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One of my very favorite features of the American Express Membership Rewards program is that they offer periodic transfer bonuses when you move points from the Membership Rewards program to their hotel or airline partners. The pattern of transfer bonuses in the last year or two hasn’t been quite as regular or frequent as in the few years before that, but transfer bonuses do still happen and when they do it is pretty exciting for points junkies like me. As you know, with a family you need all the help you can get with earning stretching points!
New Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus:
Starting today (August 15th) there is a new 25% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to the JetBlue TrueBlue program! The last JetBlue transfer bonus that I remember was two years ago, so this is a good opportunity to transfer Membership Reward points to JetBlue if you want to top off to an award threshold for an award flight or maybe even to try out their new lie-flat Mint seat! The 25% transfer bonus will run for one month until September 15, 2014.
25% Transfer Bonus to JetBlue From August 15 – September 15:
The normal transfer ratio from Membership Rewards to JetBlue is 250 Membership Reward points = 200 TrueBlue points. With the 25% bonus that means that you will be earning 250 TrueBlue points for every 250 Membership Reward points transferred. That makes them temporarily a 1:1 transfer partner.
How TrueBlue Points Work:
JetBlue TrueBlue points are worth a “fixed value” toward flights, but that fixed value isn’t always the same on every flight. Some recent searches I did turned up values ranging from 1.08 cents per point to 1.71 cents per point, depending on the fare and class of service. One-way flights are a minimum of 5,000 points in each direction.
As an example of how JetBlue redemptions can play out, I saw a flight in September from JFK – LAX for $169 or 11,500 points. That comes to 1.469 cents per point in redemption value. That isn’t an earth shattering amount to get for a Membership Reward point, but it isn’t half bad either.
That same JFK-LAX flight was available in the new fully flat Mint seats for $599 or 34,900 points. Check out this review by the Wandering Aramean to see how cool they look! That comes to 1.716 cents per point in value. That is a pretty decent return for Membership Reward points, and it sure would be cool to try out that fancy new seat one day!
JetBlue Perks Include Free Live TV and Free Checked Bag:
Some things to note about JetBlue if you don’t fly them regularly, are that they offer free DirecTV, a free snack basket, and the first checked bag is free for everyone. They operated domestically as well as to some destinations within the Caribbean such as Aruba, St. Lucia, and Grand Cayman.
They also offer “Family Pooling” of points for up to two adults and three children up to age 21 so that everyone in the family can share points and get reward flights faster.
Just like with every US airline transfer partner, Membership Rewards does charge a excise tax fee of $.0006 per point when transferring points into the JetBlue program, up to a max of $99 per transfer.
Depending on how you plan to use your JetBlue TrueBlue points, transferring during this bonus can give you a pretty decent return on Membership Reward points.
Have you ever transferred Membership Reward points to JetBlue? Do you plan to do so during this bonus?