According to the email I received this week from JetBlue, the airline is celebrating the first birthday of its TrueBlue loyalty program.
I found that perplexing, because it's not true. TrueBlue has been around since 2002, although I can understand JetBlue's reluctance to remind us of its early days. When the program launched, referring to its general stinginess, I called it a program only a CFO could love. And significant improvements to the program were a long time in coming.
What is a year old—and what I guess JetBlue is alluding to with its "1st birthday" reference—is last year's relaunch of TrueBlue, converting the scheme from a traditional segment-based program (like Southwest's) to a revenue-based program (like Virgin America's).
But let's not let facts stand in the way of marketing. Whatever they're promoting, they're offering a hefty incentive to get your attention.
To remind us of the "new and improved" TrueBlue (let's say, for the sake of historical accuracy), JetBlue is hosting the TrueBlue Birthday Sweepstakes.
It's simple to enter—just provide your TrueBlue member number and email address, by November 30. And the prizes are appealing:
- Grand prize: one million TrueBlue points
- First prize: A JetBlue Getaway package for four to Almond Beach Club Resort in Barbados, including air and hotel
- Second prize: A JetBlue Getaway package for two to Miami Beach, including air and hotel
- Third prize: One hotel certificate valid for five nights at the Hilton, Waldorf Astoria
- Fourth prizes (25): One Hertz rental certificate valued at $250
- Fifth prizes (5): One FTD certificate valued at $100
How Far Can You Fly?
What can you do with one million TrueBlue points?
Unlike mileage-based programs that post award prices based on distance flown or regions traversed—25,000 miles for a domestic coach award, for instance—TrueBlue awards are based on the market price of the ticket you redeem for.
For example, a round-trip JetBlue flight between Los Angeles and Boston in mid-December can be purchased for $258 to $434, or between 19,200 and 32,200 TrueBlue points, depending on the time of day, routing, and demand. So if you had one million points, you'd be able to book those flights between 31 and 52 times.
Or, to put it another way, TrueBlue points are worth about 1.35 cents each. So one million points would buy you $13,500 worth of JetBlue tickets.
Age-related quibbles aside, that's a prize truly worth pursuing.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.