a bed in a plane
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But you’ll have to be fairly quick…

If you’ve been hoarding Citi ThankYou points, it’s all about to feel worth it. While many people will part ways with these points for something fairly unremarkable, there’a magic window at hand, allowing you to fly around the world in the complete and utter comfort of business class. This special kind of magic won’t last forever, so here’s a step by step guide to booking the trip of a lifetime, without a lifetime worth of points.

a black wallet with a blue and black design15% Citi ThankYou Points Bonus

Citi is currently offering a 15% bonus when you transfer your U.S. based Citi ThankYou points to AsiaMiles, the Cathay Pacific points program. The AsiaMiles program allows you to use your points to book flights on airlines like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, American Airlines and many more. Thanks to the bonus, you receive more than a point for every point you transfer, which allows you to unlock this amazing around the world trip for 18,000 points fewer than usual.

Key Upcoming Dates

Now the big catch, but the only catch is that the clock is on. AsiaMiles will devalue their points program, requiring more points for this same exact redemption after June 22nd. If you want to take advantage of this at these prices, you’ll need to book by then. But fear not, even if you can’t manage to book (not fly) before this June 22nd, date, you’ll still only need 140,000 points if you take advantage of this Citi transfer bonus, which expires July 4th, 2018. If you transfer and book before June 22nd, First Class for the exact same redemption is just 179,000 points.

a city skyline at nightDistance Based Magic

Now that we’ve got all the red tape squared away, let’s talk distance based magic. By using two or more OneWorld airlines, or a total of at least three different airlines if Cathay Pacific is one of em’ you get to take advantage of a special “multi partner” award chart. This charts points pricing is based purely on the distance you go, and for 122,000 points you get a whopping 20,000 miles of actual flight distance to work with. You also get up to 5 stopovers during your trip, meaning there are five destinations where you can stay more than 24 hours. So a week in Paris or a few days in Tokyo is totally fine. And yep, 179,000 points would get you first class, if business class doesn’t quite cut it!

20,000 Mile Possibilities

If you went directly around the widest part of the earth in a straight line, you’d find that the earths circumference is 24,901 miles. 20,000 miles can take you around the world from virtually any starting point, to the most amazing destinations. You can even spend extended periods of time in quite a few cities along the way, with full stopovers. 20,000 miles is enough for something like: New York to Paris, Paris to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Singapore, Singapore to Tokyo and Tokyo to Los Angeles. Or maybe something like Los Angeles to Tokyo, Tokyo to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Melbourne and then Melbourne to Los Angeles. Starting in Europe, Asia, Middle East or Australia is fine too! You’d get to take in Asia and Australia with more than 40 hours in business for just 122,000 Citi ThankYou Points. Use GCMap.com to plot your own routings.

an airplane with a bed and a deskHow To Book

The key here is finding direct OneWorld alliance flights, so that you don’t waste any mileage on connections or backtracking. An easy way to do that is to search on Google Flights, click airlines, and then filter “OneWorld” and “Non-Stop” only. Next, use a tool like the AsiaMiles or British Airways sites to look up actual availability using points. Both sites show availability for all the other airlines involved. You can also use this handy new tool to supercharge your searches, saving yourself a bunch of time. Once you’ve found availability for all your segments, and confirmed the total distance is under 20,000 miles on GCMap.com, you can call AsiaMiles to book. Transferring Citi ThankYou Points to AsiaMiles can take up to two days, but you may be able to put the flights on hold while the points move over.

Will you book one of these awesome trips?

Featured image courtesy of Qatar Airways.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Congratulations on your investigative work and analysis. My wife and I did two RT itineraries in our younger years when it was with AA miles for 125K or 150K based on distance as well. That award is no longer available with AA miles but glad you figured a way to make this happen for others. Those are trips will will never forget

  2. Forgive me for not looking it up myself but I thought I remembered when browsing the Asia Miles site that points can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Any experience with this that might help someone who is only half way to this award with TY points (and trying to avoid transferring SPG). Also, again pardon me for not looking up myself, but what partners outside of OW does Cathay have?

  3. Wow that must be only for US Citi points. My Citi points convert a a rate of 5 points>1mile so I need 600k points.
    You guys are super spoilt with your local offers.

  4. Has anyone calculated the total fees for RTW business award on ANA?
    122,000 TY points or 300k Marriott points which I will use.

    Anyone help me with fees?

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