Citi ThankYou Improves JetBlue Transfer Ratio

Filed Under: Citi, JetBlue
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Here’s some great news for those earning Citi ThankYou points on cards like the Citi Premier® Card (review).

Citi ThankYou has a variety of airline transfer partners, and in general I’ve felt like this is a points currency that has become more valuable over time. Now it has been announced that yet another improvement is being made to the program.

Citi ThankYou JetBlue transfer ratio improves

As of September 13, 2018, Citi ThankYou is improving the transfer ratio for those converting points to JetBlue TrueBlue.

Specifically, points earned with the Citi Premier® Card and Citi Prestige Card can be transferred to JetBlue at a 1:1 ratio, in increments of 1,000 points.

This is a fantastic development, as previously points transferred at a 1,000:800 ratio.

What likely caused this improved transfer ratio

Chase Ultimate Rewards (the currency earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve®, and Ink Business Preferred) recently lost Korean Air SkyPass as a transfer partner, though once that happened they added JetBlue TrueBlue. It’s nice to see them add something, though the way I see it, JetBlue isn’t much of a replacement for Korean Air.

What’s interesting is that both Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou were both transfer partners, though neither allowed 1:1 transfers. Meanwhile Chase came in and started offering 1:1 transfers, so I’m guessing this is a competitive response on the part of Citi.

It’s great to see Citi competing head-on with Chase when it comes to their transferable points.

Is JetBlue a useful transfer partner?

JetBlue’s TrueBlue program is revenue based, meaning that the number of points required for a redemption is directly correlated to how much a ticket would cost in cash. Typically each TrueBlue point will get you about 1.4 cents towards the cost of airfare on JetBlue. Sometimes it might be 1.5 cents and sometimes it might be 1.3 cents, but that’s the general range.

There are two ways to get even more value:

  • If you have the JetBlue Plus Card you get a 10% refund on points redemptions
  • Sometimes JetBlue has award sales, where you can get even more value per point; for example, they had one of these recently for fall travel

If you stack the JetBlue Plus Card benefit and an award sale, you’re potentially looking at over two cents of value per point.

Want ThankYou points? Don’t forget about this great offer

If you want to earn ThankYou points, don’t forget that the Citi Premier® Card is offering its best ever welcome bonus of 60,000 ThankYou bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. The card has a $95 annual fee.

This is the most rewarding Citi credit card for everyday spend, as it offers:

  • 3x points on airfare, hotels, dining, supermarkets and gas stations
  • 1x points on all other purchases

So if you are looking for ThankYou points, the Citi Premier® Card is tough to beat, as there are lots of great reasons to get this card.

Bottom line

While JetBlue TrueBlue points transfers wouldn’t be my favorite use of Citi ThankYou points, I’d consider the 1:1 transfer ratio to be a great option to have, for anyone who is looking to earn rewards towards domestic travel. At a minimum this should get you 1.4-1.5 cents of value per point, and you can potentially get even more value if you have the JetBlue Plus Card, or if you book during an award sale.

Could you see yourself transferring Citi points to JetBlue?

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  1. For those in the military or retired JetBlue offers a 5% discount on paid fares. You have to sign up or register at their site. It’s something for when you have to pay for a fare and would apply to all tickets under the same reservation.

  2. JetBlue points also allow family pooling, which is useful. I think this is a notable development if you do a lot of domestic flying to places JetBlue goes, and don’t find other ThankYou point partners that useful. It brings the minimum value of a TY point up to around that of a Chase UR point when you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve, and exceeds the minimum value if you instead hold an Ink or Preferred. (Of course, a JetBlue point may not be as valuable as a mile on a TY partner, which is why Korean for JetBlue was an unequal swap.)

  3. Transferred points from Chase today into JetBlue and the account says the transfer came from I thought that was interesting.

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