When we thought that Citi Thank You points couldn’t be devalued more after the Citi Premier card underwent a drastic change and the Citi Forward card is no longer available to the general public (just students), Citi has announced that you can transfer Thank You points to Hilton HHonors points at a 1:1 ratio.
Why This Is Huge News
Thank You points were generally capped at 1.3 (now 1.2) cents per point and that was only for Citi Thank You Premier cardholders because they can redeem points toward airfare. Otherwise you are stuck redeeming points for 1 point per cent toward travel. The best option for most was simply to redeem points for gift cards. Occasionally you can find $100 Amazon gift cards available for 10,000 points, which is probably the best value alternative.
Enter Hilton HHonors points. With the option of redeeming Citi Thank You points for Hilton points, it opens up an opportunity to increase the value of your Thank You points. Now, don’t get me wrong. Hilton points are generally worth less than 1 cent per point, which obviously is worth less than redeeming points for travel or gift cards, but this is huge news for two reasons.
- Citi could run transfer promotions that increase the number of Hilton points you get per Thank You point
- Now that Citi has added a transfer partner, they will likely add more!
At the moment Citi is running a transfer promotion where you get a 5,000 point bonus when you transfer 10,000 Thank You points to Hilton points.
I generally value Hilton HHonors points at 0.7 cents per point. Assuming that you transfer exactly 10,000 Thank You points you will earn 15,000 Hilton points, which equates to 1.05 cents per points. Now, this is just 5% more than you could get otherwise, but it could still be a better option. In fact, in some cases redeeming Hilton points per night could result in a 2 cents/point value depending on the circumstance. If you are considering redeeming your Thank You points for Hilton points follow this link.
The second point I made was that this may only be the first transfer partner that Citi adds. Keep in mind that Citi does offer the Hilton Reserve Credit Cards, so it would make sense for Citi to negotiate a Hilton transfer agreement. However, their single largest partner is American Airlines. Call it wishful thinking, but it would make a ton of sense for Citi to create a transfer option for American AAdvantage miles. Now that would really blow the doors off the Thank You program!
This is great news for people with Citi Credit Cards that earn Thank You points. Citi has been far behind both American Express and Chase, but this move brings them a little closer as a viable credit card points currency. If Citi were to add another hotel or more importantly an airlines as a transfer partner, they would be in serious competition with the top two credit card issuers in the industry.