Will It Help You Get Big Travel Now That Citi ThankYou Points Transfer to Australia’s Qantas Airways?
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But there are very few situations where transferring points to Qantas would make sense. That’s because their award chart is expensive compared to most other airlines, and they add fuel surcharges!
Let’s have a quick look at Qantas’ frequent flyer program and see if it’s worth transferring points.
What’s the Deal?
You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Qantas at a 1:1 ratio, in 1,000 point increments. There’s no fee to move your points, but it can take up to 14 days (though they’ll debit your ThankYou account immediately).
They have separate award charts for their own flights (plus Jetstar Airways and a few others) and flights on oneworld and partner airlines. It’s a little confusing!
Is It Worth Transferring Points to Qantas?
Link: Qantas Award Charts
Link: Qantas Partners
Qantas has separate award charts for their own flights (plus Jetstar Airways and a few others) and flights on oneworld and partner airlines.
And they add big fuel surcharges to their award tickets! Although they recently announced they’ll be reducing the fuel surcharges on both paid and award tickets.
Flights on some partner airlines (like American Airlines and US Airways) are included on the Qantas award chart, while others are included on the partner award chart. And the prices are different!
Here’s the award chart for flights on Airnorth, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Jetstar Airways, Qantas, QantasLink, and US Airways.
This is the award chart for flights on other oneworld alliance partner airlines. Note that the prices are marginally more expensive.
But if you’re booking a ticket that includes 2 or more oneworld partners (but not non-oneworld partner airlines), there’s a different award chart. And it’s priced for round-trip tickets instead of 1-way.
The award charts appear much more expensive than other distance based programs like British Airways.
That said, their short-haul coach tickets could be a cheaper option than booking award tickets using points from a zone-based program, like American Airlines. But the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges could make it not worth it.
It might be worth using Qantas points if you really want to travel on 1 of their more obscure partners, like Airnorth.
Or if you want to fly Qantas from the US to Australia, you might be better off spending the extra Qantas points. That’s because they don’t make a lot of award seats available to partner airlines!
For example, a 1-way coach award ticket from Los Angeles to Sydney would cost:
- 37,500 American Airlines miles, or
- 48,000 Qantas points
Remember to factor in the cost of fuel surcharges to see if it’s worth it for you. And I wouldn’t transfer Citi ThankYou points to Qantas without knowing that award seats are available.Note: Other transferable points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, do NOT transfer to Qantas.
Do Citi ThankYou Points Now Help You Get to Australia?
Maybe. It depends on:
- If you have points or miles in other programs, like United Airlines (which might be cheaper or have more available award seats)
- Whether you can find available award seats on Qantas for your desired class of service (Business and First Class can be trickier to find), and if you don’t mind paying more miles and fuel surcharges
- How badly you want to fly Qantas, and how many miles or points you’re willing to spend with any program
Let’s go back to our Los Angeles to Sydney example. Using Qantas points for a 1-way award ticket, you’ll pay:
- 48,000 points in coach, plus fuel surcharges
- 96,000 points in Business Class, plus fuel surcharges
- 144,000 points in First Class, plus fuel surcharges
Using American Airlines miles (which are easier to earn for most folks), you’ll pay:
- 37,500 miles in coach (no fuel surcharges)
- 62,500 miles in Business Class (no fuel surcharges)
- 72,500 miles in First Class (no fuel surcharge)
And on United Airlines it costs:
- 40,000 miles in coach (no fuel surcharges)
- 70,000 miles (80,000 miles on partner airlines) in Business Class (no fuel surcharges)
- 80,000 miles (130,000 miles on partner airlines) in First Class (no fuel surcharges)
You can also use Delta and Alaska Airlines miles to get from the US to Australia, often without fuel surcharges.
So in general, you’ll pay fewer miles with other airline programs to get to Australia. And you usually won’t pay the fuel surcharges that Qantas adds. As long as you can find available award seats, other airline miles are a better deal.
Plus, there aren’t many ways to earn Qantas points. But there are lots of ways to earn American Airlines, United Airlines, and other airline miles, like credit card sign-up bonuses and spending or transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards.
Which Cards Earn Citi ThankYou Points?
Link: Citi ThankYou
And having 1 of those cards lets you transfer the Citi ThankYou points you earn with cards like the Citi ThankYou Preferred or Citi ThankYou Preferred for College Students to partner airlines and hotels too!
- Cathay Pacific (oneworld)
- EVA Air (Star Alliance)
- Flying Blue (SkyTeam)
- Garuda Indonesia (SkyTeam)
- Malaysia Airlines (oneworld)
- Qantas (oneworld)
- Qatar Airways (oneworld)
- Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance)
- Thai Airways (Star Alliance)
- Virgin Atlantic
I’m still hoping that Citi will add more US airlines to the list (like American Airlines!).
Qantas’ award charts are generally more expensive than other airlines, so for most folks this won’t be a good deal. And they add fuel surcharges to their award tickets.
But if you really want to fly Qantas (or 1 of their airline partners), and can’t find available award seats using other airline miles, this could be an option for you.
It’s always good news when Citi ThankYou adds airlines to their list of transfer partners. I hope they continue this trend.
Will you consider transferring Citi ThankYou points to Qantas, or are their award tickets too expensive?
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Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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