Deals on Award Flights in US (Including Hawaii) Using Citi ThankYou Points

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Deals on Award Flights in US (Including Hawaii) Using Citi ThankYou Points

Million Mile SecretsDeals on Award Flights in US (Including Hawaii) Using Citi ThankYou PointsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Did you know you can use Citi ThankYou points for deals on award flights within the US (even to Hawaii)?

I’ll show you how to save 20,000 miles on round-trip flights in North America!

Because when you transfer Citi ThankYou points to Singapore Airlines miles, you can book award flights on United Airlines for fewer miles than United Airlines charges!

United Airlines and Singapore Airlines are Star Alliance partners, and have access to each other’s award seats.  But some routes are a lot cheaper when you book through Singapore Airlines!

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Get Discounts on Award Travel (Even to Hawaii!) When You Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Singapore Airlines

I’ll highlight the best deals.  And show you how to earn Citi ThankYou points!

Earn Citi ThankYou Points

With these Citi cards, it’s easy to earn Citi ThankYou points 

1.   Citi Prestige

Link:   Citi Prestige

When you open a Citi Prestige card, you’ll earn 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)

You’ll also get:

  • 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 you spend at airlines, hotels, and travel agencies
  • 2X Citi ThankYou points per $1 you spend at restaurants and select entertainment (includes movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions)
  • $250 statement credit for airline fees such as airfare and baggage fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December
  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry application fee
  • Access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges for primary cardholder, immediate family, or 2 guests, as long as you’re flying on American Airlines or American Eagle that day through July 23, 2017
  • Priority Pass Lounge access for primary cardholder and up to 2 guests (additional guests $27 per person, per visit)
  • 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights at any hotel (must be booked through Citi Prestige Concierge and paid in full with your card)
  • No foreign transaction fees

With this card, you can use your Citi ThankYou points to book American Airlines flights at a rate of 1.6 cents per point through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center through July 23, 2017.  Plus, there are NO blackout dates!

Read my full review of the Citi Prestige card!

2.   Citi ThankYou Premier

Link:   Citi ThankYou Premier

When you open a Citi ThankYou Premier card, you’ll earn 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)

You’ll also get:

  • 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent on travel (ex. airfare, gas stations, taxis, tolls)
  • 2X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment (ex. amusement parks, sporting events, movies)
  • No foreign transaction fees

The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.

With this card, you can use your Citi ThankYou points at a rate of 1.25 cents each to book paid airfare with NO blackout dates through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center.

Remember you can pool these points with Citi Prestige if you have both cards.  And then book the same flights for fewer points!

Here’s my review of the Citi ThankYou Premier card!

3.   Citi AT&T Access More Card

Link:   Citi AT&T Access More card

I wrote about how to earn $650 toward the purchase of a new phone with the Citi AT&T Access More card.

It’s also a great card to accrue Citi Thank You points.  That’s because it earns:

  • 3X Citi ThankYou points at AT&T, online retailers, and travel sites
  • 1X Citi ThankYou point on everything else
  • 10,000 Citi ThankYou points on your card anniversary each year when you spend $10,000 on your card

So you can earn 3X Citi ThankYou points for online shopping, including Amazon.com!

That’s a fantastic way to quickly earn Citi ThankYou points you can transfer to the Citi ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige, and then to Citi’s travel partners, including Singapore Airlines!

Note:   If you have the Citi ThankYou Preferred or (no longer offered) Citi Forward card, you can transfer those points to the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier and then to Citi’s travel partners, too!

Get Cheaper Flights in the US on United Airlines With Singapore Airlines Miles

Link:   Singapore Airlines Partner Award Chart

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, along with United Airlines.

So you can book United Airlines flights using Singapore Airlines miles!

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Singapore Airlines Lets You Book Award Flights on Star Alliance Partners, Including United Airlines

And with Singapore Airlines miles, you can book award flights for less than United Airlines charges for their own flights! 

Note:  You can NOT transfer your Citi ThankYou points directly to United Airlines.  You can NOT combine Singapore Airlines miles With United Airlines miles.  And you can NOT transfer Singapore Airlines miles back into Citi ThankYou points.

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Certain United Airlines Award Flights Cost Fewer Miles With Singapore Airlines

For example, a round-trip Business Class flight within North America (which includes the mainland US, Alaska, and Canada) costs 40,000 Singapore Airlines miles.  And a round-trip First Class flight costs 60,000 Singapore Airlines miles.

Round-trip coach award flights cost the same amount with both United Airlines miles and Singapore Airlines miles.  But if you don’t have any United Airlines miles, you can use Singapore Airlines miles to book them!

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
United Airlines Charges 50,000 Miles From Los Angeles to Charleston in Business Class. But You Can Book the Same Flights With Singapore Airlines Miles for 10,000 Fewer Miles!

United Airlines charges 50,000 United Airlines miles for round-trip Business Class flights within North America.  And 70,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip First Class flight.  In both cases, you’ll save 10,000 miles by booking with Singapore Airlines miles instead!

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Visit Charleston in Business Class on United Airlines With Fewer Miles When You Book With Singapore Airlines! Charleston Has Gorgeous Beaches, Delicious Food, and Vibrant Nightlife!

I found a decent number of award seats in Business Class from Los Angeles to Charleston throughout the rest of the year.

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
There Are Still Lots of Award Seats, Including Around Thanksgiving, If You Want to Visit Charleston! I Found Seats on United.com

Remember you can get the same price on any Business Class award flight within the continental US, Alaska, or Canada!

You can transfer Citi ThankYou points directly to Singapore Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.

Using your points on partner airlines is a great way to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Big Discounts to Hawaii!

If you want to visit any island in Hawaii, you’re in luck.  Because you’ll get great discounts when you book United Airlines flights with Singapore Airlines miles.

With United Airlines miles to Hawaii, you’ll pay:

  • 45,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip coach award flight
  • 80,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip Business Class award flight
  • 100,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip First Class award flight

Compare that to Singapore Airlines miles, which cost:

  • 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles for a round-trip coach award flight
  • 60,000 Singapore Airlines miles for a round-trip Business Class award flight
  • 80,000 Singapore Airlines miles for a round-trip First Class award flight

You can book the exact same United Airlines flights using fewer miles with Singapore Airlines.

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Fly the Family from Miami (or Anywhere Else in North America) to Hawaii and Save 10,000 Miles per Person in Coach!

So you’ll save 10,000 miles per person when you fly coach.  And 20,000 miles when you fly First or Business Class!  If you want to fly the whole family, those miles can really add up!

Even better, there are very low taxes and fees on United Airlines flights, usually ~$11 per person for a round-trip award flight.

I found coach award seats from Miami to Maui in January on United Airlines.  When you book through Singapore Airlines, you’ll pay 35,000 Singapore Miles and ~$11 for those flights!

How to Book Singapore Airlines Award Flights

Link:   How to Use ExpertFlyer

To get started, sign into your Citi ThankYou account.

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Sign Into ThankYou.com and Select “Points Transfer”

Find “Points Transfer” and you’ll see the list of transfer partners.  Scroll down to “Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.”

Deals On Award Flights In US Including Hawaii Using Citi ThankYou Points
Transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Singapore Airlines With a Minimum of 1,000 Points

There’s a minimum of 1,000 points per transfer.

From there, you can select the number of points you want to move.

Be aware that it takes ~2 days for your transfer request to complete.  So this is NOT a good way to book flights immediately.  That said, it’s not a long time to wait, either!

After the transfer completes, you can find United Airlines award flights on United.com.

Write down the flights you want.  Then call Singapore Airlines at 800-742-3333 to book.

Remember you can use ExpertFlyer to alert you when there’s an award seat available so you don’t have to remember to check!

And keep in mind you can add Singapore Airlines miles to your account by transferring your American Express Membership Rewards pointsChase Ultimate Rewards points, or Starwood points into their mileage program.

Bottom Line

You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Singapore Airlines to save miles on United Airlines flights.  You’ll pay fewer miles than United Airlines charges, depending on the route!

This is a great way to fly in Business Class or First Class in North America because you’ll save 20,000 miles on round-trip flights.

And when you fly to Hawaii, you’ll save 10,000 miles on a coach award flight, and 20,000 miles for First and Business class.  Those discounts can add up, especially if you’re booking multiple award tickets!

Remember you can set alerts for award seats with ExpertFlyer so you don’t have to check for award flights every day.

And if you need more Singapore Airlines miles, or don’t have United Airlines miles, you can transfer from American Express Membership Rewards pointsChase Ultimate Rewards points, or Starwood points and then book your flights!

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Dear West Coast:

That’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer. If you test it out, please let us know your experience!

Cheers,

Peter

Can you ask the CS@KrisFlyer about the total cost : miles plus fees, before you transfer points to them ?would they disclose it ?

Hello, Daraius (and all):

The praise that Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer loyalty program has been receiving here — and elsewhere on line — needs to be accompanied by a strong caveat.

This is because my personal experience with booking partner airline award travel via KrisFlyer strongly suggests that doing so ought to be undertaken with an abundance of caution. Specifically, I recommend *first* verifying the specific fees involved *before* even transferring points to KrisFlyer for any contemplated booking. According to the KrisFlyer award chart, referenced above, such fees “start from . . . US$40 in taxes, surcharges and fees.” To be sure, there is no mention of noxious “fuel surcharges” that some FF programs impose on award bookings, and even though Singapore charges its fees in Singapore dollars, it is extremely easy for Americans to sidestep the imposition of a “foreign transaction fee” by choosing to pay with an appropriate credit card. So especially considering that it’s often possible to book award travel with fewer FF miles than would be required by booking, say, through United Airlines’ MileagePlus loyalty program, all this sounds pretty good — right? But wait and see . . . !

Last week, in the process of planning a trip to Vienna and Hamburg for late Spring 2016, I transferred 28K Citi Thank You points to my newly-created KrisFlyer account in anticipation of booking a one-way economy class transatlantic award flight. KrisFlyer permits one-way award ticketing with *some* (but not all) Star Alliance partners, so I first ensured that it would be feasible to book exactly what I wanted via these means. I transferred 500 miles more than I’d need for the 27.5K required to complete the redemption because transfers of Citi ThankYou points are allowed only in multiples of 1,000. But I felt O.K. about that even thought I might wind up forfeiting the 500 KrisFlyer miles: pursuant to KrisFlyer program terms, they will expire, regardless of account activity, in 36 months. Considering that my other transatlantic crossing on this trip would be costing me 30K United MileagePlus miles — 2.5K more than with KrisFlyer — I figured that I was coming out ahead with KrisFlyer.

But I was wrong. The fee undermined all my careful planning!

Here’s how my chosen itinerary worked out:

I will be flying New York – Vienna nonstop on Austrian Airlines at a cost of 30K United FF miles plus US$5.60. Had I booked *this identical flight* through KrisFlyer, it would have cost 27.5K Singapore FF miles plus a whopping S$400.00 (approximately US$282.12).

Because I could not “un-do” my Citi ThankYou points transfer, I had no choice but to redeem my Singapore FF miles (or lose them) and pay a high redemption fee for my return trip. But I felt some consolation from the fact that, for this portion of the trip, the difference in financial outlay was less dramatic. I’ll be flying Hamburg – New York (with a change of planes in Frankfurt) on Lufthansa for 27.K Singapore FF miles plus S$443.30 (approximately US$312.64). But had I booked *these identical flights* through MileagePlus, the cost would have been 30K United FF miles plus US$111.10.

To depict the FF redemption options for my entire trip, in as clear a perspective as possible, I can also describe them this way:

I could have booked my economy class air travel to Europe and back for 55K Singapore FF miles plus US$594.76. Alternatively, I could have booked *the identical itinerary* for 60K United FF miles plus US$116.70.

Which option makes better sense? For me the answer is a no-brainer: the United MileagePlus award redemption!

The total retail cost of my air travel (as calculated by Google Flights) would have been US$1,565. So despite the high KrisFlyer fee, I’m still going to Europe at a low cost. But it could have been lower. Live and learn.

For folks who have good reason to book award travel with Singapore FF miles and plan on carrying through with the idea anyway, despite the fees involved, I can offer a few encouraging observations: Though redeeming Singapore FF miles for travel on partner airlines cannot be done on line and requires a phone call, the process is easy. The domestic KrisFlyer phone number I called (312-843-5333) connected me with an overseas call center. But the two staff members I spoke to were polite, professional, and — though they spoke nonstandard English — easy to understand. To ensure accuracy in fulfilling my request, I was sent a PDF of the itinerary, via e-mail, to review while still on the phone with the representative who sent it to me. I said I wanted to think about the transaction before actually completing it, and I was politely informed that Singapore would be happy to put it on “hold” for me for up to 72 hours. After that, my seat would automatically be “released,” back to Lufthansa, without penalty. When I called back, later in the day, to complete the transaction, matters proceeded smoothly. My record was located instantly: apparently, it had been linked automatically to the phone number associated with my KrisFlyer account. A few of the more important terms of the transaction were reviewed verbally (e.g., what would happen if I later asked to change my reservation), and the rest of the call proceeded swiftly and with no hitches at all. I am all set to travel.

Best wishes,

Peter

I’d like to use ThankYou points to fly United by transferring points to KrisFlyer miles. I would first find saver flights on United and then transfer the Thank you points. However as you indicated the transfer could take 2 days. After two days the saver flights might no longer be available. How do you recommend solving this problem? The KrisFlyer miles cannot be transferred back. Can you put a two day hold on the United flights by calling through Singapore?.

@Lynn Voeklker – American Airlines doesn’t allow stopovers on award tickets. Here are a few great award booking services that can help you plan your trip:

https://millionmilesecrets.com/use-miles/award-booking-guides/

Good luck and have a fantastic time at Oktoberfest!

@Melanie – It’s possible to upgrade award flights with Singapore Airlines miles:

https://www.singaporeair.com/pdf/ppsclub_krisflyer/charts/StarAlliance_OneWayUpgrades_Jul15.pdf

But I recommend booking an award seat in the cabin you want to fly, because you’ll pay fewer miles.

Either way, Saver award seats must always be available.

Some airlines have multiple levels to their award chart. For example, United Airlines has Saver awards and Standard awards. But you can only book an award seat with an airline partner’s miles if you can find an award seat at the Saver level, which is the lowest level.

Hope that helps!

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