JetBlue Introducing New 4-Level Elite Program, Plus Start Earning Benefits Before Achieving Status

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)

new jetblue mint cabin
Credit: JetBlue

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Details are still very light, as there’s no mention of how to reconcile earning tiles via non-AA partners, but this is a welcome change for those needing to fly in/out of JFK and Boston on a semi-frequent, non-roadwarrior basis.

  2. I think you missed the mark on the “simplified extra legroom upgrades” it used to be mosaic = free extra legroom (use 200 points, get 200 points back). Now it appears mosaic 1 won’t get extra legroom at all – typically zero left at checkin), and you have to be tier 2 to get extra legroom at booking.

    Much more complex for no good reason.

  3. Can you double dip on the cc spend? So if I put 10k spend on the cc on jetblue flights, I’d get 100 tiles from the jetblue spend + an additional 10 tiles for the cc spend?

  4. @Andrea – that benefit was announced specifically as “2022 only” so it’s not really taking that away, it was a placeholder for this new program

  5. For those qualifying on card spend, it’s actually a slight downgrade from the previous program since $50K in spend got you confirmed EMS seats at booking.

    That said, it’s nice to be able to combine credit card spend with travel spend to achieve status levels. It used to be an either/or type of thing.

  6. Gary – is the earning of tile milestones in a given year (i.e. 10 tiles for early boarding) going to carry over benefits into the following year, or only if you hit the level required for tier status?

  7. Well, it really sucks that I worked so hard to earn Mosaic this year, mostly for the free EMS at booking time, just to learn that I won’t get that benefit in the year for which I qualified!

  8. @Gary – can you please explain how this works with AA flights ? Is it all AA flights ? Does it have to be booked on JetBlue website ?

  9. Are there any cross benefits for an American Executive Platinum , when booking flights on Jet Blue?

  10. @Alex none yet except I believe the head of loyalty at Spirit has left (I got a bounceback to an email yesterday) and it’s hard to imagine anything other than TrueBlue becomes the combined program, but they haven’t spoken to how points from Spirit convert to JetBlue etc.

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