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American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 25% bonus on points transfers to JetBlue TrueBlue through October 1, 2018.
The normal transfer ratio from Membership Rewards to TrueBlue is 250:200, so through this promotion the ratio is 250:250, or 1:1. The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, so you can take advantage of the deal as often as you’d like.
Is it worth transferring Amex points to JetBlue with a bonus?
TrueBlue is a revenue based frequent flyer program, and typically TrueBlue points can be redeemed towards the cost of a ticket at the rate of around 1.5 cents per point. Usually it’s just a bit lower (like 1.45 cents per point), though sometimes it’s also a bit higher.
For example, here’s a comparison of cash and award rates for some random flights between New York and Tampa:
In other words, with the current transfer bonus you can get roughly 1.5 cents per Membership Rewards point towards the cost of a JetBlue ticket.
But it potentially gets even better than that. If you have JetBlue Plus Card (as I do), you get a 10% refund on all your points redemptions, which helps stretch your points even further. So assuming you have the card, you’ll be able to get about 1.6-1.7 cents of value per point.
For those looking to maximize their points, I wouldn’t consider this to be an exceptional deal, in the sense that you can get more value by redeeming points for international saver first and business class ticket. Of course just because that’s possible doesn’t mean it matches up with many peoples’ travel needs.
This is a solid use of Membership Rewards points for anyone who is looking for domestic and regional travel, especially given that you don’t have to deal with the complexity of other airlines’ award charts, and how limited their availability often it.
Amex seems to offer this transfer bonus one or two times per year, so it’s rare, but not unheard of.
Personally I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me this is pretty close to getting the value I’d expect out of the points. Based on how I maximize points, I really think the transfer ratio from Amex Membership Rewards to JetBlue TrueBlue should be 1:1, so these promotions just make the ratio fair. Of course not everyone maximizes points to the extent that I do.
Someone who has a card like The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express could really get value out of transfer bonuses like these. The no annual fee card has an increased welcome bonus at the moment and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually, so if you transfer over points during a bonus, it’s like earning two TrueBlue points per dollar spent on purchases, up to $50,000 of spend per year. That’s a good deal.
Do you plan on converting Amex points to JetBlue?