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JetBlue often gets less attention than other airlines in the miles and points world, partly because they’re not part of a traditional alliance to redeem miles to as many exotic, far-flung destinations.
But they’re certainly getting miles and points enthusiasts’ attention now with their recent Virgin America mileage matching promotion. And Barclaycard now offers 3 JetBlue cards which can help you earn lots of JetBlue points!
I’ll show you how to get the most out of your JetBlue points, especially if you have one of the JetBlue credit cards.
The Basics of JetBlue’s Frequent Flyer Program
JetBlue’s loyalty program TrueBlue has a lot of excellent perks. And it’s great for folks looking for flexibility.
Like Southwest, there are no blackout dates, and you can reserve an award seat on any flight as long as there’s a seat for sale.
But the price of an award ticket is tied to the paid cost of the flight. So you’ll pay more points for expensive tickets, and fewer if there’s a seat sale.
Also like Southwest, you’ll earn points based on the what you paid for your ticket, not on how many miles you fly. And JetBlue also offers bonus points for booking paid flights online.
JetBlue points never expire.
Finally, JetBlue allows you to pool your points with family members, making it easy to combine points for an award. And avoid having smaller amounts of points you can’t use spread across family members’ individual accounts.
Why Fly With JetBlue?
Many folks like JetBlue because the airline focuses on the customer experience in the air. All JetBlue flights offer complimentary drinks and snacks, extra legroom, and free inflight entertainment including Wi-Fi and TV.
And if you fly between certain cities, JetBlue’s Mint service (what they call Business Class) offers lie-flat seats, premium food, and better amenities.
JetBlue is an especially good option for folks who live in one of JetBlue’s focus cities (Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, New York, Orlando, and San Juan).
What Are JetBlue Points Worth?
Typically, JetBlue points are worth ~1.4 cents each when you book the cheapest seats called Blue fares. And when you book Mint (Business Class) award tickets, they’re worth ~1.7 cents each.
However, this isn’t always the case! I’ve found examples where booking Mint award tickets results in a value of ~1.3 cents per point. And some Blue fare tickets where points are worth much more (~2.6 cents per point).
I checked non-stop flights between New York (JFK) and Barbados.
Here are prices for a paid, one-way ticket:
And here are the number of JetBlue points required for the same flight:
Let’s see where you’ll get more value for your points:
You’ll pay $213 cash or 8,600 JetBlue points plus ~$7 for a one-way Blue fare ticket from New York to Barbados.
To calculate the cents per mile, first subtract ~$7 from the cash price of the ticket. So $213 – ~$7 = ~$206.
Then ~$206 / 8,600 JetBlue points = ~~2.4 cents per point.
Blue Plus Fare
It costs $228 or 9,800 JetBlue points plus ~$7 for a Blue Plus ticket, which includes a free checked bag and cheaper change and cancellation fees.
Subtracting the ~$7 in taxes from the $228 fare, you’d get a slightly lower value of ~2.3 cents per point (~$221 / 9,800 JetBlue points). But you’d also get a free checked bag (worth $20 to $25).
The $399 Mint fare includes 2 free checked bags, plus you’ll get a lie-flat seat and fancy meals & drinks.
Subtract ~$7 from $399 and you get ~$392. That works out to ~1.4 cents per point (~$392 / 28,700 JetBlue points).
In this case, you’re getting far less dollar value per point. But when you factor in the improved service and free checked bags, this might not matter to some folks!
Because you’ll get a free checked bag for yourself and up to 3 companions on the same reservation, when you use the card to pay for your ticket (even the taxes on award flights!). So you can choose a Blue fare instead of Blue Plus (though note that the cancellation policies differ slightly between the two).
Cardholders also get 10% of their redeemed miles back. So the math changes a bit, and your points are worth more. In this example, cardholders would get:
- ~2.7 cents per point on a Blue fare (~$206 / 7,740 JetBlue points after rebate)
- ~2.6 cents per point on a Blue Plus fare (~$221 / 8,820 JetBlue points after rebate)
- ~1.5 cents per point on a Mint fare (~$392 / 25,830 JetBlue points after rebate)
So being a JetBlue cardholder gives you a better return on your points.
I found different values on the other routes I checked, for example New York (JFK) to Los Angeles.
Here are prices for a paid, one-way ticket:
And here’s what you’d pay with JetBlue points:
If you’re not a cardholder, here’s how the math works out:
- ~1.5 cents per point on a Blue fare (~$163 / 10,700 JetBlue points)
- ~1.5 cents per point on a Blue Plus fare (~$178 / 11,800 JetBlue points)
- ~1.3 cents per point on a Mint fare (~$593 / 45,300 JetBlue points)
If you are a cardholder, and you take into account the 10% mileage rebate, you’d get:
- ~1.7 cents per point on a Blue fare (~$163 / 9,630 JetBlue points)
- ~1.7 cents per point on a Blue Plus fare (~$178 / 10,620 JetBlue points)
- ~1.5 cents per point on a Mint fare (~$593 / 40,770 JetBlue points)
I’d avoid the Blue Plus fare in this case, because you’ll already get a free checked bag when you use the card to pay for your award ticket taxes and fees!
JetBlue Credit Cards
Link: Barclaycard JetBlue Plus
Link: Barclaycard JetBlue
You can now earn lots of JetBlue points by signing-up for one of the Barclaycard JetBlue credit cards.
So the sign-up bonus could be worth up to ~$810 if you get a value of ~2.7 cents per point, like in our previous example (30,000 points x 2.7 cents per point = ~$810).
Or $450 if you book flights at ~1.5 cents per point (30,000 points x 1.5 cents per point = $450).
The cards also offer:
- 5,000 JetBlue additional points each year on your account anniversary
- 6 JetBlue points per $1 you spend on airfare with JetBlue
- 2 JetBlue points per $1 you spend at restaurants & grocery stores (personal card) or restaurants & office supply stores (business card)
- 1 JetBlue point per $1 you spend everywhere else
- Free first checked bag for cardholder and up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to pay for your ticket
- 50% discount on eligible in-flight purchases like cocktails, food, and movies
- 10% of points back when you redeem them
- Annual $100 statement credit when you purchase a Getaway Vacation Package of $100 or more
- Earn JetBlue Mosaic elite status each year after spending $50,000 or more on purchases (including early boarding, free checked bags, and free flight cancellations and changes)
The $99 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.
The JetBlue Card has NO annual fee, but it comes with fewer benefits, including a lower sign-up bonus, no anniversary bonus, and fewer points per $1 on spending.
- 10,000 JetBlue points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account
- 3 JetBlue points per $1 you spend on JetBlue purchases
- 2 JetBlue points per $1 you spend at restaurants and grocery stores
- 1 JetBlue point per $1 you spend everywhere else
- 50% discount on eligible in-flight purchases like alcohol, food, and movies
So you won’t get as many JetBlue flights, a points rebate, or free checked bag with this card.
Are These Cards A Good Deal?
These cards are NOT the best option for folks new to the world of miles and points. If you’re just starting out, you’ll be better off applying for Chase cards, since they recently made it difficult to be approved for most cards if you’ve opened ~5 or more in the last 24 months.
Chase also has a lot of great cards for beginners, including Southwest cards which give you a jump on earning the Southwest Companion Pass. Or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which gives you lots of flexibility because you can transfer your points to airline and hotel partners.
But consider the JetBlue cards if you already have lots of other cards, or live in a JetBlue focus city with lots of non-stop flight options.
Where Could You Go With the SignUp Bonus?
And don’t forget, you can transfer American Express membership rewards to JetBlue to top off your account for an award.
New York to Barbados on a random date this fall costs 8,600 JetBlue points, and the return flight costs 7,400 points, or a total of 16,000 JetBlue points plus taxes round-trip per person.
So the sign-up bonus is almost worth 2 round-trip tickets to Barbados! And you could transfer the extra 1,000 JetBlue points required from American Express Membership Rewards.
And for being a card member, you’d get back 10% of the points you spent, or 3,200 points returned.
Long Beach, California
If you live near Long Beach, California, you might consider a trip to Anchorage for just 18,500 JetBlue points round-trip. And you’d have plenty of points left over from the sign-up bonus for another ticket!
You’d get 1,850 points back for being a cardmember.
From Fort Lauderdale, you can fly to Quito, Ecuador, for as little as 7,100 JetBlue points each way!
That means your sign-up bonus could get you 2 round-trip flights to see Ecuador. And Quito is a great jumping-off point if you want to visit the Galapagos Islands!
And remember with these cards, you’ll get a free checked bag when you use the card to pay for your flight – even taxes on award tickets!
The JetBlue Card isn’t as good a deal, because it has a lower sign-up bonus and fewer perks. But it could be a good choice if you prefer a card with no annual fee.
JetBlue isn’t for everyone, but if you live in a city with lots of JetBlue flights, these cards could be an excellent deal for you. Just remember to keep Chase’s new application rules in mind, and apply for the Chase cards you want before you consider these cards!