Advice & Strategy

Alaska Air Mileage Plan VS JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards

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Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan and JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards programs each offer travelers a chance to earn points for flights and other ways to save money. Both programs have unique benefits but they also share some similarities. Both airlines offer the ability to earn reward flights for all members as well as free checked bags, and priority boarding for elite members.

To help you make the best decision for your travel needs, we’ve compiled this analysis of these two popular frequent flyer programs. This comparison covers important aspects such as earning rewards, flight benefits and reaching elite tiers.

Alaska Air Mileage Plan

With the Mileage Plan, you can earn miles for every flight with Alaskan Air or any of its partner airlines in the oneworld Alliance, as well as for completing stays at participating hotels and car rental companies. You can earn points based on the distance traveled and your current MVP “Tier” status level. Plus, as long as you keep your account active, your miles won’t expire and the rewards program is free to join.

JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards

TrueBlue Rewards has recently evolved to offer tiers and benefits known as “Perks you Pick”, that provides members with greater flexibility and redemption options. TrueBlue points are earned on flights are based on the fare class you choose and your Mosaic status “Tier” level. The multiple of points per dollar ranges from 1 to 15 points. There is no cost to join with no redemption blackout dates and points never expire.

Elite Tiers

JetBlue and Alaska Airlines both have their own frequent flyer elite tier programs that allow travelers to earn additional points and benefits. Both airlines offer basic loyalty rewards such as priority boarding, bonus points/miles and discounted fares. However, there are significant differences in the tiers of each program. Below we will break down each tier level offered and provide details on the additional benefits that follow.

Alaska Airlines MVP StatusJetBlue Mosaic 1
The MVP Status system is Alaska Airlines’ elite tier system. Comprised of four tiers, each is obtained though accumulating elite qualifying miles earned on Alaska and oneworld & global partner flights. There are four tiers of Mosaic Membership offering different levels of perks. Tiles are the way JetBlue determines your Mosaic status level. Tiles are earned on a rate of 1 tile per $100 spent on JetBlue purchases.
Members will need to has banked 20,000 miles in a calendar year to obtain this first status level. Benefits include: You will need 50 tiles to achieve this first tier level on JetBlue. Benefits include:
First and Premium class upgrades on Alaska
non-qualifying fares.
Earn 3X points bonus
50% bonus elite miles earned, however bonus miles do NOT count towards MVP status. Free wine, beer and liquor on all flights.
2 free checked bags.Free same day switches on all fares for you and eligible companions on the same itinerary.
Priority check in and boarding. First 2 checked bags are free for you and eligible travel companion.
Preferred seating options. Free more seat space on your flight depending on availability at check-in.
Alaska lounge membership discount.Mosaic early boarding access with a dedicated boarding lane at select airports.
Express security line as selected airports.Free Heathrow Express upgrades.
Dedicated Mosaic check-in desk.
MVP GoldMosaic 2
You will need to have accumulated 40,000 miles in a calendar to to reach Gold. At this level you receive all benefits above and: Members will need to have banked 100 tiles. All Mosaic 1 perks included plus:
Earn 100% elite bonus miles. More seat space at no cost at time of booking on every JetBlue flight when available.
4 guaranteed first class guest upgrades per year.
Companion upgrades to First and Premium class options.
Complimentary beverages or snacks.
Standby and wait list priority for full flights.
Complimentary same-day flight changes.
4 Alaska lounge day passes per year.
MVP Gold 75KMosaic 3
In order to achieve this status level you will need 75,000 miles in a calendar year. Benefits offered include:150 tiles in order to reach this tier. Additional benefits include:
Earn 50,000 bonus base miles upon qualification for this status.Four “Move to Mint” certificates that let you book in back then move to mint at no charge if mint is available.
Earn 125% elite bonus miles.
International upgrade certificates on American Airlines (one, one-way upgrade).
3 Free checked bags.
MVP Gold 100KMosaic 4
Members will need to have earned 100,000 miles in a calendar year to obtain this status level. Benefits include: Two additional Move to Mint certificates.
Earn 150% elite bonus miles.Four one-way credits for Blade Airport helicopter transfers between Manhattan & JFK or EWR.
International upgrade certificates on American Airlines (two one-way upgrades).
First and Premium class upgrades on Alaska’s highest waitlist priority.
1 Choice benefit — choose from: 50,000 Bonus Miles, Alaska Lounge+ Membership, Gifting MVP Gold Status, Complimentary Wi-Fi every time you fly on us ,or complimentary CLEAR® Plus membership.

Alaska Million Miller — Members who accumulate 1 million miles on Alaska Air will be awarded MVP Gold Status for life. 

JetBlue Mosaic Perks You Pick

This is an additional benefit offered by JetBlue that allows members to choose one perk when you achieve each Mosaic level. Note: you are not allowed to repeat perks in a 12 month period. Perks you Pick options are as follows:

  • Pet Fee Waiver ($125 value per flight).
  • 20-Tile bonus for you or a person of your choosing.
  • 15,000 TrueBlue bonus points
  • Mint Suite Priority – Priority access to Mint Suite selection on certain aircraft (pending availability)
  • FoundersCard Blue Membership — a club that grants select travel, business and lifestyle benefits. A stripped down version of the FoundersCard membership called “FoundersCard Blue”.
  • A $99 Statement Credit on JetBlue Plus or Business Card credit cards.

Airline Partners

JetBlue: You can earn but not redeem TrueBlue points on these JetBlue Airlines partners: Icelandair, Qatar, South African Airways, Emirates, Silver Airways and Hawaiian Airlines, which is the only airline that allows you to redeem TrueBlue points for another carriers flights.

Other partners who only allow for seamless connections, but no milage earn / redemption are: Aer Lingus and Cape Air.

Alaska Airlines:

Aer Lingus, Air Tahiti Nui, American AirlinesBritish Airways, Cathay Pacific, Condor, El AL Israel Airlines, Fiji Airways, Icelandair, Iberia, Hainan Airlines, Finnair, Malaysia Airlines, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, Latam Airlines, Ran Alaska, Royal Maroc, Qantas and Qatar Airways.

Hotel Partners

JetBlue: No hotels partners are associated with TrueBlue Rewards.

Alaska Air:

  • Best Western Hotels and resorts: Earn 250 miles per stay.
  • Marriott Bonvoy: Earn two miles per U.S. Dollar spent on charges.
  • Choice Hotels: Earn 250 miles per stay.
  • Rocketmiles: Earn 500 to 10,000 miles per night per reservation.
  • Coast Hotels: Earn 250 miles per qualifying rate
  • Westmark Hotels: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent.
  • IHG Hotels and Resorts: Earn two miles per dollar spent or local currency or 500 miles per stay.

Car Rental Partners

JetBlue: No car rental partners participate with the TrueBlue Rewards program.

Alaska Airlines:

  • Alamo: Earn 50 miles per day.
  • Avis: Rent up to 4 days and earn 50 miles per day. If your rental is 5+ earn 500 miles and save up to 35% off base rates using AWD#K197800.
  • Budget: Earn 50 miles per day up to 4 days rental. Earn 500 miles on 5+ day rentals. A 30% off base rates using BCD#U07220 is also included.
  • Dollar: Earn 50 miles per day.
  • Hertz: Earn 50 miles per rental day of one to four days. Earn 500 miles per rentals 5+ days.
  • National: Earn 50 miles per day.Thrifty:
  • Thrifty: Earn 50 miles per day.
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER photographed May 24-25, 2016 by Chad Slattery across California.

Final Thoughts

JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards is an appealing program for individuals who choose to fly JetBlue often. With Mosaic membership, you can earn points faster and access additional benefits. Mosaic status with JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards program has many advantages, but unfortunately, it does not provide the as much value for travelers as the Alaska MVP status program. For example Mosaic does not offer as many perks or additional bonus points at levels higher than Mosaic 1, while Alaska keeps piling on the benefits as you fly more. Additionally, TrueBlue rewards program lacks hotel and rental car rental partners. Alaska offers hotel and car rentals partners, allowing members to pump up additional points during their travels. Milage Plan members accumulate elite points faster depending on their MVP status level and as a member of the oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines offers more flexibility in regard to earning and redeeming points than JetBlue. JetBlue has a great product and onboard experience, but when it comes to the rewards… Alaska is the clear winner.

Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.

Travis is a Senior Editor at Miles Junkie. An avid outdoorsman, you'll see him shredding the slopes of Colorado in the winter and cutting rounds to heat his home in the national forests during the summer. He lives with his wife and three dogs in southwest Colorado.

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