- 1 25% More TrueBlue Points for Transferring Membership Rewards to JetBlue
- 2 How Many Frequent Flyer Miles Do You Need to Earn a Free Flight?
- 3 5 Things You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Programs
- 4 Ways To Use JetBlue TrueBlue Points To Book Free Travel
- 5 JetBlue TrueBlue Double Points For LAX/SFO-JFK Flights March 20 – May 27, 2015
25% More TrueBlue Points for Transferring Membership Rewards to JetBlue
Membership Rewards announced a transfer bonus today if you want to move points to the TrueBlue loyalty program operated by JetBlue. You can get 25% more points when you transfer to your TrueBlue account by September 15. Although American Express has clamped down on people transferring points to other individuals’ accounts, this is still possible if you add that individual as an authorized cardholder.
250 Membership Rewards points will earn 200 TrueBlue points. Under the terms of the promotion, a 25% bonus means you’ll get 250 TrueBlue points for every 250 Membership Rewards points. Like Southwest Airlines, many of JetBlue’s flights are in economy class only, and though it has no blackout dates it does have a few different booking classes that mean different rates for redeeming TrueBlue points. You can expect to get between 1 and 1.3 cents per point, or up to 1.7 cents per point if you redeem for their new Mint class on transcontinental flights.
Is it a good deal to transfer Membership Rewards to JetBlue? Given how few flights have Mint service, I think it’s an unfair basis for evaluation. I’ll instead use 1.3 cents as the maximum value. A $200 flight that costs 15,385 TrueBlue points used to be 19,794 MR and is now only 15,385 MR — a 20% savings.
But what’s the opportunity cost? I could do a lot with
15,000 MR. I can transfer them 1-to-1 with British Airways’ Avios program, a distance-based program that has capacity restrictions but doesn’t care how much the fare cost. Only 12,500 points would be needed to fly from the West Coast to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines. 15,000 points would be enough for a round-trip flight from Seattle to Las Vegas. These are both trips that often cost more than $200.
I can get a round-trip flight to any non-stop destination within this bright circle for just 15,000 Membership Rewards points.
Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer is another good transfer partner if you like international flights in first class, though you’ll need much more than 15,000 points. Instead, take a look at some of its Star Alliance partners. You could still use KrisFlyer to book an award on United Airlines.
So while a bonus offer from JetBlue and Membership Rewards is nice, I don’t see this as a compelling reason to transfer your points. Fixed-value rewards currencies like TrueBlue force you to trade the flexibility of any seat, any flight in exchange for significantly less valuable points. I’d prefer to save my Membership Rewards for a future trip, one where I know award space is available and can extract far more value — with or without a transfer bonus.
How Many Frequent Flyer Miles Do You Need to Earn a Free Flight?
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Updated as of 12/7/2016
My husband and I did something incredible last Thanksgiving, or at least incredible to us: we scored airfare to Michigan at an 85% discount over the holidays. Our family gathering was really nice, and even more so because we were able to get around Michigan’s very expensive airline market. For us to fly there and back from Houston would have cost an astounding $1400. To give you a bit of perspective, you can almost fly two people to Dublin and back for that same price.
When my uncle and aunt decided to host Thanksgiving at their home last year and I learned that nearly everyone would be joining in on the festivities, I knew that we wanted to go. Instead of saying “no” to what we wanted, I decided to look for (much) cheaper alternatives. Southwest Airlines had previously sent us several offers for two roundtrip tickets by opening up a credit card with them, paying the $99 annual fee, and making one purchase. I took them up on their offer several months in advance in order to receive the frequent flyer miles in time (Southwest is running a similar deal now, though you have to make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months for the tickets. Note: this is not an affiliate link). Even with this strategy, the free roundtrip ticket offer only covered $800. So on top of this we liquidated all of Paul’s frequent flyer miles he had accumulated last year from traveling for business. Problem solved! We ended up paying $20 in security fees, plus the $99 in annual fees for the credit card.
Frequent Flyer mile programs can really save a lot of money, especially if you love to travel like we do (but choke when you see airfare prices). However, not all frequent flyer programs are created equal. Below is a comparison of baggage fees and how many frequent flyer miles you need for each of the major frequent flyer mile programs.
Note: Frequent flyer mile programs are sometimes tedious and difficult to compare. Feel free to share in the comments anything that should be added to the chart.
How Many Frequent Flyer Miles to Fly
5 Things You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Programs
With paragraphs of fine print to decipher, frequent flyer programs are anything but straightforward. If you can get past all the rules and requirements, however, joining an airline’s program will start you on your way toward a free flight, a bump to first class, free entry into your airline’s club, and other perks. We’ve rounded up all the details so you’ll be in the know before you sign up.
Details vary from program to program, but what are the basic factors to consider before committing to one airline? We turned to Tim Winship, editor and publisher of Frequentflier.com, for some expert advice.
It’s well known that frequent flyer programs award miles based on the length of a flight, but exactly how many miles are rewarded for each mile flown? “If you fly 5,000 miles, you earn 5,000 miles—unless you’re an elite member of the program, in which case there’s a bonus on top of the actual flown mileage,” Winship said.
But not all programs operate on a mile-for-mile basis. For example, Southwest Airlines’ new program awards members points based on how much their ticket cost rather than how many miles were flown.
While one mile will always equal at least one mile in terms of what you're earning, that doesn't mean that rewards flights cost one rewards mile per mile flown. For example, while a round-trip ticket from New York to San Diego is only about 5,000 miles, the lowest awards flight we could find on JetBlue cost 13,300 TrueBlue points. Getting a free round-trip ticket on other airlines will cost you anywhere from 5,000 to 40,000 miles—and that's just for an economy fare.
Wondering why you’d want to join a frequent flyer program in the first place? There are different reasons for different types of travelers. “For relatively infrequent leisure travelers, the benefit is that after X number of flights, you can earn a free flight,” Winship explained. “The price of the frequent flyer miles, at the end of the day, is folded into the price of your ticket. So in a sense, if you don’t earn the miles, you’re not getting full value for an airline ticket.”
For high-frequency business travelers, “it’s not so much about earning free flights; it’s more about achieving elite status, with the principle benefit being upgrades.” Many luxurious extras, such as admission to an airport lounge or complimentary upgrades, are only offered to elite members of a frequent flyer program.
According to Winship, taking a realistic look at your travel patterns is the most important strategy for playing the frequent flyer program game. “It’s not just how often you fly,” Winship said, “it’s also whether or not you will be able to focus your flying on one airline or two at most, because if you don’t you’re going to be dispersing those miles over multiple programs and you’re not going to reach an award level in any program.”
So how do you know which program makes the most sense for you? Winship says that depends on your hometown airport. “If you live in Dallas, American Airlines is the big airline. So you’re probably going to be best served by joining American’s program.”
Think twice before transferring points between programs.
Sites such as Points.com will convert your miles from one frequent flyer program to another, but it will cost you. “The fees associated with these transfers sort of pull the rug out from any value you would get from transferring them in the first place,” Winship said.
“It generally does make sense to augment your mileage earning with one of the program-affiliated credit cards,” Winship said. In fact, many programs award double points for paying for a flight with an airline’s credit card. Still, Winship urges flyers to assess their priorities. “Remember that there are cash rebate credit cards out there that will deliver a reliable one percent or more cash rebate, and at the end of the day cash is better than frequent flyer miles because there are no restrictions on what you can do with cash.”
Ways To Use JetBlue TrueBlue Points To Book Free Travel
Now that you have accumulated all of these JetBlue TrueBlue points, how can you use these points for free travel? The options are listed below. Also, read about how The Points Mom used TrueBlue points for free flights to Las Vegas, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and St Petersburg 1X and 2X.
You can use your points to book a flights on JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines.
2. Use Points For JetBlue Getaways Vacation Packages
You can apply a combination of TrueBlue points and cash towards JetBlue vacation packages.
Become a member of the JetBlue TrueBlue program here
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JetBlue TrueBlue Double Points For LAX/SFO-JFK Flights March 20 – May 27, 2015
JetBlue ha started double TrueBlue points campaign for transcontinental flights between Los Angles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK).
The offer is valid for direct flights and is not eligible for Mint class. The eligible dates for both booking and flying are from march 20 to May 27, 2015.
You can access and register for this offer on JetBlue’s website here.
You normally earn 3 TrueBlue points for the base fare and an additional 3 TrueBlue points for bookings made on JetBlue’s website. You earn an additional 3 TrueBlue points under this double points offer.
JetBlue has had some extremely attractive fares for it Mint (read business) business class product and fiend of mine took the flight couple of weeks back. He was satisfied with the service. I have only flown on JetBlue once.
Here are the terms and conditions of this offer: