Citi’s new path to luxury hotel stays


We now have a new way to book independent luxury hotels with points!  As we reported yesterday, Citi added a new transfer partner to their ThankYou Rewards program: Leading Hotels of the World (LHW).  At first, I was incredibly excited, but now after digging into the details, my enthusiasm has tempered down to a mild simmer.  Still, it’s great to have a valuable new use for our points!

a deck with chairs and a tree over it


LHW (Leading Hotels of the World) is a loose affiliation of over 400 luxury hotels around the world.  It is comparable to Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) and Preferred Hotels, but my impression is that LHW tends to lean towards higher end hotels than the other programs.

Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cardholders can now transfer Citi points into Leaders Club points at a ratio of 1000 Citi points to 200 Leaders Club points.  Leaders Club is the rewards program associated with LHW.  After checking a number of properties, I found that Leaders Club points tend to be worth around 8 cents each, but there is some variability.  I found some instances where points were worth as little as 6.7 cents each and as much as 9.5 cents each.  With the Citi 1000 to 200 transfer ratio, this means that you can expect Citi points to be worth around 1.6 cents each, with a range from 1.34 to 1.9 cents per point.  While I personally wouldn’t want to use my Citi points for only 1.34 cents per point value, 1.6 and higher is solid.

How to find the LHW point price

To see how many points a hotel costs, you need to first create a free Leaders Club account and log in.  Then, on the property search, you should see a slider labelled “View with Points.”  Turn that on and search.

a screenshot of a hotel

Once you see how much the hotel of interest costs in LHW points, you can figure out the Citi ThankYou point price by rounding up to to the nearest 200 points and then multiplying by 5.  For example, if a hotel costs 10,355 points, you would round up to 10,400 and multiply by 5 to see that you would need to transfer 52,000 Citi points to cover the cost of the stay (and then you’ll have 45 Leaders Club points left over).

Tempered Enthusiasm

While its awesome to have a new way to get good value from our points when booking luxury stays, it’s important to note a big difference between how this works and how it works with other programs like SLH and Preferred Hotels.  Many SLH properties can be booked with Hyatt points and many Preferred Hotels can be booked with Choice Privileges points.  In both of those cases, the point prices are fixed.  And, as a result, you can get very poor value with your Hyatt or Choice points when hotel prices are unusually low, but you can also get incredible value when hotel prices are high.  For example, when I stayed at a SLH property in Queenstown New Zealand (Eichardt’s Private Hotel), cash rates were over $1,500 per night, but I paid only 40,000 Hyatt points per night.  And it would have cost the same 40,000 points even if the hotel was otherwise charging much more.  With LHW, on the other hand, the point prices closely mirror the cash rates.  So, when cash rates are high, point prices will be high as well.  You’ll never get insane value from your Citi points this way, but you could get good value.

Hyatt and Choice make it possible to book crazy-expensive hotels at reasonable point prices.  What I love about this is that it makes it possible to book outrageous stays that I would never have dreamed of paying for in cash.  Meanwhile, with Citi transfers to LHW, I’m more likely to book hotels that I would have considered anyway and I’ll be happy if I can get good value from my points when doing so.

Booking Luxury through Citi’s Hotel Line-Up

Citi now offers four hotel programs and 3 out of 4 can be used either directly or indirectly to book luxury stays with points…

Accor Live Limitless

This is the one program where it’s impossible to get outsized value from your points.  Citi ThankYou points transfer 2 to 1 to Accor and Accor points are worth 2 euro cents each.  That means that you’ll get exactly 1 euro cent per Citi point value.  And since the euro tends to track fairly closely to the dollar, it means you’re not going to get great value.  At the time of this writing, the exchange rate is 1.06 USD to 1 euro, so you can get 1.06 cents per Citi point value.  It’s not even worth the effort.

Choice Privileges

Citi Premier and Prestige cardholders can transfer their points 1 to 2 to Choice.  This opens up amazing value.  Choice itself offers some high end properties, but you can also use Choice points to book many Preferred Hotels at fixed point prices.

See these posts for more:

Wyndham Rewards

Citi points transfer 1 to 1 to Wyndham.  Wyndham points can sometimes offer excellent value for Wyndham’s own hotels, but the best value to be found is usually through Vacasa Vacation Rentals where it’s possible to book luxury accommodations for a fixed price: 15,000 points per bedroom per night.

See these posts for more:

Leading Hotels of the World

As discussed previously in this post, Citi Premier and Prestige cardholders can transfer their points 1,000 to 200 to LHW.  You’re likely to get around 1.6 cpp (cents per point) value this way (but I found a range from about 1.4 to 1.9 cpp).

See also: Citi adds Leading Hotels of the World as a transfer partner (5:1)

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YMMV on whether the value looks good when you’re trying to book, but I’ll admit theres a bit of a rush searching the map feature to browse the options. I’d think these programs help the hotel owners with visibility quite a bit. I see LHW has a good one.


I think I have tempered expectations with SLH as well. Yes, you can get outsized value, but only if there is availability. And while I have had nice experiences at SLH properties, I would say more times than not, I have run into issues of no rooms being available. From my searches yesterday, at least with LHW, it seemed like you could usually book with points.

I think with all of these programs (SLH, LHW, and Preferred), the randomness of the locations will always make them a backup. Yeah, you will probably have a few options with each in Paris. But I have an upcoming trip to Brussels, and Preferred has nothing, SLH has one that is not available, while LHW has one.


Yea you ave to work a lot harder to get the best properties in peak season wit Hyatt/SLH, but it does happen. We liked Canaves Oia Epitome and Melograno in Puglia quite a bit and plenty of others.