Chalk this up to Citi feeling the pressure from Chase. Starting on Thursday, September, 13th, Citi ThankYou is permanently improving the transfer ratio for transfers to the jetBlue TrueBlue program to 1:1. The previous transfer ratio was 1,000:800. This now means you will receive 1 jetBlue TrueBlue point for every 1 Citi ThankYou point transferred in increments of 1,000 points.
At the end of August, Chase Ultimate Rewards lost Korean Air as a transfer partner, which was a blow to the program. Shortly after the loss, Chase announced the addition of jetBlue's TrueBlue program at a 1:1 transfer ratio. It is likely Citi is making this change to better compete with Chase.
In general, I think Citi ThankYou points are getting more valuable as they are adding new transfer partners and improving transfer ratios for current partners as we see here. The program currently has 15 transfer partners as you can see below.
The biggest missing link with ThankYou points is the ability to transfer them to American's AAdvantage program. American partners with Citi to issue co-branded credit cards in the same way Chase does with United and American Express does with Delta. The difference is that you can transfer both Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points to both United and Delta respectively.
|Program||Type||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Cathay Pacific||Airline||1:1||12-24 hours|
|EVA Air||Airline||1:1||1-3 days|
|Qatar Airways||Airline||1:1||1-2 days|
|Thai Airways||Airline||1:1||4-7 days|
Breaking Down jetBlue Transfers
Because JetBlue's TrueBlue program is revenue-based, it is important to do the math before transferring ThankYou points into your TrueBlue account. A revenue-based points program means that a redemption is directly correlated to the cash price of the ticket. You can expect to get around 1.4 cents per point towards the cost of your award ticket with the TrueBlue program.
You can also book flights directly through the Citi ThankYou portal if you hold the Citi ThankYou Premier card. When doing so, your points will be worth 1.25 cents each. This means that you can likely get more value by transferring points directly into jetBlue's TrueBlue program.
Further, if you hold the jetBlue Plus credit card, you can get a 10% refund on points redemptions through TrueBlue which will only further increase the value of your points transferred from Citi.
Benefits of the Citi Premier Card
- Welcome Bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.
- Earn 3x points on travel, including gas stations
- 2x points on dining & entertainment
- 1x points on all other purchases
- Transfer points to 15 airline partners or redeem for airfare for 1.25 cents each
- $95 annual fee
- Click Here to learn more about the Citi Premier® Card.
While there are better transfer options for Citi ThankYou points, it is great to see Citi improving the transfer options for their ThankYou points program. When the bank's flexible points programs compete with each other, the consumer ultimately wins.