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JetBlue Launches Transfer Miles Program and Why It’s a Bad Deal

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JetBlue just launched a member-to-member point transfer program, which means you can pay a fee to transfer points from one TrueBlue account to another. In general, buying and transferring miles doesn’t make much sense, but can in certain situations (like Delta’s current 100% transfer bonus) it can.  However, JetBlue has a fixed value loyalty program, which means you will only get a certain amount of value for each point, so there is much less flexibility and room to maximize their points.

With their new transfer program, a TrueBlue member can either give or receive transfers in increments of 1,000 points and up to 30,000 points at a time. Points cost $12.50 per 1000-point transfer increment, so that breaks down into 1.25 cents apiece.

Though that’s still cheaper than just buying miles, which are priced at about 3 cents each (and not much less even with the current 35% bonus promotion on purchasing points that the airline is offering until 12/31/2011), this is still a bad deal because TrueBlue points can only be redeemed for about 1.4 cents each in value. So essentially you are taking a point that is worth 1.4 cents and paying 1.25 cents to give it to someone else, thus destroying 89% of the value in the process. Great for JetBlue, bad for you.

The only time this might make sense is to top up an account, though I’d recommend trying to earn points via partners like American Express Membership Rewards before you purchased or transferred points.

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