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Booking JetBlue flights with Chase & Citi points is tougher right now, but not impossible

by on Mon January 4, 2016 • 5 Comments
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If you’re trying to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou points for a JetBlue flight, you won’t be able to find them online at the Chase or Citi websites.

That’s because JetBlue couldn’t come to agreement with TravelPort, a Global Distribution System that provides fares to many travel agencies.

So, JetBlue fares aren’t visible to systems that depend on TravelPort data to operate, and the Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou booking sites are among them, as they are administered by a company called Affinion / Connexions Loyalty, and Affinion has a history of using Travelport.

If you search a route like Long Beach – New York (a route only JetBlue flies nonstop) you won’t find any JetBlue results on the Chase site:

ultimaterewardsjetblue

Or on the Citi site…

citijetblue

But on the American Express Membership Rewards site you will find results because American Express owns its own travel agency and doesn’t farm out its service to a third party like Connexions.

amexjetblue

The workaround for Chase and Citi is to simply call them, and the phone agents can price and book the award at the usual prices you used to see online.

Citi ThankYou can be reached on 1-800-THANKYOU, while Chase Ultimate Rewards can be reached on 1-866-951-6592.

Not the highest value for your points

If your goal is to use your Chase, Citi, or Amex points for JetBlue flights, you’re not getting the most out of your points.

For JetBlue flights the most value you get is 1.25 cents per point via Chase if you have Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.

Via Citi the most you get is 1.25 cents per point with a Citi Premier or 1.33 cents per point with a Citi Prestige.

And via Amex it’s 1 cent each.

We value Chase points at nearly 2 cents a piece because of the value you can gain transferring them to United or Southwest to get more travel savings from your points.

If you instead earned native JetBlue points you’d get around 1.4 cents per point in value, though it can range from as low as 1 cent or less, to as high as near 2 cents.

The catch is there’s not (yet) a JetBlue credit card you can apply for, but it’s coming soon. There is an option to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to native JetBlue points, but they get cut by 20%, so transferring 10,000 Amex Membership Rewards points nets you 8,000 JetBlue points.

That’s not always a great use of Amex points, but it can be better than using the Citi or Chase travel sites to book at a maximum of 1.25 – 1.33 cents per point in value. It can be a very good deal though if you’re transferring a small amount of Amex points to top off your JetBlue account to get the number of points you need for your next award.

For example, if you have 30,000 points earned from flying in your JetBlue account, and a $500 ticket needs 35,000 JetBlue points, transferring 5,000 Amex points to top off your account to the total points needed for the ticket essentially unlocks $500 in value with 5,000 points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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5 thoughts on Booking JetBlue flights with Chase & Citi points is tougher right now, but not impossible

  1. Bob

    What do you mean there is not a JetBlue credit card to apply for? Barclaycard has had two JB cards availalble since early 2016

    Reply
  2. JFlag

    Quick question: I have 56k TYP and I want to go PHL – BOG/MDE at the end of the month. Jetblue is only around $225 one way. I could transfer to AA (for the great conversion rate) but it’s like $800+ since I’m buying late. Should I transfer to pay for the Jetblue flight? Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @JFlag – Go for JetBlue. Even if you could transfer TYP to actual AA miles the least you’d pay there is 40k points. So around 36k points for the JetBlue fight is a good deal.

      Reply
  3. Derek

    Thanks for the info! Question – how does the value proposition change given the Chase Sapphire Reserve 1.5 redemption through the Chase portal? Would you still consider Amex transfer to JetBlue a better redemption option?

    Reply

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