Why You Shouldn’t Transfer Citi ThankYou Points To JetBlue

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Citi ThankYou points can be earned through cards like the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. This is a points currency which has become more useful over the past couple of years, as Citi added over a dozen airline and hotel transfer partners. As of now, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to the following programs:

Air France/KLM | Flying BlueGaruda Indonesia | Frequent FlyerQatar Airways | Privilege ClubHilton | HHonors
Cathay Pacific | Asia MilesJetBlue | TrueBlueSingapore Airlines | KrisFlyer
EVA Air | Infinity MileageLandsMalaysia Airlines | EnrichThai Airways | Royal Orchid Plus
Etihad | Etihad GuestQantas | Frequent FlyerVirgin Atlantic | Flying Club

My personal favorites are Air France/KLM FlyingBlue, Etihad Guest, and Singapore KrisFlyer, as I find they have the best redemption values. However, those looking to book travel within the US may be happy to learn that you can now transfer Citi ThankYou points to JetBlue TrueBlue at a 1,000:800 ratio. At least that’s the transfer ratio for cards accruing premium Citi ThankYou points, like the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

jetblue-trueblue

JetBlue’s TrueBlue program is revenue based on the redemption side, meaning the number of points required for a ticket is directly correlated to the cost of a ticket. In general, one TrueBlue point can be redeemed for ~1.5 cents towards the cost of a ticket on JetBlue. That means in this case you’re getting ~1.2 cents per Citi ThankYou point towards the cost of a ticket.

If you are looking for TrueBlue points, in general you’re much better off earning those using the JetBlue Plus Card. The card offers 6x points on JetBlue purchases, 2x points on restaurant and grocery store purchases, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. On top of that you get a 5,000 point bonus upon your account anniversary every year, plus 10% of your points back every time you redeem towards a redemption. I picked up this card recently, and think it’s a great option for JetBlue flyers.

JetBlue-A321

However, if you do want to redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel on JetBlue, in general I’d recommend redeeming your ThankYou points directly towards the cost of a ticket on JetBlue, as you can get 1.33 cents per point of value if you have the Citi Prestige Card (if you just have the Premier Card, you get 1.25 cents per point of value, which is still better). Furthermore, it then counts as a revenue booking, meaning you’d earn TrueBlue points as you usually would when paying for a ticket.

To give an example, let’s use a flight between New York and Los Angeles that costs $143.10. If you have the Prestige Card, you could use 10,759 Citi ThankYou points to cover the entire cost of the ticket through the Citi travel portal (that’s a value of 1.33 cents per Citi ThankYou point).

jetblue-citi

Or you could redeem 9,600 TrueBlue points plus pay the $5.60 in taxes. Keep in mind that due to the 1,000:800 transfer ratio you’d need to transfer 12,000 Citi ThankYou points. So you’d pay ~1,250 additional points plus an additional $5.60 in taxes.

jetblue-citi-1

Bottom line

Ultimately more transfer partners for a transferrable points currency is a good thing. However, this certainly wouldn’t be how I’d choose to redeem my Citi ThankYou points, given the other great uses of them.

Even if you are trying to redeem your ThankYou points for travel on JetBlue, you’re better off redeeming your points directly through the Citi ThankYou portal, where you’d get 1.25-1.33 cents of value per point, plus you’d be able to earn points for your flight. So unless there’s a transfer bonus or a discount on redemptions through TrueBlue, I’d give this a “pass.”

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Comments

  1. Isnt 1.33 only if you have the Citi Prestige card? I thought the Premier card only gets you 1.25 cents per point when redeeming for travel thru their portal.

  2. The thing is, I have about 650k points with UA, 150k with AA, & 250K with DL. So transferring to Singapore, or Ethiad wouldn’t help much, because I wouldn’t be able to combine Krispoints with UA miles on the same reservation (unless Im wrong)? Also, Id have to deal with the hassle of keeping miles alive on some foreign Airline whose website, etc., Im not familiar with. DL don’t expire, so Im OK there. I Manufactured Spend heavily on Chase for UA miles, so they will never expire, because I have United Chase Cards. As far as AA, I just downgraded my Plat. & Gold Citi Card to TY preferred. Wasn’t worth Paying $50 AF to keep AA miles alive, as I can just buy an ITunes song from them Every 18 Months for $2 I think, to keep those miles alive.

    But, TY Preferred does come with 15K miles Bonus, so I was wondering if there was something useful I could do with it.

    thanks

  3. Few things I’d like to point out:

    1)if you have the JetbluePlus card it gives 10% points back after redemption I imagen this works on transferred points aswell and you get first bag with the card on award/purchased tickets, but if you redeem strait thru purchase with thank you points then you earn on the purchase of the ticket like a revenue ticket meaning youll get 3 jetblue points per dollar redeeming with thank you point – consider whats better for you.

    2)transferring adds value and jetblue is awesome! Filling up when your short on points and sometimes the redemptions are really good! 11,200 jet blue points for roundtrip from NYC to Las Vegas!

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