates it to a whooping 80k AAvantage miles with this temporary partnership.  Here's to hoping that Citi extends it beyond November 13 and potentially making it permanent!

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!



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