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JetBlue Plus Card Review – Travel Rewards for Frequent Flyers

At a Glance
jetblue plus credit card
4.0 / 5
Rating

JetBlue Plus Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 bonus TrueBlue points after $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days
  • Rewards: 6 TrueBlue points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases; 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores; 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases; 10% bonus at redemption
  • Benefits: Free first checked bag for cardholder and 3 companions; 50% savings on in-flight purchases; Mosaic benefits after $50,000 in annual purchases
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (balance transfers must be made within 45 days of account opening), followed by variable regular APR
  • Regular APR: 13.24%, 21.24%, or 26.24% variable, based on your creditworthiness
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee; greater of $5 or 3% balance transfer fee
  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

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.

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JetBlue Plus Card is an airline credit card with a $99 annual fee. Backed by Barclaycard, it’s designed to reward frequent JetBlue flyers with accelerated TrueBlue point earnings and offers enhanced TrueBlue earnings for frequent diners and grocery shoppers as well. In addition, JetBlue Plus Card has a slew of practical and luxurious perks for frequent travelers, especially those who spend heavily with this card. Its sign-up bonus isn’t half bad either.

If you live close to a JetBlue hub and plan to (or already do) fly extensively with the airline, this card is absolutely worth a hard look. If you’re merely an occasional JetBlue flyer, or prefer not to put all your eggs in one airline basket, annual-fee-free JetBlue Card might be a better fit.

Key Features

Sign-up Bonus

When you spend at least $1,000 within 90 days (three billing cycles) of opening your account, you earn 30,000 bonus TrueBlue points. That’s reliably good for a long-haul domestic one-way (for example, from New York to Seattle), and possibly a round-trip or multiple one-way flights, depending on fares’ dollar cost.

JetBlue Rewards and Redemption

JetBlue Plus Card earns unlimited 6 TrueBlue points for every $1 spent on JetBlue purchases. Restaurant and grocery store purchases earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent, while all other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent. TrueBlue points can be redeemed for one-way and round-trip award flights on JetBlue and its partner, Hawaiian Airlines.

Keep in mind that point values are directly tied to redemption flights’ dollar cost, so the number of points required to redeem for award travel can vary considerably based on factors such as demand, flight distance, time of day, date, and more. For instance, a one-way flight from New York to Chicago requires anywhere from 7,000 to more than 15,000 points, based on a constant point value of approximately $0.015 apiece. As a general rule of thumb, expect to set aside up to 50,000 TrueBlue points for long-haul domestic round-trip flights.

TrueBlue points can also be redeemed for JetBlue Getaways vacation packages, which can include expenses beyond airfare, such as lodging and rental car expenses. Additionally, TrueBlue points can be redeemed for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. However, these methods usually undervalue points by a significant margin relative to award travel. On every award travel redemption, you earn a 10% TrueBlue points bonus to be used toward your next redemption – for instance, if you redeem 30,000 points for a round-trip flight, you get 3,000 points back.

Account Anniversary Bonus

Every year your account remains open and in good standing, you receive 5,000 bonus TrueBlue points on your account anniversary.

Statement Credit for Getaways Package

When you purchase a JetBlue Getaways vacation package worth $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card, you get a $100 statement credit. This benefit is only good for one vacation package per calendar year.

TrueBlue Moasic Qualification

When you spend at least $50,000 in a calendar year, you automatically qualify for JetBlue’s TrueBlue Mosaic, a coveted loyalty status. Mosaic benefits include cancellation and change fee waivers; first and second bag free for status holder and others on itinerary; early boarding; complimentary in-flight alcoholic beverages; and 15,000 bonus TrueBlue points upon Mosaic qualification. Normally, Mosaic qualification requires either at least 15,000 TrueBlue flight base points or 12,000 TrueBlue base points plus 30 JetBlue flight segments.

Introductory APR

This card comes with a 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on qualifying balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening. There is no introductory promotion for purchases.

Regular APR

Once the introductory APR period ends, this card’s regular balance transfer APR is 13.24%, 21.24%, or 26.24% variable, based on your creditworthiness. The purchase APR is also 13.24%, 21.24%, or 26.24% variable, based on your creditworthiness. The variable cash advance APR is 26.49% from the day you open your account.

JetBlue Travel Benefits

This card comes with a host of benefits for JetBlue travelers, including 50% discounts on certain in-flight purchases (including food and beverage) and a free first checked bag for the cardholder and up to 3 companions.

Important Fees

There is a $99 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%, while cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Late and returned payments both cost up to $37.

Credit Required

This card requires excellent credit.

Advantages

  1. Solid Sign-Up Bonus. JetBlue Plus Card has a solid, easy to attain sign-up bonus: 30,000 TrueBlue points on $1,000 spent within 90 days (three billing cycles). That’s enough to earn a domestic round-trip fare between a number of JetBlue destinations, and it requires significantly less spending – one-third to one-quarter, in some cases – as some other travel rewards credit cards‘ sign-up bonuses.
  2. Deep In-Flight Discounts. The 50% in-flight discount is a great deal for cardholders who like to eat, drink, and be entertained in the air. By contrast, some competing cards, such as American Express’s Delta SkyMiles family and Citi’s AAdvantage family, offer only 20% to 25% discounts.
  3. Redemption Bonus Every Time. This card boosts the value of redeemed points by 10% at every award travel redemption. Depending on how many points you redeem, your redemption bonus earns you (or nearly earns you) a free flight. For instance, a 50,000-point redemption garners a 5,000-point bonus, good for some short-haul JetBlue flights. Many branded airline credit cards don’t offer redemption bonuses at all.
  4. Heavy Spenders Automatically Earn Mosaic Benefits. If you fly very often and use JetBlue Plus as your primary credit card, spending $50,000 annually could well be within reach. Once you hit that threshold, you earn all the benefits of Mosaic status, without the spending or segment requirements: 2 free checked bags, priority boarding, fee waivers, complimentary in-flight beverages, and more.
  5. Cardholder Anniversary Bonus Is a Nice Boost. The 5,000-point annual cardholder bonus isn’t incredibly generous, but it could make the difference between too few and just enough points for a free flight redemption. Many competitors do not offer cardholder anniversary bonuses, or only provide annual point bonuses to cardholders who hit certain spending thresholds.
  6. Accelerated Earnings on Grocery and Restaurant Purchases. JetBlue Plus is a rare branded airline card that earns above the baseline on non-airfare purchases. Specifically, it earns 2 TrueBlue points per $1 spent on groceries and at restaurants, double the baseline earning rate. Since these are popular spending categories, there’s a good chance they’ll aid your progress toward free flights.
  7. Balance Transfer Promotion Is a Welcome Intro Perk. Not all airline credit cards offer introductory balance transfer promotions. In fact, most don’t. For cardholders with high-interest balances on existing credit card accounts, this is a nice welcome perk that can save hundreds of dollars in ongoing interest charges. Once the introductory APR period expires, variable regular APR applies.

Disadvantages

  1. Charges an Annual Fee. This card’s $99 annual fee is an impediment for cardholders who don’t spend heavily enough (especially on JetBlue flights) to earn sufficient rewards to offset the fee. If you’re only an occasional traveler, try annual-fee-free JetBlue Card instead.
  2. No Alliance Redemptions. Though JetBlue works with partner airlines on a global basis, it rarely allows you to redeem TrueBlue points on cosigned flights. (Hawaiian Airlines is the rare exception.) If you want to visit a part of the world not directly served by JetBlue, such as Africa and much of Asia, you can’t use TrueBlue points to do so – you need to pay with dollars. That’s a shame, because transcontinental flights tend to be very expensive.
  3. Point Requirements for Redemption Fluctuate. JetBlue is somewhat unusual among U.S. airlines in its insistence on fixing TrueBlue points’ redemption values at approximately $0.015 apiece, regardless of route or published fare cost. This ties award travel redemption requirements to fares’ dollar costs, meaning fares that cost more also require more points. For example, a $100 JetBlue flight requires approximately 7,330 TrueBlue points, while a $300 flight requires approximately three times that amount. Since prices for the same route can vary considerably based on time of day, date, demand, and other factors, it’s not hard to see how this can complicate award travel planning. By contrast, some other major airlines (including United Airlines and American Airlines) fix redemption thresholds for all flights within specified fare classes and geographic areas – for example, U.S. domestic economy. When you know exactly how many points or miles you need to redeem, it’s much easier to plan for award travel.

Final Word

JetBlue Plus Card is a pretty generous rewards credit card. Cardholders who frequently fly JetBlue are likely to offset the $99 annual fee through reward travel alone. Very frequent travelers, as well as cardholders who take full advantage of its fringe benefits, are sure to find the annual fee to be a bargain.

That said, JetBlue Plus Card can’t compete with the airline rewards credit card world’s crème de la crème – cards such as Citi Prestige and the Platinum Card from American Express. Those cards’ annual fees typically swell into the $400 to $500 range, but they also come with luxurious benefits (including, in most cases, complimentary airport lounge access) that make JetBlue Plus’s benefits look pedestrian by comparison.

JetBlue Plus is a great card for JetBlue loyalists, but if you want a truly exclusive travel experience, you need to set your sights a bit higher.

Verdict
jetblue plus credit card
4.0 / 5
Rating

JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue Plus Card is ideal for frequent travelers who use JetBlue as their primary airline and JetBlue Plus Card as their primary credit card. When its benefits are used to the fullest extent – especially if and when you’re able to cross the $50,000 annual spending threshold – this card more than earns its $99 annual fee. On the other hand, occasional travelers who don’t earn enough rewards to offset the annual fee and don’t care about this card’s other benefits are better off sticking with the annual-fee-free JetBlue Card.

Good sign-up bonus, recurring redemption and annual cardholder bonuses, in-flight discounts, Mosaic status for heavy spenders, balance transfer promotion (followed by variable regular APR), and accelerated TrueBlue earnings on grocery and restaurant spending are all great. The annual fee, limited redemption options outside JetBlue ecosystem, and variable redemption requirements count against. Overall, a great card for frequent JetBlue flyers who can outspend the annual fee.

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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