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No-annual-fee but also few perks: A review of The JetBlue Card

Dec. 03, 2020
9 min read
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


JetBlue Card overview

No-annual-fee airline cards typically don't come with many perks and the JetBlue Card is no exception. However, with no foreign transaction fees, discounts on in-flight purchases and bonus earnings on three spending categories, it's still a decent option for occasional JetBlue travelers. In our opinion though, the JetBlue Plus Card -- a card that carries a $99 annual fee -- is a much more compelling option. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

While JetBlue has historically been a smaller airline in the U.S. than the likes of American, Delta and United, the New York City-based carrier is making moves to cement itself as a major player.

From a close tie-up with American Airlines to an upcoming international expansion to London, there's a lot to look forward to for JetBlue and its TrueBlue loyalty program And with free snacks, free Wi-Fi and a reputation for customer-centric service, the airline already has a lot going for it.

When it comes to credit cards, there are two JetBlue flavors: the no-annual-fee JetBlue card and the $99-annual-fee JetBlue Plus card. If you are an occassional JetBlue flyer and want to boost your TrueBlue balance, let's dive into this no-annual-fee JetBlue Card to see if it's the right fit for you.

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The information for the JetBlue Card and JetBlue Plus Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Who is this card for?

The JetBlue Card is ideal for infrequent JetBlue flyers who have an affinity for the airline but are also not regular flyers.

Interior of a JetBlue A321neo (Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)

Why only infrequent flyers? Well, because the JetBlue Card -- like many other no-annual-fee airline cards -- don't come with the perks many expect with a cobranded airline card, such as a free checked bag, priority boarding, etc. There also isn't a way to fast track to Mosaic elite status like there is on the JetBlue Plus card.

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However, the JetBlue Card is still a solid option for JetBlue flyers who don't need any perks yet still want to earn extra TrueBlue points and have something in their wallet that has no annual fee or no foreign transaction fees.

Related: The complete guide to the JetBlue TrueBlue program

Sign-up bonus

First, the good news is that there is a sign-up bonus on this card. However, the bad news is that the current bonus is modest at best: 10,000 bonus TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. According to TPG valuations that peg TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents apiece, the bonus is worth just $130.

TrueBlue points are worth about 1.3 cents apiece. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Again, JetBlue's other credit card option -- the JetBlue Plus card -- is a much more compelling option if a generous sign-up bonus is what you're after. In fact, the current offer is the card's best ever: up to 100,000 TrueBlue points.

That's broken down by earning 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days. Then, you'll earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.

Related: How to maximize 100,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points in 2021

Main benefits and perks

The list of perks and benefits on the JetBlue Card is fairly slim which, again, is unsurprising for a no-annual-fee card.

One of the top advantages of this card is a 50% inflight savings on food and beverage purchases when you use the card to pay. Keep in mind that during the pandemic, not all service has resumed and onboard selection may be limited.

Additionally, the JetBlue card has no foreign transaction fees, $0 liability protection, EMV chip technology and 0% introductory APR for balance transfers for first 12 billing cycles.

As a "World Mastercard," there are also several other perks that come with this designation:

  • Concierge services — Phone representatives to assist you with gift buying and delivery, event tickets and other personal services
  • Onefinestay — Get a 10% discount on thousands of rental homes around the world. Amenities include guest services available 24/7, high-quality toiletries and free Wi-Fi.
  • Mastercard Priceless Cities — Offers discounts and exclusive offers for luxury goods and services in select cities around the world
  • ShopRunner — When you order from more than 140 online stores using ShopRunner, you’ll receive unlimited free two-day shipping and return shipping on purchases. Eligible retailers include Saks Fifth Avenue, Brooks Brothers, Tory Burch, Staples and 1-800-Flowers.com.
  • Cell phone insurance — When you charge your monthly telephone bill to your card, your cell phone will be covered against damage or theft up to $800 — with a $50 deductible — up to $1,000 per 12-month period.

How to earn points

On the earning side of things, you'll get 3x TrueBlue points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2x points per dollar on restaurants and grocery stores and 1x points per dollar spent on everything else.

(Photo by RyanJLane/Getty Images)

Based on our valuations, that is equal to a 3.9% return on JetBlue spending, 2.6% on dining and groceries and 1.3% on everything else. As a point of comparison, the JetBlue Plus Card offers twice as many points on JetBlue purchases.

It’s also worth noting that as a TrueBlue member, you’ll earn at least 2 base points per dollar on JetBlue flights booked directly on top of the 3x points you’ll earn through the card.

Related: Complete guide to earning points in the JetBlue TrueBlue program

How to redeem points

The TrueBlue program is revenue-based, meaning there is a (mostly) fixed value to your points.

That means you can redeem points for any seat, including JetBlue Mint seats, across JetBlue's entire route network and get a fairly consistent value from your points. The more a flight costs in cash, the more it will cost in points.

While that's great for simplicity's sake, there typically aren't ways to get outsized value from your TrueBlue points -- unlike other programs that use award charts or have dynamic award pricing.

Redeem points for JetBlue Mint. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

JetBlue partners with a handful of different airlines, but currently, you can only redeem TrueBlue points on one of them: Hawaiian Airlines. Unlike the revenue-based rate for redeeming on JetBlue flights, award rates on Hawaiian use a region-based award chart for these tickets. These tickets have to be booked over the phone.

Additionally, while you can’t redeem TrueBlue points for hotels or rental cars, you can redeem them for discounts on JetBlue Vacations.

Related: How to redeem points with the JetBlue TrueBlue program

Other card options

JetBlue Plus Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

As we've hinted at above, the other card in the TrueBlue lineup -- the JetBlue Plus Card -- is a worthy alternative to the no-annual-fee JetBlue Card.

That card is currently offering a whopping up to 100,000-point bonus (50,000 TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 and paying the annual fee within the first 90 days and an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $6,000 within the first 12 months) along with perks like the first checked bag free, a 5,000-point bonus every cardmember anniversary year and more.

TPG values JetBlue TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents each, making the full 100,000-point sign-up bonus worth $1,300 in JetBlue travel.

CARDANNUAL FEESIGN-UP BONUSEARNING CATEGORIES*BEST BENEFITS
JetBlue Plus Card$99Earn 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee, plus an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 12 months6x on JetBlue purchases, 2x on restaurants and groceries
  • Free first checked bag
  • 5,000-point anniversary bonus
  • 50% inflight savings
  • Fast-track Mosaic status after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • 10% rebate on award flights
  • Annual JetBlue Vacations statement credit

Bottom line

The JetBlue Card is a decent, albeit uninspiring product for occasional JetBlue flyers. When compared side-by-side with the perks and benefits of JetBlue Plus Card, there is a notable gap between the offerings. Then again, you're forgoing paying a $99 annual fee with the standard JetBlue Card.

Keep in mind that you can also transfer points to JetBlue from all the major transferable points programs. That makes both JetBlue cards even more valuable since you can easily top off your account balance by transferring from one of these card programs.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more