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Chase recently announced that JetBlue is the latest addition to their list of airline transfer partners. There are now three domestic airline choices where you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to book a free flight. But just because you can transfer points to JetBlue, should you? Continue reading to see the best way to book JetBlue flights with your Chase Ultimate Rewards.
How To Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
You can earn Ultimate Rewards through credit card sign-up bonuses, daily spending on your credit cards, or online shopping.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Credit Cards
The credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer points through sign-up bonuses and daily spend are:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Ink Plus (not currently available)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Cash
Keep in mind, however, that the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash credit cards do not allow you to transfer to Chase’s airline and hotel partners. You must first transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to one of the other cards on the list, then transfer out of that bucket of points if you want to convert your Ultimate Rewards points to an airline or hotel transfer partner.
Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal
For many people, you can earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards by buying everything through the online shopping portal than you can from the credit cards.
Instead of going straight to the merchant’s website, click through the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal to earn up to 30 points per $1 you spend. I like shopping during holidays and back-to-school to earn even more points through limited time offers.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
Chase Ultimate Rewards are generally regarded as one of the most valuable points currencies because they are so flexible. With the addition of JetBlue as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, there are now nine airlines and three hotel brands that you can transfer points to.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners are:
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
- Flying Blue Air France KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
The hotel transfer partners for Chase Ultimate Rewards are:
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards (and Ritz Carlton)
- World of Hyatt
Lose One, Gain One
Unfortunately, Chase Ultimate Rewards removed Korean Air SkyPass as a transfer partner right before it was announced that JetBlue would become an option. Some people are viewing this an exchange from one program to another, but that isn’t the right way to look at it.
The glass-half-full approach is that Chase lost a partner and added JetBlue to maintain nine airlines as transfer partners.
The reality is that these types of partnerships take a long time to develop. The timing of these two announcements so close together is really just coincidental.
Transferring Ultimate Rewards to JetBlue True Blue
The good news is that Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to JetBlue’s True Blue rewards program on a 1:1 basis. For every 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points that you transfer, you’ll receive 1,000 JetBlue points. This is the best conversion ratio of any of JetBlue’s transfer partners.
This transfer ratio is at least 25% better than the standard conversion rates from American Express, Citi ThankYou, or Marriott Rewards. With American Express, the standard transfer rate is 250 Membership Rewards to receive 200 JetBlue points. Currently, Amex is offering a 25% bonus through October 1, 2018. This means your 250 Membership Rewards will convert into 250 JetBlue points. With the bonus, this is the same 1:1 ratio as Chase Ultimate Rewards.
For every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points, you’ll receive 800 JetBlue points.
The conversion of Marriott Rewards points has a standard ratio of 6:1, where 3,000 Marriott points equal 500 JetBlue points. Marriott has kept the popular 25% SPG bonus when transferring in 60,000 Marriott Rewards (20,000 SPG points) points increments, but that only improves the ratio to 4.8:1, which is still the worst ratio of any transfer partners.
What’s the best way to book JetBlue with Ultimate Rewards points?
Since JetBlue TrueBlue rewards program is revenue-based, you cannot get extravagant value out of your points. When redeeming JetBlue points for flights, the cash value ranges from 1.2 to 1.5 cents per point.
For example, I researched a one-way flight on October 12, 2018, from Los Angeles to New York JFK that starts at 10,000 TrueBlue points for Economy or 57,700 in MINT.
The cash prices for these flights would be $149 for Economy or $759 in MINT. That equates to a 1.5 cent per point value in Economy or 1.3 cents per point value in MINT.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which provides a minimum value of 1.5 cents per point when booking flights, there is little incentive to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to JetBlue.
The best way to book JetBlue flights with Ultimate Rewards points
The value of a JetBlue point maxes out at 1.5 cents, which is the same value you receive when you use the Chase Sapphire Reserve to book flights through the Chase travel portal. But the main difference is that JetBlue award flights do not earn points, while flights booked with Ultimate Rewards points are treated the same as cash.
The best way to book a JetBlue flight with Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to book your flight through the Chase travel portal. This guarantees that you’ll get 1.5 cents per point redeemed and you’ll also earn TrueBlue points for the flight.
When should I transfer Ultimate Rewards points to JetBlue?
To me, the only situation where you should be transferring Ultimate Rewards points to JetBlue is if you need just a few points to redeem a flight.
Because Chase Ultimate Rewards tend to hold more value than Citi ThankYou or American Express Membership Rewards, consider transferring them first before dipping into your Ultimate Rewards balance.
Which card should I use to pay for JetBlue flights?
If you have the Barclays JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business credit cards, they offer the most JetBlue points earned when booking a JetBlue flight. On either card, you’ll earn 6x JetBlue points per $1 spent with JetBlue. The first checked bag is free for you and up to three companions when you pay for your flight with the JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business card.
The baggage benefit is even more important now that JetBlue raised the first checked bag fee from $25 to $30.
If you have the no annual fee JetBlue card, you’ll only earn 3x points on flights and you’ll have to pay for any bags that you check. Because of this, if you don’t have the paid version of the JetBlue card, I would recommend using the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card to book your flight. Both earn 3x points on flights.
Although the number of points earned is the same, you’re better off with the rewards earned as Ultimate Rewards due to their flexibility for redemption or transfers.
JetBlue is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner
The bottom line is that it is good to have JetBlue as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. More transfer options are always welcome. Plus, Chase offers the best transfer rate of any JetBlue partner with a 1:1 ratio.
Transfers to JetBlue make sense primarily if you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Reserve or if you just need a small number of points to top off your TrueBlue account so you can redeem for a flight. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you should book through the Chase travel portal. It’ll match the value of JetBlue points while being treated as a revenue ticket.The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.