JetBlue TrueBlue has just rolled out its latest promotion on purchased points. I want to share the details of it, though also want to note upfront that buying TrueBlue points almost never represents a good deal.
Buy JetBlue points with a bonus
Through Monday, November 22, 2021, JetBlue TrueBlue is offering a bonus on purchased points. Different accounts may be targeted for different bonuses, though it appears that the standard offer is for a 70% bonus. You’ll have to log into your TrueBlue account to see what you’re eligible for.
The accounts I manage all show a tiered bonus of up to 70%, as follows:
- Buy 3,000-14,500 points, get a 25% bonus
- Buy 15,000-29,500 points, get a 40% bonus
- Buy 30,000-50,000 points, get a 70% bonus
JetBlue lets you purchase at most 50,000 points per transaction (pre-bonus), and at most 120,000 points per calendar year. If you maximized the bonus you could purchase a total of 85,000 points for $1,478.13, which is a cost of 1.74 cents per TrueBlue point.
While this offer probably isn’t worth taking advantage of (as I’ll explain below), this is the best offer we’ve seen on purchased TrueBlue points in quite a while.
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, but usually much less than that (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 JetBlue hopes that people will see a big percentage bonus or discount and assume it’s a good deal, or what exactly the model is for selling points.
The only circumstances under which this promotion might make sense is if you’re trying to top off an account for a redemption. Say 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 some might rationalize this. Still, the biggest percent discount only kicks in when you purchase 30,000 points, which is a big purchase to make.
Back in the day Mosaic members could also redeem points to upgrade to Even More Space seats at a reasonable cost in order to get outsized value, but that’s no longer the case.
JetBlue is selling TrueBlue points with a bonus. The accounts I manage are eligible for a 70% bonus, which is an opportunity to buy points for 1.74 cents each.
Given that TrueBlue is a revenue based program, there aren’t many circumstances under which this is a good deal. I can’t help but wonder the economics of this — are there people actually buying TrueBlue points at this price, or…?
Does anyone see value in TrueBlue points that I’m missing?