About JetBlue Card
I remember the first time I took a JetBlue flight. Back then, I didn’t have the JetBlue Card from Barclays. I did have, however, an overwhelming sense of happiness about the customer service, free snacks and complimentary entertainment I received on my flight.
My first trip on JetBlue is indicative of what makes the airline one of the top domestic carriers in the country and it also provides some incentive for me and other consumers to sign up for the JetBlue Card.
You see, the JetBlue Card is an airline rewards credit card that gives you frequent flyer miles in the form of an up-front bonus and ongoing, purchase-based bonuses.
The card also has a lower-than-average APR that could save you hundreds of dollars per year in interest payments if you carry a balance.
All that being said, HighYa is all about presenting you the full picture of what a particular product or service offers. Taking a comprehensive approach to the JetBlue Card includes identifying holes or shortcomings in what a credit card offers.
The more aware you are of the JetBlue Card’s pros and cons, the more equipped you’ll be to decide if the card is the right fit for you.
The best way to uncover a card’s strengths and weaknesses is to examine the areas most important to you, the consumer:
- Rates and fees
- Public opinion
We’ll finish up this review with a quick section on the JetBlue Card’s strengths and weaknesses, followed by a summary of who we think will benefit the most from this card.
Pro tip: MasterCard offers the JetBlue Card and the JetBlue Plus card. This review covers the JetBlue Card. Click here if you want to read our review of the JetBlue Plus card (higher annual fee, more rewards).
The JetBlue Card’s Rewards
The simplest way to understand how the JetBlue Card’s rewards work is to look at them as rewards you get when you sign-up and rewards you get when you make purchases.
Rewards You Get When You Sign-Up: 10,000 Bonus Points
Credit cards like to offer you a certain incentive up front to convince you to sign up for their card. In the case of the JetBlue Card, that incentive is 10,000 bonus points. Those points are all yours if you can spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of owning your card.
Pretty simple, right? There really aren’t that many sneaky exceptions to this offer, either. The two things you need to watch out for are the “90 days” and the types of purchases that count toward the $1,000.
The 90-day deadline starts the day JetBlue approves you for the card, not the day you get your card in the mail. If it takes 7 days for the card to show up, you’ve got 83 days to spend $1,000.
Second, any fees relating to late payments and any interest you pay on your card don’t count toward the $1,000 spending requirement.
With those two rules in mind, getting the 10,000 points is pretty easy considering most American households can spend at least $1,000 the first month they have this card.
Once you do, it will take up to 8 weeks for the points to show up in your TrueBlue account, which is the name of JetBlue’s frequent flyer program.
If you have a TrueBlue account when you apply for the JetBlue Card, you’ll add your account number to your application. If you don’t have a TrueBlue account, then JetBlue will assign you one once they approve you for the card.
Rewards You Get When You Make Purchases: 3x, 2x, 1x
If the 10,000 points are meant to convince you to sign up, then the rewards you get when you make purchases on your card are meant to keep your loyalty.
3x Points on JetBlue Purchases
For every dollar you spend on “tickets, goods and services” through JetBlue, you’ll earn 3 TrueBlue points.
We read through the JetBlue Card’s fine print to see if there were any limitations or restrictions on this perk and found a few things you should know.
First, purchases you make at the following locations are eligible for the 3x bonus:
- JetBlue reservations line
- JetBlue Getaways booking
- JetBlue airport ticket counter
Second, you won’t get any 3x bonus for duty-free purchases or for buying TrueBlue points.
As for how many points you can earn from this perk, it’s kind of a mystery. From what we’ve learned through research, the average American will fly maybe once a year.
The average price of a domestic ticket is around $350. So, one JetBlue flight a year at $350 would earn you 1,050 TrueBlue points.
2x on Groceries
The second bonus you get is double points on all grocery purchases. This is a great perk because the average American household spends around $4,000 on groceries per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most airline rewards cards give you a double bonus on airline purchases and everything else has a 1x bonus, which makes the JetBlue card’s 3x/2x structure pretty rare.
Now, if you spend $4,000 a year on groceries, you’ll get 8,000 TrueBlue points. If you spend $6,000 a year, that bonus goes up to 12,000 points. At $8,000, you’re looking at a bonus of 16,000 points.
Take a minute to average out how much you’ve spent on groceries the past six months and you’ll have a good idea of how many points you can earn from your trips to the supermarket.
1x on Everything Else
Any purchases that don’t fit into the categories we just mentioned will earn 1 TrueBlue point for every dollar. We believe, according to stats about spending, that the average family can spend at least $20,000 on their credit card, which equals out to 20,000 TrueBlue points per year.
Based on our calculations, we believe the JetBlue Card can earn you at least 38,000 TrueBlue points a year.
The True Value of TrueBlue Points
How many flights will those 38,000 points get you? We did a quick search of flights on several of the most popular routes in the United States and found that you can book flights for as cheap as 18,400.
If you can find fares at that price, then you can book two flights with your first-year points. Keep in mind that the cheapest flights tend to arrive and depart at extreme times, often requiring red-eye flights or early morning departures.
The JetBlue Card’s Benefits
Aside from earning points on purchases, the JetBlue Card has some basic benefits that will make travel easier for you.
First, JetBlue allows you to pool your points together with family members. So, if you want to fly your sibling out to see you during the summer, for example, you can transfer your points to their account.
Second, there are no blackout dates for rewards bookings, which means you can use your points to book a flight at any time during the year. If you have to make a change to your rewards booking, though, you’ll be charged between $75 and $150 to make a change, depending on the cash price of the ticket you booked.
A few other benefits of the JetBlue Card:
- Points don’t expire as long as you use your card at least once a year
- You can donate your points to charity
- 50% off in-flight food and beverages
- Zero fraud liability
The 50% off we mentioned comes back to you in the form of a statement credit; it’s not taken off at the point of sale.
The JetBlue Card’s Rates and Fees
The best way to maximize value on your JetBlue Card is to never pay late and to always pay off your balance each month. If you don’t, you can expect one or some of the following rates and fees:
- Purchase and balance transfer APR: 12.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%
- Cash advance APR: 26.24%
- Annual fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: 3%
- Cash advance fee: 5%
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $37
The JetBlue Card’s APR is among the very best of the airline rewards credit card world. Chase’s popular United MileagePlus Explorer and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier cards have low-end APRs of 16.99%, while the Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express bottoms out at 16.74%.
The JetBlue Card’s 12.99% low-end APR is a great perk for those with excellent credit, especially if you carry a balance. If your balance is consistently at $3,000 a month, then the Chase cards’ 4% APR difference could cost you $120 a year.
Pro tip: You can get 0% interest on any balance transfers made to your JetBlue Card within 45 days of being approved. You’ll have to pay the 3% balance transfer fee, though.
Public Opinion About the JetBlue Card
The JetBlue Card gets slightly above average reviews from expert sites other than HighYa. The main thing this card has going for it is the fact that rewards bookings are pretty cheap compared to United, Delta, and American Airlines.
The competitive redemption rates increase the value of TrueBlue points, which increases the value of the JetBlue Card’s rewards.
There weren’t a ton of recent reviews about this card, but the ones we did read were negative for various reasons. One consumer said JetBlue screwed up a payment the customer made, while another said they applied for the JetBlue Plus Card and were given the JetBlue Card instead.
The latter complaint brings up a good point. Many airlines have two sets of credit cards; one for those with great credit and one for everyone else.
Southwest has the Rapid Rewards Premier and the Rapid Rewards Plus, while Delta has the Gold Delta SkyMiles and the Blue Delta SkyMiles. United offers its customers the United MileagePlus Explorer and the TravelBank.
If you’ve got credit scores above 700, there’s a decent chance you’ll score the JetBlue Plus, but if your scores are below 700, there’s a decent chance you could get the JetBlue Card. It’s hard to say for sure which one you’ll get because there are a lot of factors that go into credit card approval.
Pros of the JetBlue Card
Based on our research, we believe this card’s strength is the double bonus on grocery purchases, the low APR and the fact that it doesn’t have an annual fee.
Cons of the JetBlue Card
It’s really difficult to find a downside to this card, especially when you compare it to the United TravelBank, the Rapid Rewards Plus and the Blue Delta SkyMiles, the JetBlue Card’s main competitors.
Perhaps the only drawback is that you don’t get as many intro bonus points as the Southwest Plus card, but, then again, the Plus card has a $69 annual fee.
Who Could Benefit Most From This Card?
In our opinion, this card is a good option for someone with average credit who wants to earn enough first-year rewards to get two round-trip tickets on an airline carrier known for its excellent service.