JetBlue TrueBlue points review: How to earn and burn points
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Do you live in a city serviced by JetBlue? If so, you’ve got access to the comfiest, most enjoyable domestic airline in existence. It’s got the best lie-flat business class seats. It’s got amazing complimentary snacks. It’s got live TV. And just by holding its airline credit card, you’ll receive a boost of more than 10% in value to your points.
Despite its smaller size and route network, JetBlue is giving the big U.S. legacy carriers a run for their money with its Mint business class. JetBlue was already popular for low fares and generally goods service, and Mint takes that to the next level. Offered on select A321 aircraft, the 12-seat Mint cabin includes four solo “throne” seats with closing doors, and undercuts Delta, American and United on price by as much as 50% on select routes.
I’ll review the JetBlue points program to help you decide if it fits your travel style.
JetBlue points review
When you open a JetBlue loyalty account, you’ll earn a currency called TrueBlue points. You can redeem these for free flights all over the U.S., to the Caribbean and Central America. You can also use them on JetBlue partner airline, Hawaiian Airlines. I’ll explain how to earn and redeem JetBlue points!
Sign-up for a JetBlue TrueBlue account
At the top of the JetBlue home page, click the TrueBlue tab to find the link to create a JetBlue account. It says “Join today” above the orange “Search flights” button.
You’ll have to give your birth date, full name, create a password — all the usual suspects. After you’re done, your TrueBlue account number and information will live in the top right corner of the site.
How to earn JetBlue points
Earn JetBlue points with credit cards
JetBlue offers two credit cards issued by Barclays: the JetBlue Card and the JetBlue Plus Card. The Plus card is the only one that makes a lot of sense, with a 40,000-point welcome bonus and 6x points on JetBlue purchases, but you can do much better by leveraging transferable points instead.
JetBlue is a transfer partner of all five transferable points program:
- Amex Membership Rewards points – 5:4
- Chase Ultimate Rewards – 1:1
- Citi ThankYou Points – 1:1
- Capital One miles – 4:3
- Marriott points – 3:1
The best credit cards for earning JetBlue points, along with their current welcome bonuses, are:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Earn JetBlue points by flying
Earning miles by actually flying in an airplane has taken a backseat to points earned by using credit cards, but it can still be a way to pad your account balance — especially if you have large amounts of reimbursable business travel.
You can earn anywhere from 1 to 12 TrueBlue points per dollar spent, depending on your fare type, elite status and where you book. The Blue Basic fare will earn just 1 point per dollar, while every other JetBlue ticket will earn at least 3 points per dollar, plus the following fare-type bonuses if you book on JetBlue.com:
It’s disappointing that customers buying Mint tickets aren’t rewarded at all and earn the same number of points as those buying the cheapest economy tickets. JetBlue does a good job of pricing the Mint product competitively, but it’s surprising not to see any additional points for premium-cabin passengers, something you’ll find on almost every other airline.
If you have Mosaic status, JetBlue’s only elite status tier, you’ll also earn an additional 3 points per dollar on your flights, giving you a very solid return of 9 points per dollar or higher for flights booked directly through the JetBlue website.
Whether or not you qualify for Mosaic status, JetBlue also offers a number of tiered bonuses each year that let you earn extra miles. The Take 3 and Take 7 bonus give you 5,000 or 7,000 bonus points after purchasing and flying 3 or 7 JetBlue round-trip tickets per calendar year. Meanwhile, the Go Long bonus offers a nice 10,000 bonus points for purchasing 10 one-way JetBlue flights that cover 1,600 miles or more in a calendar year.
Despite not being a member of a major alliance, JetBlue has a number of individual airline partnerships. You can credit paid flights from popular airlines like Emirates, Singapore, Hawaiian Airlines, South African Airways and more to JetBlue to earn TrueBlue points. You’ll see a slightly different chart for each airline partner, but they all earn based on the distance of your flight and not the cost of your ticket, which can be good for the long-haul routes many of these partner airlines operate.
Earn JetBlue points by dining and shopping
For those looking to earn additional JetBlue points, there are a number of retail partnerships you can take advantage of. JetBlue runs a dining portal at truebluedining.com, where you can earn 3 points per dollar by linking your credit card and then dining at eligible restaurants. Similarly, you can earn 3 points per dollar by shopping at select retailers at trueblueshopping.jetblue.com. Most shopping portals offer a different bonus depending on what store you’re shopping at, but JetBlue offers the same 3x miles for all merchants.
JetBlue also has a great partnership with Amazon, allowing you to earn 3x bonus points on inflight Amazon purchases. Simply connect to the JetBlue Wi-Fi and log in to the Amazon website (note that this offer is only valid through a web browser and not the Amazon mobile app). If you frequently fly with JetBlue, it might be worth saving your non-urgent Amazon purchases in your cart and waiting to check out until you’re mid-flight in order to earn these bonus points.
Do JetBlue points expire?
You’ll be relieved to know that JetBlue points don’t expire. Miles from most other airlines expire after a certain period of inactivity where you don’t earn or redeem any miles (usually around 18 months). A stagnant account could mean you’d lose everything. But not JetBlue.
This is especially important because JetBlue has quite limited routes compared to legacy airlines like American Airlines or United Airlines. If you don’t live near their hub cities, like New York or Boston, the points are rarely of use to you.
Book JetBlue using both cash and TrueBlue points
JetBlue uses a revenue-based award chart, just like Southwest. No matter how you earn your points, you should spend them whenever you get the chance — you’re not going to get a significantly better redemption value by hanging on to them. JetBlue points have a fixed value (meaning they’re tied to the cash price of the ticket) and are generally worth around 1.3-1.4 cents towards JetBlue flights. For example, 10,000 points should cover a flight that costs around $130 – $140.
One important trick to getting more value from your points is to open the JetBlue Plus Credit Card, which will rebate you 10% of the points you use.
Because JetBlue doesn’t have an award chart, don’t count on any sweet spots with these points. However, it’s fairly easy to predict the value of your points at any given time.
Do you have to book through JetBlue?
Unlike Southwest, you don’t have to book direct with JetBlue when paying with cash. Their fares show up through online travel agencies like Expedia, Orbitz, etc. You can easily price them on Google Flights, too.
Redeem points with Hawaiian Airlines
The exception to the above statement is when you redeem your points with Hawaiian Airlines. JetBlue does use an award chart with them. Here are its prices:
Not exactly cheap compared to other airline programs — but a definite possibility for getting outsized value for your points! For example, if a round-trip business class flight from the East Coast to Hawaii costs more than $1,960, (1.4 cents x 140,000 points), you’ll get a better value than the average return for JetBlue points by redeeming your rewards on airline partner Hawaiian Airlines.
JetBlue Cash + Points
The JetBlue Cash + Points feature allows you to cover a portion of your airfare with points and the other with cash. Previously, you needed the full amount of points to cover a flight. In other words, if the flight required 14,000 points to book it, you needed those full 14,000 points in your account to book the award flight.
Cash + Points lets you redeem any combination of rewards and cash to cover your fare. Just keep the following in mind:
- You can use the Cash + Points feature on any JetBlue fare except for JetBlue’s basic economy fare, known as “Blue Basic”
- You can’t make changes to fares booked via Cash + Points, you can only cancel the ticket
- You will earn points on the paid portion of your ticket, and those points count towards JetBlue Mosiac status. The portion of the ticket paid for with points will not earn points or qualify towards elite status
The biggest rub is that redeeming points like this tends to drop the value of your points to around 0.75 cents each. That’s WAY worse than the 1.4 cents in value they normally provide. If you can help it, don’t use your points this way.
JetBlue is a rare airline that doesn’t allow you to use your points to offset rental cars or hotels — THANKFULLY. Redeeming your points this way always gives you a very poor value per point.
What you can do, if you’re brimming with JetBlue points and want them to fund your accommodation as well, is to use them with JetBlue Vacations. When you search for your destination, it will give you a package containing flights and hotels. You actually can’t offset an entire JetBlue Vacations bill with JetBlue points, but you can use them to heavily discount one. You’ll see a return of around 1.3 cents each, though it’s possible to get slightly better.
JetBlue Even More Space
If you have JetBlue Mosaic status (which we’ll talk about in literally ten seconds), you can upgrade your seat to preferred seating named “Even More Space,” starting at just 800 points. This is sometimes the most valuable use of your points in terms of actual return per point.
JetBlue elite status
As stated above, JetBlue has one single elite status level, Mosaic status. You’ll earn it by achieving one of the following tasks:
- Earning 15,000 points by flying in a calendar year
- Flying 30 qualifying segments and earning 12,000 points by flying
Mosaic status comes with an additional 3 points per dollar spent on all JetBlue flights — even Blue Basic.
Mosaic status comes with the following benefits.
Earning JetBlue points is incredibly easy, through a number of co-branded credit cards, transfer partners, and dining and shopping portals. Many of these options make it easy to earn bonus JetBlue points on everyday purchases you already planned to make, letting you double-dip and increase your earnings without increasing your cost.
If you live in a city that JetBlue serves, this is a wonderful program. However, the best option for you depends entirely on what you’ll actually use. If you live in Indianapolis, for example, this is not the program for you. Check JetBlue’s route map here to see if your city is served by JetBlue.
Let us know what you think of the program — and comment with any questions!
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