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JetBlue makes yet another offer for Spirit — but this time is different

June 20, 2022
3 min read
JetBlue plane
JetBlue makes yet another offer for Spirit — but this time is different
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Will the fourth time be the charm for JetBlue?

The New York-based airline on Monday made its fourth offer since March to acquire Spirit Airlines — and this time, Spirit had provided JetBlue with due diligence.

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Spirit signed a merger agreement with Frontier Airlines in February — an agreement that has been the preference of Spirit's management team and board — but one that is worth considerably less than each of JetBlue's four offers. In its latest offer, JetBlue offers $33.50 per share for Spirit, or about $3.7 billion total — about 68% more than the value of Frontier's merger. So far, Spirit has contended that JetBlue's offer was not better because it didn't believe it would win approval from regulators.

Earlier this month, Spirit shareholders were to vote on the Frontier merger deal — a vote that was postponed to June 30.

Then, last week, Spirit announced it was providing JetBlue with the same due diligence that Frontier was receiving. That lack of due diligence — sensitive information about Spirit — had long been JetBlue's top complaint about Spirit. JetBlue's CEO, Robin Hayes, accused the Spirit team of essentially walking away from them, and not providing enough information. Now, the field was level between Frontier and JetBlue — at least in this regard.

“After discussions with the Spirit team last week and further due diligence review, we are more convinced than ever that a JetBlue-Spirit transaction would create a true national competitor to the Big Four and deliver value to all of our stakeholders,” Hayes said in a statement on Monday. “Together, we will deliver lower fares and a better experience to more customers."

Hayes touted an "extremely positive reaction from Spirit stockholders" for its offer to acquire Spirit.

In a statement, Spirit said its board was reviewing JetBlue's new offer.

More: JetBlue vs Frontier: Who will win the battle over Spirit and why does it matter?

In addition to upping the sale price, JetBlue's new offer on Monday includes a commitment to divest more assets of JetBlue and Spirit to satisfy regulators. These assets could include items of great value to the combined company such as gates and slots at congested northeast airports. Previously, JetBlue committed to divest Spirit assets in New York and Boston — JetBlue's two largest markets.

In fact, it remains unclear if regulators will be satisfied with this deal. JetBlue aims to preserve its valuable Northeast Alliance with American Airlines — the airline's most important strategic partnership — but many analysts believe that regulators in the Justice Department's antitrust division will not allow JetBlue to both acquire Spirit and continue its cooperation with American.

Should regulators block JetBlue's deal on anti-trust grounds, it would pay a $350 million reverse break-up fee to Spirit.

But, as has been the case with this multi-month saga, it's anyone's guess what happens next.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/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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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
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Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases