I was tipped off by Louis that Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles has been added as a transfer partner for Citibank, and there’s something funny afoot.
If you use the Citibank Rewards card, you’ll know that points transfers are typically in blocks of 25,000 Thank You points= 10,000 miles (as you see below with Royal Orchid Plus). But look at TK- 10,000 points= 10,000 miles!
Now I’m pretty certain this is a bug because when you try to redeem Premiermiles, you get a rate of 10,000 Premiermiles= 10,000 TK miles
But it says very clearly in black and white on the Thank You points portal that 10,000 Thank You points= 10,000 TK miles. And I’d feel pretty confident about getting Citibank to honor that, given that it’s stated in black and white when you click through
Here’s TK’s award chart. Singapore is part of the Far East region.
Here are some sample one-way prices in business/first class from Singapore
- To Europe: 45,000/67,500
- To North America: 67,500/100,000
- To Far East (including Japan): 35,000/55,000
I’ve not played around enough with the TK award engine to know how good space is, but it appears you can only book TK awards online. I believe you need to call in to book Star Alliance partner tickets
I was really tempted to give this a shot and called up the hotline to get them to pool my ThankYou points together (I have 47K on the Visa rewards card and 3K on the Mastercard) before transferring. Unfortunately, Citibank’s CSO told me there is no way to combine points across different credit cards, even if they’re both earning Thank You points. He mentioned that it used to be possible but they’ve since been instructed not to. (This is another article for another time, but it is infuriating that Citibank has two rewards currencies (Premiermiles and Thank You points) does not pool points even among similar currencies (eg Citibank Prestige / Citibank Rewards). There is no logical reason for refusing to do so, other than being customer unfriendly)
I’ve not quite decided what I want to do- it is mighty tempting to transfer over 40,000 Thank You points to 40,000 miles and redeem a one-way business class ticket to Japan for what is essentially 16,000 miles opportunity cost (40,000*2/5; I only need 35,000 miles but I must transfer in intervals of 10,000 which means I’m going to waste 5000 if I do this), but I’m still on the fence about this.
In the meantime, I wanted to alert the rest of you about it so you can decide whether you want to gamble with Citibank honoring this. Like I said, it’d be hard for them to argue otherwise given that the rate is printed in black and white, but still…