Which Credit Card Points Program is Right for You?
It’s pretty much indisputable that airlines are making frequent flyer miles harder to use. Across the board, we’ve seen programs increase the amount of miles needed for awards—all while restricting the amount of seats available at the lowest level and adding new fees. However, it isn’t all doomsday. Luckily, credit card bonuses are extremely lucrative and there are now more ways to earn miles than ever before. Whether from online shopping or dining out, you should be getting miles for almost every purchase.
2014 has been a year of program devaluations and that is not a trend I see slowing down anytime soon. To protect yourself from these negative changes, I recommend accruing points into a transferable points program so you have a ton of options when it comes time to redeem.
Just this week, Citi announced that there are eight new airline frequent flyer programs that you can now transfer your ThankYou points to, plus you can transfer to Hilton, which was added as a partner last year. Sadly, there are no major U.S. programs here, but Singapore Airlines’ program Krisflyer can be a great option especially when maximizing partner awards. I’m hoping that American Airlines will soon be added as a transfer partner as well, since Citi is their sole issuer of credit cards.
Citi’s new partners include:
The three other key transferable points programs are:
Chase Ultimate Rewards, which transfers instantly at a 1:1 ratio to:
American Express Membership Rewards transfers to 17 different airlines and seven hotels:
Starwood Preferred Guest
Pro: They sometimes run transfer bonuses
Starwood Preferred Guest has a total of 32 transfer partners:
Air New Zealand
Miles and More
Saudi Arabian Airlines
The most valuable points in my opinion are SPG because there’s a built-in 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 points to a partner airline, but the key downside there is that transfers can take up to a week.