WTM contributor John Mccall of Travel on Blue takes us through the basics of earning lots of JetBlue airline miles.
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The Classic Route
As I hinted in the introduction post, JetBlue's TrueBlue rewards program does things a little bit differently than most other airlines. The rewards program is simply straightforward, uses high valued points, and has some innovative venues for gaining points without spending a dime.
To start off with the standard methods of earning TrueBlue points, you can do the following:
- Every dollar spent on a JetBlue flight is worth 3 reward points.
- Every dollar spent on jetblue.com earns an extra 3 points, making it 6 points/dollar spent.
- Purchasing Even More Space® (a variable seat price) nets an extra 200 points per flight
- Flying with a pet earns a 300 points bonus per flight
Now, JetBlue doesn’t have a tiered class system for its customers, so pretty much everyone is equal by and large. That doesn’t mean those who travel frequently are left without any special bonuses, though.
The Mosaic badge is offered to customers who travel on 30 flights and earn at least 12,000 base points or earn 15,000 points within a calendar year. The perks of having this badge include 15,000 bonus points to your TrueBlue account, expedited security lines where available, seats with extra legroom, two free checked bags, no change/cancellation fees, early boarding, an additional 3 points per dollar, and a dedicated service hotline.
At the end of the day this comes pretty close to being a tiered member of another frequent flyer program, but calling it a badge aligns it more closely with the rest of the rewards program which we’ll discuss later.
Even if you can’t make the Mosaic Badge status, there are some more easily attainable rewards available for racking up flights and miles, whether you’re flying on JetBlue a couple times a year or a dozen times a year:
- High Five Bonus - taking three round-trip flights or 6 one-way flights within a calendar year will earn 5,000 bonus TrueBlue points. Award Flights do not count towards this bonus. High Five bonus can only be earned once a year.
- Lucky 7 Bonus - taking seven round-trip flights or 14 one-way flights within a calendar year will earn 7,000 bonus TrueBlue points. Award Flights do not count towards this bonus. Lucky 7 bonus can only be earned once a year.
- Go Long Bonus - taking 10 one-way flights, each 1,600 miles or more, within a calendar year, you'll get 10,000 bonus points.
The JetBlue Way
Beside actually flying to earn points, there are a ton of unique ways to earn free TrueBlue points, most of which are free. JetBlue has over 20 different partners from airlines to flower shops that can net you points when using their affiliate link to either sign up or shop. Partners like Marriott offer the option of earning TrueBlue points instead of Marriott points, where others like FTD will give you 20 points per dollar spent when using the JetBlue portal for shopping.
Far more fun, however, is using the badge program to earn points. JetBlue offers Foursquare-like badges for doing activities, which help you to level up and earn more TrueBlue points. Every 5 badges increases you 1 level and different badges have different rewards. The levels themselves are only useful to unlock more badges, which is beneficial since some badges have level restrictions. For example, if you share to Facebook 10x (the A Breath of Fresh Share badge) then you receive 50 TrueBlue points. However, this is only attainable if you’re already level 4. If you’re not level 4, you can’t get the badge and can’t get the extra 50 points.
In about 15 minutes, by signing up for TrueBlue, connecting your Facebook and Twitter, and inviting friends to join as well, you can earn over 1,000 points, which is 20% closer to a domestic one way flight. It isn’t always as lucrative, but there are still many points to be had once you progress through the badge program.
There are over 200 badges: traveling to a location for the first, third, or sixth time earns a badge and so does volunteering at one of the JetBlue corporate philanthropy events (+ 1000 points, too) so there is no shortage of ways to keep earning more badges. Choosing to gamify the rewards program is not a radical idea overall, but no one else in the industry has taken such great lengths to make a fun and interactive way to earn rewards and engage customers.
The JetBlue Card from American Express
Finally, there is the obligatory sponsored credit card as a quick and easy route to earning points. The JetBlue Card offers 20,000 bonus points for signing up and spending $1,000 in the first three months, isn’t as amazing as some of the 40/50/60,000 deals out there.
However, the card has a smaller annual fee at $40 and gives an extra 2 flight points per dollar spent, making a possible 8 points per dollar if tickets are booked using the card at JetBlue.com, which is a far faster accrual rate than most co-branded credit cards offer.
With the high valuation of TrueBlue points it works out to be a fairly good deal overall and a card that is worth keeping in your wallet since the annual feel isn’t too serious. Every dollar spent accrues one point as well on non-JetBlue purchases as well. So right off the bat you’ll have 21,000 points from Amex which can net you 2 free round trips in the US (at 5k points for each leg).
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