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Since 2013, JetBlue has allowed families to pool points through Family Pooling. For the past five years, that program limited pools to no more than two adults and five children — meaning it was only really designed for you to be able to pool points with your partner and kids. But, in August 2018, JetBlue announced a revamp of this program, renaming it Points Pooling and expanding the program to allow members to pool points with friends and/or extended family members.
Last week, this new program went live. Curious how it works? We were, too. So, we dove into the new pooling program to show you how it works.
Before we get into how to manage a pool, here’s JetBlue’s
ground pool rules for the Points Pooling program:
- In order to create and manage a pool, the “Pool Leader” must be 21 years or older.
- A pool can be between two and seven members.
- There are no age restrictions on Pool Members (other than the leader position).
- Members contribute all of their points to the pool when they join the pool.
- The Pool Leader can add and remove members, spend the pool’s points and manage which pool members are able to spend the pool’s points.
- TrueBlue members can only be part of one pool at a time. So, you might have to decide between joining a pool with family or friends — choose wisely.
- Pool Members can withdraw from a pool at any time, taking their unused personal points with them when they go.
Managing JetBlue Points Pools
First, if you previously had a JetBlue Family Pool, there’s no action needed; all Family Pools have been converted to Points Pools with the same members as before. You can check out your pool’s current total and member-by-member balance view under the My Pool tab of the new JetBlue dashboard:
In order to edit the pool info, add or remove members and change permissions, you’ll need to click through to the Manage My Pool feature:
Here you can:
- Add members — up to six members can be added to your pool, for a total of seven TrueBlue members in a pool.
- Remove members — nasty breakup? This is where you can remove a member from your pool.
- Change member access — here’s where you decide whether members get to access only their own points (default) or the entire pool’s points balance. Also, you can allow pool members to add their own children to the pool.
- View activity — check to see whether your pool member’s recent flight activity posted.
In order to add a member, click “Add Pool Member” and select whether the member is a child (younger than 13) or an adult (13 or older).
To add a child, you’ll need to have that child already enrolled as part of your TrueBlue account. If your child isn’t already enrolled, you can click the link at the bottom to enroll the child into the TrueBlue program. You have the opportunity to add this child to your Points Pool as part of the application.
For everyone else, you’ll enter the invitee’s first name and email address for an invitation to be emailed to them.
Once you’ve sent an invitation by email, the system also creates a unique invitation URL link for that particular invite which you can also share by email, text, messenger app, etc.
If you’ve been invited to join a Points Pool, you’ll get the “exciting” news via email. Clicking the “RSVP Now” link will let you either log into your account to accept the invitation or create a new TrueBlue account.
It’s important to know that once you accept an invitation, 100% of your points will be redeemable through the pool. So, obviously only accept invitations from someone you trust to be a good steward of your valuable JetBlue TrueBlue points. You’ll still have access to the points that you earned which haven’t been redeemed through the pool. Even if the Pool Leader restricts you from redeeming the pool’s points, you can still spend your own points.
If things have gone south with other members of your pool, you can leave the pool by clicking on the “Leave Pool” button on the “My Pool” tab of the Dashboard. You’ll withdraw all of your unused point balance from the pool.
There’s an element on this dashboard that you might have overlooked at first: the small lock icon next to each member. The unlocked lock icon indicates that the member has permission to redeem the pool’s combined points. If you feel uncomfortable with one of these members having access to your points, you should bring this up with the Pool Leader. If they don’t change access and you’re still uncomfortable, you might want to consider that “Leave the pool” option.
JetBlue’s Family Pooling program was already the only major US-based program to allow free points pooling for all families (though there are more than 21 airline programs around the world that allow pooling to some degree). Now that it’s expanded to let members pool with up to six other friends and/or family members, JetBlue is easily leading the pack for ease of using and sharing points.
This new pooling option is particularly great for groups of infrequent travelers who might not have enough points on their own to redeem for free flights, but who can scrounge their points together to earn a free flight or two.
It is also great news for points and miles fanatics that help manage their extended family’s points and travel, as you can now easily pool up to seven members’ points all in one place to use as needed. However, with great power comes great responsibility, Pool Leaders should be mindful of who does and doesn’t have access to the pool’s points. And Pool Members should be mindful of who they’re pooled with and which members have permissions to spend the pool’s points.
If you still need a few more JetBlue TrueBlue points even after pooling, remember that JetBlue is a transfer partner with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and the Citi ThankYou program. This includes cards such as the Citi Premier Card (1:1 ratio), Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (1:1 ratio) and the American Express® Gold Card (250 Amex points for every 200 TrueBlue points).
With Points Pooling, free in-flight internet, free snacks, free TV, “the most legroom in coach”, valuable co-branded credit card perks and Mint Suites, JetBlue is tough to beat for those lucky enough to live and travel to places served by their route map.
Featured image by petrenkod via Getty Images
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