How to Get the Most Value Out of JetBlue Points

Using your points for Hawaiian Airlines award flights or JetBlue vacations can offer better-than-average value.

Josh GarberDec 21, 2020
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If you’ve been collecting JetBlue TrueBlue points, you probably want to squeeze the most value out of them. It takes some thought and consideration to earn points as cost-effectively as possible, then redeem them in ways that get you the highest possible per-point value; effectively, you need to have a solid redemption strategy to exchange JetBlue TrueBlue points for max value.

Signing up for the JetBlue Card is a good starting point because of its $0 annual fee and its welcome bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days Plus, when you’re traveling abroad, you’ll pay no foreign transaction fees.

Once you’ve accumulated enough points for a trip, it’s time to look for ways to maximize their value. Here’s how JetBlue TrueBlue members can optimize their rewards.

Where can you travel using TrueBlue points?

JetBlue TrueBlue members can redeem points for not just JetBlue flights, but also flights on Hawaiian Airlines or for JetBlue vacation packages.

The number of points required for a JetBlue flight varies based on the cash price of the ticket, but not all redemptions get you the same value. You can maximize the value of your points through any of these redemption methods.

How to maximize point redemptions

Fly JetBlue using points

NerdWallet values JetBlue TrueBlue points at 1.5 cents apiece. Keep that number in mind to see if you’re getting a good redemption value.

To figure out how much value you’re getting from your points for any flight, take the cash value of the ticket, then subtract the taxes and fees you’d pay if you used points. Next, divide that price by the number of points you need for the same flight.

So if a ticket cost $197 or 17,000 points plus $5.60 in taxes/fees, divide the cash price minus the $5.60 in fees by 17,000 points.

  • $197 – $5.60 = $191.40.

  • $191.40 ÷ 17,000 = 0.0113 dollars, or about 1.3 cents.

At 1.3 cents apiece, this hypothetical flight isn't quite as good as NerdWallet’s average value of 1.5 cents per TrueBlue point, meaning you’re not getting the best deal.

Nerdy tip: To maximize the value of your TrueBlue points for JetBlue flights, run a simple calculation for every flight you’re considering to see if it meets or beats the average 1.5 cents per-point value.

Fly Hawaiian Airlines using JetBlue points

JetBlue has partnerships with six airlines: Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair, South African Airways, Singapore Airlines and Silver Airways. TrueBlue members can earn points by flying these partner airlines, but you can only redeem TrueBlue points for flights on one of them: Hawaiian Airlines.

The number of TrueBlue points you need for a flight on Hawaiian Airlines is laid out in an easy-to-understand award chart.

The fixed prices on award charts offer one of the best ways to maximize frequent flyer points, since the number of points required can stay constant, even when the cash price goes up.

For example, a recent search showed a one-way nonstop business class flight from New York-JFK to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines for just over $1,400. If the flight is available for an award booking through JetBlue, you could book it for 70,000 points. Divide that cash cost by the number of points and you see you get a value of about 2 cents per point with this redemption for a good deal.

To check availability and book a flight on Hawaiian Airlines using JetBlue TrueBlue reward points, you’ll have to call JetBlue.

Book a JetBlue vacation package

Another great way to optimize your rewards from your JetBlue Card is by applying your points to all or part of the cost of a JetBlue vacation package, which includes both flight and hotel room.

As an example, we searched for a five-night trip from San Francisco to the Holiday Inn Resort and Casino Aruba Beach. The cash price of this trip booked through JetBlue Vacations, including hotel and airfare for one person, was $1,055.70. If you use JetBlue TrueBlue points, the same trip would cost 29,100 points, plus $675.70. So you would save $380 in cash by using 29,100 points, resulting in a value of about 1.3 cents per point.

Nerdy tip: Spend some time searching sample itineraries through JetBlue Vacations and you could find great ways to optimize your points.

Purchase magazine and newspaper subscriptions

JetBlue also lets you redeem points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions. This can be a great way to optimize their value and can lead to redemptions valued as high as 4 cents per point.

The bottom line

The JetBlue TrueBlue reward program offers some great opportunities to maximize the value of your points. Cardholders looking to get the most value for their points should consider using them to purchase flights on JetBlue or Hawaiian Airlines, or redeem them for a JetBlue vacation package, or for magazine and newspaper subscriptions.


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