What’s The Best Credit Card For Buying JetBlue Tickets?

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!

Reader Paul messaged me to ask whether he’s better off using the JetBlue Plus Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express for buying a JetBlue ticket.

JetBlue-A321

In general the Amex Platinum Card is the all around best card for airfare purchases — the card offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines, which is a huge return. I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so that’s the equivalent of an ~8.5% return. However, you can potentially get a lot more value out of Amex points that that.

Meanwhile the JetBlue Plus Card offers 6x points on JetBlue airfare purchases, which is the most points offered by any airline credit card for airfare purchases.

So, what’s better — 5x Amex Membership Rewards points or 6x JetBlue TrueBlue points?

JetBlue-Mint-A321 - 5

Well, first of all, the math is a bit more complicated than that. If you have the JetBlue Plus Card you get a 10% refund when you redeem points. So in reality you’re earning the equivalent of ~6.6 TrueBlue points per dollar spent, when all is said and done.

Based on my latest post valuing points, I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, and JetBlue TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents each. So the return on the Amex Platinum Card is ~8.5%, while the return on JetBlue Plus Card is ~8.58%.

With the return on both cards being roughly equal, what would the deciding factor in choosing between the cards be for me?

  • Membership Rewards points are much more flexible, so all else being equal I’d choose a currency that gives you more options for how to redeem
  • At the same time, if you’re someone who just wants to earn and redeem on JetBlue (there are plenty of people like that out there), then adding to your JetBlue balance with JetBlue Plus Card can make sense
  • Keep in mind you can redeem Amex Membership Rewards points for 2+ cents each towards the cost of a JetBlue ticket, though only if you also have The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Bottom line

This is one of those situations where I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. Both the Amex Platinum Card and JetBlue Plus Card offer a fantastic return on JetBlue spend, and I don’t think you can go wrong with either. Personally I’d choose Membership Rewards points for the added flexibility, though there are others who will (justifiably) feel otherwise.

To JetBlue flyers — which card do you use for JetBlue purchases?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Regarding Comments: Neither this post, nor the comments, are provided by the Issuing bank, or any other advertiser. The comments on this page are not endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not the bank or advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. @Lucky – You must be spending a lot of extra cash flying Ford around with you. For your readers to best support you, which credit card provides you with the highest referral fee?

  2. Agreed. The lack of trip delay/cancellation supercedes any extra points (5x) earned from using the Platinum. The Blizzard about to impact the entire Northeast is a good example of where this card comes up short in regards to airline ticket purchases.

  3. Lucky, I agree if it’s for work — can’t really go wrong, especially if your company will foot the bill for an additional night at a hotel if you get stranded somewhere. If for personal travel, and there’s any concern I could get stranded somewhere, I prefer the Citi Prestige because of the 3-hour trip delay insurance. Actually, for those who travel with families: I always book at least one ticket (usually my wife’s) using the Citi Prestige, or will use the Citi Prestige to cover taxes on any award tickets I’ve booked for my wife or kids. That way we, as a family, will get up to the limit per person (I think $500?) for lodging, meals, etc.

  4. Use the Platinum to buy gift cards from your airline. Then use Gift cards for the total minus say $5. Then charge $5 to Citi Prestige. That way you get 5X points on AMEX for the GC purchase & travel protection from Prestige.

  5. @CW @David W — Good idea, but which airlines allow you to split a fare across two credit cards? I’ve had trouble doing that with American. Can’t remember if I can do it with Delta.

  6. “Membership Rewards points are much more flexible, so all else being equal I’d choose a currency that gives you more options for how to redeem.”

    I think this means you should increase your value for MR points. If you’d rather have MR points even though the valuation is lower (~8.5% vs. ~8.58%), then the valuation seems like it’s wrong.

  7. @CW that doesn’t work, If you split payment on a ticket with the prestige, citi will only cover the amount you paid. So in your case, they would only cover $5 if your flight was delayed. I know from first hand experience.

  8. @Ian — But is it correct that they’ll cover up to $500 per person if you used some other point currency, but used the Citi Prestige for the taxes and fees? If memory serves, I bought award tickets using Avios for my wife and daughter for a trip, and used the Prestige for taxes and fees. We ended up getting stranded in Boston overnight and needed tons of things (lodging, meals, diapers, etc.), and Citi ended up reimbursing me over $700.

  9. I would only use Citi Prestige. It has the best travel protection out there. Period. I would rather have Citi Prestige 3x on travel with travel protection rather than 5x or 6x without any travel protection.
    Citi Prestige is better than Chase Reserve in this aspect.

  10. @ IAN I thought they changed policy so you would get the coverage as long as Prestige card was used to pay any amount? Maybe I misread the changes. I’ll have to look at that again.

  11. @Dave You pay with only one CC & a GC. I do it all the time with SW, DL, & AA. I just haven’t had a delay yet to try the prestige travel protection with my method. Maybe LUCKY can shed some light into my method id it works or not with the prestige & GC.

  12. @CW I’m pretty sure AMEX Plat is only 5x on airfairs directly from airline (or through AMEX Travel). Giftcards for an airline should only earn you 1x.

  13. MasterCard World Elite Cards are introducing Travel Protection starting 4/1. Up to $300 for delays exceeding 6 hours with 2 claims every rolling 12 months, best I can tell. Surprisingly, it claims to cover you both at departure from your origin and from your destination.

  14. If you are trying to earn JetBlue points – wouldn’t the AMEX platinum be the best card? I earned 5x on a family flight and booked directly on JetBlue (plus double miles promo). I think when its all said and done, I’ll have earned more than 10x points per USD….(if I decide to transfer the Amex points over to JetBlue)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *