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JetBlue TrueBlue points offer fewer redemption options than currencies of big carriers like American Airlines. For example, American AAdvantage miles can be redeemed for flights on 22 partner airlines. TrueBlue points, on the other hand, are good for flights on only two airlines: JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines.
Does that mean TrueBlue points aren’t worth collecting? Far from it. TrueBlue points can be some of the most valuable rewards currency you hold — provided you know how to make the most of them. Here are some strategies for stretching those TrueBlue points as far as possible.
» Learn more: JetBlue TrueBlue rewards program: The complete guide
Traditionally, many airlines used a zone-based system to decide how many points were needed for an award flight. A flight from Los Angeles to Seattle could cost the same number of points as a flight from Miami to Seattle. JetBlue redemption rates are far less regimented.
That means you can find wildly varying redemptions for similar flight itineraries. For example, getting from chilly Boston to sunny Fort Lauderdale in mid-February could cost you as many as 23,000 TrueBlue points or as few as 9,900 on the same departure day.
Because JetBlue redemptions have no blackout dates, this means you have lots of power to decide whether to spend a big chunk of points on your preferred flight or to save a ton by tweaking your itinerary a little.
Say aloha to Hawaii
Hawaiian Airlines is one of the best ways to get to and around the islands. The airline still serves a free hot meal to economy class passengers on mainland-to-Hawaii routes. A flight from the western United States to the islands will cost you 22,000 TrueBlue points each way in economy class.
To fly between the continental U.S. and one of Hawaiian’s international destinations in Asia and the South Pacific, you’ll need 50,000 TrueBlue points each way. Inter-island flights are about 6,000 points each way, which is better than Hawaiian’s own redemption rate of 7,500 miles. To redeem TrueBlue points for Hawaiian flights, you will have to call JetBlue reservations.
Share points with your crew
JetBlue has a unique points pooling program that could be very advantageous for some. It works likes this: On JetBlue’s website, you create a “pool” with between two and six friends and family members.
All the points earned by members go into the pool, which the Pool Leader can redeem for flights for one or all. The Pool Leader is also able to nominate other Pool members to redeem points. All of this is free of charge.
Compare that with what you have to pay to transfer AAdvantage miles to a friend or family member: For a 20,000-mile transfer, the fee is $265 — and the more miles you transfer, the higher the fee.
Book a vacation package
You can’t redeem TrueBlue points for hotel stays alone, but you can redeem them for vacation packages. We value TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents each, so use that as a guide to evaluate whether redeeming points for a vacation package is a good deal. Either way, you’ll have one more price to compare, giving you that much more power to save.
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