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If you have AAdvantage status but are flying with JetBlue (or likewise have TrueBlue status but are flying with American Airlines), then here's some good news: You can flex your status on the others' airline, while also earning bonus points for your flights.
American Airlines and JetBlue's new "Northeast Alliance" kicked into high gear in spring 2022, and it means big benefits for the two airlines' loyalty program members. Since the agreement was announced in 2021, the two airlines launched a new code-share partnership, and the benefits have only kept rolling in since then, including new ways to earn and redeem miles, plus reciprocal elite benefits. That means travelers can now earn AAdvantage miles and elite status credits when flying JetBlue. On the flip side, flyers can also now earn TrueBlue points and Mosaic elite status credit when flying American. It also means that some elite status benefits also transfer between airlines.
However, this partnership works like no other mileage partnership that either airline currently has. Rather than earning miles based on the distance of the flight, you'll earn AAdvantage miles or TrueBlue points based on the fare that you paid. This potentially has interesting implications for the future of both programs.
Here’s a deeper look at what travelers can expect with these new changes.
What AAdvantage members needed to know when flying JetBlue
How you'll earn AAdvantage miles on JetBlue flights
American Airlines flyers can earn AAdvantage miles on JetBlue flights the same way they do on most American Airlines fares. AAdvantage members flying JetBlue can earn 5 miles per dollar spent on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges.
And AAdvantage elites earn a bonus on top of those base earnings:
Gold: 7 miles per dollar (40% bonus).
Platinum: 8 miles per dollar (60% bonus).
Platinum Pro: 9 miles per dollar (80% bonus).
Executive Platinum: 11 miles per dollar (120% bonus).
» Learn more: Is airline elite status worth pursuing this year?
How you’ll earn AAdvantage elite status credits on JetBlue flights
In addition to earning AAdvantage miles, travelers can earn elite status credits for AAdvantage, even when flying on JetBlue-marketed flights.
The earning chart closely mirrors the elite status credits you'd earn flying on American Airlines-marketed flights.
Your elite status earnings will vary both by ticket type and the cost of the ticket. Here’s how the earnings shake out:
Elite Qualifying Miles: You'll earn 1 EQM per mile flown in economy unless you’re flying on a Blue Basic fare — the airline’s basic economy product. You’ll earn 2 EQMs per mile flown in most JetBlue Mint (business class) fares. Only full-fare JetBlue Mint tickets (read: really expensive, last-minute bookings) will earn 3 EQMs per mile flown.
Elite Qualifying Dollars: Flyers earn EQDs toward elite status based on the amount paid for a JetBlue ticket, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees. But again, you won't earn any EQDs with a JetBlue Blue Basic (basic economy) ticket.
Elite Qualifying Segments: You'll earn 1 EQS per flight segment flown on JetBlue, except on JetBlue Blue Basic fares (basic economy), where you will earn none.
» Learn more: When should you book basic economy?
What this means for AAdvantage members
This means mileage and elite status earnings are nearly identical whether you fly American or JetBlue. If you currently have AAdvantage elite status, you may want to stick to American flights to enjoy elite benefits. However, you'll earn the same amount of AAdvantage miles and elite status credits flying either airline.
On its own, this isn’t a big development. However, it may mark a turning point in how AAdvantage members earn miles and elite status credits on other partner airlines. If American and JetBlue can share data to make this revenue-based earning system work, American might be able to do so with other partners — especially joint business partners, like British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas.
If implemented, this could potentially spell the end of a shortcut to AAdvantage elite status. Currently, savvy AAdvantage members can selectively book partner airlines to earn more EQMs and EQDs than they'd earn on American Airlines flights. For instance, AAdvantage members can earn a lot more miles and elite status credits flying on inexpensive Japan Airlines or British Airways premium economy fares than they would booking the same fares through American Airlines.
What TrueBlue members need to know when flying American
How you'll earn TrueBlue points on American Airlines flights
TrueBlue members can earn points when flying on American Airlines flights. The earning rates are quite similar to how you earn points on JetBlue flights — but there's a catch to be aware of.
You'll earn a base of 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent on all ticket types except basic economy (these flyers will earn 1 TrueBlue point per dollar). Mosaic elite members flying any American Airlines fare type will earn an additional 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent.
However, there are a couple of important exceptions. For American Airlines flights booked through AA.com but credited to TrueBlue, you won't earn the JetBlue app/website booking bonus. If you’re a JetBlue Plus Card holder, the news is worse still: You won’t earn bonus miles for spending on the airline’s credit card.
This means you'll earn a lot more TrueBlue points by booking an American Airlines flight through JetBlue's website — especially if you're a JetBlue Plus Card holder.
Type of points/miles available by place of purchase
3 (1 in basic economy).
3 (1 in basic economy).
JetBlue app/website booking bonus points
3 (1 in basic economy).
Mosaic bonus points/miles
JetBlue Plus Card bonus points
Potential total points/miles earned per $1 spent
15 (11 in basic economy).
6 (4 in basic economy).
How you’ll earn Mosaic elite status credits on American flights
As part of this expanded partnership, flyers can now earn elite qualifying points on American Airlines-operated flights that count toward your Mosaic status. You will earn 3 Mosaic-qualifying points per dollar spent on all fares but basic economy, which earns 1 Mosaic-qualifying point per dollar spent.
If you're aiming for Mosaic status, you may want to forgo flying on basic economy fares.
» Learn more: The complete guide to earning JetBlue points
What this means for TrueBlue members
This partnership opens a lot more opportunities for TrueBlue loyalists to earn points in their preferred program. You can now fly on American's extensive network and earn both TrueBlue points and Mosaic status credits.
Make sure to check prices on both American and JetBlue's websites. If the prices are the same, you'll want to book through JetBlue's website to maximize your TrueBlue earnings.
TrueBlue members could already earn miles on a few other partners — including Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair and JSX. However, American is the first partner on which TrueBlue members can earn Mosaic status credits. It will be interesting to see if American remains the only partner where this is possible, or if JetBlue will launch similar partnerships with other airlines in the future.
» Learn more: Plan your next redemption with either airline
Earning reciprocal benefits on JetBlue and American Airlines flights
For AAdvantage and TrueBlue Mosaic status members when traveling on either airline, you can also flex your status in certain ways. Among the ways you can get recognized for your status on the others' airline:
Seat upgrades: When checking in for an American or JetBlue flight, AAdvantage status members and TrueBlue Mosaic members can choose complimentary Main Cabin Extra or Even More Space seats when available (these seats entail amenities like extra legroom, early boarding and dedicated overhead bin space).
Same-day flight changes: AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members and TrueBlue Mosaic members are also eligible for same-day confirmed flight changes when traveling on either carrier.
Faster check-in and boarding: Access to priority check-in, priority baggage, priority security and priority boarding benefits.
Free checked bags: AAdvantage status members receive up to two complimentary checked bags when traveling on JetBlue and TrueBlue Mosaic members can check two complimentary checked bags at American Airlines kiosks when arriving at the airport.
Lounge access: Admirals Club members traveling on JetBlue can access Admirals Club lounges, where you'll find complimentary amenities like food and beverages, Wi-Fi, business centers, and kids’ rooms.
» Learn more: JetBlue versus American Airlines
The bottom line
Whether you're an American elite or a JetBlue loyalist, the American Airlines and JetBlue partnership is another way to earn miles, points and elite status credits (as well as flex your existing elite status) with your favorite program. You can now earn AAdvantage miles and elite status credits on JetBlue flights similar to American flights. And as long as you book through JetBlue's website, you'll earn TrueBlue points on American Airlines flights just as you would on JetBlue.
And for what it's worth, the unique way that the airlines have set up earning rates has us wondering if this is a pivot point for how you'll earn miles and elite status credits on partners going forward — for better or worse.
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card