Earlier I wrote about the insane promotion JetBlue just launched, where they’re offering to match your Virgin America Elevate points balance if you take one flight with them by August 31, 2016.
In some cases they’ll even match your account at a better than 1:1 ratio. For example, if you have 50,001 Elevate points, they’ll give you 75,000 TrueBlue points.
The timing of this promotion couldn’t have been better for me, since I just transferred points from Starwood Preferred Guest to Virgin America Elevate earlier in the week, so my Elevate balance is ~53,000 points (despite having only ever once flown with Virgin America).
How quickly is JetBlue responding to points match requests?
I emailed JetBlue a screenshot of my Elevate account homepage at email@example.com. Three hours later I received the following response:
You are now registered for #GoForthWithJetBlue Points Match!
Way to let your independent flag fly! To take advantage of the #GoForthWithJetBlue Points Match and earn your bonus TrueBlue points, just book and take a roundtrip JetBlue flight by August 31, 2016.
Once you fly, your points will automatically be added to your TrueBlue account within 4 – 6 weeks.
Thanks again for spreading your wings!
See you onboard soon,
The TrueBlue Team
That was quick!
Should you transfer points to take advantage of this promo?
The question I’ve been getting over and over is whether it makes sense to transfer points from SPG to Virgin America Elevate in order to take advantage of this promotion. For what it’s worth, it typically takes less than a day for points to transfer from SPG to Virgin America, and often only a few hours.
Some people are concerned that JetBlue will update the terms of the promotion to exclude certain types of points from being matched, like those being transferred from partners. In theory I see the concern, as it wouldn’t be the first time a major loyalty program made a screw-up like that. However:
- I imagine JetBlue is savvier than that, especially with a promotion as straightforward as this one
- It would generate a lot of ill-will if they changed the terms, which goes directly against the point of the campaign
- You need to fly JetBlue in the next couple of months to qualify, and presumably they want you to be a loyal customer after that, regardless of whether you’re currently loyal to Virgin America or not
- There’s no easy way for them to differentiate between points earned through flying and points earned through other means
My inclination is that the promotion will be honored as is and that they knew all of this going in, but I could also be wrong.
So does it make sense to transfer Starpoints? Let’s say you transfer 41,000 Starpoints, in order to fully maximize this promotion. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me those Starpoints are worth ~$902. For that you’d receive the following, after completing a flight on JetBlue:
- 51,000 Elevate points (enough for ~$1,100 worth of travel on Virgin America, or you can redeem them on partners)
- 75,000 TrueBlue points (enough for ~$1,000 worth of travel on JetBlue)
That’s pretty darn compelling, but everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves based on their travel patterns.
For those of you in the above situation, do you plan on converting points from a transferrable currency to take advantage of this promotion?