JetBlue Credit Card Review

On March 21, 2016, JetBlue will officially end its relationship with American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner) and begin a new one with Barclaycard.

Under Barclaycard, four new versions of the JetBlue credit card will be available (three are open to anyone and one is available only to current AmEx JetBlue cardholders).

Our review will help you understand the new products – and decide which is best for you.

Four new cards

The old version of the card (the JetBlue card from American Express) will cease to exist March 21, 2016.

Here’s how this transition will play out for existing and potential JetBlue card holders.

Existing American Express cardholders will automatically roll over to the JetBlue Rewards MasterCard ($40 annual fee) and will receive their new cards in the mail by March 21. This unique version of the card will NOT be available to new cardholders.

New cardholders who want to apply for a JetBlue credit card after the transition to Barclaycard (and existing AmEx cardholders who would want to apply for a different product) will be able to choose between the JetBlue Credit Card($0 annual fee), the JetBlue Plus card ($99 annual fee) and the JetBlue Business Card ($99 annual fee).

The JetBlue Card

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  • Limited-Time Offer: Earn 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire. Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases including cocktails, food and movies.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Chip-card technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection.
  • 0% introductory APR for first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 12.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
Intro APR for Purchases Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
N/A 0% for First twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening 12.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% Variable $0 Good to Excellent

Compare the notable benefits and features of the new cards (with each other and with the original AmEx version) below:

Improvement on – or step down from – the original AmEx?

It can be frustrating when a card switches issuers and downgrades in the process. Luckily, this is not the case with the new JetBlue products from Barclaycard. The new cards all add a “grocery and restaurants” bonus category, meaning you can earn extra rewards without traveling. And they all increase the number of points per dollar earned on JetBlue purchases. These bonus earnings are on top of what you earn from JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program, which will reward additional points based on ticket price and fare type.

If you go for one of the higher-annual-fee cards (the JetBlue Plus and the Business card), you open up some additional premium benefits that simply weren’t available on the AmEx, such as the ability to achieve Mosaic status (which includes benefits like two free checked bags, waived change fees and complimentary alcohol onboard) and anniversary bonuses.

JetBlue perks aside, though, there are some advantages unique to AmEx that rollover cardholders may miss when Barclaycard takes over. For example, American Express offers a free-shipping service for online purchases calledShopRunner and a popular card-linked offers program called Amex Offers (which can get you discounts on eligible purchases).

Which version should you choose?

If you frequently fly JetBlue, any one of these cards could boost your rewards and get you benefits when you fly. Which one you should choose depends on just how frequently you fly – and whether you were rolled over from the AmEx JetBlue card.

If you got rolled over from an existing AmEx card, the JetBlue Rewards MasterCard is probably worth sticking with. It has a relatively low annual fee (compared with other Airline cards), boosts your earnings on JetBlue spending and provides some nice-to-have benefits. Keep in mind, though, that by rolling over (instead of applying for a new card), you’re foregoing the sign-up bonus.

Barclaycard throws you a minor bone here — you can get a companion ticket credit worth $100 if you spend $500 by June 30, 2016. However, getting traditional sign-up bonuses (ie, pure points) is more flexible, as you can use points for yourself or for someone else. If you value JetBlue points at a little over 1 cent each (as The Point Guy does), the sign-up bonus on the no-annual-fee JetBlue card is worth about as much as the companion ticket credit and is more flexible. On the other hand, though, the rollover-only Rewards card gets you a 5 percent redemption bonus, which could make the card more valuable in the long term.

If you’re an extreme JetBlue loyalist you’ll want to consider the Plus or Business versions of the card. You’ll pay a higher annual fee ($99), but you’ll get some notable benefits, including free checked bags, an anniversary bonus and a bigger (10 percent) redemption bonus – things that can save you real money throughout the life of the card.

Whichever card you pick, rest assured that the benefits on the new JetBlue cars are competitive among other co-branded airline cards, even though JetBlue’s points are often valued lower than other airlines’ miles. The no-annual-fee version is especially compelling, as it’s rare for airlines to offer no-annual-fee cards that have bonus categories.

The JetBlue Card

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  • Limited-Time Offer: Earn 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire. Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases including cocktails, food and movies.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Chip-card technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection.
  • 0% introductory APR for first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 12.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
Intro APR for Purchases Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
N/A 0% for First twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening 12.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% Variable $0 Good to Excellent

Other options to consider

These cards are for JetBlue frequent fliers – as are all frequent flier cards.

If you aren’t sure you qualify as a “frequent” flier, but still want the option to take the occasional JetBlue rewards flight, consider one of the Membership Rewards (MR) cards from American Express. These allow you to transfer your MR points directly to JetBlue, albeit at a less-than-ideal rate of 5 MR points to 4 JetBlue points. You could also transfer to a number of other partner airlines. If you’re considering this route, here is a no-annual-fee MR card and a premium one to consider:

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

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  • Earn 10,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 20% more points: Make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and get 20% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • You can use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 22.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR for Purchases Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
0% for 15 months 0% for 15 months 13.24%-22.24% Variable $0 Excellent Credit

 

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you’re traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR for Purchases Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
N/A N/A N/A Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195. Excellent Credit