In early 2021, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways launched a strategic alliance in the Northeast. The concept behind this partnership is that JetBlue has amazing connectivity in the Northeast, and American wants to grow its long haul presence out of New York, but needs connecting traffic.
As part of this collaboration, the two airlines offer reciprocal perks for frequent flyers. I’ve written about the reciprocal elite perks offered, and in this post I wanted to take a look at the reciprocal opportunities to earn and redeem miles and points.
Let’s go over all the details, starting with how you can earn points, and then we’ll talk about how you can redeem points.
Earn American AAdvantage miles on JetBlue
American AAdvantage lets you earn redeemable miles and Loyalty Points when traveling with JetBlue, regardless of the airline you book through.
JetBlue is the first American AAdvantage airline partner where you earn miles based on how much you spend rather than as a percentage of the distance that you fly. As a matter of fact, mileage earning mirrors what you’d get on American, down to the elite bonuses (all miles qualify as Loyalty Points toward status):
- AAdvantage members earn 5x miles per dollar spent
- AAdvantage Gold members earn 7x miles per dollar spent (40% bonus)
- AAdvantage Platinum members earn 8x miles per dollar spent (60% bonus)
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro members earn 9x miles per dollar spent (80% bonus)
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum members earn 11x miles per dollar spent (120% bonus)
There are a few further things to note:
- The base fare and fuel surcharges are considered qualifying spending, while the government imposed taxes and fees aren’t considered qualifying spending
- You can’t earn American AAdvantage miles for travel on JetBlue between the United States and Europe, so JetBlue’s service between New York and London wouldn’t qualify for mileage earning or Loyalty Points
- There are sometimes issues with JetBlue accepting a valid AAdvantage number, in which case miles might not post correctly (I’ve dealt with this issue myself)
Earn JetBlue TrueBlue points on American
JetBlue TrueBlue lets you earn points when traveling on American, and those points even count toward Mosaic status. You can earn points regardless of whether you book with American or JetBlue. Points earning rates pretty closely reflect what you’d earn if flying with JetBlue:
- TrueBlue members earn 3x points per dollar spent (1x points for basic economy), which also count toward Mosaic status
- Mosaic members earn 3x bonus points per dollar spent
- TrueBlue members who book through JetBlue’s website or app earn an extra 3x points per dollar spent (1x points for basic economy)
As is always the case, base fare and fuel surcharges qualify as eligible spending, while the government imposed taxes and fees don’t. There are no excluded routes here, as you can earn TrueBlue points on all American Airlines routes.
Redeem American AAdvantage miles on JetBlue
It’s possible to redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel on JetBlue, with the exception of transatlantic flights, which you can’t redeem for. Award pricing follows American’s typical partner award chart (with a major catch), which you can see below.
What’s the catch?
- JetBlue Mint business class tickets price based on the “First” column rather than the “Business / First” column
- On top of that, you have to pay an additional 15,000 AAdvantage miles one-way for many Mint routes, including segments between Boston, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Palm Beach, and Los Angeles and San Francisco
What’s award availability like when redeeming on JetBlue through American AAdvantage?
- JetBlue economy class awards book into the “P” fare class
- JetBlue Mint business class awards book into the “I” fare class
As long as there’s availability in that fare class for a particular JetBlue flight, you should be able to redeem AAdvantage miles for it.
Where does that leave us when it comes to the ability to redeem AAdvantage miles on JetBlue? Economy redemptions have the potential to be a great deal, as you can redeem 12,500 AAdvantage miles for a one-way JetBlue economy ticket within the United States. While you’ll always want to compare it to cash rates, that could be a good deal.
JetBlue Mint redemptions are a bit trickier. You’ll generally pay 65,000 AAdvantage miles one-way for a transcontinental Mint ticket. Personally I value AAdvantage miles at ~1.5 cents each, so that’s the equivalent of paying close to $1,000 worth of miles for a one-way ticket.
You’ll often find cheaper JetBlue Mint tickets than that, but then again, if you’re booking last minute that could be a bargain compared to the cash cost.
Redeem JetBlue TrueBlue points on American
Rather frustratingly, it’s still not possible to redeem JetBlue TrueBlue points for travel on American. This is something that was supposed to be rolled out already, but it hasn’t happened. As of now, JetBlue simply states that “we’re working to make that possible in the future.”
While JetBlue has some airline partnerships, unfortunately redemption opportunities with TrueBlue points are severely limited.
American and JetBlue have a partnership. Not only does this offer reciprocal elite perks, but it also offers reciprocal points earning and redemption opportunities (except you can’t redeem JetBlue points on American).
I’d say this partnership is about as well executed as it could be, in terms of the ability to earn points for travel on the other airline, as well as the ability to redeem AAdvantage miles on JetBlue.
What do you make of AAdvantage & TrueBlue reciprocal points opportunities?