Newbie's citi points transfer question...

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by PinnacleJew, Dec 28, 2015.  |  Print Topic

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Where should I transfer my expiring 42,675 Citi ThankYou points?

Poll closed Dec 31, 2015.
  1. 2x Hilton HHonors Gold Status

    0 vote(s)
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  2. 1.25x Etihad Guest Silver Status

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Virgin Atlantic

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Qantas

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other (Please explain!)

    100.0%
  1. PinnacleJew

    PinnacleJew Active Member

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    Hi All! PinnacleJew, age 27, from Hollywood, CA and I have more points than I know what to do with! Speaking of...


    I got 42,675 Citi points expiring December 31, 2015 (in a few days!). Based on what I see, these are my top preferred options:


    • Hilton HHonors: They have a 200% (2x) points transfer presently, and as Amex Plat cardholder I believe I have Gold status(?). I do know the reputation of Hilton points; still, I am just as comfortable redeeming a bunch of free nights at lower tiered locations as I am a few at higher tiered ones.

    • Etihad: This is 1x1 and according to the Etihad Guest website (earn miles --> promotions --> miles), the airline is currently offering a 25% transfer bonus. Through a partner program I am also able to acquire Silver status to go with. Obviously that is not a lot for an airline at all, but perhaps 50,000 and Silver can unlock some value (and if you like this option, please tell me how you would maximize such value).

    • My runner-up transfer partner preferences are Qantas and Virgin Atlantic (other opinions and suggestions are welcome). Based on my flying history I am most likely to fly Delta or United, although I am not averse to American, Virgin, Southwest, etc.
    So, this is my dilemma. What should I do?

    Many thanks,
    PinnacleJew
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Only you can really know where you are most likely to get the most or any value out of it.

    Say, you transfer to Etihad, and then have no actual need or opportunity to fly them (or a partner) before they are expire. A nominal lower valued transfer would then have been better.
     
  3. PinnacleJew

    PinnacleJew Active Member

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    I totally agree, HaveMiles! To your example, I do notice Etihad points (at Silver level) remain unexpired for two point five years. I imagine with that option I would combine those Etihads with existing, say AA miles I have for a booking or an upgrade.

    I happen to fly Delta more, only reason I included transfer partner Virgin as secondary potential option.

    I don't know if Hiilton points expire though? I truly welcome subjective opinions from anyone who may have redeemed Hilton, Etihad or other transfer-eligible programs.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You may not mean this in the literal sense, but just in case, most programs don't allow you to combine points from different programs efficiently (transfers via points.com are costly).

    Hilton points expire after one year of inactivity unless you have a credit card (which, of course, would make it easy to create minimal activity anyway):

    http://news.hiltonhhonors.com/index.cfm/page/9001

    "Hilton HHonors points do not expire as long as members remain active in the program. To keep an account active, members can stay at one of Hilton Worldwide's hotels, or earn or redeem HHonors points within 12 months."

    "For Hilton HHonors credit card holders, HHonors points will not expire as long as the member is a cardholder in good standing."

    I don't know much about Etihad, but it seems you can book AA awards with it. So your roughly 50k Etihad points would give you two domestic round trips on AA. With a 2 1/2 year "shelf life" to book those flights it probably would be worth more to me than < 100k HH points that might get me three nights at a Doubletree somewhere.

    Another thing to factor in, though: how many points do you already have in various programs?

    I have a lot more AA miles than HHonors points, so perhaps I would prefer the HHonors points to reach a more interesting award (vs. stacking up more AA award "capacity"). Ultimately points are only worth something if you end up using them :)
     
    iolaire likes this.
  5. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    My gut feeling is that Hilton points are not a good move... I think you should save them in Citibank until you have a specific redemption in mind and transfer them at that time. (Thus you would need to pay the annual fee.)

    My wife and I both have ~65k points and I was looking at our options yesterday and realized they probably are not enough for a one-way business class to Asia, which is disappointing...
     
  6. PinnacleJew

    PinnacleJew Active Member

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    iolaire, unfortunately for me the points above are expiring New Year's Eve, so they'll have but a half-life anyway. Anyway, I would most likely use that many Hilton points for multiple low-tier hotel stays.

    HaveMiles, right now I've about 85,000 AA miles. That's why at first brush, pending any words of caution, I gather 40,000 Etihad miles (or 50,000 if I get the 25% bump) and the AA miles can play off each other nicely. I'm certain I can find a good use for 'em given a 30-month window.
     

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