Out with the old and in with the new: Chase has added jetBlue as an airline transfer partner. The addition of jetBlue comes just days after Chase removed Korean Air as a partner, so this isn’t a net addition. However, the news gets better, because Chase points will transfer to jetBlue on a 1:1 ratio. That’s a step up from what you get when transferring points to jetBlue from Citi or American Express.
Any new transfer partner to one of the most flexible currencies in the points and miles world is welcome news. But because of how jetBlue sets its award pricing, this isn’t exactly the strongest Chase transfer partner. Read on for more details.
Changes to Chase Transfer Partners
The addition of jetBlue brings Chase’s stable of airline transfer partners back to nine. And it’s the third U.S.-based carrier, after United Airlines and Southwest.
jetBlue replaces KoreanAir’s SkyPass program, which ended Aug. 25. SkyPass is a bit of a niche program, though it was great for booking first class awards on Korean Air and offered one of the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii on points. Here’s a look at the full list of Chase transfer partners.
Program Type Transfer Ratio Transfer Time Aer Lingus Airline 1:1 Instant Air Canada Aeroplan Airline 1:1 Instant Air France/KLM Airline 1:1 Instant British Airways Airline 1:1 Instant Emirates Airline 1:1 Instant Iberia Plus Airline 1:1 Instant JetBlue Airline 1:1 Instant Singapore Air Airline 1:1 12-24 hours Southwest Airlines Airline 1:1 Instant United Airlines Airline 1:1 Instant Virgin Atlantic Airline 1:1 Instant World of Hyatt Hotel 1:1 Instant IHG Hotel 1:1 1 day Marriott Rewards Hotel 1:1 2 days
The 1:1 ratio is key here. While jetBlue isn’t new among the different points currencies out there, that transfer ratio is. Both Citi and American Express transfer points to jetBlue on a 5:4 basis.
Breaking Down jetBlue Transfers
Still, transferring your Chase points to jetBlue isn’t a slam dunk. Because we’re talking about Chase points, that means there can be a better option: Book those flights directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Reserve, every point is worth 1.5 cents toward travel.
Nearly every time, that’s a better return than you’d get by transferring your Chase points directly to jetBlue, even with the 1:1 transfer ratio. Here’s a quick example, looking at the new nonstop flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Boston (BOS). jetBlue wants about ‘$130 for this September flight, or 10,200 jetBlue TrueBlue points.
If you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you could book the exact same flight for just 8,693 Chase points directly. And because you’re booking through the Chase portal, you’d still earn jetBlue points for the flight! Further, you won't be on the hook for the $11.20 of taxes and fees.
Meanwhile, the same flight would be 10,432 Chase points if booking with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which gets 1.25 cents per point toward travel. So if you don’t have the Sapphire Reserve card and need to make a jetBlue reservation, it could make sense to transfer your points to jetBlue. But that wouldn’t be our favorite use of Chase points because the value you get is pretty limited thanks to how jetBlue sets its award pricing.
Moral of the story? Crunch the numbers on whether booking through the Chase portal or transferring your points makes more sense for you. And remember: Once you transfer points, you can’t get them back.
We’ll always welcome more transfer partners, but safe to say this one isn’t earth-shattering. There are some situations in which it may make sense to transfer Chase points to jetBlue, so be sure to do the math on your own.