60 Seconds With Ralph Andretta, Head of Product Management, Citi
Frequent travelers appreciate flexibility when earning and spending miles/points and one option is the ThankYou Points Transfer from Citi ThankYou Rewards. Citi ThankYou Premier and Citi Prestige cardmembers can transfer their ThankYou points to the following loyalty programs: Hilton HHonors, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Etihad Guest, AIR FRANCE / KLM Flying Blue, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus. We spoke with Citi’s Head of Product Management, Ralph Andretta, about this transfer option and other benefits of owning a Citi ThankYou card.
Why should a frequent flyer own a Citi ThankYou card?
Citi ThankYou offers you terrific choice with the ability to redeem points for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates. This summer we introduced Points Transfer to 11 elite travel loyalty programs for Citi ThankYou Premier and Prestige cardmembers, including Singapore Airlines, Hilton HHonors, Air France and KLM. And for Citi ThankYou Premier and Prestige cardmembers, ThankYou Points offer one of the best values in the market when redeeming for airfare.
For the road warriors, Citi Prestige also offers some terrific benefits including three points for every $1 on air and hotel as of Oct 20. Plus, you get the fourth night free at any hotel around the world, and a $250 credit for airline expenses, access to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge and US Airways lounges in the U.S., plus 700 lounges when traveling overseas.
What’s the most popular way for ThankYou Rewards members to spend their points?
We introduced Shop With Points on Amazon.com two years ago and have seen that our members love to use their points for millions of items on Amazon. Travel and gift card redemptions also continue to be popular. And paying bills online with points, which we introduced this spring, quickly became the top choice of Citi ThankYou members with Citibank checking accounts.
Can you tell us a bit about ThankYou Your Way?
We want our ThankYou members to have the choice of using their points when and how they want–in ways that fit into their life. Over the past two years, we have introduced a number of new ways to use points for everyday purchases and to make memories–from the ability to pay your utility or mobile phone bill with Online Bill Pay With Points, to Shop With Points on Amazon.com and LiveNation.com. Our Select and Credit also allows members to cover select purchases made with their Citi card with points. And you can shop with a Rewards Account Number–a virtual credit card account number linked to a Citi card and ThankYou account–where MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
Why are the airline points transfer partners all international and not domestic?
We’ve heard from our cardmembers that for long-haul international flights it often takes time and patience to see rewards add up. Around the world, Citi offers points transfer in 29 markets where we offer credit cards–with 18 global partners. So in the U.S., we wanted to begin by bringing our international partners together to respond to this need we heard from our members to have their ThankYou Points help get them closer to their next international flight. We continue to explore new partners for the program–and encourage travelers to keep watching this space!
What are one or two benefits that those considering a Citi ThankYou card should know about?
For travelers who are often on the road our Prestige card offers terrific value. Not only do you get more value when redeeming for air travel, especially on American Airlines and US Airways, you get a $250 air travel annual credit, $100 global entry credit, fourth night hotel free, global acceptance with chip technology and no foreign transaction fees. Plus, you earn three points for every $1 spent on air and hotel. If you’re traveling often, this quickly adds up. Plus, you can relax in 700 Priority Pass lounges around the world and American Airlines and US Airways airport lounges in the U.S.