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JetBlue Card Review – Fee-Free Card for Occasional Flyers

At a Glance
jetblue card
3.7 / 5
Rating

JetBlue Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 bonus TrueBlue points after $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days
  • Rewards: 3 TrueBlue points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases; 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores; 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Benefits: 50% savings on in-flight purchases
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 12.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99%, depending on your creditworthiness (variable)
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee; balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

JetBlue Card is a no-annual-fee airline credit card backed by Barclaycard. Its rewards program accelerates cardholders’ TrueBlue (JetBlue loyalty point) earnings on JetBlue flights and at restaurants and grocery stores. It has a few other perks up its sleeve too, including deep discounts on in-flight purchases.

If you live in a city that’s well-served by JetBlue and don’t love the thought of paying an annual credit card fee, JetBlue Card is worth your attention. On the other hand, if you’re a serious traveler who’s fiercely loyal to JetBlue and protective of frequent-flyer perks, JetBlue Plus Card or JetBlue Business Card might be more appropriate.

Key Features

Sign-up Bonus

When you spend at least $1,000 within 90 days (three billing cycles) of opening your account, you earn 10,000 bonus TrueBlue points. That’s usually good for a short-haul domestic one-way, and possibly longer flights, depending on the dollar cost of a particular fare.

JetBlue Rewards and Redemption

JetBlue Card earns unlimited 3 TrueBlue points for every $1 spent on JetBlue purchases. Restaurant purchases and grocery store purchases earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent. All other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.

You can redeem TrueBlue points for one-way and round-trip award flights on JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines, a close JetBlue partner. Point values are directly tied to redemption flights’ dollar cost, so redemption requirements vary widely based on time of day, date, demand, distance, and other factors. For example, based on my research, redemption requirements for a New York-to-Chicago one-way flight range from approximately 7,000 TrueBlue points to more than 15,000 TrueBlue points, with point values constant at approximately $0.015 apiece. Generally speaking, you can expect long-haul domestic round-trip routes to require as many as 50,000 TrueBlue points.

You can also redeem TrueBlue points for JetBlue Getaways vacation packages, which include airfare, lodging, rental car expenses, and sometimes other items. Separately, you can also redeem TrueBlue points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions. However, these options significantly undervalue points relative to award travel redemptions.

Introductory APR

This card comes with a 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers. Qualifying transfers must be made within 45 days of account opening. However, it does not offer an introductory promotion for purchases.

Regular APR

Once the introductory APR promotion period ends, this card’s regular balance transfer APR is 12.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99%, depending on your creditworthiness, and varies with prevailing interest rates. The variable purchase APR is 12.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99%, depending on creditworthiness, from the day you open your account. The variable cash advance APR is 26.24%.

50% Discount on In-Flight Purchases

JetBlue Card comes with a 50% discount on certain in-flight purchases, including food and beverage.

Important Fees

There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, while late and returned payments both cost up to $37.

Credit Required

This card requires good to excellent credit.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. JetBlue Card does not charge an annual fee, meaning it doesn’t cost anything to keep in your wallet. That’s great news for occasional travelers who don’t fly frequently enough to offset a recurring fee, but would like to use this card to accelerate TrueBlue earnings when they fly JetBlue.
  2. Strong In-Flight Discounts. This card cuts the cost of eligible in-flight purchases – including food, drink and entertainment – in half. That’s a sight better than many other airline credit cards, which offer discounts of 20% to 25% on in-flight purchases.
  3. Accelerated Earnings on Grocery and Restaurant Purchases. JetBlue Card is one of the few airline credit cards that accelerates earnings on grocery and restaurant purchases – 2 TrueBlue points per $1 spent, or double the card’s base earning rate. If you eat out frequently when traveling or have healthy grocery bills, this 2x category can accelerate your progress toward free flights.
  4. No Foreign Transaction Fee. JetBlue Card’s nonexistent foreign transaction fee is a nice benefit for cardholders who venture outside the U.S. Some fellow annual-fee-free travel credit cards do charge foreign transaction fees, which range from 2% to 3% of the transaction amount.
  5. Balance Transfer Promotion Is Unusual and Welcome. JetBlue Card is one of the few travel cards that offers an introductory balance transfer promotion. If you’re facing a high-interest balance on an existing credit card account, this perk provides an opportunity to pay it off without accruing further interest charges – while earning TrueBlue points on any spending you choose to do in the meantime. Once the promotional period expires, variable regular APR applies.

Disadvantages

  1. No Alliance Redemptions. JetBlue works with a number of partner airlines that fly all over the world. For example, you can fly to Johannesburg, South Africa, on a JetBlue flight cosigned with South African Airways. Unfortunately, with the exception of Hawaiian Airlines flights, you can’t redeem TrueBlue points on these partner flights – a huge disadvantage, considering a one-way flight to South Africa costs at least $1,000, and usually much more.
  2. Mediocre Sign-up Bonus. JetBlue Card has a mediocre sign-up bonus of only 10,000 TrueBlue points. While it’s nice that this bonus requires cardholders to spend only $1,000 in three months, it’s just not that valuable. 10,000 TrueBlue points barely buy one JetBlue round-trip flight. Many longer-haul one-ways require significantly more points.
  3. Limited Travel Benefits. JetBlue Card’s value-added travel benefits are pretty meager – the 50% discount on in-flight purchases is really the only thing this product has going for it on that front. If you want a better line-up of JetBlue travel benefits, you need to spring forJetBlue Plus Card (and pay its $99 annual fee).
  4. Points Required for Redemption Fluctuate With Fare Costs. Unlike some other airlines, including Delta and American Airlines, JetBlue fixes TrueBlue points’ redemption value at approximately $0.015 each. This means that award travel redemption requirements are directly tied to fares’ published dollar costs – for instance, a $100 flight requires approximately 7,330 points, while a $200 flight requires approximately double that amount. When combined with variable dollar costs for published fares, fixed point values can complicate planning for award travel, prompting travelers to wait longer to redeem (to account for potential increases in point requirements). By contrast, it’s much easier to plan for award travel when redemption thresholds are fixed – for instance, if you know your desired award flight always requires 20,000 points or miles, you can pull the trigger on it as soon as you reach that milestone.

Final Word

It’s a wide, wide airline rewards world out there. Although the broad strokes of major U.S. airlines’ (such as Delta, American, and United) loyalty programs are increasingly hard to distinguish from one another, smaller airlines – Southwest, Spirit, Frontier, and JetBlue – still march to their own tunes.

The airline rewards credit cards that serve all these programs, or provide travelers with general purpose points that can be redeemed for a wider range of travel and non-travel rewards, are more diverse still. Really, JetBlue Card is scarcely in the same universe as ultra-luxe American Express products like American Express Platinum and Delta Reserve. If you’re new to comparison-shopping for credit cards, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. But it helps to see the bright side: no matter what you’re looking for in a travel rewards credit card, the right choice is probably out there waiting for you.

Verdict
jetblue card
3.7 / 5
Rating

JetBlue Card

JetBlue Card is a pretty straightforward airline rewards card that’s great for occasional JetBlue flyers who don’t rack up rewards fast enough to offset an annual fee, and who want a travel card that rewards them for something other than airfare spending. It’s not really meant for serious JetBlue loyalists (and frequent travelers in general) who want the luxury perks and concentrated earning power associated with more generous travel rewards cards – and who spend heavily enough to earn rewards worth well in excess of their annual fees.

No annual fee, in-flight discounts, accelerated grocery and restaurant TrueBlue earnings, no foreign transaction fee, and the balance transfer promotion (followed by variable regular APR) are all nice. Limited partner/alliance redemptions, a mediocre sign-up bonus, limited travel benefits (beyond 50% in-flight discount), and variable redemption requirements all hurt. Overall, a solid card for occasional JetBlue flyers, but not great for serious travelers.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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