JetBlue points devaluation

JetBlue has a fixed-value rewards program called TrueBlue, where points are earned based on the cost of the flight and redeemed at a fairly fixed rate based on the current price for the flight. While these types of programs don't let you take amazing 10-cents-per-point aspirational reward flights like our ANA First flight, they do mean that you can easily redeem your points for any seat on any flight without hours of planning and searching for the ever-elusive award seat.

Most of the bloggers value JetBlue points at 1.3¢ each. In my own observations, there's been a little bit of variability over the years: I've seen the occasional redemption at 1.4¢ or even as high as 1.7¢. Well, yesterday I was pricing out a one way Mint flight from SFO to JFK and noticed that my Mint flight has reached an all-new low: 1.0¢

While it's easy to think, "it's only 7/10th of a cent", that actually represents a 40% devaluation from the rates we were routinely seeing for Mint flights three years ago.

Since we earned most of these points due to my husband's work travel, it's still free money, but given the changing lie-flat transcon market, it might be time to change things up. As I've mentioned before, JetBlue shocked everyone when they entered this market in 2014 with the best seat, best food, and fares half that of the competition. Since then, prices have slowly adapted and it's actually quite common that United/Delta/American lie-flat transcon flights are priced similarly to JetBlue's.

My husband's corporate travel policy requires him to take the "cheapest flight within $100", so it's very likely that he could now choose another carrier if he wanted to. Given that the big 3 all have vastly superior route networks to Jetblue, as well as mileage plans with partners around the globe, it might be time to rethink things a bit. He was a United loyalist until 2014 when United screwed their elites and Mint serendipitously emerged to take United's place in his heart.


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