JetBlue Card & JetBlue Plus Card Benefits

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Early last year we learned that JetBlue and American Express would be cutting ties, after having a credit card co-brand relationship for about a decade. It was eventually revealed that Barclaycard would be taking over the contract, and that we’d see a lot of changes with the card.

This month Barclaycard launched their co-brand JetBlue credit cards — JetBlue Card and JetBlue Plus Card — and they’re actually rather compelling. In this post I’ll be sharing my overall thoughts on the card benefits, along with which card represents a better value.

To start, here’s a simple chart with the basic benefits of JetBlue Card and JetBlue Plus Card:

JetBlue CardJetBlue Plus Card
Annual fees:$0$99
Sign-up bonuses:Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 daysEarn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days
Earnings rates:• 3x points on JetBlue purchases
• 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores
• 1x points on everything else
• 6x points on JetBlue purchases
• 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores
• 1x points on everything else
Foreign transaction fees:NoneNone
Additional perks:• 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases including cocktails, food, and movies• Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
• Get 10% of your points back every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption
• Free first checked bag for you and up to 3 companions on JetBlue operated fights when you use your JetBlue Plus Card
• Enjoy all Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases after your anniversary date
• $100 statement credit after you purchase a Getaways vacation package with your card
• 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases including cocktails, food, and movies

How much are JetBlue points worth?

First let’s talk about how much JetBlue points are worth, since the above information is pretty useless without context on how much each point is worth. JetBlue has a revenue based frequent flyer program, meaning the number of points required for an award redemption is entirely dependent on how much a ticket would cost in cash.

As a general rule of thumb, JetBlue points are worth ~1.4-1.5 cents each.

For example, the below $148 ticket from New York to Tampa costs 9,900 points plus $5.60 in taxes, which is a value of ~1.44 cents per point.

JetBlue-Points-Value-1
JetBlue-Points-Value-2

The below $274 ticket from New York to St. Maarten costs 18,300 points plus $5.60 in taxes, which is a value of ~1.47 cents per point.

JetBlue-Points-Value-3
JetBlue-Points-Value-4

So as a general rule of thumb, you can expect each TrueBlue point to get you ~1.4-1.5 cents towards the cost of airfare, though exact amounts will vary.

JetBlue Card sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonuses on the card are as follows:

  • JetBlue Card — Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • JetBlue Plus Card — Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days

That means the sign-up bonus on the no annual fee version of the card gets you ~$140 towards travel on JetBlue, while the $99 annual fee version of the card gets you ~$420 towards travel on JetBlue.

The annual fee on the premium card is $99, so based on the sign-up bonus alone it’s well worth picking up the premium card for the substantially better sign-up bonus.

JetBlue
JetBlue is pretty tough to beat for domestic travel

JetBlue Card return on spend

Are JetBlue Cards worth using for everyday spend? Here’s the return they offer:

  • JetBlue Card
    • 3x points on JetBlue purchases
    • 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores
    • 1x points on everything else
  • JetBlue Plus Card
    • 6x points on JetBlue purchases
    • 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores
    • 1x points on everything else

JetBlue-Plus-Card

Relatively speaking I think the no annual fee version of the card offers a surprisingly decent return on everyday spend. When you consider that each point is worth ~1.4 cents towards the cost of travel on JetBlue, the no annual fee version of the card offers:

  • ~4.2% return on JetBlue purchases
  • ~2.8% return on restaurant and grocery store purchases
  • ~1.4% return on everything else

Personally I wouldn’t use either card for everyday, non-bonused spend, since there are better options out there.

If you’re wanting rewards you can use towards paid travel on JetBlue, I’d much rather go with another cashback credit card, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, or Citi® Double Cash Card.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offer the equivalent of 2% (or more) cash back on everyday spend towards travel. Best of all, if you use those cards to book travel on JetBlue, you’d still accrue TrueBlue points for those purchases, since they qualify as paid tickets (which isn’t true if redeeming TrueBlue points).

Meanwhile the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and then 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase. That’s an incredible return on everyday spend for a no annual fee card.

Citi-Double

So if your only goal is to maximize the money you get for travel on JetBlue through everyday spend, those are better cards to consider, in my opinion.

JetBlue Card perks

This is where the cards really shine, and where I’m really impressed by what JetBlue and Barclaycard have come up with.

The no annual fee JetBlue Card comes with 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases, though that’s about it.

JetBlue-1
JetBlue has great free snacks, but if you do buy something, you can save 50%

The perks of the $99 annual fee JetBlue Plus Card are fantastic, though.

To start, the card offers a 5,000 point bonus upon your account anniversary every year. Since JetBlue points can be redeemed for ~1.4 cents each towards travel on JetBlue, I view that was a ~$70 value. To me that makes the real cost of holding onto the card ~$30 per year.

The two most significant perks you receive for that are as follows:

  • First checked bag for you and up to three companions
  • 10% of your points back every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption

The free checked bag perk can be huge, given that JetBlue’s basic domestic fares no longer come with free checked bags. A checked bag usually costs as little as $20 one-way, so that’s $40 roundtrip. If you’re traveling as a party of three, that’s a savings of up to $120 per trip.

JetBlue-Baggage-Fees

Then you also get a 10% refund on all the points you redeem. That means each TrueBlue point you have is really worth ~1.11 TrueBlue points, since you’ll always get a 10% refund when redeeming. That increases your return on everyday spend as well.

Even if you don’t use the card a lot, it increases the value of all the points you earn with JetBlue, and not just the points you earn through the credit card.

Bottom line

I’m really impressed by the suite of benefits that Barclaycard and JetBlue have come up with for JetBlue Card and JetBlue Plus Card.

I think the $99 annual fee version of the card is absolutely worth it over the no annual fee version of the card, thanks to the bigger sign-up bonus, 5,000 point anniversary bonus, 10% refund on award redemptions, free checked bag, better points earning potential for travel on JetBlue, and more.

Personally this isn’t a card I’d use for everyday spend, but it’s absolutely one I’d consider picking up. If you’re a frequent JetBlue flyer it’s a no brainer, and even as a less frequent JetBlue flyer I can see the value of it. The anniversary bonus and 10% refund on award bookings makes the card worthwhile even for the occasional JetBlue flyer, like me.

What do you make of the new Barclaycard JetBlue products, and do you prefer JetBlue Card or JetBlue Plus Card?

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Comments

  1. @Lucky how long do you think these sign up bonuses will last? Trying to finish SPG’s 35k bonus first.

  2. One other thing that I think is missed here. You address that the no annual fee card gets 4.2% on spending with JetBlue which is on the high side for airlines, but the annual fee card at 6 points per dollar earns at least 8.4%.

    Every other airline card (Southwest, AA, UA, Delta) gives 2 points for ~3% return if you spend on the airline, which is zero incentive to use the card purchases with that airline. This is a big bump from there and a big perk if you spend a lot on the airline.

    I don’t live in a city served by JetBlue so it doesn’t interest me, but I would love if the Southwest card offered 6 points per dollar.

  3. So I have a question about jetblue earning. The program says you will earn 3 points per dollar for each jetblue ticket, another 3 points per dollar if booked on their website and then the card gives 6 points per dollar so do those all stack for a total of 12 points per dollar if using the plus card to book flights? I have canceled all of my AA cards and am just going to use Mint to go to JFK from now on while I burn off the AA points after they screwed my family on our last trip.

  4. Thanks for the heads-up but a quick question for those unfamiliar with JetBlue points: which airlines can they be redeemed on and how much do those redemptions cost? I know Emirates is a partner…do they allow redemptions there?

  5. @Joe neither. There is one kind of in the middle called the JetBlue Rewards with a $40 annual fee (like the Amex). It is not available to new applicants, only those that were converted to Amex.

  6. Does anyone know if mosaic is good for qualifying year as well as the following year like legacy status? I will earn it with CC spend and was curious to see how at works.

  7. One other thing you forgot to mention is that earning points on jetBlue is fantastic. You get 3 points per dollar base booking, then at least another 3 and as many as 5 points per dollar just for booking through them. If you have the Plus card, that means you get as little as 12 points per dollar and as many as 14! Combining that with the 1.4-1.5 Cent evaluation and the 10% rebate, you are looking at 18.5% to 23% in returns per dollar spent. That isn’t even including the mosaic benefit of an additional 3 points per dollar when you reach their elite status. If you maximize your points you are basically looking at 25% off any given flight. With jetBlue being by far the best domestic carrier and Mint expanding into more markets, I can see no reason not to fly exclusively with them in North America. I have been holding out as a Delta fanboy for years because of the service, but I think jetBlue has won me over. I will stick to ultimate rewards and thank you points for the international stuff. I can’t wait for jetBlue to fly NYC to London, the entire US commercial aviation industry will be turned upside down.

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