2017 JetBlue Credit Card Review – WalletHub Editors
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The Verdict: JetBlue is 2017’s second-best airline in terms of operations and amenities — tops in terms of comfort — and its rewards program, TrueBlue, was also named 2017’s third best for frequent flyers by WalletHub. But it’s important to recognize that such accolades don’t guarantee quality plastic.
Your two options are the standard JetBlue Credit Card and the JetBlue Plus Credit Card, both of which are on the MasterCard network and issued by Barclaycard. They’re ultimately quite similar, with the only major differences being that you’ll get six times more of an initial bonus from the Plus Card, while earning twice as much on airfare and paying $99 per year instead of nothing. JetBlue Plus also requires excellent credit, whereas a good rating can get you the standard version (the primary focus of this review).
With that being said, if you’re brand-loyal to JetBlue one of these offers is for you. The standard JetBlue Card offers a 5,000-point initial bonus, redeemable for roughly $73 in airfare, given the $0.0145 average value of a TrueBlue point when redeemed for a free flight, according to our calculations. You’ll also earn 3 points per $1 in JetBlue spending (the equivalent of 3.8% cash back) as well as 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores (~2.5% back). But since the average individual would earn about $260 more with JetBlue Plus, fees considered, that should be the choice if your credit is excellent. Read on to learn more.
5,000-Point Initial Bonus: The standard JetBlue MasterCard offers 5,000 bonus points for spending at least $1,000 during the first 90 days your account is open, worth roughly $73 when redeemed for the average JetBlue flight. If that’s not enough for you and you have excellent credit, the JetBlue Plus Card offers 30,000 points for meeting the same threshold, redeemable for roughly $435, which amounts to a net of $336 when you factor in the $99 annual fee.
If you’re not sure whether your credit score is good, excellent or other, you can check it for free on WalletHub — the first and only site to offer free credit scores and full credit reports that are updated on a daily basis.
Up To 3 Points Per $1 Spent: Unlike most airline credit cards, which offer points, the JetBlue MasterCard provides its rewards in the form of points. You will receive 3 points per $1 spent with JetBlue, 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else with no cap on the number of points you can earn.
And given the varying rewards currencies that credit cards offer, it’s wise to convert such figures into cash-back percentages, based on the number of points needed to redeem for flights. From that perspective, the JetBlue Card offers 3.8%, 2.5% and 1.3% back, respectively, in its three earning categories. The average rewards credit card yields 1.02%, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
- No Annual Fee: Many of the best airline rewards cards charge annual fees to offset the cost of their valuable perks. But the JetBlue Credit Card is not among them, a fact that figures to both save you money and enable you to keep your account open indefinitely even if you don’t always use your card consistently.
Regular APR Up To 25.74%: If you get approved for the JetBlue Credit Card, you will be assigned a regular APR of 12.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%, based on your overall creditworthiness. The cheapest option is actually below the market average of 13.16% for “excellent credit” credit cards, but it will likely take excellent credit to obtain it. And the other two possibilities are both well above the 18.14% average for good-credit cards.
In short, this isn’t the card with which to carry a balance from month to month.
- 3% Balance-Transfer Fee: The JetBlue Card offers 0% financing on transferred balances for the first 12 months, which could still save you money, but is made less intriguing by a 3% balance-transfer fee. Considering the other options available to people with good credit, this is likely a deal breaker, but you can nevertheless use a credit card calculator to gauge your savings potential.
Redemption Restrictions: While JetBlue is one of only two airlines (the other is Delta) whose points do not expire because of account inactivity, the airline also is on a less attractive short list as one of four airlines that do not allow rewards to be redeemed for flights that include layovers. That significantly limits redemption flexibility and forces cardholders into more expensive fares. But if you always fly nonstop already, you have nothing to worry about.
The same goes for JetBlue’s limited number of travel partners, which could be problematic, but not if you don’t often stray from this small circle of airlines when booking flights. Furthermore, JetBlue claims no blackout dates or seat restrictions for cardholders, but that can mean different things in practice.
Other Things To Consider
- Half Off In-Flight Purchases: JetBlue is known for its comfort, perhaps most notably its exemplary entertainment options. But you can make your in-flight experience even more enjoyable without breaking the bank, thanks to the JetBlue MasterCard’s automatic 50% discount on beverages (alcoholic and otherwise), food and movies.
- No Foreign-Transaction Fee: Fortunately, if your JetBlue flights often take you abroad or you’ve been known to make credit-card purchases through international merchants, the JetBlue MasterCard won’t nickel-and-dime you with a surcharge. The average credit card charges a 1.97% foreign-transaction fee, and this has fallen steadily in recent years.
- You Can Pool Your Points: Not all rewards programs allow members to share earnings with one another, even family members with separate accounts. So that fact that friends and family can pool their points is a nice rarity.
Compared To The Competition
Just like there any many fish in the sea, there are also numerous airlines in the sky and hundreds of cards you could add to your wallet. In order to help illustrate your options, we compared the JetBlue Credit Card to some of the most notable alternatives, including cards affiliated with other airlines and those offering “generic” travel rewards.
Bear in mind that certain terms associated with each offer vary based on an applicant’s credit standing, so the offer you get approved for may differ slightly from what is displayed below. For the purposes of this comparison, we assumed the most favorable redemption rates and most expensive cost structure for each card. After all, you can maximize the value of your earnings with strategic redemption, but you’ll have little control over fees and interest rates.
JetBlue Plus Card
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
|Annual Fee||$0||$99||$99||$0 for 1st yr, $59 after|
|Rewards Bonus||5000 points||30000 points||50000 points||40000 miles|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 3 points / $1||1 - 6 points / $1||1 - 2 points / $1||2 miles / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Regular APR||12.74% - 25.74% (V)||12.74% - 25.74% (V)||16.74% - 23.74% (V)||13.74% - 23.74% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||3.6 / 5||4.5 / 5||4.4 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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