JetBlue Airways is known for its affordable fares and frequent flights to beach destinations. From its early focus on the eastern U.S., the airline has gradually expanded operations to more areas of the country. Hub cities include Boston, New York (JFK), Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Long Beach, California. It also flies to dozens of locations in the Caribbean, Mexico and South America, including Turks and Caicos and St. Thomas.
If you fly JetBlue frequently, or you could do so, the airline’s fares can become even more appealing when paired with JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards program.
How to earn JetBlue TrueBlue points
JetBlue’s program gives rewards called TrueBlue points, which NerdWallet values at an average of 1.4 cents apiece when redeemed for flights. Joining the TrueBlue program is free and you can start earning points by booking flights online. Points do not expire, according to JetBlue’s website.
EARNING TRUEBLUE POINTS when you fly
Earning on JetBlue: In general, you earn 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent, but when you book directly on JetBlue.com, you also earn bonus points based on the type of fare you buy:
|Fare class||Points earned||Free checked bags||Fare features|
|Blue||3 base points plus 3 bonus points per dollar spent||0||JetBlue's basic fare. No extras. Ticket changes incur a fee. Extra charge to fly standby.|
|Blue Plus||3 base points plus 4 bonus points per dollar spent||1||Same change and standby fees as regular Blue fares|
|Blue Flex||3 base points plus 5 bonus points per dollar spent||2||No change or cancellation fees. No extra charge to fly standby. Expedited security access at select airports.|
|Mint||3 base points plus 3 bonus points per dollar spent||2||JetBlue's most expensive fare. Lie-flat seats. Free in-flight movies. "Artisanal dining." Faster check in. First-in-line baggage pickup.|
Full details about what you get (or don’t get) with JetBlue’s fare classes are available on JetBlue’s “Our Fares” page.
Other flight programs offer additional points: Purchasing an “Even More Space” seat earns you an additional 200 TrueBlue points. Flying with your pet gets you 300 extra points, and booking a JetBlue vacation package (airfare plus hotel) earns 6 points per dollar spent.
According to JetBlue’s website, there are no blackout dates on flights operated by JetBlue, so you can use points for any seat at any time, and points don’t expire. In addition, JetBlue offers the option of pooling points with family and friends.
Earning on other airlines: JetBlue has partnerships with a handful of other airlines, such as Icelandair, Hawaiian Airlines and Emirates. In general, the number of points you earn with partners is based on distance flown.
Earning TrueBlue points with a credit card
NerdWallet’s favorite co-branded credit card for the airline is the JetBlue Plus Card. It earns 6 points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. It’s the rare airline card that offers bonus points at merchants other than the airline itself. You start off with a nice sign-up bonus: (This offer is no longer valid on our site) Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. And cardholders earn 5,000 bonus points on their account anniversary every year. The annual fee is $99.
Earning TrueBlue points through partners
JetBlue partners with dozens of retailers, hotels and other merchants, allowing you to earn additional TrueBlue points. A sampling of offers available as of January 2018:
- Hotels: Earn TrueBlue points by staying at participating properties in partner hotel chains, including Marriott, Hilton and IHG (Holiday Inn)
- TrueBlue Dining: Register a credit card with the airline’s dining program and earn points when you use that card at 11,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs
- Amazon: Earn 3 points for every dollar spent if they access Amazon through the JetBlue site during a flight
- 1800Flowers.com: Earn 20 TrueBlue points per dollar spent with the promo code TB20
- SoFi: Earn 1 point for every $2 worth of student loans refinanced, up to 50,000 points
Search for partners and get details about earning at the TrueBlue partnerships page.
EARNING TRUEBLUE POINTS WITH BADGES
The TrueBlue program also allows you to earn “badges” for loyalty and engagement with the company. There are more than 400 badges for such things as sharing a social media post or taking a certain number of flights. Some (but not all) badges come with bonus points. For example, JetBlue offers 5,000 bonus points when you purchase and fly three JetBlue round trips within a calendar year, and 7,000 points when you purchase and fly seven round trips in a calendar year. (Award flights do not count toward that bonus.)
Purchasing additional TrueBlue points
You can buy additional TrueBlue points through the website, but they are expensive. If you buy 1,000 points, which NerdWallet values at $14, you will pay $37.63 — so you are paying more than double what they are worth.
How to redeem JetBlue TrueBlue points
You can use TrueBlue points to book flights or vacation packages online. The number of points required for a free flight depends on the fare, according to JetBlue. When you search for flights at JetBlue.com, you have the option of seeing the fare displayed in either dollars or points.
You can also donate points to charities, buy magazine subscriptions with them or use them to book JetBlue vacation packages or flights on Hawaiian Airlines. JetBlue says it is adding more redemption partners soon.
Good redemption options
Unlike other airline loyalty programs, TrueBlue doesn’t offer any redemption options that give you less than 1 cent of value per point, so you’ll likely get a decent return on your rewards no matter how they’re spent. Purchasing vacation packages, which include flights bundled with hotel accommodations, gets you about 1.6 cents per point, according to NerdWallet’s valuations, which makes it a more valuable redemption option than booking flights alone. An even more valuable option is redeeming points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions, which comes out to around 4 cents per point.
Bad redemption options
Given the good value of TrueBlue points regardless of how you redeem, your only truly bad option would be to fail to use them.
JetBlue TrueBlue status levels
Anyone can sign up for TrueBlue for free; once enrolled, you’re a basic member. The program has an elite status level, known as “Mosaic.” There are two ways to qualify:
- Fly 30 JetBlue segments and earn 12,000 base points in a calendar year. A segment is defined as a single takeoff-to-landing flight.
- Earn 15,000 base points in a calendar year.
Note that the points needed to qualify for Mosaic are base points, which you earn at the rate of 3 per dollar when purchasing JetBlue flights. (So, 12,000 base points equals $4,000 spent on airfare, and 15,000 base points equals $5,000.) Bonus points earned for booking through JetBlue.com do not apply.
Benefits of TrueBlue Mosaic status
- Free first and second checked bags
- No cancellation or change fees
- 15,000 bonus points awarded at qualifying
- An additional 3 points per dollar spent on JetBlue fares
- Early boarding and, at selected airports, expedited security screening
- A dedicated customer service line
- Free alcoholic beverages during in-flight service
JetBlue partner airlines
As of January 2018, JetBlue lists the following airlines as partners that allow you to earn TrueBlue points on their flights:
- Hawaiian Airlines (you can also redeem TrueBlue points on this airline)
- Silver Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
Credit cards that earn TrueBlue points
The following credit cards allow you to earn TrueBlue points:
- 3 points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases
- 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants and grocery stores
- 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.
- $0 annual fee
- 6 points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases
- 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants and grocery stores
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
- 5,000 bonus points on account anniversary every year
- $99 annual fee
The calculated value of these points is based on an estimated redemption rate, not a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, you may notice that these numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool.
For our calculations, we sampled five popular domestic routes and five international routes. These are the routes we used:
- LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida
- San Francisco International Airport to Long Beach Airport in California
- O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City
- Los Angeles International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City
- John F. Kennedy International Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina
- LaGuardia Airport in New York City to San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín Airport in Puerto Rico
- Logan International Airport in Boston to Mexico City International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Los Angeles International Airport to Cancun International Airport in Mexico
- O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín Airport in Puerto Rico
For domestic flights, the points value ranged from 1.3 to 1.7 cents each; for international flights, 1.3 to 1.6 cents.
To determine the value of your miles for specific flights, divide the cash value of the ticket (less any applicable taxes or fees if you redeem miles) by the number of miles required for the flight. So if the ticket would cost either $100, or 15,000 miles + $10 in taxes/fees, the math would be as follows:
($100 – $10) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cents per mile