It is pretty easy to get caught up in something called a “sale” or a “discount” or a “promo” – you get the idea. It is a good idea to buy miles for some situations – like in the case of great sales that let you redeem for amazing business class tickets for the price of economy or topping off your account for some upcoming redemption.
JetBlue 50% Point Purchase Promo
But, when it comes to fixed award currencies like Southwest and JetBlue, it becomes a little easier to say “no” to buying points. JetBlue launched a new sale today (that you probably have already seen the e-mail for if you are signed-up for their e-mails) that gives up to 50% on purchased points. Here is how the breakdown looks:
- 5,000 – 9,500 points = 20% bonus
- 10,000 – 19,500 points = 30% bonus
- 20,000 – 29,500 points = 40% bonus
- 30,000 points = 50% bonus
Running the Numbers
With TrueBlue points costing $37.63 per 1,000 points (coming out to 3.7 cents per point), that means that you are paying more than double the value that you can actually extract from the points! That is not good! But, with a bonus, does that change the math at all? Typically with a purchase promo like this, it only makes sense to purchase points if you need some to top up your account before making an award redemption. It can be better doing that than transferring points from Membership Rewards.
But, to get the most value out of this promo and get the price down to 1.9 cents per point (still more than they are worth on redemption), you would have to purchase 30,000 points for $886 – that is not topping up an account, that is buying a ticket. Buying 30,000 points would give you a total of 45,000 points. However, you will get more of a savings buying the ticket outright (and earning points) than buying the points to redeem for travel.
I will leave a little wiggle room, however. There are some redemptions that beat the standard of 1.5 – 1.7 cents a piece (like when I was able to find 2.5 – 2.8 cents a piece!) and, in those very limited circumstances, it could make more sense to purchase points than buy the ticket. The positive about purchasing points is that you are not contingent on award availability – if there is a seat available with a price on it, you can use points to pay for it.
In my opinion, there would only be a few select circumstances in which someone would find value in buying – even with the 50% bonus. If you need the JetBlue points, consider applying for the JetBlue card from American Express. You will receive 20,000 points as the bonus for the card.