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Discount carrier JetBlue has been a favorite of frugal fliers pretty much since it started back in 2000. And in 2016, it launched a new line of credit cards designed to reward its most loyal, or TrueBlue, customers. Of course, whether you should opt for a JetBlue credit card hinges on how often you’re taking the carrier up on its unlimited snacks and extra legroom — and whether you spend a lot on gas and groceries (you’ll see why in a moment). In this JetBlue credit card review, we’ll go over the major terms and conditions of each JetBlue-branded personal credit card and also break down some alternatives that might be right for you.
What Are the JetBlue Credit Card Offer Details?
JetBlue launched three new credit cards in 2016 as part of its partnership with Barclaycard. For the purposes of this review, we’ll focus on the two personal credit cards: The JetBlue Card and the JetBlue Plus Card. (Note: The following breakdown provides an overview of the cards’ major terms and conditions. For full details, please see the card agreements.)
The JetBlue Plus Card
Base Rewards: Cardholders get six points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, two points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores, and one point per dollar everywhere else.
Signup Bonus: Cardholders are eligible for 30,000 bonus points after they spend $1,000 in purchases within their first 90 days.
Ancillary Benefits: When it comes to redeeming rewards, there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions. Rewards don’t expire, and you can pool your points with family members. There are no foreign transaction fees, and you get a free first checked bag, plus one for up to three companions on each JetBlue flight charged to the card. You’ll also receive 5,000 anniversary points; a 10% redemption bonus; an annual $100 statement credit if you purchase a JetBlue vacation package of $100 or more; and a year’s worth of Mosaic benefits, which include priority boarding, after spending $50,000 or more each year.
Annual Fee: $99
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 17.74%, 21.74% or 26.74%, based on your credit worthiness
Base Rewards: Cardholders earn 3 points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Signup Bonus: Cardholders earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Ancillary Benefits: No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking. Plus, points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire. You can also earn and share points together with Family Pooling. The card features 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights. Lastly, it comes without foreign transaction fees, but with chip technology and $0 Fraud Liability protection.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 12.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% Variable based on creditworthiness
Which Card Should I Get?
The difference between the two cards is pretty simple: The JetBlue Plus Card touts beefier benefits in exchange for a $99 annual fee, while the standard JetBlue Card offers fewer rewards but no annual fee. In other words, it all comes down to whether you feel you fly and/or spend enough to recoup that $99. You may need to break out a calendar and do some number crunching, but given the big point return on JetBlue purchases, particularly when you consider the points you’ll earn through the TrueBlue program as well (see below), that $99 can be easily recouped.
One other thing to consider: How polished your credit is, because while both cards require a solid score to qualify, the standard JetBlue Card offers a bit more wiggle room. Think good credit (700 to 749) versus excellent credit (750 or over). (You can view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.) That means, depending on where you fall, you may only be able to qualify for the less lucrative of the two.
How Does the TrueBlue Program Work?
The JetBlue credit cards pair with JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program. TrueBlue members earn a base three points per dollar on flights, but there are ways to boost those earnings. You get double points (six points per dollar), for instance, when you purchase through JetBlue.com. And, of course, JetBlue cardholders get points for the dollars they charge to their cards, so those coffers can fill up quick. TrueBlue points can be redeemed for round-trip or one-way award flights. There are no blackout dates, though the price of award flights will vary alongside JetBlue’s fares.
Program members can qualify for TrueBlue Mosaic status by flying 30 segments, plus 12,000 base flight points within a calendar year, or earning 15,000 base flight points within a calendar year. Mosaic status allows you to bypass change and cancellation fees, earn an additional three points per dollar on your JetBlue flights (so you’ll get a total of at least nine points when you book on JetBlue.com), check a second bag for free and enjoy complimentary alcoholic beverages on board, among other things.
Alternatives to the JetBlue Credit Cards
Here’s the thing about JetBlue: it doesn’t fly to as many destinations as other major carriers (more than 90 and counting, per its website, versus 325 destinations that Delta, as an example, flies). So while both of its airline miles credit cards are truly solid offers (especially the JetBlue Plus Card — six points per dollar is a sweet deal), worldwide or infrequent JetBlue travelers may be better served by a more flexible travel card.
As always, the right travel credit card for you comes down to whether you fly a particular airline or stay at the same hotel chain all the time, if there’s a hub in your area, and how often you really travel at all. Having said that, here are some alternatives to the JetBlue Cards that travelers may want to consider. (Again, please see the card agreements for full terms and conditions.)
Why We’re Mentioning It: Because the Venture Rewards (see full review here) offers travelers a lot of flexibility when it comes to earning and redeeming miles. Cardholders earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, as well as 10X miles per every dollar spent on hotels.com/venture (learn more at hotels.com/venture). Those miles can be redeemed for any travel purchase; 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards.
Signup Bonus: Cardholders can earn 50,000 miles (the equivalent of $500 in travel) if they spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Ancillary Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, complimentary concierge service and complimentary room upgrades. Cardholders can also receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
APR: 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Card Details +
Why We’re Mentioning It: The Chase Sapphire Preferred (see full review here) is another card where you earn extra points on all your travel purchases (two points per dollar) in addition to restaurant purchases (also two points per dollar), and one point everywhere else. Plus, Chase has a lot of partner airlines that you can transfer points to at a one-to-one value. JetBlue, admittedly, is not one of them, but discount carrier Southwest Airlines and major carrier United Airlines are, as well as Hyatt and Marriott, so you have more flexibility when it comes to redeeming rewards.
Signup Bonus: Cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points (the equivalent of a full $625 when redeemed through Chase’s travel portal) after they spend $4,000 in their first three months.
Ancillary Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, a primary auto rental collision damage waiver and trip cancellation insurance.
Annual Fee: $0 Intro for the first year, then $95
APR: 17.74% - 24.74% Variable. See issuer’s terms for more specific details.
At publishing time, the JetBlue Plus, JetBlue Card, Capital One Venture Rewards and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.