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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 Blue||Garuda Indonesia | Frequent Flyer||Qatar Airways | Privilege Club||Hilton | HHonors|
|Cathay Pacific | Asia Miles||JetBlue | TrueBlue||Singapore Airlines | KrisFlyer|
|EVA Air | Infinity MileageLands||Malaysia Airlines | Enrich||Thai Airways | Royal Orchid Plus|
|Etihad | Etihad Guest||Qantas | Frequent Flyer||Virgin 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’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.
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).
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.
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.”