What is JetBlue elite status worth in 2022?
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If you’ve ever held elite status with a travel provider, you know the included perks can greatly affect your travel experience.
But how much value can you realistically get from elite status in a year? And if you’re starting from scratch, is it worth going out of your way to earn elite status at all?
Today, we’ll evaluate a smaller carrier that has pushed some of the larger airlines to up their games, both in terms of product and routes. We’ll dive deep into the benefits offered through elite status in the JetBlue TrueBlue program to help you determine if pursuing it in 2022 is worthwhile.
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Before we jump in, let’s clear the air: This analysis is just one way to peg a value to elite status, so you should adjust any of my assumptions or calculations to fit your own travel patterns and consider what each perk is worth to you.
For instance, you may not consume alcohol and therefore don’t care about the free drink benefit. Or, you may always check multiple bags when flying and get a ton more value from that perk than others.
In other words, make sure the numbers below are relevant to you.
Also, we’re basing this analysis on the assumption that you’ve already earned JetBlue status and will continue to travel in a similar fashion throughout 2022. If you’re starting from scratch and plan to work your way up to JetBlue elite status, the numbers are a bit skewed, since you won’t enjoy any perks until crossing the qualification thresholds.
The final critical part of this analysis involves our underlying assumptions. To truly land on a value for a given level of elite status, we have to assume you do a certain amount of flying and a corresponding amount of spending.
JetBlue follows a similar qualification formula as Southwest — using dollars spent (base points) rather than miles flown. For the sake of this analysis, we’re making the following assumptions:
- You earn 20% more base points than the minimum required for earning status. Elite members earn 3 base points per dollar spent on airfare, except for on Blue Basic fares.
- You take at least seven round-trip, paid flights during the year for Mosaic members and 12 round-trip flights for Mosaic+ members.
As always, you should adjust these assumptions based on the level of travel you expect to complete. Further, you may need to adjust these even more if you earn Mosaic status through credit card spending. You would likely get less value from your status benefits if you’re flying less, and you would not earn as many bonus TrueBlue points if your earning is through credit card spending.
Finally, as an elite member with JetBlue, you’ll earn bonus points when you fly. We’re basing the value of those points on TPG’s most recent valuations, which peg TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents apiece. In addition, we’re rounding all of the individual benefit valuations to the nearest $5 to make the math a bit simpler.
JetBlue elite status tiers
Up until recently, JetBlue’s elite program has only ever had one level of status: Mosaic.
That all changed in late 2021, when the airline introduced a temporary tier for 2022, Mosaic+. This new level contains all the great benefits of Mosaic, plus the ability to get four business-class upgrade certificates and more.
If you’re able to achieve Mosaic+ in 2022, you will only have these benefits until Dec. 31, 2022. But, stay tuned, as we could potentially see JetBlue roll out permanent changes or updates to the program later on.
|Qualifications||Achieve one of the following in a calendar year:
||Achieve one of the following in 2022:
|Qualifications bonus||You’ll earn 15,000 bonus TrueBlue points upon qualifying for Mosaic.||You’ll earn 15,000 bonus TrueBlue points upon qualifying for Mosaic.|
|Elite points bonus||Earn an extra 3 points per dollar spent on JetBlue flights.||Earn an extra 3 points per dollar spent on JetBlue flights.|
|Take 3 and Lucky 7 bonus||JetBlue offers all of its flyers a few tiered bonuses when you complete a certain number of paid flights on JetBlue. Although not officially a perk of Mosaic status, you will inevitably earn both of these bonuses during your qualification, so we included them in our calculations.||JetBlue offers all of its flyers a few tiered bonuses when you complete a certain number of paid flights on JetBlue. Although not officially a perk of Mosaic status, you will inevitably earn both of these bonuses during your qualification, so we included them in our calculations.|
|Priority check-in, security and boarding||✓||✓|
|Free checked bags||Two bags||Two bags|
|Complimentary same-day flight changes||✓||✓|
|Free inflight alcoholic beverages||✓||✓|
|American Airlines perks||
|100% points rebate on Even More Space points redemptions||✓||✓|
|Dedicated customer service||✓||✓|
|Complimentary FoundersCard Membership||FoundersCard Membership.||FoundersCard Elite Membership.|
|Complimentary upgrade on Heathrow Express||✓||✓|
|Four Mint upgrade certificates (except London routes), pending availability 24 hours before departure||✓|
The information for the JetBlue Plus and JetBlue Business cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
So, how much is each JetBlue elite status tier worth? Here’s our analysis:
JetBlue Mosaic: $1,620
You can earn the base level of Mosaic status in a calendar year by flying 30 segments and earning 12,000 base points ($4,000 in spending) or by earning 15,000 base points ($5,000 in spending). You can also earn this status by spending $50,000 in a calendar year on the JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business cards.
For this analysis, we’ll assume that you earned 18,000 base points on Blue fares, indicating a total spend of $6,000, and took at least seven round-trip flights.
|Qualifications bonus||You’re awarded 15,000 TrueBlue points when qualifying for elite status.||$195|
|Elite points bonus||You’ll earn 3 bonus points for every dollar spent on JetBlue flights. Since we’re assuming $6,000 worth of spending, that will give you 18,000 bonus points.||$235|
|Take 3 and Lucky 7 bonus||The Take 3 bonus awards 5,000 bonus points when you fly three round-trip flights, while the Lucky 7 bonus will give you 7,000 bonus points after flying seven round-trip flights. That adds up to 12,000 bonus points.||$155|
|Priority check-in, security and boarding||Mosaic members have priority check-in and access to Even More Speed priority security lines at dozens of airports. You will also be among the first to board, giving you early access to overhead bin space.||$100|
|Free checked bags||On all JetBlue flights, you and your travel companions on your itinerary can check two bags for free, regardless of the fare class you book. This will save you $35 on the first bag and $45 on the second bag.
If you (and your friends or family members) regularly check multiple bags on JetBlue flights, this benefit could be quite lucrative, though keep in mind that you can already get one free checked bag for you and your travel companions with the JetBlue Plus Card.
|Complimentary same-day flight changes||Following suit with other airlines in 2021, JetBlue eliminated change fees for all flights (except Blue Basic fares). But, Mosaic members and their companions can make free same-day changes to a different flight — even on Blue Basic fares.||$75|
|Free inflight alcoholic beverages||Unlike similar perks offered to elite flyers on other airlines, this isn’t just a single drink but extends through the entire flight. These beverages regularly cost $8 to $9 (though they are available at a 50% discount for JetBlue credit cardholders). Depending on how many flights you take and how frequently you enjoy a drink at 38,000 feet, this could be a very valuable perk.||$90|
|American Airlines perks||When booking American Airlines-operated flights through JetBlue, you’ll enjoy dedicated check-in, expedited security, priority boarding and up to two free checked bags.||$60|
|100% points rebate on Even More Space points redemptions||You can redeem your points for Even More Space priority at booking for you and your travel companions, which won’t cost more than 200 points. After you fly, you’ll receive a 200-point rebate — making this upgrade effectively free. Note that you are not able to upgrade to Even More Space with a Blue Basic fare.||$250|
|Dedicated customer service||You’ll have a priority phone line to call as a Mosaic member, which can be fantastic in the event of a large-scale weather event.||$50|
|Complimentary FoundersCard Membership||Mosaic members will receive an email with an enrollment link to a FoundersCard membership, which comes with more than 500 premium travel, business and lifestyle benefits.
The cost of this membership out of pocket is normally $595, with a $95 initiation fee. However, we’ll assume a 50% usage so half that value.
|Complimentary upgrade on Heathrow Express||You’ll get a free upgrade from Express to Business First on the Heathrow Express between Heathrow and Paddington Station. A single Express ticket costs 25 pounds and a Business First ticket costs 32 pounds (or a difference of 7 pounds, roughly $10).
We’ll conservatively estimate that you use this benefit once per year, although this will obviously depend on how often you fly to London via JetBlue.
JetBlue Mosaic+: $5,155
You can earn Mosaic+ status in a calendar year by earning 45,000 Mosaic qualifying points ($15,000 in spending) or by spending $150,000 in a calendar year on the JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business cards.
We’ll assume here that you’ve already achieved Mosaic+ for 2022, as this is a temporary tier (for now), and its benefits will expire by Dec. 31, 2022.
Mosaic+ offers most of the same benefits as Mosaic, but with the added benefit of four Mint upgrade certificates — something we’ve never seen offered before. Depending on how often you fly JetBlue and on Mint routes (excluding London), you may value these awards highly, so adjust the numbers accordingly.
For this analysis, we’ll assume that you earned 54,000 base points on Blue fares, indicating a total spending amount of $18,000, and took at least 12 round-trip flights.
||You don’t receive any additional points when qualifying for Mosaic+ status, so we’ll keep this value the same.||$195|
|Elite points bonus||You’ll earn 3 bonus points for every dollar spent on JetBlue flights. Since we’re assuming $18,000 worth of spending, that will give you 54,000 bonus points.||$700|
|Take 3 and Lucky 7 bonus
||You don’t receive any additional points once you achieve both of these bonuses so we’ll keep this value the same.||$155|
|Priority check-in, security and boarding||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$300|
|Free checked bags||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$300|
|Complimentary same-day flight changes||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$225|
|Free inflight alcoholic beverages||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$270|
|American Airlines perks||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$180|
|100% points rebate on Even More Space points redemptions||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$750|
|Dedicated customer service||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$150|
|Complimentary FoundersCard Membership||Mosaic+ members will receive an email with an enrollment link to a FoundersCard Elite membership, which comes with even more benefits than FoundersCard across more than 500 premium travel, business and lifestyle brands.
The annual cost of this membership out of pocket is $995 per year, but again, we’ll halve that value.
|Complimentary upgrade on Heathrow Express||Same benefit, more frequent utilization.||$30|
|Four Mint upgrade certificates (except London routes), pending availability 24 hours before departure||Perhaps the most wanted benefit of all time, Mosaic+ members will be able to upgrade to Mint business class with these four certificates. You’ll automatically be placed on a Mint upgrade waitlist 96 hours before departure (assuming you have a certificate to use), and the waitlist will clear about 24 hours before departure. These certificates can also be used for one travel companion on the same reservation.||$1,400|
What if I’m starting from scratch?
As mentioned at the outset, these numbers are based on the benefits you’d enjoy by spending a full year with Mosaic or Mosaic+ status.
However, if you’re starting from scratch, the calculations become a bit more complicated, since you won’t start to enjoy any benefits until you hit one of the qualification thresholds to earn that status. To help modify the analysis for those individuals, we’ve taken the above valuations and converted them to a value per elite-qualifying mile, as follows:
- Mosaic: $1,620/18,000 base points = 9 cents per base point.
- Mosaic+: $5,155/54,000 base points = 9.55 cents per base point.
You can then use these numbers to calculate how much value you’d get from JetBlue elite status given a certain amount of flying.
For example, let’s say that you expect to earn 60,000 Mosaic qualifying points. At this rate, you’d get no benefits from the first 15,000 points, then enjoy Mosaic benefits for the next 30,000 points (worth $2,700, based on a rate of 9 cents per point). You would then enjoy Mosaic+ benefits for the next 15,000 points (worth $1,433 based on a rate of 9.55 cents per point).
So, if you’re starting completely from scratch and estimate that you’ll earn 60,000 elite qualifying points in 2022, you’d be able to get about $4,133 worth of perks from JetBlue’s elite status program.
Things to consider before chasing JetBlue status
There are a few things to keep in mind as you decide whether to chase JetBlue elite status in 2022:
How much will you travel in the future?
If you qualify for Mosaic in 2022, your status will last until Dec. 31, 2023.
But, if you qualify for the new Mosaic+ tier this year, your benefits will only last until the end of 2022. Then, you’ll enjoy the regular Mosaic benefits through Dec. 31, 2023.
It’s critical to think about how much you’ll be traveling in the future. If you push hard to earn Mosaic or Mosaic+ status, the perks outlined above only apply when you actually travel.
Does JetBlue have a large presence at your home airport?
JetBlue has a relatively limited route map compared to the “Big Three” airlines — American, Delta and United.
JetBlue’s focus cities are New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you live near one of these cities’ airports, having JetBlue status could be a great option.
Alternatively, you may travel to JetBlue’s hubs often and like its experience or — if you live near a smaller airport — you may fly connecting JetBlue tickets often.
That said, you’ll want to skip JetBlue elite status if you don’t fall into one of these categories. You’ll have better flight options on an airline with a larger presence at your home airport and be able to use your elite status benefits more frequently.
JetBlue has a limited international route network
JetBlue’s route network is largely domestic, with a handful of routes to Latin America, and now, London. With that in mind, you’ll want to skip JetBlue elite status if you frequently travel to Asia, Africa, the Middle East or other parts of Europe. You’ll have to fly another carrier when you fly these routes and not be able to earn TrueBlue points, qualify for elite status or — more importantly — use your elite status benefits.
You can fast-track to JetBlue elite status with credit cards
JetBlue status is one of the easiest — if not the easiest — elite statuses to earn with a credit card.
The information for the Jet Blue Cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Yes, you read that right: you can earn JetBlue elite status without stepping foot on a JetBlue plane.
That said, keep the opportunity cost of spending on a JetBlue cobranded credit card in mind. You may earn more points by putting your expenses on a transferable points card that earns bonus points on dining, travel or other popular categories. American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards are generally more valuable than JetBlue points due to their expansive list of transfer partners.
How much do you value TrueBlue points?
You’re going to walk away with a solid stash of JetBlue TrueBlue points when chasing status, so make sure you value them highly. Otherwise, you could be left with a stash of points you can’t use.
JetBlue prices award tickets based on the cost of a paid ticket. In other words, the more expensive a ticket is, the more points you’ll pay. One nice thing about this is that you can stretch your points when booking low-cost award tickets.
Likewise, the airline has no blackout dates or traditional award space, so you can redeem your TrueBlue points on any ticket you’d like.
On the contrary, you can’t maximize your points for high-end business class award tickets or expensive last-minute tickets without draining your mileage balance.
Again, TPG’s latest valuations of TrueBlue points is 1.3 cents per point. Some flights may get marginally more or less value than this, but you’ll generally stay around this value when redeeming for economy tickets. Unfortunately, JetBlue has a lower redemption rate for Mint business class tickets. You’ll generally get around 1 cent per point in value on these.
Keep all of this in mind before aiming for elite status with JetBlue. If you want to redeem your points for international first class, you’ll want to go with a different loyalty program. That said, TrueBlue can be great for domestic travelers who want easy-to-redeem points.
How sensitive are you to price and convenience?
There are many tradeoffs in this hobby, and one of the most common is deciding whether to use your preferred airline or hotel chain when it’s not the most convenient or cheapest.
Would you book a one-stop JetBlue flight if Delta had a cheaper nonstop option? If the answer is no, it may not be worth going out of your way to earn Mosaic status (or elite status with any airline, for that matter).
How often do you fly with American Airlines?
JetBlue and American Airlines formed a partnership (dubbed the Northeast Alliance) last year, which allows these carriers to codeshare on routes in the Northeast and expand each other’s route networks.
It also brings reciprocal mileage earning/redemption and elite status benefits, as mentioned above.
If you frequently fly with both JetBlue and American and think you can benefit greatly from this partnership, perhaps you value JetBlue elite status higher than the projected valuations above.
For a while, JetBlue has only ever had a single level of elite status. With Mosaic+ available for this year, this elite status tier is an exciting new opportunity for ultra-loyal JetBlue flyers to enjoy some lucrative benefits — namely, the opportunity to upgrade to Mint business class.
For those who live in cities with a large JetBlue presence (especially one with Mint service, the back-to-back winner of the TPG award for best domestic business class), having Mosaic status can be a nice boost to an already enjoyable travel experience. This is also true for upgrades to Even More Space seating.
Hopefully, this post has given you a framework for determining if this status is right for you.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh, Nick Ewen and Benji Stawski.
Featured photo by Zach Griff for The Points Guy.
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