When Should You Redeem JetBlue TrueBlue Points?

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Thanks in great part to the JetBlue Plus Card as well as JetBlue's Mint premium cabin product, more people are paying attention to JetBlue's TrueBlue rewards program. TrueBlue is a revenue-based rewards program, which means there will always be “award availability” as long as there is a seat available for sale.

JetBlue TrueBlue

There is a common belief that it doesn't matter when you redeem TrueBlue points, as the value you will get out of those points on award bookings is fixed and, therefore, is always going to be the same. This is not the case. In fact, the value you can get from TrueBlue points on award bookings can vary significantly.

Examples of Different Value from TrueBlue Points

Example #1 – JetBlue's early morning Boston (BOS) – San Diego (SAN) flight on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

Cash Price: $167.10 (JetBlue always rounds up when displaying fare comparisons):

JetBlue Boston to San Diego Early Morning

TrueBlue Price: 8,600 points

JetBlue Boston to San Diego Early Morning With Points

You will also have to pay $5.60 in taxes and fees. Therefore, you would be redeeming points at a value of approximately 1.9 cents when you factor in the taxes/fees.

Example #2 – The Blue Fare for JetBlue's same BOS-SAN flight a week later, on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cash Price: $339.10

JetBlue Boston to San Diego Early Morning #2

TrueBlue Price: 26,000 points

JetBlue Boston to San Diego Early Morning #2 With Points

You will also have to pay $5.60 in taxes and fees. Factoring in the taxes/fees, you would be redeeming points at a value of approximately 1.3 cents per point.

Example #3 – A Blue fare for JetBlue's New York JFK-Charleston (CHS) flight on Monday, November 11, 2016

Cash Price: $89.10

JFK to Charleston

 

TrueBlue Points: 5,400 points

JFK to Charleston With Points

You will also have to pay $5.60 in taxes and fees. With the taxes/fees taken into account, you'll be redeeming points at a value of approximately 1.5 cents per point.

Example #4 – In this case the actual redemption value is secondary. What is most notable is the fact that even though the fares for all three BOS-San Juan (SJU) flights on November 18, 2016, are the same.

Cash Price: $211

San Juan to Boston Cash

TrueBlue Points: Depends on the flight. It is less for the 3:56 AM flight than on the other two flights.

San Juan to Boston With Points

You do not even have to do the math to determine that the early flight provides a better redemption value. Despite the revenue fares being the same, there is a 2,400 points difference between the first flight and the other two BOS-SJU non-stops.

Also, worth noting is the fact that for the 8:55 PM flight the Blue Plus Fare, which includes one checked-bag among other benefits, the amount of points required, 13,100, is lower than the number of points required for the Blue Fare for the same flight. Just one more detail you have to be on the lookout for when considering TrueBlue points redemptions.

Bottom Line

Determining when to redeem TrueBlue points is an inexact science. The value at which you would be redeeming TrueBlue points can vary significantly. Your goal should be to redeem TrueBlue points at a value as close to 2 cents as possible. However, anything at 1.5 cents or above is acceptable. On the other hand, we think you should pass on award options with redemption values under 1.5 cents, as was the case for Example 2.

If you want are interested in booking a JetBlue roundtrip or two separate one-ways, but only have enough points for one of those legs, always determine which option provides the highest redemption value first. And always keep your eye out for anomalies such as the ones pointed out in Example #4.

When Should You Redeem JetBlue TrueBlue Points?
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