As of today, September 13, Citi has improved its transfer rates between their reward currency, ThankYou Points, and travel partner JetBlue TrueBlue.
- ThankYou Points earned via the Prestige and Premier cards will transfer 1,000 to 1,000 TrueBlue points instead of the prior 1,000 ThankYou Points to 800 JetBlue points.
- ThankYou Points earned via the ThankYou Preferred card will transfer 1,000 to 800 TrueBlue points instead of the prior 1,000 to 500 TrueBlue points.
I think we can thank the addition of JetBlue to Chase Ultimate Rewards’ line up of travel transfer partners (at 1:1) for this transfer ratio improvement.
For the remainder of the post, the ThankYou Points I will be referencing are those earned by the Prestige or Premier.
ThankYou Points transfer to 14 airlines and 1 hotel loyalty programs
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
- Garuda Indonesia
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
- Hilton Honors
When it Will Be Worth it To Transfer ThankYou Points to JetBlue
The cost of a TrueBlue award is tied to the cash price of the ticket, so this means there aren’t “sweetspots” as there is no award chart. The revenue cost of a ticket fluctuates and that affects the award price, so whether or not it’s worth transferring your Ultimate Rewards to JetBlue will depend on the day. For reference, in general the points tend to be worth between 1.3 and 1.4 cents a piece. I often find that JetBlue has really good award prices in comparison to competitors though, and for a superior product to boot with free Wifi on all flights, better snacks, and comfier and bigger seats.
If you have JetBlue points earned outright from one of their Barclaycard co-branded credit cards, never transfer ThankYou Points–or any other transferrable point currency–to JetBlue unless necessary to top off your balance for a specific award. Transferrable points are always going to be more valuable than JetBlue points as JetBlue points can only be redeemed on JetBlue flights. No matter how you value your points and miles, more options always equals more value.
So what if you have various points that transfer to JetBlue?
American Express Membership Rewards also transfer to JetBlue, but at a worse 250:200 ratio. I don’t think under any circumstance would it be worth using your Membership Rewards instead of ThankYou Points for a JetBlue flight, especially considering that I value Membership Rewards at 2 cents each and ThankYou Points at 1.8 cents each.
As mentioned above, Ultimate Rewards also transfer 1,000:1,000 as ThankYou Points do. But I value Ultimate Rewards more than ThankYou Points, 2 cents vs. 1.8 cents each, so I probably wouldn’t use those either. If you have the Sapphire Reserve though, it’s worth doing a little math since you can redeem Ultimate Rewards earned by the Reserve for 1.5 cents each through Chase’s travel portal. You’ll want to compare…
- how many Ultimate Rewards it would cost to redeem your points at 1.5 cents each through the Chase travel portal on a JetBlue cash ticket, and…
- how many ThankYou Points it would cost to transfer them to TrueBlue and redeem on the same JetBlue flight (but as an award)
All that being said, you wouldn’t be squeezing peak value out of either those point types–Ultimate Rewards nor ThankYou Points–by transferring to JetBlue (or redeeming through the Chase travel portal for that matter). But not everyone uses their points for premium cabin/international flights, which are the kind of redemptions that contribute to transferrable points’ peak potential value. Long story short, if you’re not saving up for a big award and you want to cover the cost of a JetBlue flight with points, pick your least valued one (between Ultimate Rewards and ThankYou Points) and go for it. For me that’s ThankYou Points.
You can now transfer ThankYou Points earned by your Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier card to JetBlue at a rate of 1,000 to 1,000. If you have ThankYou Points earned by a ThankYou Preferred card, their new transfer rate to JetBlue is 1,000 to 800.
Fast Track to ThankYou Points
The Citi ThankYou Premier card has a record-high 60k sign-up bonus right now for spending $4,000 on your new card within three months. It’s also got killer category bonuses for a $95/year card (and no annual fee the first year): 3x on travel and gas, 2x on restaurants and entertainment.