JetBlue Airways TrueBlue

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JetBlue has branded itself as a customer- and tech-friendly airline, and its TrueBlue program follows suit with game-like earning opportunities and an innovative family pooling deal. However, the points travelers earn aren't especially valuable and the elite-status offering is somewhat bland.

This frequent flyer program boasts innovative components but awards points with limited value and imbues elite status with indifferent perks, according to our JetBlue TrueBlue review.

JetBlue Airways' points-based program awards three points per dollar spent on the base fare (the price before taxes and fees) and an extra three points per dollar spent when tickets are purchased through JetBlue.com. Points can be redeemed at a rate that depends on the price of the ticket. The airline doesn't publish an award chart but says the cheapest one-way flight costs 5,000 points. Our calculations for this JetBlue TrueBlue review determined that $1 is worth 70 to 100 points, depending on the flight. TrueBlue points can also be redeemed for travel on Hawaiian Airlines and Emirates; the airline flies to more than 80 destinations.

JetBlue maintains partnerships with other companies that open the door to additional point-earning opportunities -- renting a car with Avis or Budget, say, or ordering from 1-800-Flowers. Program members also can earn points when using the co-branded American Express credit card. The TrueBlue portion of the company site incorporates a gaming element that lets members earn extra points by collecting badges for sharing on social networks and for other travel- or partner-related activity. TrueBlue also features a family arrangement that enables two adults and up to five children to pool points in one account and save for a trip together.

The one elite-status level, dubbed Mosaic, can be reached by flying 30 segments and accruing 12,000 flight points in one year (points earned from non-flight activity don't count), or by earning 15,000 flight points in a year. The benefits that come with Mosaic status include waived change and cancellation fees, priority boarding and security lines, a second free checked bag, a dedicated customer service line, and an option to redeem points for more spacious seats.

JetBlue is known for being a step ahead of other airlines when it comes to friendly service and in-flight amenities, but the TrueBlue program isn't all that rewarding. Although the points-and-dollars-spent system guarantees there will always be reward seats available, the points required for some flights can be astronomical and elite-status perks are relatively stingy.

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who specializes in credit, debt, and practical money-saving tips. He loves stacking savings opportunities to get amazing deals, traveling for free using credit card rewards, and teaching others how to do the same. Connect with Louis by visiting louisdenicola.com.

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