Where should I credit my flights? Maximizing American and JetBlue’s new loyalty partnership
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Last year, American Airlines and JetBlue teamed up to form the “Northeast Alliance.” This partnership lets the airlines start codesharing on each other’s flights in the Northeastern U.S., providing better connectivity at major airports like Boston (BOS) and New York-JFK.
This partnership makes it easier for passengers to reach smaller airports and far-flung destinations alike. It has also resulted in a ton of interesting new routes on both carriers. For example, JetBlue will soon fly from Boston and New York-JFK to Vancouver (YVR), while American will fly from New York-JFK to New Delhi (DEL).
A few weeks ago, the two airlines also announced reciprocal mileage earning benefits, noting that reciprocal redemption and elite status benefits would be coming soon. In the meantime, you can earn JetBlue points on American flights and vice-versa.
That said, the way that miles are credited between the airlines is different from other airline partnerships. Plus, American and JetBlue share hubs in many airports, so those based in American and JetBlue cities may be wondering where to credit their flights.
I’ll give you a quick overview of how American and JetBlue’s loyalty partnership works. Then, I’ll run through when you may want to credit miles from one airline to another. You should have everything you need to know about American and JetBlue’s new partnership by the end of the article.
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American and JetBlue reciprocal mileage earnings
The biggest news to come out of American and JetBlue’s loyalty partnership is the ability to earn American miles on JetBlue flights and JetBlue points on American flights. Unlike other airline partnerships that earn based on flight distance, JetBlue and American award points and miles based on the airfare cost — even if operated by a partner airline.
Earning American miles on JetBlue flights
On the American side, you’ll earn AAdvantage miles at the same rate as if you were flying on an American flight. This includes elite bonuses. Here’s how many points per dollar each American elite status tier earns on JetBlue flights, before tax:
- AAdvantage member (no elite status) – 5x miles per dollar
- Gold elite member – 7x mile per dollar (40% bonus)
- Platinum elite member – 8x miles per dollar (60% bonus)
- Platinum Pro elite member – 9x miles per dollar (80% bonus)
- Executive Platinum elite member – 11x miles per dollar (120% bonus)
JetBlue is American’s first (and only) airline partner that earns based on fare cost and flight distance. This can be advantageous for expensive short-haul flights, but you’ll earn less on low-cost long-distance flights. Further, note that JetBlue’s upcoming transatlantic flights are not eligible for American earning.
Earning JetBlue points on American flights
Earning JetBlue TrueBlue points on American flights is a bit more complicated but in line with how JetBlue awards points on its own flights. You’ll earn fewer points on American basic economy fares, and Mosaic elites will earn bonus points on American flights.
Here’s the breakdown:
|All fares, except basic economy, per $1 spent||Basic economy fares per $1 spent|
|JetBlue app/jetblue.com booking bonus||3||1|
|JetBlue Plus Card bonus||6||6|
There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. You’ll only earn the JetBlue app/JetBlue.com bonus if you book your American flight on JetBlue’s website. Further, you need to pay with a JetBlue Plus Card to earn the 6x points card bonus on eligible purchases — and you must book on JetBlue’s website. Make sure to cross-compare prices when booking American flights through JetBlue.
This chart makes booking basic economy awards unappealing for American loyalists. You’ll earn just 1 point per dollar if you book direct with American and don’t have Mosaic status, which means a $100 fare (before taxes) would earn just 100 American miles.
The information for the JetBlue Plus Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
American and JetBlue reciprocal elite earnings
Likewise, you can earn elite status toward AAdvantage and JetBlue Mosaic status when you fly on either airline. Here’s a quick look at how that works.
Earning American status credit on JetBlue flights
Unlike redeemable miles, you’ll earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) on JetBlue flights based on the length of the flight, but Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) are earned based on the cost of the flight. All JetBlue flights (sans Blue Basic) are eligible for EQM and EQD earnings.
Here’s a look at the American elite earning structure for JetBlue flights:
|Cabin||Fare class||Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) per mile flown||Elite Qualifying Segment (EQS) per segment flown|
|Full fare Mint business||J||3.0||1.0|
|Discount Mint business||C, D, I||2.0||1.0|
|Economy||Y, E, K, H, Q, B, R, W, M, Z, O, U, S, P, G||1.0||1.0|
So if you book a flight from New York-JFK to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) in economy class that costs $75 before taxes, you’d earn 740 EQM, $75 EQD, 1 EQS. Plus, you’d earn 375 American miles without elite status or up to 825 miles with top-tier Executive Platinum status.
Earning JetBlue status credit on American flights
You’ll earn JetBlue Mosaic credit on American flights the same way you’d earn it on JetBlue flights. Basic economy fares earn 1 base point per dollar spent while all other fares earn 3 Base points per dollar spent.
So, this means a $100 basic economy fare earns 100 Base points toward Mosaic elite status while a $200 standard economy ticket earns 600 Base Points toward Mosaic elite status.
Reciprocal redemptions and elite status perks on American and JetBlue
At the time of writing, you cannot yet redeem JetBlue points on American flights or vice-versa. This functionality is in the works, however, and should be rolled out soon. The same goes for elite status perks — both airlines claim that reciprocal elite status benefits are coming this summer I’ll update this article to reflect these changes when that happens.
Where should I credit my American and JetBlue flights?
Say you live in New York City or Boston, where both American and JetBlue have a large presence. You now have a new option for where you credit flights operated by either airline. However, choosing where to credit your points can be tricky even though they have similar earning rates.
Here’s a quick look at when you might want to credit flights to one loyalty program over another. I’ll also cover an alternative option for American flights at the end of the section.
When you may want to credit American flights to JetBlue
The main reasons you’ll want to credit American flights to JetBlue is if you’re working toward (or have) JetBlue Mosaic status or are focusing on earning JetBlue points. That said, JetBlue points can be restrictive as they can only be redeemed on JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines flights. Points are given a set cash value (roughly 1.2 cents per piece), so more expensive JetBlue flights cost more points.
You may also want to credit to JetBlue if you’re booking an American flight on JetBlue’s website and want to pay with a JetBlue Plus credit card. You’d earn 12 points per dollar on a standard economy ticket or 8 points per dollar spent on a Blue Basic ticket. Plus, Mosaic elites would earn an extra 3 points on top of this.
When you may want to credit JetBlue flights to American
The same reasoning applies to earning American miles on JetBlue. American loyalists will want to credit JetBlue flights to American if they want to earn or have American elite status or prefer American miles to JetBlue points. Further, American miles are usually seen as more flexible than JetBlue points since you can redeem them against a standard award chart on worldwide flights with American and its Oneworld alliance partners.
You may also want to credit JetBlue flights not booked on JetBlue.com and Blue Basic fares to American. This can result in you earning more American miles on your flight than TrueBlue points. For example, you’ll still earn 5x American miles per dollar spent on a JetBlue fare if you’re booked in Blue Basic. This same ticket would only earn 1x point per dollar spent if credited to JetBlue and booked on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal or another website.
Of course, the quantity of points is only one factor here. You’ll also want to factor in the value of the points and miles you’re earning when choosing where to credit. TPG values American miles at 1.4 cents per mile and JetBlue points at 1.3 cents per point. But this is just our valuations — consider how much you personally value each currency before deciding where to credit too.
Consider crediting long-haul American flights to Alaska Airlines
Those flying on long-haul American flights without American or JetBlue elite status may want to skip both programs and credit to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. This program still credits miles based on the length of a flight and the fare class you’re booked in.
For example, say you’re flying from Los Angeles (LAX) to London-Heathrow (LHR) with American Airlines in D fare business class. This fare class earns 150% redeemable and elite qualifying miles when credited to Alaska Airlines. If the ticket costs $2,800 round-trip before taxes and you booked through AA.com, you will earn the following with Alaska, American and JetBlue, assuming you don’t have elite status:
- Alaska Mileage Plan: 16,486 miles
- American AAdvantage: 14,000 miles
- JetBlue TrueBlue: 8,400 points
Alaska miles are also often considered the most valuable airline miles given its huge list of airline partners, great award chart and stopover policy. TPG values Alaska miles at 1.8 cents apiece, but I’ve personally gotten well over 5 cents per point in value when redeeming for international first and business class tickets.
Keep this in mind when deciding where to credit your American flights. It may also be worth diving into other Oneworld partner programs like British Airways Executive Club and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles when making your decision. Do your own research and see which currency works best for your travel plans.
How to credit flights to American and JetBlue
Actually crediting your miles for a JetBlue flight to American or vice-versa is easy. Both airlines ask for a loyalty number at check-out. On the American website, simply select “JetBlue Airways” from the frequent flyer program drop-down menu and enter your TrueBlue number in the passenger information section of the check-out process.
The same goes for JetBlue. Select “American Airlines – AAdvantage” from the frequent flyer drop-down and enter your AAdvantage number in the textbox to the right.
Miles will appear in your account shortly after you fly. Note it may take longer for flights to points and miles to credit to a partner airline, so give it a week before contacting the airline for retroactive mileage credit.
American and JetBlue’s new partnership is great news for both airlines and their customers. It makes it easier for customers to connect to more destinations and earn points and miles with their airline of choice. I’m excited to see how redemptions and reciprocal elite status perks work in the future. Stay tuned for more analysis once that happens.
Feature photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy
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