Competition Works: Starting Thursday Citibank Improves Points Transfer Ratio to JetBlue

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Barclays issues the JetBlue credit card but they don’t have exclusivity that extends to transferable points currencies. You can effectively earn more JetBlue points using other bank credit cards than you can with the JetBlue credit card from Barclays.

Chase transfers are one-to-one. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (which offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening and has an annual fee $0 the first year, then $95) you not only earn double points on all travel and dining but no annual fee Chase cards that earn points quickly can have their points transferred to the Sapphire Preferred card and on to airline miles, including JetBlue.

For instance the no annual fee Ink Business Unlimited(SM) Credit Card has an initial bonus of $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. But those are really 50,000 points that can be transferred to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. And it earns 1.5 points per dollar on all spend.

Last September Citi ran a 25% transfer bonus and they’re now going to make improved transfer ratios to JetBlue permanent.

Citi tells me that effective September 13:

  • No annual fee Citi ThankYou Preferred: 1,000 ThankYou Points = 800 TrueBlue points (60% improvement)
  • Citi ThankYou Premier: 1,000 ThankYou Points = 1,000 TrueBlue points (1:1 ratio is a 25% improvement)
  • Citi Prestige: 1,000 ThankYou Points = 1,000 TrueBlue points (1:1 ratio is a 25% improvement)

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has a best-ever offer of 60,000 points after $4000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of account opening. It has a $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter. It earns 3 points on travel (including gas), 2 points on dining and entertainment, 1 point on other purchases. (Offer expired)

It’s a strong card that will now offer 1:1 transfers to a US airline, in addition to the 1:1 transfers offered with partners like Air France KLM, Singaproe Airlines, and Etihad.

This follows Chase’s introduction of JetBlue as a 1:1 transfer partner. Competition works.

JetBlue is a revenue-based program, you buy award tickets based on the price of the ticket. That’s why I value TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents apiece. You’ll often be able to use them around 1.5 cents apiece towards airfare.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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