How to Book American Airlines Flights with Citi Thank You Points (1.6 Cents Per Point Value)

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Good evening everyone, in this post, I will show you how to book American Airlines flights through the Citi Thank You Points website and get 1.6 cents per point (CPP) in value.  Travel Codex recently reported that codeshare flights with American Airlines / US Airways flight numbers can be purchased for 1.6 CPP also through the Citi Thank You website.  The value you get out of your Citi Thank You Points is dependent on the Citi credit cards you have and the flights you book.  Here is a summary of the possible values:

  • Citi Prestige Credit Card + American Airlines / US Airways Flight (and codeshares) = 1.6 CPP
  • Citi Prestige Credit Card + All Other Flights = 1.33 CPP
  • Citi Premier Credit Card + Any Flight = 1.25 CPP
  • Citi Preferred/Forward/Other Credit Card + Any Flight = 1.0 CPP

If you have more than 1 Citi Thank You Point earning credit card, all your Citi Thank You Points can be pooled into 1 account and will be worth the same as your highest earning credit card.  For example, I have a Citi Prestige, Premier, Forward, and Citigold Checking account and they all earn Citi Thank You Points worth up to 1.6 CPP.

Anyway, let’s get started with booking an American Airlines flight.  After logging into your Citi Thank You Points account, click the Shop tab and then click on Flights.

Citi Thank You Points Flights Link

If you have a Citi Prestige Credit Card, you will see a note on the screen that says you can get 60% more value booking American Airlines and US Airways flights (since 1.6 CPP is 60% more than 1.0 CPP if you redeem your Citi Thank You Points for gift cards).

Citi Travel Center Book Travel

To get started, search for your flight by filling out the search boxes.  I need to book a flight from Orange County, CA (SNA) to Dallas, TX (DFW), preferably non-stop flights only.

Citi Quick Trip Search

Since only American Airlines flies that route non-stop, they show up first, along with a few US Airways and Alaska Airlines codeshare flights.

Citi Thank You Point Search Results

After looking at the available flight times, I select the perfect flight times and am ready to book.  The cool thing about Citi Thank You Points is that you can use all points and pay no cash (not even taxes/fees).  However, if you only have enough Citi Thank You Points to pay for some of the cost, you can use all your Citi Thank You Points and pay the rest with cash.  For example, if a flight costs $260, but you only have 10,000 Citi Thank You Points (worth $160), you can redeem all 10,000 Citi Thank You Points and pay the remaining $100 with any credit card.  In my example below, my $315.20 round trip flight costs 19,700 Citi Thank You Points, which is exactly 1.6 CPP in value.  To purchase these flights, I click the Add to Cart button.

AA Flights on Citi Thank You Points

Verify the flight times and cost before clicking the Checkout button.

Review AA Citi Thank You Point Redemption

Fill in the passenger’s name, date of birth, frequent flyer number, address, and click the Complete Checkout button to purchase the ticket.

Citi Thank You Point Enter Name DOB

Congratulations, you just purchased a flight using Citi Thank You Points.  You will see a Thank You Points Trip ID number, an airline reference number (this is your American Airlines record locator number), and an agency reference number.

AA Flight Booked with Citi Thank You Points AA Flight Booked with Citi Thank You Points 2

To view all previously purchased trips (flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.), click My Trips.

Citi Thank You Point Trips

To view all your Citi Thank You Points activity, click My Account and then click Points Summary.  You will see all recent Citi Thank You Point deposits (from Citi credit cards and checking accounts) and all withdrawals (hopefully lots of flights).

Updated Citi Thank You Point Balance After AA Flight Redemption

The travel portion of the Citi Thank You Points website is run by Connexions, so you will get a confirmation number from them with details of your Citi Thank You Points purchase.  Copy the airline reference number (your American Airlines record locator number) and head over to AA.com to pick your seats.

Citi Thank You Point Confirmation Email fro AA Flight

On American Airlines’ website, click on the My Trips / Check-In tab, enter the passenger’s first & last name, American Airlines record locator number, and press Go.

Find AA Reservation

You will see your American Airlines flight details and be able to chose your seats.  If you have American Airlines elite status, you may be able to upgrade your seats for free.

AA Reservation Found

That’s all you have to do to redeem your Citi Thank You Points for flights on American Airlines.  The process should be almost identical for all other airlines booked through the Citi Thank You Points website.  Since I book enough American Airlines / US Airways flights per year, I want to hold onto my Citi Thank You Points and book flights only on those airlines.  Why book flights at 1.33 CPP when you can book flights for 1.6 CPP?  I would also consider transferring Citi Thank You Points to Singapore Airlines if I can get more than 1.6 CPP in value.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great evening everyone!

P.S. I am also working on a post about combining your Citi Thank You Points the easy way and the hard way.  Stay tuned…

36 thoughts on “How to Book American Airlines Flights with Citi Thank You Points (1.6 Cents Per Point Value)

  1. Geoff

    Grant, once you go back to the carrier site and enter the locator will Known Traveler(TSA or GE) info populate as well?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Yes, you can change your FF# and TSA Known Traveler number. If for some reason you can’t do that online, just call the airline and they can add it on their side.

      Reply
  2. JT

    One thing to remember: bookings are final — there is no 24 hour ‘grace period’ when booked through Citi.

    Reply
      1. JT

        Sorry, I should have been more specific — Danny (below) nailed it: $35 cancellation fee. I didn’t think you could cancel at all after the 24 hour period, but I could be wrong. If so, $35 isn’t bad…once you’re out of the standard 24 hour ‘Risk-free cancellation’ window.

        Reply
  3. Danny

    Excellent article and love the screen shots as well.

    As an FYI, I’ve booked 5 of these AA flights and sometimes the pricing is higher (or lower) than the lowest available price. I’m not sure why it differs sometimes so just be aware of this when you’re looking at the tickets. I had two instances where the price difference was $2 and a few times where I saw a $60 difference from what I saw on aa.com. One time I saw no cheaper seats left on aa.com and I was able to buy with Citi Thank You points.
    I guess the moral of the story is to check the pricing on aa.com when you’re about to book.

    Also according to what I remember there’s a $25 or $35 charge to cancel the flight and get your points refunded (even if you’re within the 24 hour refund period).

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thank you Danny, I made sure to find my flight on ITA/Google Flights first. I think the flights were the same price or almost the same, but always good to double check before paying for a ticket.

      Reply
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  6. Neal

    When you log into your reservation on AA.com and you were to print a receipt with your itinerary it normally shows the full value of the ticket. When you book with Citi TY points, what does AA show as the price as your ticket? Does it just show what cash you paid? The original value of the ticket?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I am unable to see the receipt of the itinerary on AA.com. Theoretically, Citi will buy the ticket from American Airlines at the same price that it is listed on AA’s website, so you should receive EQD for the full price (original value) of the ticket.

      Reply
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  8. Raj Malhotra

    When you buy flights with ThankYou points, can you use special promotional offers e.g. 5% discount from Founders Card for domestic AA flights? I see a space for this in your screenshots but I was wondering if someone has any experience with it working.

    Reply
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  10. Jim

    Can you book American Airlines partner flights (British Airways) with the 1.6 ratio and if yes how can you book the British Airways economy plus seats? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You can only book parter flights at 1.6 CPP if it is codeshare with AA. I don’t know if you can get Economy Plus seating on a codeshare fight, but you can try.

      Reply
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