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January 25, 2017

Which JetBlue Credit Card is Right for You?

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Fly JetBlue? You may want to consider a JetBlue credit card from Barclaycard. But which one is right for you? We break it down.

JetBlue Terminal 5 JFK
JetBlue Terminal 5 JFK © Ted Murphy (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

JetBlue is one of America's favorite budget airlines, taking travelers across America and the surrounding areas at low cost.

If you find yourself flying on JetBlue at least once a year, you may want to consider one of the the co-branded credit cards offered by Barclaycard: JetBlue Plus.

1/30/2018 Update: We're sorry, JetBlue Plus Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Did you know: There is a travel credit card that earns 2x miles on all purchases? And you can redeem the miles for a statement credit toward airfare purchases, including at JetBlue.

Read the Capital One Venture review to learn more.

The JetBlue Plus has a $99 annual fee, but its sign-up bonus and rewards are a lot bigger.

We think that despite the annual fee, the JetBlue Plus is the better deal.

jetBlue
jetBlue © John Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

How to Use TrueBlue Points

JetBlue credit cards earn TrueBlue Points, which you can redeem towards any JetBlue flight, with no blackout dates and no seat restrictions. Your points never expire, as long as your TrueBlue account remains open.

Using your points is very easy. Simply sign on to your TrueBlue account (create it for free) to book travel, and select the option "TrueBlue Points." You will then see the flight options listed in points. You can also toggle back and forth between dollars and points to compare the value of the points.

So what are TrueBlue points worth?

Our estimate is that each TrueBlue point on average is worth about 1.4 -1.5 cents. This means that 10,000 points could be redeemed for a flight that costs around $140.

Here's an example of a sample flight from Los Angeles to Orlando in April 2017:

The dollar value of the highlighted flights is $131 (for Blue) and $149 (for Blue Plus). This means that the point value comes out to be 1.52 cents and 1.49 cents, respectively. This seems to be reasonable across most flights.

You don't pay any surcharges for domestic flights, except for the $5.60 Security Fee in each direction.

Tip: JetBlue cards also allow you to pool TrueBlue points with your family for free, so you can meet your goals faster. JetBlue's definition of "family" is pretty lax. It just needs to contain up to 2 adults and 5 children. The person designated as Head of Household can then redeem the family pool points for award flights.

Why We Think JetBlue Plus Card Is Superior

In our opinion, for an annual fee of $99, you get a lot more perks and rewards. First, the sign-up bonus is a LOT bigger. With the Plus, you get 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. This equals roughly $300 to ~$420 worth when you redeem, depending on how you value points. And you also get 6x points for every JetBlue purchase.

Here are some other perks that come with the JetBlue Plus:

  • Free first checked bag. With the Plus, you get the first checked bag free for you and 3 other companions on your reservation. Currently, if you book a Blue flight, the check-in price is $25 (at the airport). So if you are traveling in a group of 4 and everyone checks a bag, that alone will help justify the $99 annual fee.

  • Get 10% of your points back with every redemption. You also get 10% of your points back each time you redeem them. And the better part? This is unlimited. There's no cap on how many points you can get back. Points are usually posted to your account within 4-6 weeks after your redemption is processed.

  • 5,000 points anniversary bonus: You get a bonus of 5,000 points every year on your account anniversary. This is a pretty nice little perk to keep you using the card (again, with the 5,000 points equaling around $50 to $75, depending on how you value points). This and any point rebates you get will justify the annual fee. Keep in mind that it takes 4-6 weeks for bonus points to be posted to your account after your anniversary date.

  • $100 statement credit when you book Getaways Vacation Package. When you book a JetBlue Getaways Vacation package of $100 or more, you get a $100 statement credit each year.

Do you own a business? There is also a business version of the Plus card - the JetBlue Business card.

Downsides

  • High APR. There is no introductory APR offer for purchases or balance transfers. And the APR is 13.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% Variable, depending on your creditworthiness. So make sure you are able to pay off the balance each month.

  • You only get bonus points for dining and groceries. This is good if most of your everyday spending falls within these categories. But if your spending is very varied, then consider whether another travel rewards card like the Capital One Venture Rewards may be a better fit.

  • You can redeem on JetBlue flights. This isn't much of a problem if you know you will be taking JetBlue flights. But if you want more flexibility or will be visiting places JetBlue doesn't fly to, then think about whether a co-branded JetBlue card is right for you. Or if it's better to get a general travel rewards card that lets you use any airline. As of January 2017, you can only redeem your TrueBlue points on JetBlue and their partner, Hawaiian Airlines.

Do You Fly Other Airlines?

Not a frequent JetBlue flyer? If there's another airline you prefer instead, consider these cards:

If you fly Southwest:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of our favorite travel rewards cards. It has the ability to transfer to several airline and hotel travel partners, including Southwest. The value is quite good for the Southwest Wanna Get Away flights (with many routes just 4,500 points one-way).

If you fly Delta:
Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner: Gold Delta SkyMiles offers 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your new account. In addition, you can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within the first 3 months. This card earns airline miles: 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases. There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year).

If you fly Delta, here's what you should know: you can check your first bag free on Delta flights with this card - that is a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of 4. Plus, you can enjoy Priority Boarding. Terms apply.

Bottom Line

So, which JetBlue card is right for you? In our opinion, the JetBlue Plus has a lot to offer. The sign-up bonus, the 10% points rebate after each redemption, and the 5,000 bonus points each anniversary year are generous offers. And being able to check a bag free could help justify the annual fee if you fly with JetBlue a couple of times a year with a companion (or once with a family of 4).

But if you don't fly JetBlue too often, consider if another card may be more convenient for you, such as a straight-up cashback card.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.