JetBlue’s TrueBlue program is a bit of an enigma. Truth being told, we’re presenting their valuation with some hesitation. This stems from the fact that TrueBlue’s valuation presents some unique challenges. We’ll dive into those in a minute. This month we’re assigning an ACRV of 0.65¢ per TrueBlue mile. This represents an 8% decline in value since last year.
|Current||Previous Period||$ Change||% Change|
|Intra-US Non-Zero Average||0.87¢||0.91¢||-0.04¢||-5%|
|International Non-Zero Average||0.86¢||0.99¢||-0.13¢||-13%|
Let’s talk about award availability for a second. JetBlue, like Southwest, claims to have no blackouts on JetBlue operated flights. Furthermore, they claim that “All seats on JetBlue flights are available for booking using TrueBlue points.” This may be technically true, but I feel it’s also misleading. I feel this way, because JetBlue advertises an extensive partner network and their ability to book interline tickets on a single itinerary. However, flights operated by codeshare partners(except Hawaiian) are off-limits to those wishing to book using points.
TrueBlue points can only be redeemed for flights on JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines (https://t.co/MQwDxhJIgO).
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) January 13, 2020
So, one cannot really book any JetBlue flight using TrueBlue points, only ones on JetBlue(and Hawaiian) metal. This led to some soul-searching as to how I’d apply our hypothetical list of award trips to an airline that theoretically flies to most of our destinations via codeshare partners. Ultimately, I decided to create a JetBlue specific basket. One that only looked at city pairs connected by JetBlue operated flights. This resulted in a very East Coast/Caribbean heavy matrix.
Sadly, one is unlikely to score a high-value award on JetBlue, but very likely to score a mediocre one. Our best for the month came from an economy award seat between New York and Los Angeles. It was offered for just 8,000 TrueBlue points + $5.60 in fees. The lowest cost cash alternative was $149.00, providing a redemption value of 1.79¢. That’s really not good.
Ultimately, JetBlue is somewhat of a niche carrier. They’re primarily of interest to an East Coast based traveler who really likes the Caribbean. Sadly, for those of us who live near the Pacific, and like to travel to Asia, JetBlue doesn’t offer much. Currently, Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points transfer to TrueBlue. Our recommendation would be to keep them with your credit card issuer until that great redemption presents itself.