Through September 15, 2014, American Express is offering a 25% bonus on points transferred from Membership Rewards to JetBlue’s TrueBlue program. The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning you can take advantage of the bonus as often as you’d like. The transfer ratio is ordinarily 250:200, so with the bonus the transfer ratio is 250:250.
Why TrueBlue Membership Rewards transfer bonus is great
This is actually a potentially lucrative transfer bonus. TrueBlue is a revenue based frequent flyer program, so the number of points required for a redemption is correlated directly to the cost of a revenue ticket.
Take the following flight between New York and Los Angeles, for example. An economy ticket would cost $203, while a Mint ticket would cost $599.
Meanwhile the cost of an award ticket would be 14,000 TrueBlue points plus $5.60, while the cost of a Mint ticket would be 34,900 TrueBlue points plus $5.60.
Now, American Express Membership Rewards do not normally transfer at a 1:1 ratio to JetBlue, rather for every 250 Membership Rewards points you transfer, you get 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points.
If you add in a 25% transfer bonus, that’s effectively a 1:1 ratio, so you’re really getting 1.41 cents per Membership Rewards point on the above economy redemption, and 1.70 cents per Membership Rewards point on the above Mint redemption.
Crunching the numbers:
- ($203-$5.60) / 14,000 points = 1.41 cents per point
- ($599-$5.60) / 34,900 points = 1.70 cents per point
That’s great given that there are no capacity restrictions, so you can apply these towards the cost of any paid ticket. The Mint redemption value is especially good. I’ve really wanted to try JetBlue’s new Mint, and at $599 one-way was prepared to pay, since that’s quite reasonable. But if I can redeem 35,000 Membership Rewards points for that same ticket, that’s a heck of a deal.
But regardless of whether you’re redeeming for economy or Mint, redeeming Membership Rewards points at anywhere in the 1.41-1.7 cent per point range is quite good, in my opinion.
Get even more value with TrueBlue redemption promotions
In addition to the above, keep in mind that JetBlue often has promotions on redeeming points.
There are usually quite a few terms associated with them, but the promotions are frequent. For example, most recently they offered a 20% discount on award redemptions, which is one of a handful of promotions they’ve offered so far this year.
If you were to transfer points from Membership Rewards to TrueBlue, and if a similar award sale were offered in the future, you could get even more value out of TrueBlue points. For example, a 20% discount on redemptions would translate to 2.04 cents per Membership Rewards points towards the cost of a Mint ticket.
TrueBlue transfer bonuses aren’t frequent
For what it’s worth, these transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards to TrueBlue aren’t very frequent. The last one was offered in mid-2012, and was for 30%.
Up until now I’m not sure if I’ve ever suggested transferring a flexible points currency to a program with revenue based redemptions, but in this case the numbers “add up.” If you take advantage of this promotion you’re looking at a minimum of 1.41 cents per Membership Rewards point towards the cost of a JetBlue ticket, which is pretty good. And the value gets even better when redeeming for Mint!
Will you be taking advantage of the AmEx transfer bonus to JetBlue TrueBlue?