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The Citi Prestige offer mentioned in this post is expired. See the new offer and analysis here.

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ThankYou Points are easy to earn because both the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offer 50,000 and 40,000 bonus points respectively after spending $3,000 in the first three months and big category bonuses. I have both, and I combined my ThankYou points into one account.

There are two ways to redeem Citi ThankYou Points:

  1. Like cash toward any flight on any (?) airline with no blackouts
  2. By transferring the points to 12 types of airline miles or Hilton points

The question I’ve long had is: can you really use ThankYou Points like cash toward any airline? This page says yes, but the answer is no.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.52.23 PM

Not all airlines show up on thankyou.com. If an airline you want to book with ThankYou Points doesn’t appear there, you call 800-THANK-YOU.

Yesterday I tested out which airlines I could book by calling 800-THANK-YOU to try to book a Southwest flight and a Malindo Air flight.

When I told the ThankYou agent I wanted to book a flight, she connected me to Connexions Loyalty Travel Solutions. I told that agent the exact Southwest flight I wanted.
Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.13.08 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.13.15 PM

This flight is $109. ThankYou Points earned with the Citi Prestige® Card are worth 1.33 cents each toward non-American Airlines flights.

At that rate, a $109 flight would cost 8,196 ThankYou Points. Instead the agent priced my Southwest flight at 15,639 ThankYou Points. That’s like getting 0.70 cents per point, which is terrible. Or alternatively, maybe the agent was charging me $208, which is $109 for the flight and a $99 booking fee–also terrible.

I then asked her to price a Malindo Air flight from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi to test the limits of what airlines agents can book.
Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.12.46 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.14.57 PM

The agent said she couldn’t book the flight because it wasn’t on the list of bookable airlines. I asked her for a copy of her list, and she read me their airline codes one by one. Below is that list.

Bottom Line

Not all airlines are bookable with ThankYou Points, and those that are might cost way more over the phone than they do online. But I don’t think is a big deal for two reasons.

  1. Booking other airlines besides American Airlines with ThankYou Points was already a bad deal. You get 1.6 cents per point when booking AA and only 1.33 with other airlines. And I’ve never even booked AA with ThankYou Points. I get even more value by transferring my ThankYou Points to Singapore miles.
  2. There are ways to book any flight on any airline for free. Use Arrival miles or the $250 Air Travel credit on the ThankYou Prestige.

I do not recommend calling 800-THANK-YOU to use ThankYou Points like cash toward the purchase of flights.

Airlines Bookable with ThankYou Points

I definitely made one or two mistakes trying to keep up with her, but this is close to a complete and accurate list of airlines that ThankYou Points can book. You can google the airline code of any airline that interests you to cross-reference with this list. Your guess is as good as mine what “-e” means on many of the codes. It must mean something, but I can’t figure it out.

aa

ab

ac-e

ad-e

af

ai-e

ak

am

ar

as

at

av

ay

az

a3

a4-e

a9

ba

bb

bd

be

bg

bi

bp

br

bt

bw-e

b0-e

b6

ca

ci

cm

co-e

cx

cy

cz

dd

de

dg

dl

dt

d7

ei

ek

eq-e

et

ey

fb

fd

fi

fj

fl

f9-e

gf

gj

gt

g3

ha

hm

hr-e

ht

hu

hr

hx

ib

ie-e

ig-e

iy

iz

i4

i5

jj

jl

jp

ju

jw

jy-e

j1-e

kc-e

ke

kk-e

km

kq

ks

ku

kx

k5

la

lhli

lo

lp

lr

lw

lx

ly

md

me

mf

mh

mk

ml

ms

mu

mw

my-e

m5

nh

nz

oa

ob-l.e

ok

om-e

os

ou

oy

oz

o4

pc-e

pd

pg

pk

pq

pr

ps

pu

pw-e

py

p0-e

p1

p9

qf

qr

qv-e

qz

ri

rj

ro

rq-e

r7

sa

sb

se-e

sk-e

sn-e

sq

ss

su

sv-e

sw

sy

s3

s4

s7

ta

tb-e

tg

tk

tn

to

tp

tr

ts

tt

tu

t4

ua

ul

un

up

us

ut

xr

va

vn

vr

vs

vt-e

vw

vx

wb-e

wmwn

wp

ws-e

wy

w2

w3-e

w4

xd

xf

xl

xp

x2

x6

ym

yo

yv

yy

zf

zi

zk

z2

2j

2k

2r

3e

3m

3u-e

4b

4m

4q

5l

6g

7h-e

7i-e

7q

8i

9b

9f

9n-e

9u

9v

9w

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