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


Citi Thank You Rewards has announced the addition of a new transfer partner: Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club. Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cardmembers can now transfer Thank You points to Leaders Club at a rate of 1,000 Citi points to 200 Leaders Club points. While that doesn’t sound great on the surface, the low points cost of LHW properties means that you can get decent value out of Citi points transferred to the program.

The Deal

  • Citi ThankYou Rewards has added Leading Hotels of the World as a new transfer partner. Points transfer 1,000 Citi points to 200 Leaders Club points

Quick Thoughts

While the 5:1 transfer ratio doesn’t sound amazing at first blush, it could be a decent deal for anyone looking to redeem Citi points for a boutique hotel stay. Members of Leaders Club also receive benefits including pre-arrival upgrade opportunities and on-property perks (like breakfast for two), so there are some on-property benefits here as well.

As an example, an example night at Le Mount Stephen in Montreal, Québec rang in around $331 with taxes and fees or fewer than 3,500 Leaders Club points.

Since you’ll have to transfer in increments of 1,000 Citi ThankYou points, that redemption would require transferring 18,000 ThankYou points to Leading Hotels of the World (which would net 3,600 Leaders Club points). Even if you never used the leftover 129 points, you’d be looking at a value of around 1.8c per Citi ThankYou point.

Greg points out that the value isn’t really inflated there in the sense that he found hotel rates at the Leading Hotels of the World site to be competitive with what you would find elsewhere (in other words, this isn’t a case where the Leading Hotels of the World website inflates the price to make it seem like points are buying more value than they really are). By contrast, he sometimes even found the Leading Hotels of the World site to be a bit cheaper than other booking avenues over numerous searches.

Based on Greg’s test searches, he found that Leading Hotels of the World points are usually worth around 8 cents per point, making Citi points worth 1.6c per point when redeemed through this partnership. While you certainly can do better with international premium cabin flight awards, that’s a pretty good redemption rate for Citi points otherwise.

One other nice benefit Greg found while researching this new partnership is that in many cases you can book almost any room with points. For instance, at the same Le Mount Stephen property referenced above, you could redeem 14,735 points for a SkyLoft Suite Terrace, which has a rate for our example night of just over $1,400 all-in.

That could make this program especially appealing when you’re looking to redeem for a specific room type (like a suite). You’d have to transfer 74K Citi points to book that suite, but in certain instances a redemption like that might be appealing.

Overall, it’s great to see Citi add a new hotel transfer partner, particularly one that offers the chance to get better than reasonable redemption value out of the points.

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