JetBlue Points Match: Should You Take the Bait on this ‘Amazing Deal’?

JetBlue announced a points match promo for Virgin America Elevate members that sent miles and points addicts hearts a flutter yesterday. The official full details and terms of entry are here. Dan’s Deals the most thorough analysis.

JetBlue Points Match

Long story short, a balance of 50,001 Elevate points and a paid roundtrip on JetBlue by 8/31/16 will earn 75,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points. Those with no Elevate points can transfer from a number of partners at unfavorable ration, or transfer 40,001 SPG points to Elevate to net the 50,001 (SPG transfers 1:1 and adds 5,000 per 20,000 transferred). If you are in a JetBlue market you may find roundtrips for under $100 plus your time.

Sounds great. Will you make use of the resulting haul?

Amol put it well:

As the Joe Flies opined on the value of not chasing deals.

The direct way to value this deal is if travel on the respective airlines is useful to you. If not, here are a few more considerations:

  • How much do you value the points (such as SPG) that you will need to transfer? And do you plan to transfer SPG points to airlines before changes by Marriott?
  • Will you be willing to transfer more in the future, credit partner flights or get either airlines’ credit cards to generate the points you may need for desired travel?
  • Do their partner redemptions make sense for you? (TrueBlue can redeem only on Hawaiian, see their partner list for earn and redeem; Virgin America has several partners for earn and redeem)
  • Are you optimistic on using Virgin America to play their acquisition by Alaska?

I decided to go for this and here’s why:

  • I have 180,000 SPG points that I don’t value as much as many people. Reason 1 is that as a SPG Gold the benefits are weak and don’t include breakfast, Reason 2 is hotel awards rarely seem reasonably priced to me except some cash & points, Reason 3 is of the 65 airline transfer partners the two I would value most have terrible transfer ratios (United and Air New Zealand)
  • I have 24,330 Elevate points from when I held their credit card back when it was with Barclaycard, so to max out the match I only need to transfer 20k and change
  • I was considering moving chunks of SPG to Elevate anyway in anticipation of coversion to Alaska, which has many useful award partners
  • We have a planned July Boston weekend that I have yet to buy tickets and can use that as my JetBlue roundtrip
  • I don’t have to take cash out of my wallet to purchase miles

I almost decided to overrule this and not participate, here’s why:

  • I have flown JetBlue twice, both short Caribbean flights, which were fine, though I dread going to JFK and for my travels their route network and pricing have little to offer me over Delta (Diamond) and United (1K)
  • I have never flown Virgin America for similar reasons
  • I still have those 24,330 Elevate points because I acquired them specifically for redemption on Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu – Pago Pago; when I had a chance to fly it, partner awards were not available and I had to burn off Hawaiian Airlines miles instead, 3 years later I still have not found an attractive use for Elevate miles

On net, I sent the SPG point on over, they posted to Virgin America today and I have emailed JetBlue. I travel enough that both chunks of points will eventually come in handy.

Readers, are you in or out? Your consideration?

 

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  • Kev

    What useful award partners does Alaska have that you seem to like over SPG transfer partners?

  • @Kev – lately I have been using Alaska for Fiji Airways awards. Not as flexible as keeping them in SPG, but it means points won’t indefinitely be marooned in Virgin America if a use is not found with Elevate.

  • Al

    How long did your SPG transfer take?

  • @Al – submitted 4 pm EDT Friday, showed up Saturday afternoon.

  • US

    Has JetBlue accepted the match? I saw few people received confirmation in 3 hours after submitting screen shots but now confirmations aren’t coming through.

  • ken

    Wondering whether to do this promotion for my mom.

    She has 35k SPG points. Once transferred to Virgin, that could qualify for a 50k JetBlue points match. Great. But, it would mean her doing a mileage run! Hmm…. Her idea of a mileage run is probably a 3-day weekend at a nice hotel.

    Concerned that JetBlue will close the door on this soon. Perhaps on Monday when they see the thousands of match requests?

  • @US – I doubt they expected this to go viral and the attendant volumes flooding in, and I also doubt they are willing to spend their summer weekends at this so I would not expect to hear anything until a few business days have passed.

  • @ken – they probably did not expect the volume, but I also don’t know if they want the bad publicity, after all the idea of this promotion is to get people to try JetBlue and once you have their points the the other options to use them on limited, no as if you can then spend it on a partner international first class, so I think they will stick with it.

  • @ken – though this is too complicated and airlines my wife has never flown so I have never mentioned it to her for her SPG points.

  • Brenton

    I have 41,000 spg points I had planned on using for either Alaska or to top off some JAL miles. The Virgin/Jet Blue offer is tempting, but I live in Nebraska! If the Alaska/virgin America merger was going to happen sooner I’d probably be more likely to consider it, but it just doesn’t make sense.

  • Matt

    No service from either carrier at MSP. I could find a use for the VX points, but absent flat out gambling on jetblue adding service to MSP (in which case the points would be useful as any likely destination would be one we go to) I don’t have a use for them.