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JetBlue TrueBlue Value 03.03.18

JetBlue TrueBlue Value

JetBlue’s TrueBlue program is a bit of an enigma. We actually struggled a bit with this one. 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. So, with some trepidation, we’re assigning an ACRV of $0.0079 per TrueBlue mile.

US Domestic Value $0.0054
International Value $0.0105
Combined ACRV $0.0079
US Domestic Non-zero Average 0.0092
International Non-zero Average 0.0188
Overall Non-zero Average $0.0140
Award Availability 76.36%
Average Fees $12.99

JetBlue TrueBlue Value Distribution 03.03.18

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 we feel it’s also a bit misleading, We 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 are off-limits to those wishing to book using points. We reached out to JetBlue to get a little bit of clarification, and to see if this might change at any time. Their response:

So, one cannot really book any JetBlue flight using TrueBlue points, only ones on JetBlue metal. This led to some soul-searching as to how we’d apply our hypothetical list of award trips to an airline that theoretically flies to most of our destinations via codeshare partners. Ultimately, we 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/Carribbean heavy matrix.

Our next point of contention came when trying to decide what was fair as it pertains to the presentation of award availability. Also like Southwest, JetBlue claims all seats are up for grabs. But how do we present availability when no seats are bookable, even using cash? In other words, when the flight is sold out, or a given day doesn’t have regularly scheduled service. We decided to count this against JetBlue’s availability metric and award valuation. We decided this simply because of the fact that we’re trying to figure out how easy it is for a casual points and miles traveler to redeem. If one is unable to book a flight, it doesn’t matter why the seat isn’t available, only that it isn’t.

JetBlue No Availability
After some internal debate, we decided to count this against JetBlue’s award valuation.
Redemption Count
Exceptional >$0.06 0
Great $0.04-0.06 0
Good $0.03-0.04 4
Respectable $0.02-0.03 3
Acceptable $0.01-0.02 21
Terrible <$0.01 14
No Availability 13

Sadly, one is unlikely to score a high-value award on JetBlue. Conversely, one is very likely to get a reasonable one. Our best for the month came from an economy award seat between NYC and Aruba offered for 18,600 TrueBlue points + $15.60 in fees. The lowest cost cash alternative was $696.00, providing a redemption value of $0.0366. We’d be happy with that.

JetBlue TrueBlue Best and Worst Valuation 03.03.18

JetBlue is somewhat of a niche carrier, 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, only Membership Rewards transfer to TrueBlue. Our recommendation would be to keep them with Amex until that great redemption presents itself.

Compared to it’s Peers

For more information about how we value airline/hotel and other award currencies, please visit our valuation method and changelog pages.