JetBlue’s loyalty program, TrueBlue has a redemption sweet spot and I am looking forward to utilizing it but it may not be everyone’s top choice.
A Big Bonus Enticed Me
While Live And Let’s Fly partners on some credit card offers, we don’t have a relationship with the Barlcays JetBlue Plus card. We want our readers to have the best information regardless of whether we receive compensation. For me, this was the best available for my situation and a lot of readers will be able to see incredible value from this offer. If interested, I like to support Dr. of Credit, and here’s his sign-up link.
The card offers 50,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 in spend in the first 90 days, then another 50,000 after $6,000 in the same calendar year. I have a large purchase to make but not in the range of huge bonus offers where I’d want to pursue the Southwest Companion Pass through a business card.
At a minimum, I will end up with 106,000 points, which is worth as much as 116,600 points (because the card offers 10% of points redeemed returned to cardholder accounts.) That could be worth as much as $2087 (don’t worry, I’ll show my work.) It would be very unlikely that I would spend $50,000 on the card in order to secure Mosaic status.
For those curious about benefits other than those I listed:
- 6x points on JetBlue purchases
- 2x points on restaurants and grocery purchases
- 1x points on everything else
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Waived first checked bag (for me and my first three companions)
- 50% off onboard purchases
- 5,000 points on card anniversary
- $100 off vacation packages
Where I Find Value
Matthew and I disagree about the value of the TrueBlue program mostly because of the differences in how we would redeem the points. TrueBlue operates similarly to Southwest Rapid Rewards in that points should relate directly to the cash price of a ticket. Generally speaking, TrueBlue points are valued at about 1.4 cents per point.
While Matthew values the program based on where he can secure a Mint Class award flight (possibly the best trans-continental product of any carrier in the US) I look at where I can glean the most value for my situation, cheap flights between Florida and Pittsburgh.
When I see a deal as cheap as 800 points and $5.60, I see a ton of value. The airline’s product has the most passenger space at the seat, offers TV which is helpful for our daughter, snacks to get you through a short flight, and wifi available which is important to me.
Let’s get to the math on that incredibly cheap flight. It’s just $20 in cash or $15 plus $5.60 in taxes so it wouldn’t break the bank even on a family of three. However, $15 divided by 800 points is a value of 1.85¢/point. Looking at my balance of 116,600 points I can achieve a value of $2,186 before my $99 annual fee which drops my value to $2,087. That’s just shy of 146 one-way flights or a little more than 24 roundtrips for my family of three.
I don’t know of another card in existence (feel free to answer in the comments section) that can deliver 24 roundtrips for $99 and $6,000 spent on the card (money I would spend and pay off anyway.)
While it might seem like this is an isolated situation, it’s really not. Throughout the last few years, the airline has made it possible – almost weekly – to get on a JetBlue flight for $20 to somewhere. Granted, it may not always be in my home city, but we may be able to tag cheap Caribbean flights onto Florida weekends and end up in St. Lucia, Aruba, or the Bahamas, all previously offered in JetBlue’s $20 deals.
It’s also worth noting that JetBlue is part of Chase Ultimate Rewards which for some would be a reason not to get the card at all. But when you include all credit card rewards together to determine value, having a transferable currency like Ultimate Rewards means I won’t ever be left with a TrueBlue point value I can’t use.
While it may seem silly at first to focus on redemptions I could secure for the price of a decent lunch, this is also where the very best valuation for TrueBlue points are present.
What Flight Redemptions Will I Avoid?
Matthew highlighted a redemption in Mint Class cross-country that would have cost 70,000 points. That’s not a good use of Matthew’s earned points and I don’t blame him for avoiding it.
While I would be tempted to join him on a Mint trip when the London flights open, I won’t be rushing to spend this cache of points in the back of an A321 to London Gatwick any time soon.
I may utilize some standard redemptions closer to a 1.4¢/point valuation, but it won’t be my first choice.
I had considered the JetBlue Card from American Express when it was offered but hadn’t taken the plunge because the bonus wasn’t significant enough. Finding value on the least expensive flights that really stretch a balance of points is as helpful to me as finding business class saver space on a long haul flight. This card has a great offer and while I am sure COVID-19 has an impact on how and where products are marketed by Barclays bank, advertisers, and partners, we haven’t seen the same huge bonuses across the bank’s portfolio which includes Hawaiian Airlines.
I couldn’t pass this one up, maybe you shouldn’t either.
What do you think? Do you find the same great value I do in the JetBlue Plus offer? Is there a better card I missed out on for my situation?