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New Citi Credit Card Transfer Partner: Virgin Atlantic

SmarterTravel

Among rewards credit cards, the Citibank cards linked to the ThankYou Rewards program may not be the best, but they definitely deserve recognition for being the most improved. That improvement has taken the form of expanding the list of airline and hotel programs that allow transfers of ThankYou points. And this week, Citi added yet another transfer partner, Virgin Atlantic.

With the latest addition, holders of Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige, and Citi Chairman credit cards may transfer their ThankYou points, usually 1:1, for miles or points in 11 programs:

  • Air France/KLM
  • Cathay Pacific
  • EVA Air
  • Etihad
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hilton
  • Malaysia Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic

Unfortunately for U.S.-based travelers, all 10 airline programs are hosted by non-U.S. airlines. So transfers directly into the likes of American, Delta, and United aren’t yet possible.

Nevertheless, the participating carriers do represent all three of the global airline alliances—oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star—effectively expanding the range of redemption options to include, yes, American, Delta, and United.

The more transfer partners, the better. But in order to compete head-to-head with other convertible-points rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Starwood Preferred Guest, and the American Express cards linked to the Membership Rewards program, Citi will have to negotiate partnerships with at least some of the larger U.S. airlines. If, that is, it wants to be a major player in the U.S. market.

Reader Reality Check

What transfer partners would make Citi’s ThankYou-linked cards viable everyday-spend cards for you?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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