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JetBlue has just launched its latest buy points sale, offering TrueBlue loyalty members up to a 60% bonus when purchasing 30,000 points. If maximized, you'd be buying points for 1.72¢ a piece, the cheapest we've ever seen JetBlue sell them. Even so, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good deal. Let's take a look at when it makes sense to buy JetBlue points—and when it doesn't.
General Note on Buying Points
Generally speaking, buying points or miles without a discount isn't a good idea. Airlines and hotels typically sell points for a lot more than what they're worth. This is especially true for programs—like JetBlue—that utilize a fixed-value, revenue-based points currency.
However, there are a few exceptions. If you only need a few more points to confirm a redemption you'd like to make, a points sale can be the perfect time to top off your account at a discount. Additionally, buying points can save you some cash if the price to buy points for a redemption is cheaper than paying for the same product outright.
- This promotion is valid through June 10, 2020.
- Purchases of TrueBlue points are non-refundable.
- Purchased points will generally be posted within 72 hours.
- Any purchased TrueBlue points will not count toward qualification for Mosiac elite status.
- TrueBlue members may purchase a maximum of 30,000 points (not including bonus points) per transaction, and a maximum of 120,000 points per calendar year.
- See all terms and conditions here.
The current buy points promotion operates on a tiered system:
- Buy 3,000 – 9,500 points, receive a 40% bonus
- Buy 10,000 – 29,500 points, receive a 50% bonus
- Buy 30,000 points, receive a 60% bonus
Great JetBlue Redemptions
Unlike zone or category based award programs like American Airlines AAdvantage or Marriott Bonvoy, JetBlue's TrueBlue currency operates at a fixed value of between 1¢ and 1.5¢ per point. The advantage of a program like this is that the ability to use points is steady. You don't have to find award availability to get a good redemption. The disadvantage is that you're rarely going to find any outsized value for your points.
But just because you're not going to find any ‘sweet-spots' in JetBlue's non-existent award chart doesn't mean that there are no valuable point redemptions. With fixed-value currencies, if cash fares are cheap—like they are now—that means award prices are also cheap.
For example, this transcontinental route between Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) shows several flights available for just 12,300 points+ $5.60.
JetBlue also happens to offer one of the best domestic business-class products available. If you're keen to try JetBlue ‘Mint', there are some great deals out there for points redemptions. You can book this Boston (BOS) to Las Vegas (LAS) itinerary in JetBlue Mint for only 30,000 points!
At the optimal purchase rate of 1.72¢, that's just $516 in miles plus $5.60 taxes and fees. That sounds great, but the cash price of this flight is just $311:
In this case, it would make much more sense to just buy the flight outright than buying miles for this redemption. However, if you don't have quite enough TrueBlue points, it could make sense to top off your account with a purchase.
Maximize Your Purchase
TrueBlue point purchases are processed by Points.com, meaning your purchase will not qualify for any standard travel category bonus. With that in mind, if you decide to buy JetBlue miles, your best options are to use the purchase to meet the minimum spend for a sign-up bonus, or to use a card optimized for non-bonused spending.
If you're looking to build your stash of TrueBlue points, two of the best options would be the:
- Citi® Double Cash Card — which earns 2X ThankYou Points when paired with a Citi Premier℠ Card or Citi Prestige® Card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express — which earns 2X Membership Rewards on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year, and 1 point per dollar thereafter.
Other Ways to Earn TrueBlue Points
If you're not in a bind for time, perhaps a better way to earn TrueBlue points might be with a sign-up bonus on a JetBlue co-branded credit card:
- JetBlue Plus Mastercard® – Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and payment of the annual fee.
- JetBlue Mastercard® – Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
- JetBlue Business Mastercard® – Earn up to 60,000 points: 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and earn 10,000 points when a purchase is made on an employee card in the first 90 days.
At 1.72¢ each, this promotion is the cheapest we've ever seen JetBlue sell TrueBlue points. However, even at this all-time low price, the currency's fixed-value means that buying points will make sense for very few situations.
If you're right on the cusp of being able to afford an expensive redemption, then this promotion could be the fastest way to get there. Otherwise, you should probably steer clear.
Can you think of any other time when buying JetBlue points makes sense?
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