Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Until February 20, 2019, you will get a 25% bonus on the Citi ThankYou points you transfer to Turkish Airlines. So every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points you transfer will convert into 1,250 Turkish Airlines miles.
Transfer bonuses like these are a great way to get outsized value from your points. And with just the number of Citi ThankYou points you could earn from a single sign-up bonus with either the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier℠ Card, you can book some really fun awards.
Citi ThankYou Points Turkish Airlines Transfer Bonus
The biggest drawback of the Turkish Airlines loyalty program is that they add fuel surcharges to award flights. Other blogs have noted that to book a Star Alliance partner award you need to visit a Turkish Airlines ticket sales office (they have 9 in the US and 2 in Canada). But this is what they are saying on their website:
I mention this because Star Alliance partner awards that I could see on the United Airlines website weren’t showing up on the Turkish Airline site. So if you can’t find the award you want online, you’ll need to call in to book the flight.
One of the advantages of booking award flights with Turkish Airlines is you can add a stopover to certain round-trip tickets. Although there are a few restrictions, such as you can only book one partner airline per round-trip award.
Even if you don’t want to bother with the potential hassle of booking a Star Alliance partner award, Turkish Airlines flies to lots of European destinations. And they have solid Business Class seats (which they are in the process of upgrading), and you could fit in a free stopover in Istanbul on your way to somewhere else. So with this transfer bonus you can find some sweet deals.
Here are 3 sweet spots worth looking into.
1. Domestic First Class One-way for 12,000 Citi ThankYou Points
For Star Alliance flights within the US, Turkish Airlines charges 10,000 miles one-way in coach and 15,000 miles one-way in First Class. With this transfer bonus you’d only need 8,000 ThankYou points for the one-way coach award or 12,000 ThankYou points for the one-way First Class award.
United Airlines normally charges 10,000 to 12,500 miles one-way in Economy, but with this deal you can book a First Class seat for that price.
God Save the Points says that Turkish Airlines tacks on a $115 fee for these United Airlines domestic First Class awards, which is strange because United Airlines doesn’t add those fees to their own awards. I couldn’t get these flights to show up on the Turkish Airlines website, so I couldn’t confirm, but it’s something to watch out for.
2. US to Europe (Including Turkey) Business Class One-Way for 36,000 Citi ThankYou Points
Turkish Airlines divides Europe into 2 zones and Turkey as its own zone, but all 3 have the same award prices.
You’ll pay 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles one-way in Business Class. With this bonus you’d only need to transfer 36,000 Citi ThankYou points to book the same seat.
The fuel surcharges and taxes you pay will vary by airline and destination, but I usually expect for a round-trip Business Class award to Europe to pay $300 to $500 in fees. I looked up a random flight from New York to Istanbul and the fees were~$436.
3. US to Europe in First Class for 54,000 Citi ThankYou Points
As a Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines can book some amazing partner First Class awards, like Lufthansa. If you’re booking Lufthansa First Class awards the seats are only opened to partner airlines within 2 weeks of departure and there are hefty fees.
Turkish Airlines charges 67,500 miles one-way in First Class between the US and Europe, when you factor in the 25% bonus you’d need to transfer just 54,000 Citi ThankYou points to book this award.
When you consider that you can easily accumulate that many ThankYou points from the bonus and minimum spending on the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier℠ Card, it makes this one of the easiest ways to get into Lufthansa First Class. Of course if you don’t already have the Citi ThankYou points in your account, you wouldn’t be able to earn them in time to take advantage of this transfer bonus.
Watch out for the taxes and fees on a Lufthansa First Class award ticket, which can easily range from $500 to $800. But it makes sense to look at a Lufthansa First Class award as a 90%+ discount on the cash price of the ticket – not cheap, but still a deal.
If you want to avoid fees, the best option is to use 110,000 United Airlines for the same flight since United Airlines doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges. So you’re either going pay extra cash or extra miles.
To check out other deals, you can see the full Turkish Airlines & Star Alliance partner award chart here.
How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points
You won’t be able to earn the sign-up bonuses on any of these cards before this transfer bonus ends, but you can be ready for the next one.
These are some of the cards that earn Citi ThankYou points:
While all of those cards earn ThankYou points, only the Citi Prestige and Citi Premier have the ability to transfer to airline partners. But if you have either of those cards, the ThankYou points you earn with the other cards can be transferred.
To stay up to date on the latest miles & points deals, subscribe to our newsletter.