3 reasons why JetBlue needs a premium credit card — and what it might look like
Since its launch more than two decades ago, JetBlue Airways has made waves in the domestic airline market by offering "the most legroom in coach, free brand-name snacks + drinks, and free wi-fi, live tv and movies at every seat."
Over the years, the carrier has continued to disrupt the industry, whether it's the TPG award-winning Mint business class or its routes to London that launched last year.
As I'm based in New York City, it's no surprise that JetBlue continues to be my carrier of choice. If you're a fan of JetBlue too, you likely are buried in the JetBlue TrueBlue ecosystem. You may be a Mosaic elite member or even carry a JetBlue credit card for some excellent airline perks.
All of its biggest competitors offer a premium credit card, so why shouldn't JetBlue do the same for its fans? Rumors even surfaced last year that a premium card was coming, and just last week, a similar idea was floated for a higher-tier business card. In other words, this isn't a totally outlandish idea.
Here are the three reasons I believe that JetBlue should roll out a luxury card, along with the perks I envision this potential card offering.
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There are only 2 personal card options available
Let's start with some historical context. American Express was the longtime issuer of JetBlue's cobranded cards, but in 2015, Barclays won the contract.
Ever since, there have been two personal credit cards available for consumers: the JetBlue Plus Card and the JetBlue Card. (If you own a business, the issuer offers the JetBlue Business Card.)
Both consumer cards offer key benefits for frequent flyers — and here's a quick comparison of the JetBlue Plus and JetBlue cards side by side:
|Card||JetBlue Plus Card||JetBlue Card|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days.||Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.|
|Rewards rate||Earn 6 points per dollar on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar at restaurants and eligible grocery stores, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.||Earn 3 points per dollar on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar at restaurants and eligible grocery stores, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.|
Like others at TPG, I love my JetBlue Plus Card for many reasons — and the $99 annual fee is more than reasonable for its long list of benefits.
For one, the card has helped me achieve Mosaic elite status (which gets me free same-day switches, same-day Even More Space upgrades upon availability and more). In addition, I earn a whopping 15 points per dollar on JetBlue flights (a 19.5% return according to TPG's valuations).
While the perks on the JetBlue Plus Card are quite lucrative, they start to feel a bit repetitive once you achieve Mosaic elite status. A premium JetBlue cobranded card could unlock a whole suite of unique benefits for its most loyal flyers — such as a round-trip companion certificate or annual airline credit that other premium cards already offer.
The information for the JetBlue Plus, JetBlue and JetBlue Business cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
It's also worth noting that American, Delta and United all offer at least four different cobranded credit cards for consumers — so adding a third for JetBlue loyalists would be a great option.
Related: Best credit cards for JetBlue flyers
There's a new level of Mosaic elite status
Historically, there has only been one tier of JetBlue Mosaic elite status.
But in late 2021, JetBlue announced huge changes for Mosaic status — improving existing benefits and even adding an all-new tier, Mosaic+.
It's worth noting that Mosaic+ is only available for 2022 (as of now), but we wouldn't be surprised if the airline decided to make this second tier a permanent part of the elite program. The biggest advantage of having Mosaic+ is that you'll receive four upgrade certificates to Mint (excluding on London routes), which is a benefit that you do not get with traditional Mosaic status.
To achieve Mosaic+, though, you'll need to earn 45,000 Mosaic qualifying points or spend $150,000 on purchases with the JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business cards in the calendar year. If there were a premium JetBlue card, perhaps the spending minimum would be lowered, or you would automatically receive some Mosaic qualifying points to help you achieve this higher elite status level faster.
Although Mosaic+ is supposedly temporary for this year, it's clear that JetBlue is piloting some loyalty changes that start to rival some of the bigger airlines.
Related: What is JetBlue elite status worth?
JetBlue is expanding its route network and partners
JetBlue is no longer a small carrier that services just a few domestic routes. The airline offers dozens of international routes throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and now London.
Although it's unlikely that JetBlue would ever service far-flung destinations in Asia or Australia (but, never say never), the airline offers a lot of connectivity with partner airlines, such as Aer Lingus, Emirates and Qatar Airways. These partnerships can help you connect through JetBlue hub cities and to hundreds of destinations worldwide — along with the ability to earn and/or redeem points.
And of course, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways partnered last year to create the Northeast Alliance. This has helped both airlines increase their connectivity, especially in New York and Boston.
With millions of JetBlue flyers every year, the airline is growing — both in terms of product and route network. That means there is a growing appetite for more cobranded cards, and this is where JetBlue could offer cardholder perks like a Priority Pass lounge membership that would be especially useful when flying out of international airports.
Related: We put AA and JetBlue to the test: Does the new alliance deliver on promised elite perks?
What a premium JetBlue card could look like
Premium cards come with premium annual fees, so this card would likely come with an annual fee of at least $150 (but more likely upward of $200). In exchange for this higher price, here's a list of some benefits on my wishlist (including some that I've listed throughout this post):
- Higher earning rate on JetBlue purchases and/or a broader range of everyday purchase categories.
- Priority Pass lounge membership.
- More Mosaic qualifying points based on card spending.
- Lower spending threshold to earn Mosaic+ status.
- Round-trip companion ticket.
- Annual Mint upgrade award.
I know having a few of these extra perks would convince me to apply for a premium card, especially since I fly the airline on a regular basis.
Related: Newly minted: Reviewing JetBlue’s brand-new business class from London to New York
JetBlue's growth and innovation over the past few years demonstrate that its loyalty program is ripe for a premium airline card. As I'm part of a customer base that would be willing to pay a premium annual fee for bigger (and better) benefits, I'm hoping that we see big loyalty changes come soon.