Jet bleu: Stop buying airline cheese snack packs online; earn points creating your own at home instead

May 9, 2020

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Like millions of people across the nation, you may have heard of or considered purchasing Imperfect Foods produce at some point during this quarantine. Imperfect Food’s mission is to “eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone” by selling produce and other grocery offerings which are imperfect in some way yet still fine to eat. While the company primarily focuses on fresh produce, the global coronavirus pandemic has led the company to offer some unusual offerings.

One current grocery option is an individually-sized JetBlue cheese and snack tray of pepper jack, smoked Gouda, sharp cheddar, dried cherries and crackers. As first spotted by TPG’s Laura Motta, these snack packs are $2.99 apiece and can be added on to an existing Imperfect Foods grocery order.

Some adventurers may miss traveling enough to purchase this relatively sad snack concoction. And in all fairness, humble ingredients can’t keep a true artist from flexing her craft.

Here at TPG, however, can’t help but wonder: “Why are people wasting their money on JetBlue’s basic cheese choices when you could build a gourmet cheese board of your own at home — and earn points for it, too?”

Related: We made cheese plates out of lounge food at Newark Airport and had a really Gouda time

The key to creating a beautiful cheese plate lies in purchasing a variety of items of varying textures, flavors and colors, according to Cheese By Numbers, a brand created by Marissa Mullen, the same cheese influencer who designed an in-flight charcuterie plate using nothing but JetBlue snack boxes.

For instance, a successful Mother’s Day cheese plate calls for a dinner plate or cutting board; three types of cheese; one package of cured meats; two fruits and a veggie; crackers, baguette or similar crunchy snacks; a little bit of jam or honey in a small ramekin; and fresh herbs or edible flowers to garnish.

The best way to acquire your dream cheese board ingredients is not by repurposing JetBlue’s tiny snack packs but by frequenting your favorite local grocer, whether you shop at a safe social distance or purchase via delivery. And the best way to accumulate the points you need for your next cart of groceries is by paying for said items with the right credit card.

These are our eight favorite credit cards for coronavirus-season grocery shopping:

Card Grocery Bonus per dollar Earning TPG Valuation** Temporary or permanent?
Chase Freedom®^*** 5x, up to $1,500 Ultimate Rewards points or cash back 10 cents Temporary, through June 30
Chase Sapphire Reserve*
5x, up to $1,500 Ultimate Rewards points 10 cents Temporary, through June 30
American Express® Gold Card 4x, up to $25,000 per calendar year (then 1x) at U.S. supermarkets Membership Rewards points 8 cents Permanent
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
12x at U.S. supermarkets Hilton Honors points 7.2 cents Temporary, through July 31
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 12x at U.S. supermarkets Hilton Honors points 7.2 cents Temporary, through July 31
United Club Infinite Card* 5x, up to $1,500 United MileagePlus miles 6.5 cents Temporary, through June 30
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card* 3x, up to $1,500 Ultimate Rewards points 6 cents Temporary, through June 30
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 6%, up to $6,000 per calendar year (then 1x) at U.S. supermarkets Cash back 6 cents Permanent

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express^

3x, up to $6,000 per calendar year (then 1x) at U.S. supermarkets Membership Rewards points 6 cents Permanent

^The information for these cards have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

*These Chase-issued cards are temporarily considering superstores such as Target and Walmart as eligible grocery stores as long as they have grocery sections. So your standard Target that doesn’t sell any groceries won’t apply, but all Walmarts and Targets that do have that grocery section will be included. Note that this does NOT apply to the Chase Freedom.

**Bonus valuation based on TPG valuation and not provided by issuers. 

***Chase Freedom is no longer open to new applicants

Each of these cards offers generous returns on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets, including a number of elevated perks specifically added for grounded travelers in quarantine.

So dust off your hotel co-branded credit card and place that Instacart order. Or heck, purchase that JetBlue snack tray if you need that hit of nostalgia. Just make sure you earn some points for your Imperfect Food purchase.

Featured photo courtesy of That Cheese Plate.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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