What is the jetBlue Credit Card
In 2017, jetBlue turned out to be the second best airline when it came to its amenities and operations. It was also recognized as being one of the top airlines in luxury and comfort. Their rewards program, TrueBlue, ended up being highly honored as well. But it’s 2019 now, and just because the airline might be nice, doesn’t mean that the credit cards they throw around are.
You have two different card choices to choose from: the jetBlue standard credit card, and the jetBlue plus card. These two options are both Mastercards and are distributed by Barclays. They both do the same things fundamentally but have their differences in other areas. Obviously, the jetBlue plus comes with a few perks of its own. The plus card lets you obtain double the airfare for 99 dollars a year (you pay nothing with the standard card). The plus card also gives you around three times more of an initial bonus than the standard card. Finally, the Plus Card requires you to have a really good credit score (the standard doesn’t have this restriction).
Taking all of that into account, if you swear by jetBlue and as a result use them exclusively, a jetBlue card is perfect for you. For only about 145 dollars in airfare, the basic jetBlue card gives you a 10,000-point initial bonus, which is about 0.0145 the value of a basic TrueBlue point used to redeem free flights. Added to this, you also earn 3 points for every dollar used in jetBlue (this is about a 3.8 percent cash back equivalent). You will also receive two points with every dollar you spend at grocery stores and restaurants (this is about a 2.5 percent cash back equivalent). However, and this should be taken into account, the average person with a jetBlue Plus will be awarded around 260 dollars more than the standard user (this is with fees taken into account). So, if you have good credit, the jetBlue Plus is the way you would want to go–more benefits all around than the standard.
The Benefits Of A jetBlue Card
- The jetBlue card gives an initial 10000 dollar point bonus
When you spend about 1000 dollars during the initial 90 days that you open your account, the basic jetBlue Mastercard gives you 10000 bonus points (which is about 145 dollars when used for a normal jetBlue flight). If you find that you need more than this and your credit is immaculate, you can get the jetBlue plus card. The jetBlue plus will provide you with 30000 points for achieving the same threshold as the standard card. That would put it around 435 dollars, which would give you 336 dollars when you subtract the 99 dollars from the annual fee that you have to pay for using Plus.
You will receive up to around three points for every one dollar you spend. What makes jetBlue’s Mastercards different from most other credit cards is that it distributes its rewards as a point system. Basically, you will be given three points for every dollar that you spend on jetBlue. You will also be given two points for every dollar you spend on groceries and restaurants. Finally, you will be given a point for every dollar you spend on anything else concerning jetBlue–there is no limit to how the number of points you can earn in this way.
When taking into consideration the fluctuating money that credit cards tend to offer, it’s a smart decision to convert these numbers into what you’ll make in actual cash (and to base said numbers on the points need to redeem flights). By looking at things from that perspective, the jetBlue card gives you 3.8 percent, 2.5 percent, and 1.3 percent back (this is respective to the three categories mentioned above). The average credit card with a reward system only gives about 1.06 percent.
There are no annual fees unless you get the plus membership.
Most of the best airlines that have reward credit cards will charge you annually. They have to in order to make up the cost of all their very useful perks. The jetBlue credit card doesn’t have this problem, however. This makes it so that you can not only save money, but you can also keep your account open for however long you want, even if you don’t use your card on a regular basis.
The Drawbacks of a jetBlue Card
This card comes with absurdly large APR in comparison to other cards of the same kind.
If jetBlue does end up approving you for their credit card, you will gain an APR between 17.99 and 26.99 percent (which percent you get is based on how good your credit score is). This is a very high APR–above the normal average you would have with other credit cards. The cheapest choice available is below the average of most credit cards that are considered excellent, but as you’ve probably guessed, you will need fantastic credit to get it, and the other choices are way above credit cards that are generally considered good.
In layman terms, this isn’t a card that you want to have a monthly balance with.
- The jetBlue credit card has a three balance transfer fee
You get absolutely zero percent financing on balances that were transferred over the course of your first year. Your money can still be saved with this method, but it doesn’t seem worth it when you factor in the three percent balance transfer fee. If you have good credit, you have many other card options for you without this drawback, so they’ll probably seem more interesting by comparison. Of course, you can always try a calculator designed for credit cards to estimate the amount of savings you’ll tangibly receive.
- The jetBlue card has heavy restrictions on its redemptions
JetBlue is one of two of the only airlines that do not have an expiration date set on their points for account inactivity (the other one is Delta). That being said, if a flight has layovers, jetBlue does not allow you to redeem their rewards (they are one of four rather unpopular airlines that have this restriction actually). This makes versatility for redemptions practically nonexistent, and on top of that, pressures cardholders into much more expensive fares. This is only for layovers though, so if you fly nonstop, you should be perfectly fine. This same concept applies to jetBlue’s very finite number of travel buddies, which can turn into a real issue. Although, this is only something to really worry about if you fly with other airlines not accosted with JetBlue. jetBlue also says that it has no seat restrictions or blackout dates with regards to cardholders, but that can play out either good or bad depending on the situation.
- There are other things you should consider before purchasing this card
The jetBlue credit card offers half off for in-flight purchases. jetBlue is infamous for its luxuries–like its fantastic entertainment options, but they can cost a pretty penny. The jetBlue card is a way to enjoy all of that without destroying your bank account. It gives the holder an automatic 50 percent off on drinks (including alcohol), food, and movies.
- There are no foreign transaction fees with the jetBlue credit card
If you often go abroad with your flights or if you often find yourself using your credit card for purchases from international vendors, the jetBlue Mastercard won’t inconvenience you with a surcharge. Normally, a credit card would charge you with a 1.51 percent foreign transaction, although this number has been dropping in recent years.
- The jetBlue credit card allows you to pool your points
Most other rewards programs will not allow you to share rewards with others, not even your immediate family members who have separate accounts. So, it’s a nice little touch to be able to allow both friends and family to pool their points.
- How the jetBlue Card Compares to the Competition
Just as there a number of fish in the sea, there are also plenty of different airlines for you to fly with, and many other credit cards that you can put into your wallet. To give you an understanding of where the jetBlue credit card stands in the eyes of the public, people compared it to some notable alternatives, including cards associated with other popular airlines and airlines offering the “general” travel rewards perks. The comparisons we’ll be referencing will use the Plus option of the jetBlue card.
One of the airlines compared was SouthWest’s Rapid Rewards Premier card. jetBlue Plus came out favorably in this comparison, but only very slightly. The two cards share the same amount in annual fees, have the same rewards bonus, and neither offer purchase into ARS. While jetBlue’s APR may be higher, SouthWest offers fewer points per dollar spent, so it really comes down to personal preference.
The card was also compared to Capital One’s Venture card. Favoring Capital One, the comparison wasn’t even close. The venture card beats it out in every area.