JetBlue Adds New Cash + Points Redemption Option

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Flexibility has always been essential for those of us using points and miles to plan travel. Recently, JetBlue announced that it will be giving TrueBlue loyalty members more flexibility when planning travel by offering a Cash + Points option for bookings on JetBlue flights. More options are almost always better, but let's take a closer look to see what value you can get from this option.

How JetBlue Cash + Points Works

TrueBlue loyalty members now have three options when it comes to paying for flights. As always, customers can use all cash or all points. The new option allows members to use cash and points on a sliding scale, starting with as little as 500 points.

If you want to use any amount of points, select “TrueBlue Points” in your initial search window as shown below.

JetBlue search option with TrueBlue Points option selected

The search results will provide you with different flight/fare options.

JetBlue BOS-SFO points search results

For this example, I chose the Blue fare class. Once you have selected the flight and fare class that works best for you, the website will display “Your price.” By default, JetBlue will show you the price using the maximum number of miles with only the security fees paid out of pocket.

JetBlue Points + Dollars redemption using 44,800 points and $5.60 cash

This is when you can experiment with JetBlue's “slider”. Input any number of points that you would like to use (minimum 500) and the slider will calculate the remaining cash portion of the ticket.

So for the BOS to SFO one-way trip ticket that I priced above, I have the following options for payment:

  • 44,800 points ($5.60 taxes and fees)
  • $458.10 cash
  • A nearly endless combination of cash and points!

It is worth noting that the slider adjusts in set increments but you can enter any amount of points you wish to use (500 or more) and the tool will update the dollar amount needed to complete the purchase.

The Fine Print

The Cash + Points option is only available for Blue, Blue Extra and Blue Plus fares. Cash + Points is not currently available on Blue Basic tickets. Also, TrueBlue members may use the Cash+Points options to book a Mint fare. This option can be a nice way to defray the cost of a premium ticket.

Also worth noting is that while the Cash + Points option is available on round trip tickets, JetBlue explicitly recommends against using this option for a round trip ticket. It seems that cancelling or changing a single flight segment is not currently possible and JetBlue recommends booking each flight as a one-way ticket if you are using Cash + Points.

Is this a good value?

As always, it's important to do the math before redeeming points for travel. TrueBlue points are valued at a fixed rate of between 1 and 1.5 cents per point depending on the cost of the flight.

In the example above, the value of each TrueBlue point would be just over 1 cent if you paid for the full fare in points. However, if you were to apply the 20,100 points, you would only offset $180.90 of the cash price.

JetBlue Points + Dollars redemption with 20,100 points and $277.20 cash

In fact, it doesn't matter which Cash + Points option you choose, all of the options give you around 0.9 cents per point.

PointsCashValue per point
0$458.10n/a
498$453.620.90
5,400$409.490.90
10,299$365.410.90
15,197$321.330.90
20,100$277.200.90
24,998$233.110.90
29,897$189.030.90
34,800$144.900.90
39,698$100.820.90
44,800$5.601.01

Topping Off Your TrueBlue Account

Instead of using the Cash + Points option, you have plenty of options to top off your TrueBlue account. JetBlue is a transfer partner of:

Our Take

By the numbers, the Cash + Points option isn't the most valuable way to redeem TrueBlue points. That said, every situation is different. If you have some orphan points to use up or simply want to keep some more cash in your pocket, the Cash + Points option does offer TrueBlue members more flexibility in paying for their travel.

What do you think? Are you excited about this new redemption option?

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Comments

  • The big disadvantage is that this possibility is not available for Blue Basic tickets.

  • This is a smart move on JetBlue’s part. My friend who cannot get more JetBlue points immediately, already took advantage of this to save a little money on his flight.

  • Maryjane says:

    I really like Jetblue but because of their limited route system I haven’t flown with them very much. This is a great way to use up a small number of points even if you might not get maximum value from this redemption. Points that are never redeemed are worth nothing.

  • dharmesh says:

    I wish JetBlue traveled to more destinations. I have flown with them before once. Maybe i will look into their rewards and see what i can book. good post

  • I’ve been waiting for something like this similar to other international airline redemptions. Makes it easier if you don’t have all the points required for a flight!

  • This is great! every airline should have this.

  • I’m surprised they didn’t have this before like many other airlines.

  • Hector L Samalot says:

    Love the way AwardWallet analyzes Airlines offers in terms of its methothology of point requirements calculation.