JetBlue TrueBlue has just rolled out a promotion on purchased points. I want to share the details of it, though also want to note that it’s almost never a good deal.
Buy JetBlue points for 40% off
Through March 20, 2020, JetBlue TrueBlue is offering up to a 40% discount on the purchase of points. This is a tiered discount, as follows:
- Buy 3,000-9,500 points, get 20% off
- Buy 10,000-29,500 points, get 30% off
- Buy 30,000 points, get 40% off
JetBlue lets you purchase at most 30,000 points per transaction, and at most 120,000 points per calendar year.
In other words, you could buy 30,000 points for $532.13 (factoring in the 40% discount and the tax recovery fee), which is a cost of 1.77 cents per TrueBlue point.
Why buying JetBlue points probably isn’t worth it
Selling points can be huge business for loyalty programs. Many loyalty programs generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue annually by selling points directly to consumers. This can be a win-win for both programs and consumers.
But that’s not really something that works for JetBlue, because TrueBlue is a revenue based frequent flyer program. There are no efficient partner redemptions, and TrueBlue points can be redeemed for at most 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a JetBlue fare (I value TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents each).
There’s not really any way to get value out of TrueBlue beyond that. I’m not sure if they’re hoping that people will see a 40% discount and assume it’s a good deal, or what exactly the model is for selling points.
Personally I see two situations where this potentially be a good value.
If you’re topping off for an award
If you’re considering an expensive award and buying 1,000 points would get you enough to book that, I could see it being worthwhile. Personally I’d probably just save for my next redemption, but I could see how that could make sense for some.
If you’re Mosaic and upgrading to Even More Space seats
The only real way to get more value out of TrueBlue than the typical redemption rate is if you’re a Mosaic member, which is JetBlue’s status (it requires 15,000 flight points per year, or 12,000 flight points plus 30 segments).
If you’re a Mosaic member then you can redeem your TrueBlue points for upgrades to Even More Space seats at significantly reduced rates. These are JetBlue’s extra legroom seats, and the value can be excellent. For example:
- An Even More Space upgrade that would cost $10 would require only 200 points
- An Even More Space upgrade that would cost $99 would require only 1,100 points
This is an exceptional value, and buying points at that rate could make sense. However, in general you can expect that Mosaic members will earn enough points through flying to cover upgrades on just about every flight.
JetBlue is selling TrueBlue points for up to 40% off, which is about as good as their promotions get. This is an opportunity to buy points for as little as ~1.77 cents each.
However, given that TrueBlue is a revenue based program, there aren’t many circumstances under which this is a good deal. I’d say the one real exception is if you’re a Mosaic member and this allows you to upgrade to an Even More Space seat.
Does anyone see value in TrueBlue points that I’m missing?