Is the Jetblue Credit Card worth the annual fee?

By Kevin / April 9, 2017
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After years of being issued by American Express, JetBlue launched a new set of credit cards in 2016 through Barclaycard. There are a number of new positive changes and features that makes the new cards worth consideration if you are in the market for a new credit card. For a full detailed list of all new JetBlue Credit Card features, please see our article Creditshout Review of JetBlue Cards here.

1. The Sign-Up Bonus

JetBlue Plus Credit Card rewards new users with 30,000 points for registration, if you spend $1,000 on purchases within your first 90 days of card issuance. In the most recent valuation, these TrueBlue points were valued between 1.00 – 1.40 cents per point. That means the reward points are worth $300 to $420 towards your future flights.

A quick side note on redeeming and using your JetBlue points for novice points users. JetBlue has a dynamic revenue based redemption model. That means, unlike the American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta Skymiles, and United Mileage Plus which are based on regional points requirement (ie domestic flights 50,000 points, international fights 100,000 points, etc.), JetBlue points are based on the price of the airfare at the time of your booking. So, if you book early at cheaper fare price, then you may end up using fewer rewards points then if you book closer to your travel date at higher fare price. This conversion of the flight cost against points required for flight is generally capped at 1.4x under this revenue redemption model.

*Editors Note: Delta is also moving towards this dynamic award pricing model after hiding their points award chart a few years ago. They have often devalued their award points without any notice over the past few years.

Moreover, JetBlue recently introduced its Mint premium product on a number of routes including New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). This product is generally priced cheaper than competing business class products from Delta, American, and United. Using TrueBlue points for these routes is often cheaper than redeeming 50,000 to 100,000 points for a business class seat on one of the legacy carriers.

2. 10% Points Rebate

With JetBlue Plus Card, you will get 10% of the reward points you redeemed throughout the year, refunded back to you with no annual cap. This means that if you redeem 20,000 TrueBlue points you will receive 2,000 points back in your account. Just to be clear, you need to have enough points already in your account for the rebate. In our example, although you will ultimately only use 18,000 points after your rebate, you need the full 20,000 points in your account to make the purchase first. Unlike other similar programs, there is no annual cap on this benefit.

3. Free Checked Bag

JetBlue Plus Credit Card will allow you and up to three of your companions to check your first bag for free. At $25 per bag, that means you can save up to $100 per flight on checked bags. One domestic flight for a family of 4, makes this card well worth the $99 annual fee.

NOTE: “All ticket purchases must be made with your [JetBlue] Plus Card and Primary Card Member’s TrueBlue Member Number must be entered during [time of] booking” to ensure your family qualify for this benefit.

4. Bonus on Purchases

One of the best features of the JetBlue Plus Card is the diverse purchase categories from which you can earn points. You can earn 6 points for every $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2 points for every $1 spent on restaurants and grocery stores, and 1 point for all other purchases.

The 2 points on every $1 spent on restaurants and groceries is especially competitive against other airline consumer credit cards. This means you are not sacrificing the bonus points for restaurants and grocery stores that other programs earn. For those who want to keep it simple, it is not only convenient carrying just one travel credit card, this feature should also help accumulate points much faster.

One quick nerd conversion calculation. The 6X points earned for $1 spent on JetBlue products, means you can earn back as much as 6.0% to 8.4% of your JetBlue $ spent, in reward points, assuming a valuation of 1.00 – 1.40 cents per point.

5. Anniversary bonus

The anniversary perk is the other great aspect of the JetBlue Plus card. You will receive 5,000 bonus points every year when you renew your Card and pay the annual fee of $99. However 5,000 anniversary bonus points can be used towards future flights and at conversion rate of 1.00 - 1.40 cents per point, the bonus points can translate up to $70 towards a future flight.

6. 50% off in-flight purchases

JetBlue Plus Card allows you to enjoy a 50% discount on in-flight purchases. This covers food, cocktails and in-flight movies. Let’s have a look at what that would get you.

· EatUp Boxes: cost your $3.50 with JetBlue Plus but $7 without

· In-flight movie: cost your $2.50 with JetBlue Plus but $5 without

· Alcoholic drinks: cost your $3-$4.50 with JetBlue Plus but $6-$9 without

This discounts is very friendly and far exceeds what is offered by other airline cards.

7. Overall Recommendation

Bottom Line: Recommended.

If you don’t travel much or are saving up points for a specific destination that JetBlue services, then you will still receive much value with the regular JetBlue Card because of its’ 1) generous purchase points rewards on restaurants and groceries and 2) no annual fee on the credit card.

But if you expect to fly JetBlue a few times per year, or if you have a family or companions who may travel with you at least once a year, the JetBlue Plus Card is a no brainer with 1) free checked baggage, 2) 6X points on JetBlue products, 3) 2X points on restaurant and groceries, 3) 10% award points rebate without annual cap, 4) 5,000 anniversary points. The value of all the perks and benefits offered under this card well exceeds the cost of the $99 annual fee.

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