I have flown on a JetBlue airplane exactly one time in my life. It’s not that I don’t like the airline or the experience that it offers (I love the snacks and DirectTV!); it’s just that the route network out of my home airport (TPA) is limited. JetBlue flies direct from Tampa to just five cities – Washington DC, New York, Hartford, San Juan and Boston. And I find that most of the time the legacy carriers + Southwest Airlines offer better airfare and/or point redemption opportunities.
The one JetBlue route that does provide unique value out of Tampa is the TPA-BOS route, since it is the only non-stop offered by any airline between these cities. I am in the process of planning a weekend trip to Boston, MA and have settled on this flight to avoid flight connections and maximize the length of the weekend.
Now that the flights are decided, it’s time to figure out how to maximize points and miles to cut down the $298 ($149 each way) out-of-pocket cost! Why pay full price for travel when there are so many ways to get it for free/cheap!?
I took a peek at my JetBlue TrueBlue account balance, and was unimpressed…
Time to seek out other point/mile options!
My travel companion had just received his 100,000 point Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus and suggested using Ultimate Rewards to cover the cost. I know that I can use Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly on United, Southwest, American Airlines and Delta with relative ease, but JetBlue? My curiosity piqued, I thought it would at least be worth a look!
So, can I use Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly on JetBlue? Let’s find out!
First Ultimate Rewards Idea –
It would be nice and easy if I could just transfer Ultimate Rewards to JetBlue, but looking at the Chase Airline Travel Partners…
But JetBlue is noticeably not on the list!
While Chase Ultimate Rewards are a “flexible reward currency”, they are not infinitely flexible – and transferring points directly to JetBlue is NOT an option!
Hmm… Second Ultimate Rewards Idea–
Well perhaps one of the Chase Airline Partners is also a JetBlue airline partner? If so, then it may be possible to transfer Ultimate Rewards to a partner airline rewards program, and then redeem the partner airline miles for the JetBlue flight!
While JetBlue does partner with a long list of airlines and even allows you to earn TrueBlue points when flying on those airlines (including one of my favorites, Singapore Airlines), they do not allow other partner airlines to redeem points/miles on JetBlue flights.
Last Ultimate Rewards Idea –
The trusty Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal!
For those of you that are unfamiliar, the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal allows you to book travel using points based on the actual price of the airfare. Once you have selected your flights you can then redeem Chase Ultimate Reward points at the standard rate of .0125, or .0150 if you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder!
Redeeming 19,864 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for this $298 ticket is considered a good value, but it’s not the best use of those points. This redemption would cost me even more (23,760 Ultimate Rewards points) if I was not a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder. In my experience the best use of Ultimate Rewards is to transfer them to travel partners, rather than redeeming through the portal.
So, can you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly on JetBlue?
Yes – In the case of a $300~ ticket, it will cost you a total of 19,864 Chase Ultimate Rewards if you are a Reserve cardholder, and 23,760 Chase Ultimate Rewards if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus.
Other Non-Ultimate Rewards Point Options?
Not excited (I’m not) about that Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption? Consider other points possibilities…
- Tap into your American Express Membership Rewards (if you have them):
American Express Membership Rewards CAN be transferred directly to JetBlue at a ratio of 250 Membership Rewards to 200 TrueBlue points. This specific itinerary can be redeemed for 14,400 TrueBlue points (plus $11.20 in taxes), requiring a transfer of 18,000 Membership Rewards to JetBlue TrueBlue.
I value Chase Ultimate Rewards more than Amex Membership Rewards, so I would prefer to use Membership Rewards points for this redemption and stretch my Chase Ultimate Rewards elsewhere.
- Boost your JetBlue TrueBlue points balance with one of the JetBlue co-branded credit cards from Barclaycard:
JetBlue Card – 5,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 spending in 3 months ($0 annual fee)
JetBlue Plus Card – 30,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 spending in 3 months ($99 annual fee)
JetBlue Business Card – 30,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 spending in 3 months ($99 annual fee)
Or borrow (or take) points from your oh so generous family members through JetBlue’s Family Pooling!
You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly JetBlue, but your redemption is limited to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. While it is not the greatest redemption possible, it does provide a good value and will limit your out-of-pocket costs.
My Advice – Consider other point redemption possibilities like Amex Membership Rewards transfers or applying for a JetBlue co-branded credit cards! These options will allow you to save Ultimate Rewards for point transfers to Travel Partners like United and Hyatt to achieve maximum value!
Have you ever redeemed Chase Ultimate Rewards for flights on JetBlue?