We took a look at this offering from Barclays and JetBlue that focuses on offering additional TrueBlue points and JetBlue travel perks for cardholders.
After 10 years of partnering with American Express, JetBlue has switched over to Barclays and Mastercard. The JetBlue Card is by all measures an improvement over the old Amex card, so consumers don't have to worry about losing out. For those who still wish to explore alternatives, we go over the best candidates in a section below.
Review: Is The JetBlue Card Worth It?
For a majority of consumers, getting a JetBlue credit card will be a good deal – provided you travel at least once per year with the affiliated airline. There are two personal JetBlue credit cards - the JetBlue Plus Card and the no annual fee JetBlue Card. Between the free checked baggage benefits, airline credit, and anniversary bonus, the JetBlue Plus Card is well worth, despite the high $99 annual fee. If you can’t take advantage of the many discounts and bonuses the card provides, then the JetBlue Card, which has no annual fee, will be the better option. Generally speaking, if you spend at least $920 on JetBlue purchases per year, the JetBlue Plus Card is the one to get. We explore differences between the two cards in more detail below.
|Good For…||Bad For…|
|JetBlue perks including in-flight discounts and credits on Getaway packages||Due to few alliances, JetBlue points not as flexible as other airlines|
|No foreign transaction fees|
To break even given the JetBlue Plus Card's $99 annual fee, you'll need to take advantage of the rewards or you'll be losing money every year. This can either be done by booking a single JetBlue ticket each year, or by earning around 8,250 points on the card annually. If you're charging JetBlue-specific expenses to the card, you'll have to spend just $125 annually to recover the annual fee, assuming a 7.9% rewards rate - that means one JetBlue ticket per year will have you covered.
The JetBlue credit cards also have some fantastic everyday use - they earn 2 TrueBlue points per $1 whenever you use them to pay for groceries or when dining out.
Bottom Line: If you fly with JetBlue once a year and check bags, book vacation getaways, or spend heavily on groceries and dining out, the JetBlue Plus Card is hard to beat. For those who travel less frequently, or are low spenders, the no annual fee JetBlue Card might be a better bet, though at that point you may benefit more from a fixed rate cash back credit card.
JetBlue Card Features, Benefits And Rewards
The primary benefit of using the JetBlue credit cards is all the extra TrueBlue points it will earn you. Using the cards to pay for flights with the co-branded airline will result in earning 6 points for every $1 spent on the JetBlue Plus Card, and 3 points per $1 on the ordinary JetBlue credit card. That's on top of the 3-6 points per $1 you'd normally earn for booking a flight. In addition to this, cardmembers who charge groceries or dining out at restaurants to the card earn an additional 2 points per $1, and 1 point per $1 everywhere else.
JetBlue Plus Card users who redeem their points will also receive a 10% points dividend. That means if you redeem 10,000 points towards a flight, 1,000 will be credited back into your account. Given we estimate the value of a TrueBlue point to be $0.012, all of this translates to a rewards rate that varies between roughly 1.3% and 7.9%. The same benefit is not available on the no annual fee version of the card.
Here's how we calculate the rewards rate on the JetBlue Plus Card. Say you spend $1,000 on JetBlue tickets. You will earn 6,000 TrueBlue points through the credit card. These are worth roughly 6,000 x $0.012 = $72. You also get 10% of the points back when redeeming, which is an extra 600 points x $0.012 = $7.20. In total, you earn $72 + $7.20 = $79.20, for a rewards rate of $79.20 / $1,000 = 7.9%.
Spending at least $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days on the JetBlue Plus Card will qualify users for a 30,000 point bonus. We value this welcome gift at $360. Those who meet the same requirements with the JetBlue Credit Card will receive just 10,000 points. Those with a JetBlue Plus Card and Business credit card account will also be awarded 5,000 bonus points each anniversary year. The value of this award is $60, which puts a nice dent into the card's annual fee.
Cardmembers who receive this card as an upgrade from their old Amex JetBlue credit card have a chance to earn a $100 companion bonus. In order to qualify, cardmembers must spend at least $500 on their new credit card by June 30th.
Jet Blue Credit Cards
|JetBlue Card||JetBlue Plus Card||JetBlue Business Rewards Credit Card|
|Signup Promo||Earn 10,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.||Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full within the first 90 days. Earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.||Earn 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and earn 10,000 points when a purchase is made on an employee card in the first 90 days.|
|APR||15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable||13.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable||12.99%-20.99% Variable|
|Foreign Trans Fee||0%||0%||0%|
|50% In-Flight Discount||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|First Checked Bag Free Benefit||No||Yes||Yes|
For most consumers, the choice will be between the two consumer JetBlue credit cards. On the reward earning side of things, the products only differ in how much TrueBlue points you earn on JetBlue purchases. Therefore, we looked at how much you would have to spend with JetBlue each year in order for the $99 fee of the JetBlue Plus Card to become worth it. It turns out that if you spend $920 or less per year on JetBlue, you will actually be better off with the no annual fee card. Here is a table to illustrate what your rewards would be worth on the different cards minus the annual fees.
|Annual Spending on JetBlue||Net Annual Rewards Through JetBlue Plus Card||Net Annual Rewards Through JetBlue Credit Card|
We base these numbers on the 1.2 cents value per point for JetBlue TrueBlue points. The comparisons change a little in favor of the JetBlue card if you use the points more aggressively to get a better conversion rate.
The new JetBlue credit card has much more everyday use potential than its Amex predecessor. Because you will earn 2 TrueBlue points per $1 on dining and groceries, this card produces above average rates in those categories - something the Amex version of the card never did. If your spending in these categories is limited compared to other places, general travel cards like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card will offer nearly twice as much in overall rewards.
Built-In JetBlue Perks Through The JetBlue Plus Card & Business Credit Cards
The JetBlue Plus Card as well and its business version come with two JetBlue specific perks: a 50% discount on select inflight purchases and an annual $100 statement credit towards JetBlue Getaways packages you reserve with the card. The inflight purchase discount applies only to food, alcoholic beverages, movies, pillows and blankets. The discount will come in the form of a statement credit posted to your credit card 6 - 8 weeks after your purchase. While the inflight discount is nice, we don't think it's necessarily a make or break perk since most travelers can do without those items on most domestic flights.
Also, If you spend at least $50,000 on either card in your second year, you will also qualify for one year of Mosaic status - JetBlue's elite membership program. Benefits include things like additional free checked bags, no cancellation or change fees on JetBlue flights, early boarding, and more. Normally, you would need to fly 30 segments and earn 12,000 TrueBlue points to qualify.
Redeeming Rewards For JetBlue Awards Flights
Your JetBlue Credit Card points can be redeemed for round-trip flights starting at 8,000 points and one way flights beginning at 4,000 points. This is done through the TrueBlue member website. Once you're logged in, you'll click on Manage My Points to pull up the redemption page. Points can generally be redeemed for awards travel on JetBlue, though a select number of other options exist. The other TrueBlue redemption options include magazine subscriptions as well as points redemption towards flights on Hawaiian Airlines.
What's The Value of TrueBlue Points?
The value of TrueBlue points varies between 1 and 1.8 cents. Overall, we estimate the value of these points to be 1.2 cents. In order to determine this figure, we looked at a number of different JetBlue itineraries and compared their prices in USD to the price in TrueBlue points. We divided the USD price by the point price, and then averaged over all the results to arrive at the value above.
In the example above, you can see that a flight from Chicago's O'Hare Airport to New York's JFK will run you $72 or 4,300 TrueBlue points and $5.60 in taxes, on the Blue fare. To get the value of the points, we divide $72 / 4,300 to get a result of $0.017. After repeating this calculation over different times, dates, and fare classes, we arrived our value of $0.012.
JetBlue Business Rewards Credit Card
If you are a business owner who pays for frequent JetBlue flights throughout the year, the JetBlue Business Rewards Credit Cardis a fantastic option to consider. The card comes with a $99 annual fee, and awards points in categories that are slightly more geared towards a business. Cardholders earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 on office supply stores and restaurants, and 1 point per $1 everywhere else. The JetBlue Business Rewards Credit Card also comes with the 10% points dividend, just like the JetBlue Plus Card. That puts the card's rewards rate at 1.32% on general purchases, 2.64% on purchases of office supplies and spending at restaurants, and a whopping 7.9% on JetBlue spending. If you don't have any JetBlue expenditures, you will benefit from other business credit cards.
As you can see, the JetBlue Plus Card and the business version only differ inside the 2x category - the business card trades earning extra points on groceries for office supply stores.
Applying for the JetBlue Card
What credit score do I need to apply for this card? The JetBlue Card is marketed towards people with Good or Excellent credit. This means that you'll want a score of at least 690 to apply for the card. There is no guarantee that meeting this minimum score will get you approved for the card but it's one major piece of the application.
Other Credit Cards Useful For Frequent JetBlue Customers
As mentioned in the article, general travel credit cards can serve as a good alternative to the JetBlue Card. You won't find another credit card that can directly earn you TrueBlue points. JetBlue is also not part of any major airline alliance, so transferring points can also be difficult.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - one of the all-around best travel credit cards - is a great card to book JetBlue flights with. If you pay for your airfare with it, this card will earn you Ultimate Rewards 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. We value these points at $0.0125 each, if you use them to book travel through the UR travel center. JetBlue is also a 1:1 transfer partner with Chase, meaning you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for Jetblue flights.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also comes with one of the best bonuses around - Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. By contrast, the old JetBlue credit card came with a bonus of just 20,000 TrueBlue points which, at a value of $0.012 per point, totals just $240.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||JetBlue Plus Card|
|Bonus||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.||Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full within the first 90 days. Earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.|
|Rewards||2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide||6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X at restaurants & grocery stores, 1X on all other purchases|
|APR||15.99% - 22.99% Variable||13.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable|
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
For consumers who spend less than $7,500 on travel and dining annually, or those who put other types of expenses on their credit card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card will be the better replacement for the JetBlue Card. This card provides users with 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, no matter where they shop. Those miles can then, in turn, be used as travel statement credit to pay down old purchases. This will cause users to walk away with a 2% rewards rate.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel. That's enough to cover most of a round-trip ticket from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale on JetBlue.
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||JetBlue Plus Card|
|Bonus||Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel||Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full within the first 90 days. Earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.|
|Rewards||2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day||6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X at restaurants & grocery stores, 1X on all other purchases|
|APR||17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)||13.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable|
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
One of the best travel credit cards with no annual fee, the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® is an excellent alternative for low spenders. The card earns you 2 miles on every $1 spent on dining and travel expenses, and 1 mile per $1 everywhere else. Barclays' definition of travel includes airlines, so you can always earn 2 miles per $1 by booking JetBlue flights. Whenever you redeem these miles, you earn a similar 5% dividend as on the JetBlue Plus Card. That puts this card's rewards rate at 2.1% on travel and dining purchases, and 1.05% on everything else. In addition to this, Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® cardholders who spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening their account receive a bonus 20,000 miles - an estimated value of $210.
When is the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® a better deal than the JetBlue Plus Card? The answer comes down to how much you spend. If you charge less than $1,350 towards JetBlue flights annually, the Barclays card will be the better deal. Otherwise, you should favor the JetBlue Plus Card. When it comes to other types of purchases, the two cards are close, though the Barclays card has the slight edge on dining out, while the JetBlue Mastercard performs better when shopping for groceries. If you'd like to see exactly how these cards fare against your specific budget, we recommend turning to our calculator below.
|Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®||JetBlue Plus Card|
|Bonus||20,000 bonus miles|
|Rewards||2x miles on travel & dining||6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X at restaurants & grocery stores, 1X on all other purchases|
|APR||16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%*||13.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable|