Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Buy JetBlue Points

Filed Under: JetBlue
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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.

Bottom line

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?

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  1. Also, remember that TrueBlue miles redeem at closer ot 1 cent per mile for Mint compared to the 1.3 cents to 1.4 cents for economy. Unless you earn a lot of TrueBlue points organically, the bes way to redeem points for JetBlue is usually through portals vs transferring or buying miles

  2. Lucky, once in a blue moon, there will be outsized redemptions. I find JetBlue’s pricing to be strange at times.

    On more expensive flights, sometimes the redemption can be less attractive at like $0.011 per point. Other times it’s the other way around. I saw SAV-BOS flights go from $111 to $200 while to points only rise from 5,200 to 7,200 points plus $5.60. They were both attractive redemptions.

    Very generally speaking, it seems better to pay for expensive flights (including Mint) and rack up lots of points and then redeem them on cheaper flights. Again, these opportunities are pretty rare.

  3. Thanks Lucky – sitting on a bunch of TrueBlue points (without status) and been wondering what to do with them. I see that Hawaiian is a redemption partner of Jetblue. Would it make sense to instead redeem TrueBlue points on Hawaiian? Don’t see a lot of info about doing this on OMAAT.

  4. A better investment would be airline stocks on a day like today. Maybe put in a buy order later this afternoon. AAL is trading at half the price it was a month ago. Cruise lines are all at 50% or more off. Makes buying points seem silly, just saying.

  5. Redeemed TrueBlue for Hawaiian and it was a decent value. They use an award chart and saver space, which is very un-Jetblue of them, but again, the only value I’ve ever gotten. You should write it up.

  6. 15,000 points on JetBlue per year is probably pretty difficult to accomplish. Consider how many points you get just for flying from Florida to New York, for example. It would take many trips to do that.

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