Using your points to book an award ticket is the payoff for all the hard work you put in to earn those points. Redeeming JetBlue points for flights is relatively easy. The price of an award ticket is based on the cash price of the ticket. As long as there is a flight available, you can book it but you’ll burn through points faster booking expensive flights. JetBlue does also allow you to redeem points to fly in their Mint First Class cabin, when available, but none of those routes leave from Orlando so we’ve never seen a plane with the fancy seats.
All of my JetBlue redemptions have been for flights in the back of the plane. I’ve almost run through the 60,000 points I earned when I signed up for the JetBlue Plus card but I have enough points for one more trip. Or should I say I ALMOST have enough points for one more trip.
Finding the flights I wanted, I went to pay for the flight with TrueBlue points
Small problem, I don’t have 28,600 TrueBlue points in my account. I’m 1,894 points short.
Here are the options available:
JetBlue shows you the big GET MORE POINTS box. This leads to a pop-up box where you can purchase points. To buy the 2,000 points I needed, it would have cost $70.20. That’s a cost of 3.5 cents per point. For my redemption, I was only getting 1.3 cents per point. I’d be buying points for almost three times more than the value I’d be redeeming them for. Bad Deal.
Buying more points is a better deal. 10,000 points or more only costs 2.98 cents each and 15,000 points or more cost 2.75 cents each. All still much more than the 1.3 cents they’re worth.
What are some other options?
JetBlue has the best points pooling programs of any airline.
- Family Pooling is becoming Points Pooling—a new and improved way for you and up to six of your most fly friends or family members to pool points together.
- In Points Pooling, your pool can be made up of 2 to 7 members of all ages—family or not. A squad that pools together, flies together.
- The Pool Leader, formerly called Head of Household, can designate other members to redeem from the pooled balance (even Greg, who would probably never redeem everyone’s points on the fly and take off to Las Vegas). Important note: the Pool Leader must be 21 years or older.
- Pool Leaders will be able to customize the name of their pool. So, go ahead, make it a pool party.
Sharon has some JetBlue points in her account so I went to combine our accounts. Once logged into my account, I just clicked on Points Pooling.
I set up our pool, by going to Add Pool Member and sending an email to Sharon inviting her to my pool party.
It was really that easy. After setting up the pool, each of our accounts showed the number of points in the pool.
And I’m still 251 points short. On to plan C.
Fortunately, JetBlue is transfer partners with all four major banks. Here are the transfer ratios from each program:
- American Express Membership Rewards 250:200 TrueBlue points
- Capital One (Venture/Spark Miles) 1000:500 TrueBlue points
- Chase Ultimate Rewards 1000:1000 TrueBlue points
- Citi ThankYou (Prestige/Premier) 1000:1000 TrueBlue points
- Citi ThankYou (Preferred) 1000:800 TrueBlue points
Chase and Citi offer 1:1 transfers to JetBlue in 1000 point increments but they weren’t the programs I used. Instead I went with my AMEX Membership rewards. Even though you only get 80% of your point value, AMEX allows point transfers to JetBlue in 250 Membership Reward point increments. I was able to transfer 500 points and added 400 points to my JetBlue account. More than enough to make the reservation. I had to pay an additional 30 cents in tax offset fee.
If I had to transfer in over 1000 points, I would have used Citi ThankYou points before Chase Ultimate Rewards because I value Chase points more.
After pooling point and making a small points transfer, I was able to get enough points to book my award ticket on JetBlue. Transferring points to fixed value programs doesn’t provide a great value but if you only need a small amount of points for a redemption, it’s often the best option available. Now, I’ve almost drained my account of the award points I earned from the sign up bonus of the JetBlue Plus card and have one more free round-trip flight to show for it.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary