What is the value of JetBlue’s TrueBlue points?

In September, 2009, JetBlue announced some major changes to its TrueBlue frequent flyer program, requiring GetDebit to completely re-evaluate our estimate of the worth of JetBlue’s TrueBlue points. Previously, we had estimated JetBlue points to be worth about $0.0120 per point. With the changes to the program, that estimate has climbed slightly to about $0.0122 per point.

Major changes include:

  • Much more friendly expiration rules. Every time you earn a new JetBlue point, whether from flying or using the JetBlue Card from American Express, all of your TrueBlue points will automatically renew for another 12 months.
  • JetBlue switched to a variable point structure, where roundtrip flights are available for as little as 10,000 points, increasing in 100 point increments.
  • JetBlue now provides bonus points the more you travel, referred to as the “Go Big Bonus” and the “Go Long Bonus”.
  • Awards used to be based on earning 100 credits, which would give you a free roundtrip flight. Now, the TrueBlue program looks more like a traditional airline frequent flyer program, based on points/miles, not credits.
  • TrueBlue no longer has blackout dates (as long as you have the points to get the ticket, and its available, it’s yours).

GetDebit’s Methodology to Determine the Value of JetBlue TrueBlue Points

  • GetDebit uses Kayak.com to determine the market value of 24 major routes flown by JetBlue. Cities used in the analysis include: Los Angeles (LAX), Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Denver (DEN), San Francisco (SFO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Seattle (SEA), Salt Lake City (SLC), Austin (AUS), and Las Vegas (LAS).
  • We included all routes where the estimated dollar value per point was equal to or greater than $0.0095. Only 2 of the 24 routes were excluded.
  • We examined both low and high season flights, all based on economy fare types.
  • Since passengers are still required to pay the taxes on the tickets, we back those out of the post-tax market rate prices. There are no booking fees if tickets are purchased online.
  • GetDebit applies a 5% non-cash penalty, since it’s always better to have cash back versus miles or points, all else equal. See the article Detailed Analysis of Flight Costs for an in-depth explanation of how GetDebit calculates these ticket costs.
  • JetBlue currently does not have any airline/hotel partnerships linked to their TrueBlue program, so there’s no need to take that into account.

So How Much Are JetBlue’s TrueBlue Points Really Worth?

Value of JetBlue’s TrueBlue Points
From To Season TrueBlue Pts Req’d (RT) Pre-Tax Mkt Price $ val/point
LAX BOS Low 23,600 $318 $0.0135
LAX JFK Low 26,600 $364 $0.0137
DEN BOS Low 15,600 $218 $0.0140
BOS SFO Low 23,600 $318 $0.0135
BOS SEA Low 26,600 $358 $0.0135
BOS FLL High 30,400 $299 $0.0098
SFO AUS Low 18,000 $216 $0.0120
SFO BOS Low 23,600 $318 $0.0135
JFK LAS Low 24,600 $304 $0.0124
JFK SLC High 29,400 $291 $0.0099
JFK SEA Low 26,600 $358 $0.0135
LAX BOS High 25,600 $344 $0.0134
LAX JFK High 27,000 $364 $0.0135
DEN JFK High 19,300 $259 $0.0134
DEN BOS High 15,600 $218 $0.0140
BOS SFO High 26,400 $234 $0.0089
BOS FLL Low 17,700 $278 $0.0157
SFO AUS High 20,000 $270 $0.0135
SFO BOS High 26,400 $354 $0.0134
JFK LAS High 26,200 $348 $0.0133
JFK SLC High 25,200 $307 $0.0122
JFK SEA High 26,600 $374 $0.0141
Pre-penalty Avg $0.0129
Post 5% penalty $0.0122

The Final Word on the Worth of JetBlue TrueBlue Points

Based on the above analysis, GetDebit has estimated the value of JetBlue’s TrueBlue points at around $0.0122 per point. It’s worth noting that some routes deliver much better value than others. For example, the BOS to FLL route during low season was valued at a whopping $0.0157 per point. If you can afford to pick and choose your routes, there is definitely material upside to our estimate.

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