Part III – Getting To India Using Your TYPs

As I mentioned in the Introduction Post, Citi ThankYou Points (much like all transferable currencies) are great points to stockpile because they are so versatile. Of all the transferable currency options, Citi ThankYou Points are probably the easiest to accrue, so they can be extremely useful for getting you to India!

Please note, I do not earn a commission off of any of the credit card links contained herein. These referral links are currently the highest publicly available offers and I will always link to the highest publicly available offer for your benefit.  As always, your support by signing up via my referral links is greatly appreciated!

Introduction – Getting To India Using Your MRs, URs, TYPs or Starpoints
Part I – Getting To India Using Your MRs
Part II – Getting To India Using Your URs
Part III – Getting To India Using Your TYPs
Part IV – Getting To India Using Your SPG Starpoints

Citi offers a few cards that earn ThankYou Points, including their ThankYou Premier card (which gets a lot of my daily spend due to the great category bonuses for travel and gas). Citi has really been devaluing the ThankYou Point program lately and has made it more difficult to earn TYPs. Citi offers a few other card options that earn TYPs, so I highly encourage you to head over to Citi’s website and check out the options.

Now that you know how to earn the TYPs, the more complicated process is how to use those hard earned TYPs to get you to India! Your TYPs will transfer to 12 different airlines across all 3 major airline alliances. Those airlines include:

AirlineAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Air France/KLMSkyTeam1:1Up to 2 days
Garuda IndonesiaSkyTeam1:1Up to 2 days
Cathay PacificOneWorld1:1Same day
Malaysia AirlinesOneWorld1:12-14 days+
QantasOneWorld1:1Up to 2 days
QatarOneWorld1:1Up to 2 days
Eva AirStar Alliance1:1Up to 2 days
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:1Up to 2 days
Thai AirwaysStar Alliance1:1Up to 4 days
EtihadN/A1:1Up to 6 days
Virgin AtlanticN/A1:1Up to 2 days
Virgin AmericaN/A1:0.5Up to 2 days

As I said before, the transfer times are just an approximation based upon data points I could find (as well as personal experiences), but it is important to be cognizant of these transfer times when you are planning your award booking(s).

Also keep in mind that you should always be looking at the paid ticket prices for tickets through the Citi TYP portal – especially if you are looking to fly economy class – as your TYPs can be redeemed towards a paid ticket.

Another caveat is that although I will be including general advice for getting to India on your TYPs, your home airport will play an important role in finding availability or determining cost. For example, since Cathay Pacific operates under a distance based award chart, the cost for someone traveling from the West Coast may be lower than the cost for someone traveling from the East Coast. I will also assume for purposes of this post that you would be flying into Delhi (DEL).

Air France/KLM (FlyingBlue)

Air France and KLM share a frequent flyer program called FlyingBlue. Since FlyingBlue is a SkyTeam alliance member, you can redeem FlyingBlue miles for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern, etc. flights. FlyingBlue can be finicky to work with, but they offer some decent value for flights to India. FlyingBlue groups the Indian Subcontinent into its own award zone.

Roundtrip award tickets will cost you 80k miles in economy and 200k miles in business class. Availability looked pretty wide open for both cabins. Depending on your routing, you can expect $200-$300 in taxes and fees for roundtrip economy tickets and $350-$800 in taxes and fees for roundtrip business class tickets.

One-way award tickets are allowed at 40k in economy and 100k miles in business, but no stopovers are allowed. While the economy class rate is one of the best among the TYP transfer partners, the business class rate leaves a lot to be desired. Accordingly, I would be looking elsewhere for business class tickets.

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia’s GarudaMiles program uses a distance based award chart, so your redemption cost will depend on your home airport. Garuda Indonesia is part of the SkyTeam alliance which means you can redeem your GarudaMiles miles for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern, etc. flights.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via Paris (CDG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~105k miles for economy and ~190k miles for business class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Taipei (TPE), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~115k miles for economy and ~200k miles for business class.

One-way tickets are allowed at half of the above quoted rates.

Although the redemption rates may not be horrible, the process for obtaining your award ticket is probably the worst I have ever seen. First you need to call the Garuda Indonesia call center at 021.2351.9999 to place your award ticket on hold. Then you need to download and complete an award ticket application form which you must take to a Garuda Indonesia sales office, in person, and then go back to the ticket office, in person, to claim your award ticket. So how many sales offices does Garuda Indonesia have in the US? Four. Yes, you read that right. Four. Encino, California, Chicago, Houston and New York.

In short, avoid Garuda Indonesia like the plague for award tickets unless you happen to live in or very near Encino, Chicago, Houston or New York and do not mind doing a ton of legwork.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Cathay Pacific is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Asia Miles to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India.

For flights operated solely by Cathay Pacific from the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX or SFO) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 90k miles for economy, 108k miles for premium economy, 145k miles for business class and 220k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of: 55k miles in economy, 66k miles in premium economy, 85k miles in business class and 130k miles in first class.

For flights operated by partners or a combination of partners and Cathay Pacific from the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX or SFO) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 65k miles in economy, 95k miles in business class and 130k miles in first class. One-way award tickets are not allowed on partner redemptions.

For flights operated solely by Cathay Pacific from the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 110k miles for economy, 132k miles for premium economy, 175k miles for business class and 260k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of: 70k miles in economy, 84k miles in premium economy, 110k miles in business class and 160k miles in first class.

For flights operated by partners or a combination of partners and Cathay Pacific from the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 85k miles in economy, 115k miles in business class and 155k miles in first class. Again, one-way award tickets are not allowed on partner redemptions.

What is wild though is the Asia Miles program allows you to make up to 5 stopovers, 2 transfers and 2 open-jaws at either the origin, en-route or at the turnaround point (destination)! That means you could put together an itinerary where you hop all over Asia all on one award ticket. Depending on how you routed yourself, that could offer some truly exceptional value.

If you can get the stopovers and open-jaws to work for your itinerary, Asia Miles should be a top contender for you to transfer your TYPs to for your next trip to India. If you will not be utilizing the stopovers, then I would say there are better options out there for your TYPs.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Malaysia Airlines is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Enrich miles to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India.

Malaysia Airlines is another airline that uses a separate award chart for redemptions on their own flights and partner redemptions. As there are no Malaysian Airlines flights from the U.S., you will redeem according to the partner award chart.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~120k miles for economy, ~174k miles for business class and ~264k miles for first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~96k miles for economy, ~144k miles for business class and ~204k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~96k miles for economy, ~144k miles for business class and ~204k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~120k miles for economy, ~174k miles for business class and ~264k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates.

It is important to keep in mind that flights that route via London (LHR) are likely to be on British Airways, which means you are going to get hit with their outrageous fuel surcharges. Even if you limited the fuel surcharges to just the London (LHR) to Delhi (DEL) segment, you are still looking at several hundred dollars per person in taxes, fees and surcharges.

While the redemption rates are actually generally not horrible, there have been a lot of reports of people experiencing issues when transferring their TYPs to the Enrich program. I would generally steer clear of transferring your TYPs to the Enrich program until Malaysia Airlines gets their IT department up to speed and fixes these issues.

Qantas

Qantas’ Frequent Flyer program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Qantas is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Qantas Points to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India.

Qantas uses a separate award chart for flights operated by American Airlines/Qantas and all other partner airlines, so the quoted prices below assume flights on a partner airline other than American Airlines.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~150k miles for economy, ~225k miles for premium economy, ~278k miles for business class and ~406k miles for first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~112k miles for economy, ~168k miles for premium economy, ~208k miles for business class and ~304k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~130k miles for economy, ~195k miles for premium economy, ~242k miles for business class and ~354k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~150k miles for economy, ~225k miles for premium economy, ~278k miles for business class and ~406k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates. Remember that you will be charged for carrier imposed surcharges, which should not be very much on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines flights, but will be substantial on British Airways flights.

Qantas’ redemption costs are extremely high – especially for premium cabins – so unless you have a glut of Qantas miles that you want to burn, you are better off transferring your TYPs elsewhere for a redemption to India as Qantas offers one of the worst values out there among TYP transfer partners.

Qatar

Qatar’s Qmiles program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Qatar is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Qmiles to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India. Qatar uses a separate calculator for flights operated by Qatar, so if you wanted to route yourself via Doha (DOH), your are better off using Qatar’s award ticket calculator. For flights operated by partner airlines, your award ticket costs will be as follows:

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~150k miles for economy, ~225k miles for premium economy, ~300k miles for business class and ~450k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates. If you are routing via London on British Airways flights, you will again be hit with their outrageous fuel surcharges, taxes and fees, so I would recommend avoiding those routes if you can. Again, and as with Qantas, unless you have a glut of Qmiles you want to burn, you are better off transferring your TYPs elsewhere for a redemption to India.

EVA Air

EVA Air is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Infinity miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

EVA Air is one of several airlines that utilizes a separate award chart for EVA Air redemptions and for partner awards. Under the EVA Air specific award chart, a roundtrip ticket between the U.S. and India will cost you 110k miles in economy, 120k miles in premium economy and 160k miles in business class.

The partner specific award chart on the other hand offers a less attractive deal to India. A roundtrip redemption between the U.S. and India on EVA Air’s partner(s) will cost you 120k miles for economy, 195k miles for business class and 290k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are available at half of the above quoted rates. It’s important to keep in mind that EVA Air requires that you make your Star Alliance award ticket booking(s) through their reservation office. Unless you are dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier to India, I would look elsewhere to transfer your TYPs. In the case you are dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier, EVA Air is your best option for your TYPs.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your KrisFlyer miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Singapore Airlines is one of several airlines that utilizes a separate award chart for partner awards. The Singapore Airlines specific award chart puts India in Zone 6, while the partner award chart puts India in the Central, South Asia award zone.

For Singapore Airlines operated flights from the East Coast of the U.S., you can expect roundtrip prices of 105k miles for economy, 177k miles for premium economy, 205k miles for business class and 265k miles for first class.

For Singapore Airlines operated flights from the West Coast of the U.S., you can expect roundtrip prices of 85k miles for economy, 167k miles for premium economy, 180k miles for business class and 250k miles for first class.

For Singapore operated flights, one-way award tickets are allowed at half the price. Also keep in mind that the quoted rates do not factor in the 15% discount you would receive from booking your award ticket online. With that said, even factoring in the 15% discount, these rates are not especially competitive.

For roundtrip partner redemptions between the U.S. and India, it will cost you 105k miles for economy, 195k miles for business class and 265k miles for first class.

Overall, Singapore is not really very competitive when it comes to award ticket prices to India. There are definitely much better redemptions to be had elsewhere with your TYPs, so I would not transfer them here.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Royal Orchid Plus miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Thai Airways is another airline that uses a separate award chart for redemptions on their own flights and partner redemptions. As there are no Thai Airways flights from the U.S., you will redeem according to the partner award chart.

A roundtrip redemption will cost you 110k miles for economy, 192k miles for business class and 264k miles for first class.

It is worth keeping in mind that Thai Airways levies fuel surcharges on award tickets and from all the reports I have seen, they are crazy high. Considering that EVA Air should have access to most of the same Star Alliance award space that Thai Airways has access to, you are better offer transferring your TYPs to EVA for this redemption unless you have a stash of Royal Orchid Plus miles that you are looking to burn, and/or you do not mind paying exorbitant surcharges. Again though, if you are not dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier, there are definitely better redemptions to be had with your TYPs (like Cathay Pacific, Singapore and FlyingBlue).

Etihad

Although Etihad is not a part of any major airline alliance, they do have several strategic partnerships with airlines such as All Nippon Airways (ANA), Asiana and Korean Air. The award charts for all three of these partners is distance based and varies, so I would recommend that you go to Etihad’s respective partner pages to determine your mileage redemption rates.

For reference though, most of your flights are going to run over 100k miles for a roundtrip economy award ticket, so I would strongly recommend you look elsewhere to transfer your TYPs for an India trip.

To redeem for any partner awards you have to contact the Etihad service center at 888-8ETIHAD at least 14 days prior to the intended date of travel.

Virgin America

From what I can tell, Virgin America does not offer any partner redemptions from the U.S. to India. While you could potentially piece together multiple partner award tickets, it simply is not worth the hassle and frustration given the high taxes and carrier imposed fees that Virgin America passes on. You are better off looking elsewhere for TYP transfer partners that can get you to India.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic operates out of a very small market in the U.S., but they do fly to Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM). The major downside to this program is that the taxes and carrier imposed fees/surcharges are outrageously high – especially on premium cabin redemptions.

For redemptions on Virgin Atlantic between New York (JFK) and Delhi (DEL), you are looking at a roundtrip cost of 77.5k miles + $856-$1,027 for economy, 125k miles + $1,416-$1,700 for premium economy and 180k miles + $1,730-$2,076 for business class. That is absolutely absurd!

As reader DJ pointed out to me in the comments, the flight between London (LHR) and Mumbai (BOM) is actually operated by Jet Airways instead, so that is something to keep in mind if you were looking to get in on the Virgin Atlantic on board bar.

Virgin Atlantic does partner with All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Singapore Airlines, though you need to call Virgin Atlantic at least 14 days prior to departure at 1.800.365.9500 to receive pricing and book. From what I have been able to find, you can expect pretty outrageous taxes, fees and surcharges on these redemptions (think $1,000+ for business class redemptions).

Although the mileage redemption rates (ignoring the outrageous taxes and fees) for economy are actually not horrible, the fact that your TYPs transfer to Virgin Atlantic at only 1:0.5 makes Virgin Atlantic the single worst TYP transfer partner for award tickets to India in my opinion. When you factor in the outrageous taxes and fees, I would strongly recommend you avoid this option at all costs unless you literally have no other option.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the TYP transfer partners offer a lot of options for finding award availability to India. Hopefully this guide has helped to shine a little light on how to utilize and maximize your TYPs for a trip to India!

What is your favorite way to redeem TYPs to get to India?

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