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Though it doesn’t have as large of a footprint as major carriers like American and United, JetBlue Airways is a growing airline with a solid base that connects the U.S. coasts plus parts of the Caribbean.
As a low-cost carrier, JetBlue is known for its low fares and friendly service. Since JetBlue’s TrueBlue points are typically "fixed" to the value of the airline's cash fares, it’s a little harder to uncover super sweet spots. However, there are still plenty of ways to maximize your earning (and burning) of JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty points.
Find the lowest fares easily on desktop
JetBlue has a sleek and user-friendly app that's helpful for customers to use for tracking flights, checking in and doing basic fare searches. But if your travel dates are flexible and you want to easily find the best deal, head to the website on a desktop.
The "Best Fare Finder" tool on the JetBlue site helps you compare prices for different days in a nice calendar view. The calendar shows the lowest fares for an entire month, and you can see multiple months at once.
In this example of one-way flights between Washington, D.C. (DCA), and Boston (BOS), if you flew on the 18th of the month, the lowest fare you would find is 14,000 points. But if you could fly the next day instead, you would be able to find a seat for as low as 4,800 points. You can search in the "Best Fare Finder" tool using either points or dollars.
» Learn more: JetBlue TrueBlue rewards program complete guide
Use your points to fly in luxury
Although the concepts of a low-cost carrier and a premium cabin are seemingly oxymorons, JetBlue combines them in its highly-rated Mint product. Mint is JetBlue’s version of premium class, complete with lie-flat beds, plush bedding, delicious food and even some suites with doors.
You can fly Mint from coast-to-coast and to the Caribbean on select routes:
JetBlue doesn’t publish an award chart and instead charges points fares based on the cash fare of that seat. So while it’s hard to find any outsized value redemptions for your points, you should expect to get a solid 1.3 cents per point, according to NerdWallet's valuations.
When you’re shopping for flights on the JetBlue site, it’s easy to compare the price of the Blue economy seat and the Mint option. Just look to the column in the far right of the screen, and you’ll see Mint in green.
Hop around Hawaii for 6,000 points
JetBlue isn't part of a traditional airline alliance, but it does have many partner airlines, including Emirates, Icelandair and Hawaiian Airlines. While you can earn JetBlue points when you fly all of their partners, you can only redeem your TrueBlue points with Hawaiian Airlines.
Even though JetBlue doesn’t publish an award chart for its own program, it does publish one for its Hawaiian partnership. It costs just 6,000 points each way to fly within Hawaii if you use your TrueBlue points, compared with 7,500 each way if you use Hawaiian Airlines miles on those same flights.
You could also use 22,000 TrueBlue points to fly from the West Coast of the U.S. to Hawaii, or 30,000 from the East Coast in economy. If you want to splurge for business class seats, you would pay 45,000 TrueBlue points from the West Coast, or 70,000 from the East Coast.
You can’t redeem JetBlue points for Hawaiian Airlines online; you’ll have to call the dedicated reservations line at 1-800-JET-BLUE (538-2583).
» Learn more: JetBlue sweet spots
Earn extra bonus points
There are three main ways to earn TrueBlue points: regular points earned from flying JetBlue, points earned from a co-branded credit card and points transferred from a credit card partner.
Advanced TrueBlue members, however, can find even more ways to earn points:
Shop on Amazon during your flight (using JetBlue’s free FlyFi Wi-Fi service), and you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent.
Give your opinion and earn 400 points when you complete your first survey on jetOpinions.
Use the JetBlue TrueBlue Shopping portal when you shop at your favorite stores online and earn bonus JetBlue points.
Take advantage of the JetBlue bonus program each calendar year:
Take 3: Fly three round trips and earn 5,000 bonus points.
Lucky 7: Fly seven round trips and earn an extra 7,000 points.
Go Long: Fly 10 one-way JetBlue flights that are at least 1,600 miles each and earn 10,000 extra points.
Watch for credit card transfer bonuses where you’ll earn extra points. JetBlue is a transfer partner of all the major flexible points bank programs, including Chase Ultimate Rewards®, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and Capital One Venture miles. From time to time, these programs offer extra bonuses when you transfer your points to JetBlue.
Pool your points
JetBlue is one of the few U.S. airlines that lets you combine your points with family and friends. TrueBlue members can create a points pool account with up to seven people.
The ability to pool your points with others can be extremely helpful when you don’t have enough points to make a redemption. If you’re not a frequent flyer, it can take time to build up enough points for a free seat. But if you’re able to combine points with others, you can get there much faster.
Let’s say you were 5,000 miles shy of the amount you needed to take a United flight. If you had a friend who had the miles, he or she could transfer those miles to you for a hefty fee. You would pay $75 to transfer the miles, plus a $30 processing fee for a total of $105. With JetBlue’s points pooling program, you can share points for free.
Once you join a TrueBlue pool party, all your points will go into the pool, so make sure that you’re only pooling with close friends and family members whom you trust.
Pay with a combination of cash and points
JetBlue is also one of the few U.S. airlines that let you pay for flights through a combination of cash and points. Since points fares tend to be tied to the cash value of the seat, the cost of paying in cash and points generally doesn’t deviate widely from the cost of paying in either all cash or all points.
Say you were looking to book a flight that cost 25,200 points, but you only had 9,000 TrueBlue points. With this feature, you could plunk down 9,000 points, and pay the rest in cash.
That’s a sweet option if you don’t have enough points to get where you want to go, but still want to avoid paying in cash as much as possible on your next trip.
It’s also a great option if you simply prefer keeping your point balance low, rather than sitting on a stash of made-up currency.
The bottom line
From luxurious flights in their Mint class to island-hopping around Hawaii or pooling points with friends, there is no shortage of ways to maximize your earning and burning of JetBlue points. As always, have a strategy in place for your award redemption and know all your options for earning points for that trip to maximize points as fast as possible.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card