One of the best features of Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program is that anyone can share points with anyone else. Most other major programs have much less lenient about sharing (you can find info about sharing points with the major transferable points programs here). The only catch is that shared points will expire if not used within 90 days of sharing.
Last week, as a way to inch us closer to Necker Island, my wife moved her ThankYou points to my account. Then, in order to take advantage of Citi’s 25% transfer bonus (which expired on Sunday), I transferred those points to Virgin Atlantic. Two days later, the miles (including the 25% bonus miles) appeared in my Virgin Atlantic account.
Why this is interesting
In order to transfer ThankYou points to miles, you must have a qualifying ThankYou card: ThankYou Premier, Prestige, or Citi Chariman. At the time, my wife had none of those (she has since signed up for the Premier). By sharing her points with me (I have the Prestige card), her points became more valuable. I already knew that it would be possible to use shared points for up to 1.6 cents per point value by buying flights, but I wasn’t 100% sure about transfers to miles. Now we know for sure.
You’ll enjoy Necker Island. I haven’t stayed there, but have seen it from a boat a few years ago and it is beautiful. They did a great job landscaping it into a private paradise. It’s very close to Virgin Gorda, which I like to visit once in a while to explore The Baths, large boulders near a beautiful beach which we like to get to by going through the boulders. Cool place. My wife and I have stayed on another small island not far from Necker. That area is perfect for sailing and island hopping day trips.
Thanks ed. Looking forward to it!
I was going to ask the same thing. Can I chose to use the transfered miles first?
Just curious of anyone knows with certainty:
Setup: Your account has 80k TYPs
SO’s account has 22k TYPs (and perhaps plans to close card)
If SO transfers all those TYP points to your account, and you then transfer 50k to some airline, or purchase airfare using TYP… do the 22k, which are under a 90-day expiration timer, get transferred first?
In other words, as a general rule, do close-expiring TYPs always get used/transferred before non-expiring? Is their system sophisticated to that level?
Yes transferred in points are used first. I have confirmed this several times on my own transfers and Citi has confirmed it to me as well over the phone.
BTW how much closer are you to your Necker Island goal? Now that your wife has VA credit cards too looks like you are very close! I can hardly wait for your update on this.
Well that solves that mystery!
Greg–should have asked. Would have told you this on our walk in PHX last November 😉
Andrew G (my neighbor?) also makes a very good point about not being able to transfer banking earned TYP into miles. Guessing that has to do with tax liability issues since they can see the exact value you earn from the TYP when you redeem with them but when you transfer to another currency they’d have to choose an arbitrary valuation.
Something to note, though, is that if you have ThankYou points which you’ve “earned” through your checking account or other financial relationships (i.e. “restricted points”), you can still transfer those to other people, but they will NEVER be able to transfer to miles, even from that other person’s account. What’s even more annoying about this is that Citi just lumps those points in with your others, so it’s very difficult to tell at any given time how many actual transferable points you have.
Good point. Thanks!