25% Transfer Bonus From Citi To Avianca LifeMiles

Citi Premier® Card is offering its biggest-ever initial bonus to earn 80,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Earning on this $95 annual fee card is 3 points per dollar spent at restaurants; supermarkets; gas stations; air travel; and hotels. That’s a broad set of categories for triple points-earning.

Right now one of Citi’s transfer partners – Avianca LifeMiles – is offering a 25% bonus on Citi transfers through August 31. What’s interesting is that this is LifeMiles making the offer – they want to encourage the transfers from Citi, so Citi pays them for the miles – rather than Citi making the offer.

  • Transfers are usually instant, but could take up to 24 hours, and the bonus should post when the transfer does

  • Lifemiles offers access to Star Alliance redemptions with no fuel surcharges. Many of their awards have favorable pricing compared to United.

  • I find everything is great when it can be completed online, and when there are no major schedule changes. Customer service through LifeMiles can be challenging, though sometimes emails to support@lifemiles.com can be more effective than calling.

LifeMiles can also be useful because it is a place you can transfer points not just from Citi but also American Express, Capital One and Brex. So you can pool points towards an award. I don’t usually wind up transferring points here because they also regularly sell miles inexpensively (1.35 cents per mile is not super uncommon).

Here are Citi’s transfer partners:

  • SkyTeam: Aeromexico Club Premier, Air France KLM Flying Blue

  • oneworld: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club

  • Star Alliance: Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles

  • Non-alliance: Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Hotels: Choice Privileges

Qatar’s Privilege Club has really improved and is compelling especially for QSuites redemptions.

While Virgin Atlantic miles are often less valuable than other currencies they have incredible sweet spots.

Turkish Airlines offers 48 hour award holds so you can lock in an award prior to transferring points. Cancel and redeposit fee is just $25. First class to the Caribbean or Hawaii is just 12,500 miles one-way on United. Europe is just 45,000 miles in business class, and India 52,500 miles (plus fuel surcharges). Redeem for Turkish flights and I’ve found they offer much better availability than when using miles from other programs.

Singapore Airlines is great for booking awards on Singapore flights themselves in long haul premium cabins. Meanwhile EVA Airways has a really underappreciated program as well.

So with all of these great options (and though most of their properties aren’t my aspirational cup of tea, Choice Privileges at 1:2 is surprisingly useful) all things equal I wouldn’t speculatively transfer. I value keeping the points in a Citi account too highly.

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