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New bonus for converting ThankYou Points to JetBlue offers best transfer rate yet

Sept. 23, 2019
4 min read
New bonus for converting ThankYou Points to JetBlue offers best transfer rate yet
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Citi is a TPG advertising partner

Great news, JetBlue travelers! A new transfer bonus just launched between Citi and JetBlue, offering 25% bonus JetBlue TrueBlue points when you transfer Citi ThankYou points.

This is the first transfer bonus that we've seen between the two programs since the transfer ratio was improved from a puzzling 1,000:800 ratio in September 2018 to a straight-forward 1:1 ratio. And now through October 19, 2019, that ratio is improved so that 1,000 Citi points will convert to 1,250 TrueBlue points:

The 25% bonus isn't the best bonus rate that we've seen between the two programs; there was a 50% transfer bonus in early 2017. However, since the standard ratio was only 1,000:800, that bonus only yielded 1,200 JetBlue points for every 1,000 Citi points transferred. So, this newest transfer bonus yields the best-ever transfer rate between the two programs at 1,250 JetBlue points per 1,000 Citi points.

If you have an immediate use for JetBlue points, the good news is that TPG testing found that ThankYou points transfer to JetBlue immediately.

TPG values JetBlue points at a conservative 1.3 cents each. However, TPG readers have pointed out redemptions of up to 1.9 cents each, and you can more typically find redemptions at 1.5-1.6 cents apiece. Plus, if you're a JetBlue Plus cardholder, you'll receive a 10% rebate when redeeming points. That'll stretch your transferred points even further.

While the value in TrueBlue points is mostly found in booking award flights on JetBlue, you have other options for redeeming JetBlue points. For example, you can book Hawaiian Airlines award flights with JetBlue points. Although JetBlue uses variable pricing for redemptions on its own flights, it has a set redemption rate for partners. Hawaiian Airlines business class costs as little as 45,000 JetBlue points each way.

Hawaiian lie-flat business class (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

During the Citi transfer bonus, you'll only need to transfer 36,000 Citi points to book a business class flight to Hawaii.

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JetBlue constantly runs flash sales too. Since its redemption point values are directly tied to the cash price, you can book flights for just a few thousand points.

That's also true for JetBlue's excellent Mint product. Thanks to the revenue-based redemption program, you can snag Mint for as little as 30,000 points one-way. During the transfer bonus, you'll only need to transfer 24,000 Citi points.

While it's not the best use of ThankYou points, if your goal is to fly JetBlue on points, this would be a great time to transfer points. You'll likely get more value out of your points by transferring to a partner like Avianca LifeMiles and booking premium-cabin awards, but sometimes the best use of points is the redemption that will save you money on a flight you're already planning to book.

While you won't be able to earn a new credit card sign-up bonus before this transfer bonus expires, there are options for replenishing your Citi ThankYou point balance if you decide to take advantage of this offer.

The Citi Premier® Card has a 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The Citi Rewards+® Card is offering 20,000 ThankYou bonus points for spending $1,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. Although it doesn't have a sign-up bonus, the Citi® Double Cash Card just effectively became a 2x point earning card (1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay), making it a great way of building your balance through spending.

Additional reporting by Brendan Dorsey.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.