Full Review of JetBlue Plus Card
Attractive introductory offers
Generous points earnings
Multiple JetBlue perks
Annual fee isn't waived the first year
Limited redemption and transfer options
- Attractive Introductory Offers: This card welcomes you with both a points bonus, based on relatively low spending, and the option to transfer a balance to the card, albeit in exchange for paying a balance-transfer fee. You get the 40,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership in addition to paying the card's annual fee. This spending threshold is fairly low for a bonus that, according to our points valuation, is worth $520 when used for JetBlue flights. The introductory 0% APR on balance transfers applies for the first 12 billing cycles, a fairly customary length for such offers. You must, however, complete the transfer within 45 days of opening the card account and pay a transfer fee of 3% of the transferred balance, a common charge and percentage.
- Generous Points Earnings: You'll earn unlimited 6 points for each dollar you spend on JetBlue purchases. Based on our valuation of 1.3 cents per point for JetBlue flights, that amounts to 7.8% earnings, an exceptional rate. Another card perk boosts earnings further still, a feature that returns to your account 10% of the points you’ve used to buy an awards flight once you complete the trip—which essentially reduces by a tenth the net points you spend on a flight. Finally, you earn an additional 5,000 points, worth some $65 when used for flights, on your card anniversary, regardless of how much or how little you’ve used the card over the year. You can also earn unlimited 2 points per dollar spent on restaurant and grocery store purchases, which makes the card at least as rewarding as cash-back cards that earn 2% on these purchases—so long as you value rewards that allow you to buy JetBlue flights as much as you do cash.
- Multiple JetBlue Perks: When you use your card to pay for your flights, you and up to 3 travel companions on the same reservation that have purchased (standard) Blue fares will receive their first checked bag free on JetBlue-operated flights. High rollers who own the card can also automatically earn JetBlue's Mosaic status, the highest level in the company's loyalty program, if they spend $50,000 on the card within a calendar year. Mosaic's perks include no change or cancellation fees, reduced rates for Even More Space seats, early boarding, and complementary alcoholic beverages onboard. Cardholders also receive a once-a-year $100 statement credit that can be used towards JetBlue vacation packages.
- Annual Fee Isn't Waived the First Year: The JetBlue Plus card will cost you $99, even in your first year with the card. Some other travel credit cards waive the annual fee during the first year as an incentive to try out the card, and to increase its initial net benefits.
- Limited Redemption and Transfer Options: There are few ways to redeem or transfer the card's points other than for JetBlue flights. As far as purchases go, you can use points only for magazine and newspaper subscriptions (400 to 3,200 points) or Hawaiian Airlines flights (12,000 to 100,000 miles per round-trip). You can only transfer points to other people’s JetBlue accounts. Many other airline cards allow the points earned to be used for a wider range of purchases, including those from transfers to partners' loyalty programs.
This Card is Best For
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
With its rewards heavily geared to buying JetBlue flights, the JetBlue Plus card is strictly for those who fly the airline or are looking to begin doing so. The more you fly and spend with JetBlue, the more rewards you earn, of course. But even casual travelers on the airline may find value in this card.
In part, that's because the card's 5,000-point anniversary bonus, worth about $65 when used to buy flights, that can partially justify the card's $99 annual fee. You could further justify the remaining $35 or so by charging to the card $450 a year in JetBlue purchases or $1,350 in gas and groceries. Alternatively, taking advantage of the card's free checked bag perk just once (a $30 value) would help with the justification.
In the first year of owning the card, the introductory points bonus provides about $500 in value for buying flights, which justifies the annual fee many times over.
JetBlue Plus Card Bonus
First-time cardmembers can earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of opening their account and paying the $99 annual fee. This bonus is worth about $520 according to our valuations, which is an impressive return on only $1,000 of spending.
The 40,000 bonus points are typically deposited in your TrueBlue account about four to six weeks after your qualifying transactions have posted to your card account.
Rewards Earning Details
You can earn points on the JetBlue Plus credit card in a number of ways. You earn 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2 points on restaurant and grocery store purchases, and 1 point on all other purchases. There are no limits to the number of points you can earn and the rewards never expire.
You also receive 5,000 bonus points annually, which you earn on your account anniversary. To earn these points, your account must be open, active, and in good standing. These points are usually deposited within four to six weeks after your anniversary date.
When you redeem your rewards for JetBlue-operated flights, you earn 10% of your points back as a bonus. The points are deposited into your TrueBlue account roughly four to six weeks after you take your flight. Your account must be open when you take the flight to earn these bonus points.
Rewards Redemption Details
The main way to redeem rewards is for JetBlue flights. Unlike with most airlines, the number of points required to book a flight fluctuate in step with any changes in the fare itself. You can also use points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions or to book Hawaiian Airlines flights. You can only transfer points to other people's JetBlue accounts, not to any other loyalty programs in which you have membership.
You get a 10% discount on the required miles if you book a flight as part of a package comprising air and hotel.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Earning the most points you can on your JetBlue Plus credit card begins with ensuring you charge $1,000 to the card in the first three months, and so earn the 40,000-point one-time offer. Worth $520, this perk is valuable enough that it’s worth achieving that spending minimum even with everyday purchases that earn a meager 1 point per dollar spent.
Before and after those initial three months, be sure you put all JetBlue purchases on your card, to take advantage of the 6 points-per-dollar earnings for those transactions. Also, book your JetBlue flights and vacation packages via JetBlue.com or the airline’s app. That earns you an additional bonus of 3 points per dollar spent compared with booking over the phone or in-person at a travel agent or JetBlue office or airport counter.
If you don't have another card that offers a higher reward on restaurant and grocery store purchases, you’ll want to charge those expenses to your JetBlue Plus as well; that way, you’ll earn the card’s second-best rewards rate of 2 points per dollar spent. The same applies to other purchases as well, although it’s more likely another card you own may beat the 1 point per dollar rewards you’ll earn by charging those to the JetBlue Plus.
When it comes to using the points you've earned with the JetBlue Plus card, redeeming them for the flight portion of a vacation package provides the best value per point. That’s because if you buy a package comprising air and hotel, the points required to book the airfare portion of the package are discounted by 10%, which essentially boosts the value of each point from the regular 1.3 cents to about 1.4 cents per point. The card also sweetens the deal with an annual $100 discount on vacation packages that cost at least that amount.
That said, the hotel component will likely add to the trip’s cost in spite of the discount and the $100 credit. This option offers the best value only if you need to book accommodations for your trip and the ones offered in JetBlue’s packages meet your needs and budget.
JetBlue Plus Card's Outstanding Perks
- 10% points back on award-flight redemptions
- Earn 5,000 bonus points on your cardholder anniversary
- Free first checked bag
- Get a $100 statement credit for a JetBlue Vacation package purchase. Available once each calendar year you purchase a $100 or greater JetBlue vacations package
- 50% savings on eligible inflight cocktail and food purchases
The issuer of this card, Barclays, scored 806 in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which was also the average score for national issuers in the survey. No outstanding customer service features are offered on this card, but you can contact Barclays U.S. at 866-928-8598 or by sending a secure message once logged in to your account on their website.
The security features this card offers are generally standard for the industry. They include the ability to temporarily lock and unlock your card if you misplace it. This prevents new and non-recurring transactions from being approved when the card is locked which is helpful until you find where you misplaced your card.
If you can't find your card, you can request a replacement. Replacement cards typically arrive in seven to 10 business days but can be expedited for a $15 fee. When traveling overseas, you can request a PIN and use your card's chip and PIN capability to make purchases at unattended terminals that don’t offer other purchase options.
Fees to Watch Out For
This card charges a $99 annual fee that isn't waived in the first year, as with some other cards. However, the card imposes no foreign transaction fee, which is an especially helpful plus for an airline card. Otherwise, the fees are pretty standard for a card of this type.
If you do plan to transfer a balance to take advantage of the introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles, make sure the balances transfer within 45 days of account opening. Additionally, be aware there is a balance-transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
Despite its $99 annual fee, the JetBlue Plus card offers fine value, even to those who travel only a few times a year on the airline. In the first year of card ownership, the 40,000-point one-time offer, worth about $500, will allow you to justify the fee many times over. In subsequent years, the 5,000-point bonus, worth about $65, helps justify the cost over time.
The 6 points-per-dollar rewards for purchases with JetBlue makes this card all but unbeatable for purchases from the airline. The 2 points-per-dollar earnings for gas and groceries purchases are also competitive with rewards offered by many other cards. But the 1 point-per-dollar spent earned on all other purchases is relatively lackluster. Consider pairing this card with one that delivers a universal 1.5% or more in cash back in order to maximize your rewards value on general spending.
If this card doesn't seem like a good fit due to the annual fee, but you still want a JetBlue credit card, consider the JetBlue card. It offers only 10,000 bonus points for spending after making your first purchase, and delivers only half as many points per dollar spent at JetBlue. But some other rewards and perks are the same as the JetBlue Plus and the plain JetBlue card has no annual fee.
Neither JetBlue card offers travel perks such as lounge access or seat upgrades. Those who fly on multiple airlines and want a card that provides such luxuries may instead favor a generic travel credit card. Such a choice would allow you to use the points you earn for a variety of travel purposes and with a range of airlines.