The 25% transfer bonus to Flying Blue wasn’t the only piece of news out of the Citi ThankYou program yesterday. They also announced that they’ve added a new hotel program as a transfer partner – Accor Live Limitless (ALL). Unfortunately there’s nothing exciting about this right now, but it has potential if there are future transfer bonuses.
In case you’re not familiar with the ALL program, it includes – among many, many others – the following brands:
- Along with my favorite (for obvious reasons): Peppers
One of the key features of the ALL program is that it doesn’t have an award chart. Instead, it effectively has true dynamic pricing because the points have a fixed monetary value that can be redeemed towards stays. For the average person that’s great because it means they know exactly what they’re getting. However, for people like us who like to maximize redemptions and get outsized value, that’s simply not an option.
For example, you can redeem 2,000 Accor Live Limitless points for €40 off your stay. That means each point is worth €0.02 which, at current exchange rates, works out to be ~$0.0218 (i.e. 2.18 cents per point). Having hotel points that are worth 2.18cpp is, in theory, fantastic and better than virtually every other hotel program out there.
However, the reason that it’s not exciting when it comes to Citi adding them as a transfer partner is due to this:
Citi ThankYou points transfer to Accor Live Limitless at a 2:1 ratio. That means that when transferring ThankYou points to ALL, you’ll only get ~1.09cpp of value (depending on the exchange rate). That’s not very enticing seeing as you can redeem ThankYou points as cash at a 1cpp value and pay for your stay at a hotel participating in the ALL program, earning points in the process which could potentially get you more than the 1.09cpp of value, particularly when taking into account the cashback you can earn from a shopping portal on a paid stay.
While the addition of ALL as a transfer partner isn’t exciting right now, that’s not to say it doesn’t have potential in the future. If Citi offers a transfer bonus to ALL at some point, that could make transfers more compelling, although that’ll depend on how large the transfer bonus percentage is, as well as what other value you can get by transferring to Citi’s other partners.
As a result, you can hit the snooze button on this announcement for now, but hopefully they’ll give us something worth waking up for in the future.