Update July 7, 2016: You can fly two one ways (or an open jaw) on JetBlue to qualify for the points match, you do not have to fly a classic roundtrip.
The qualifying date to register in this points match promotion has already passed. If you registered, congratulations on all the free JetBlue points coming your way! To clarify the second half of what is necessary to earn the TrueBlue points: You are not restricted to having to fly an actual roundtrip on JetBlue by August 31, 2016. You can, and that will still qualify, but you can also fly two one ways (or an open jaw itinerary) by August 31, 2016. This was confirmed with me by two TrueBlue agents over the phone. It may be best to call and check yourself before counting on your desired itinerary as qualifying, but know that you should not be restricted to a traditional roundtrip.
JetBlue and Virgin America have been caught in a competitive flurry ever since Alaska Airlines won the bidding war over JetBlue and announced the planned purchase of Virgin America. The latest play by JetBlue could be very lucrative for you, so read carefully.
JetBlue TrueBlue will (at least) match whatever points you have in your Virgin America Elevate account if you fly a qualifying roundtrip (or two one way) flight(s) on JetBlue by August 31, 2016.
This is one of (if not the best) deal I’ve seen all year. Status matching is relatively common, but never have I seen competition get so stiff that point matches are brought to the table.
As long as you have a balance of points in your Virgin America Elevate account, no matter where they came from, JetBlue will give you at least that many TrueBlue points and probably more. Check out the chart to see how many TrueBlue points you could qualify for depending on how many Elevate points you have:
You just have to show them proof of your Elevate account balance and then fly a roundtrip (or two one way) JetBlue flight(s).
Perhaps the most amazing part of this promotion that makes it actually accessible to many of us is that TrueBlue isn’t discriminating between whether the points in your Elevate account were earned from flying, from the Virgin America co-branded credit cards, or even if they’re transferred in from a program like Starwood Preferred Guest, Ultimate Rewards, or Membership Rewards.
What it’s Worth
This promotion is obviously worth more the more Virgin America points you have. I value JetBlue points at about 1.3 cents each, so to me it’s worth:
- $65 if you have between 500 and 5,000 Elevate points
- $130 if you have between 5,001 and 10,000 Elevate points
- $390 if you have between 10,001 and 30,000 Elevate points
- $650 if you have between 30,001 and 50,000 Elevate points
- $975 if you have more than 50,000 Elevate points
TrueBlue uses a revenue-based redemption system, so the award prices depend on the cash price of the ticket. Elevate also uses a revenue-based redemption system, at least on their own flights. You can redeem Elevate points on some partners for outsized value though, since partner redemptions have fixed values (check out the award calculator tool).
Transferring Points to Elevate
Unless you just happen to have a bunch of Elevate points lying around from flying or their co-branded credit cards (that will not apply to the majority of us), you have to ask yourself if the opportunity cost of moving some or all of your transferrable points (i.e. Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points or SPG points) to Virgin America is worth it. It depends on how much you value Elevate points, and how much you value the miles of the other transfer partners you have the option to move your points to.
First of all, I would not transfer Membership Rewards or ThankYou Points to Virgin America. Those programs have a 2:1 transfer rate to Virgin America that essentially destroys the value (unless they happen to whip out a transfer bonus before this promotion is over).
But we were hit with huge news in April that Virgin America Elevate was added a transfer partner to Starwood Preferred guest, at a ratio of 1:1. Personally, I value Virgin America points VERY highly (2.3 cents each) so I would have no qualms moving my points over, especially since the transfer ratio is effectively 1:1.25 if you transfer 20,000 SPG points at a time (you’ll get a 5k Elevate point bonus). Unfortunately my travel schedule at the moment doesn’t allow time to take the qualifying JetBlue flights in time. Sad face.
The Qualifying “Roundtrip” Flight
And taking a little mileage run on a JetBlue flight would certainly be worth the nearly $1,000 that 75,000 TrueBlue points are worth to me, even if you weren’t previously planning a trip to any of the 97 destinations that JetBlue flies to. Depending on how cheap you could find a the flights for for, it could be worth it for the 50k or 30k point match tiers as well. Here’s a roundtrip between Boston and New York for $100, and I’m sure you can find cheaper:
So what exactly qualifies as a “roundtrip flight” on JetBlue for this promotion?
You can either fly:
- a traditional roundtrip
- two one ways (this should also mean open jaw itineraries)
The other conditions are:
- Must be a newly booked flight(s), purchased after you are registered for the promotion
- Travel must be finished by August 31, 2016
I originally thought (and wrote in the original version of this post) that a standard roundtrip flight was necessary to qualify for the points match, but after speaking to multiple JetBlue representatives over the phone, I was told that two one ways would also suffice.
How to Register
The process is overly simple:
1. Send a screenshot of your Elevate account dashboard (including first name, last name, and points balance) to email@example.com by July 4, 2016**. Example of an acceptable screenshot:
2. Wait for the email that says you’re officially registered in the promotion.
3. Book a roundtrip (or two one way) flight(s) on JetBlue and complete travel by August 31, 2016.
4. Watch the free money roll in.
Like I said, the process is really, really simple.
There is already a FlyerTalk thread forming about this promotion, and it looks like JetBlue is ready to rumble. This FlyerTalker heard back from TrueBlue just three hours after completing the steps above to register.
**You have to show JetBlue your Elevate Account dashboard (with points balance) by July 4, 2016. But don’t worry, you still have time to transfer SPG points to Virgin America Elevate. One Mile at a Time just did a few days ago and it only took 17 hours to complete.
If you have a lot of Virgin America points (or can get them by transferring SPG points), then I would seriously consider a mileage run to qualify for this promotion. You could get up to a thousand dollars worth of JetBlue points for doing it. I would do it if I could.
Show TrueBlue your Virgin America Elevate points balance by July 4, and fly a roundtrip (or two one ways) on JetBlue by August 31, and get a ton of JetBlue points. Awesome.
Terms & Conditions
*This offer is available to new or existing TrueBlue members. To qualify, members must send an email including their TrueBlue number and a picture of their Elevate® account dashboard showing first name, last name, and points balance to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7/4/2016, await receipt of an email to confirm registration for the promotion and then book new roundtrip flights operated by JetBlue and completed all travel by 08/31/2016. Number of points awarded will be based on Elevate® points balance evidenced by submitted proof. Proof is are subject to verification. TrueBlue number must be provided at the time of booking. Offer can only be redeemed one (1) time by any individual. Points awarded in conjunction with this promotion are considered bonus points and do not count towards earning Mosaic status. Offer does not apply to non-revenue travel; is not valid on flights operated by airline partners; is not valid in connection with any Getaways vacation packages, cruises, or any other product or service and may not be combined with other special offers. In the event you cancel your reservation or change your reservation so that it no longer complies with the terms of this offer, you will not receive any of the promotion bonus points. TrueBlue points will be awarded within 4-6 weeks after round-trip flight. Offer can be cancelled or modified at any time. TrueBlue Terms and Conditions apply.