When JetBlue first introduced its TrueBlue loyalty program, it was something they grudgingly had to do but it wasn’t competitive. They even insisted their introduction of elite benefits wasn’t really that at all, they were an egalitarian airline, but they had a ‘Mosaic’ offering.
Now that they’re partnering with more airlines, and especially American Airlines, and flying across the Pond they’re playing on a much larger stage – and competing for customers they didn’t used to reach. That means they need a more competitive marketing product. And so they’re revamping their elite offering to give customers more – even business class upgrades.
A year ago when JetBlue introduced Mosaic+ and new elite benefits I wrote that the airline was working on more, including new elite levels, to be introduced in 2023. None of this should be a surprise to regular View From The Wing readers.
In the spring of 2023 – launch date to be determined – JetBlue will introduce four elite levels, along with benefits that can be earned even before achieving the first one. And following the American Airlines model, more activity than just air travel counts towards earning the first tier of status.
Earning Elite Levels In JetBlue’s New Program
Instead of qualifying points, JetBlue will call their metric “tiles.” The number of tiles you earn will determine the perks you qualify for.
You earn one tile per $100 in qualifying spend on JetBlue (fares, fees and upsells), American Airlines, and JetBlue Vacations. One tile will be earned for every $1000 in co-brand credit card spend.
Initial status in the new program will be determined by calculating the higher of the number of tiles a member would have earned in 2022, or so far in 2023.
New JetBlue Elite Levels And Benefits
The first tier of status requires 50 ’tiles’ (equivalent to $5000 spend with JetBlue or JetBlue vacations, for instance, or $50,000 in credit card spend). However benefits start racking up at 10 tiles, with additional benefits earned at 20, 30, and 40 tiles as well. That means there’s an incentive to stick with JetBlue (and American) for travel as well as spend once you hit a threshold since the next one may be within reach.
At each of 10, 20, 30 and 40 points you can choose one benefit:
- Early (Group B) boarding, excluding basic economy fares.
- Priority security, not meaningful generally if you have PreCheck.
- Free alcohol drink on board, first beer, wine or liquor on each flight (requires being 21 years old or older)
- JetBlue Vacations points bonus, one-time double points on a JetBlue Vacations package, which seems pretty niche except for anyone using JetBlue vacations to book trips in order to earn status, and useful only for a big trip.
- 5000 bonus points I’d imagine that most will pick this, or early boarding, and you can only pick each benefit one time.
50 points (tiles) earns tier one (Mosaic 1) status.
- Receive all of the perk choices available at 10, 20, 30 and 40 tiles. Free alcohol is usually a top tier, not first tier, benefit!
- Plus: Mosaic boarding; 2 free checked bags; extra legroom (Even More Space) at check-in, if available; same day changes; priority check-in, phone and chat; complimentary upgrades on Heathrow Express
100 points (tiles) earns tier two (Mosaic 2) status.
- Extra legroom seats at booking
150 points (tiles) earns tier three (Mosaic 3) status.
- Four Mint upgrade certificates, valid for any business class seat. This is not capacity controlled, but the number of certificates required will vary by flight.
250 points (tiles) earns tier four (Mosaic 4) status.
- Two additional upgrade certificates.
- Credit for four complimentary seats on BLADE Airport helicopter transfers between Manhattan and New York JFK or Newark.
On qualifying to each new level of status (Mosaic 1-4) members get to select an additional benefit:
- FoundersCard Blue Membership
- Pet Fee Waiver
- $99 Statement Credit on JetBlue Plus or Business Credit Card
- 20 elite tile bonus for help qualifying for the next level
- 15,000 bonus points
- Priority access to Mint Suite selection (excluding row 1 Mint Studio, and will be available later in 2023)
I have several questions, such as ranges of certificates required for upgrades based on flight and fare class availability, but on that item JetBlue says only “we’ll announce more details as we get closer.”
New Co-Brand Credit Card Benefits
In addition to spend counting towards status, JetBlue Plus cardmembers will receive a ‘pay yourself back’ benefit to spend points for statement credits. I’ve asked about the value of points for this, but the feature will be available for $25 – $1000 in redemptions annually. Unfortunately JetBlue tells me, “We are not yet ready to share how many points will be required for the statement credit.”
JetBlue Business Card customers will also receive early Group A boarding on JetBlue flights.
How Does The New Elite Effort Fare?
I love the choice benefits. I love that more activity than just flying counts towards status. And they’ve simplified elites receiving confirmed extra legroom seats. They’re finally introducing meaningful elite upgrades as well. Since benefits aren’t really based on waitlist or status priority, though, higher tiers seem a bit thin to me. 15,000 bonus points as a choice benefit at each level helps a little bit, but I’d like to see higher bonus point amounts at higher tiers.
Still, the path to Mosaic 1 is rich enough that I’m not bothered by requiring $50,000 in credit card spend to get there (and it’s about right at $5000 in travel spend). At the same time I don’t love the revenue-based rather than trip-based nature of the new program for those who do earn status by flying. I think they get plaudits for trying something interesting, even if they’re not first down this path. And they’re offering richer benefits than they ever have before.