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Transfer partners: Chase vs. Citi

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Just lately, Nick and I’ve revealed numerous posts concerning the Citi Status card’s new 5X incomes energy and our ideas about whether or not or to not hold our Sapphire Reserve playing cards (which earn 3X in comparable classes):

In response, a variety of readers asserted that Citi’s switch companions are terrible (shitty, rubbish, ineffective, and so forth.) in comparison with Chase’s companions.  If true, that is necessary as a result of one of the best worth use of Citi or Chase factors is to switch factors to a loyalty program for top worth awards.  If Citi’s switch companions really pale in comparison with Chase’s, then perhaps 5X isn’t higher than 3X in any case.

Let’s put this to the check…

Inns: Chase wins by default

On the time of this writing, Citi doesn’t have any lodge switch companions whereas Chase Final Rewards factors may be transferred to Hyatt, Marriott / Ritz, or IHG.  Of those, solely Hyatt persistently presents higher than 1 cent per level worth in the direction of lodge stays, in order that’s the one Chase lodge associate that I discover helpful.  However, it’s fantastically helpful.  Hyatt has a really affordable award chart and they don’t cost resort charges on award stays.  Level transfers to Hyatt are how I’ve personally used most of my Chase Final Rewards factors… by far.

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The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica is a Hyatt property that prices solely 15000 factors per night time. Once I final visited throughout peak season, the identical resort was charging about $1,500 per night time! In different phrases, you may say that I acquired about 10 cents per level worth from this award. That’s phenomenal.


Apart from the occasional huge lodge win, transferable factors are often greatest used to guide excessive value flights for comparatively few miles.  And it’s necessary to know that you simply don’t essentially want miles with the airline you need to fly — you possibly can typically guide the identical flights with a associate’s airline miles and sometimes at higher costs.  Right here’s an instance: Suppose you need to fly United firstclass to Hawaii.  Money costs for firstclass are often sky excessive.  For instance, round-trip flights from Denver to Honolulu in enterprise/first often value $1700 or extra.  Spherical-trip awards for a similar flights can value as few as 80,000 miles when booked with United Airways miles.  That provides you an honest worth of two.1 cents per mile.  Even higher, although, you’ll be able to e-book the identical United Airways flights utilizing Singapore Airways miles and pay solely 60,000 miles round-trip.  That provides you a worth of two.eight cents per mile.  And each Chase and Citi permit you to switch factors to Singapore Airways.  Warning: This was simply an illustrative instance. In actual life it may be extraordinarily troublesome to seek out first-class saver degree awards to Hawaii besides when touring throughout their uncommon off-seasons.  Be sure that the awards can be found earlier than transferring factors!

Among the best makes use of of transferable factors is to e-book worldwide enterprise or first-class flights for comparatively few miles. Delta One Suites, as pictured right here, are typically far cheaper to e-book with Virgin Atlantic miles than with Delta SkyMiles. Each Chase and Citi supply level transfers to Virgin Atlantic.

Shared Airline Transfer Companions

A number of of switch companions can be found as 1 to 1 transfers from each Chase and Citibank:

Rewards Program Greatest Makes use of Air France KLM Flying Blue Month-to-month Air France Promo Awards typically symbolize excellent worth. Air France miles can be utilized to guide Sky Workforce awards, together with Delta awards. JetBlue JetBlue factors supply probably the most worth when low cost ticket costs can be found and when award taxes are excessive relative to the general value of the ticket (extra particulars may be discovered right here). The JetBlue Plus Card and the JetBlue Enterprise Card supply a 10% rebate on awards, so you will get extra worth by holding one or each playing cards. Singapore Airways KrisFlyer Use to e-book Singapore Airways First Class awards (usually reserved for their very own members) or for Star Alliance awards. Low change charges and no close-in reserving charges make this an excellent program for reserving United Airways flights. Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership Virgin Atlantic miles might be usefully regarded as a option to get a reduction off Virgin Atlantic flights (excessive gasoline surcharges make the flights removed from free), however there are some higher makes use of. Use miles to improve paid flights or to fly companion airways. A incredible use is to fly ANA in enterprise or top notch because of Virgin’s beneficiant ANA companion award chart. Or, if yow will discover saver degree Delta awards for nonstop worldwide journey, you’ll be able to typically guide via Virgin Atlantic far cheaper than with Delta instantly.

Every of the above switch companions are extraordinarily helpful underneath the correct circumstances.  For instance, I’ve just lately discovered that Air France typically costs Delta flights cheaper than Delta does.

Distinctive Airline Transfer Companions from Chase

Along with the switch companions listed above, Chase presents 1 to 1 transfers to the next airline loyalty packages:

Rewards Program Greatest Makes use of Avios Whereas flights on British Airways itself typically incur outrageously excessive gasoline surcharges, many BA companions cost low or no gasoline surcharges. Nice worth may be had in redeeming BA factors for brief distance flights. Iberia gives very low award costs on their very own flights. Spherical journey companion awards can supply good worth beneath some circumstances as nicely. Gasoline surcharges are sometimes decrease than when reserving by means of British Airways. Aer Lingus shares the “Avios” foreign money with British Airways and Iberia. Typically it’s best to maneuver factors to a type of packages so as to e-book awards for much less. Southwest Speedy Rewards Award flights are absolutely refundable. Level values differ because of sure taxes not being charged on awards, however are likely to common round 1.5 cents per level. United MileagePlus Despite the fact that Singapore Airways miles have a number of benefits over United miles for reserving Star Alliance flights, United has benefits too. For one, it’s attainable to guide most Star Alliance awards on-line at United.com. Moreover, United awards typically value fewer miles with United than with Singapore (particularly premium awards on United’s personal flights). And, most significantly, United by no means expenses gasoline surcharges for awards. In some instances, United is way cheaper than Singapore Airways because of this alone.

Distinctive Airline Transfer Companions from Citi

Along with the switch companions listed above, Citibank gives 1 to 1 transfers to the next airline loyalty packages…

Distinctive Beneficial Transfer Companions from Citi

Rewards Program Greatest Makes use of Avianca LifeMiles Avianca LifeMiles may be nice for Star Alliance awards. They provide affordable award costs and no gasoline surcharges on awards. Additionally they supply shorthaul awards inside the US (for flying United, for instance) for as few as 7,500 miles one-way. Better of all, their mixed-cabin pricing can result in implausible first-class award costs. See this publish for particulars. Etihad Visitor Etihad has a really aggressive award chart for American Airways flights, amongst others.  For instance, they cost solely 50,000 miles one-way for enterprise class flights from North America to Europe. Associate awards have to be booked over the telephone.

Distinctive Value a Look Transfer Companions from Citi

Rewards Program Greatest Makes use of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Cathay Pacific has a reasonably beneficiant distance based mostly award chart and permits a number of stopovers. Gasoline surcharges could be very excessive on sure routes. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles could be a good choice for reserving American Airways flights with a distance based mostly award chart, particularly if different OneWorld Alliance miles aren’t obtainable. Qantas Frequent Flyer Greatest use might be for flights on El Al with no gasoline surcharges. Qantas gives distance based mostly award charts just like Cathay Pacific. Each are OneWorld Alliance members. I like to recommend evaluating award costs throughout each packages earlier than transferring to both. Qantas provides around the world enterprise class awards for less than 280,000 factors (however with many restrictions) Turkish Airways Miles & Smiles Miles & Smiles provides quite a lot of implausible candy spot awards. The primary catch: if you wish to fly any airline aside from Turkish itself, you need to go in-person to a Turkish Airways gross sales workplace to ticket the award.

Distinctive Not-Advisable Transfer Companions from Citi

Rewards Program Greatest Makes use of EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Whereas there are some area of interest candy spots with EVA’s program, you will often do higher transferring factors to Singapore Airways to ebook Star Alliance awards. Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer Don’t hassle. Garuda’s award pricing is not notably good. Worse, you’re presupposed to go in-person to a Garuda gross sales workplace to ticket your award. Jet Airways JetPrivilege JetAirways JetPrivilege miles are helpful just for a couple of very particular instances resembling sure flights to Hawaii for as little as 15Okay (30Okay enterprise) one-way, or to the Caribbean or Central America for as little as 10Okay (20Okay enterprise) one-way. Particulars may be discovered right here. Malaysia Enrich Given Malaysia’s award chart devaluation in June 2017, I am not conscious of any good makes use of for these miles. Qatar Privilege Membership Given Qatar’s award chart devaluation plus the addition of award reserving charges in Might 2018, I am not conscious of any notably good makes use of for these miles. Thai Airways Worldwide Royal Orchid Plus I am not conscious of any good makes use of for these miles

Transfer Bonuses

To my information, Chase has by no means provided a bonus for transferring factors to airline miles.  Citi does so often.  You’ll be able to all the time view present and expired bonuses right here: Present Level Transfer Bonuses.  However, to save lots of you the difficulty, listed here are the bonuses Citi has provided prior to now few years:

Essential notes about previous Citi switch bonuses:

  • JetBlue used to switch at lower than 1 to 1 from Citi, so the bonuses on the time merely introduced the ratio as much as 1 to 1
  • Hilton was a switch companion, however that relationship led to late 2017


Chase is clearly higher for transfers to lodge packages since Chase gives them and Citi doesn’t.  Particularly, Chase gives transfers to Hyatt which may be fantastically invaluable underneath sure circumstances.

With airline switch companions, although, there’s no clear winner.

  • If you wish to fly Delta, each Chase and Citi supply level transfers to Air France and Virgin Atlantic.  Each nice choices for reserving Delta awards.
  • If you wish to fly American Airways or different OneWorld companions, Chase has the sting with help for transfers to Avios (British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia).  British Airways and Iberia, particularly, have nice candy spot awards.  However, if you wish to fly lengthy distance on American Airways enterprise class, you’re a lot better off with Etihad miles and Etihad is exclusive to Citibank.
  • If you wish to fly United Airways or different Star Alliance companions, I’d say that the 2 packages are roughly equal.  Each help transfers to Star Alliance member Singapore Airways.  And each supply level transfers to Star Alliance packages that by no means cross alongside gasoline surcharges on awards: Chase Final Rewards factors switch to United MileagePlus; and Citi ThankYou Rewards switch to Avianca LifeMiles.  Nevertheless, every of those has its personal benefits:
    • Benefits to United MileagePlus (a Chase Final Rewards switch companion):
      • E-book excursionist awards (see this submit for particulars)
      • Excellent on-line reserving device
      • Can ebook awards for flights with no saver award availability (however at larger costs)
      • When mixed with a United MileagePlus bank card, you get entry to further financial system saver awards
      • When mixed with a United MileagePlus bank card, you get final seat availability of home financial system awards at the usual worth (i.e. a lot larger worth than saver awards).  This is usually a lifesaver once you want a flight on the final minute. See this publish for an actual life instance.
      • No on-line reserving payment (Avianca in the meantime costs $25 per ticket)
    • Benefits to Avianca LifeMiles (a Citi ThankYou Rewards switch associate):
      • Combined-cabin pricing can result in incredible first-class award costs. See this publish for particulars.
      • Capability to guide United Airways home flights for as little as 7,500 miles a method (or 15,000 miles a method in top notch).  See this publish for particulars.
      • In contrast to United, Avianca doesn’t cost close-in reserving charges (United expenses $75 to non-elites for reserving awards inside 21 days)
  • If you wish to fly Southwest, Chase is the apparent winner since they help transfers to Southwest and Citi doesn’t.  Southwest doesn’t have any companions with which you’ll be able to e-book their flights.

As a result of Chase solely providing level transfers to Southwest, they edge out Citi on this class, however solely barely.  Nevertheless…

Contemplating that Citi typically gives switch bonuses, I’m calling it a draw.

Backside Line: Citi’s switch companions aren’t shitty in any respect

After evaluating Chase and Citi’s airline switch companions, I concluded that they’ve roughly equal worth. Chase does have a few wonderful companions that Citi doesn’t have, however the reverse is true as properly.  And, contemplating Citi’s frequent switch bonuses, I’d argue that Citi’s airline partnerships are comparable and even higher than Chase’s (relying upon your wants).

Lodge companions are an entire totally different story.  Chase has them. Citi doesn’t.  Chase has Hyatt… drop mike