We all know JetBlue Airlines is a great value and a great air carrier (despite that incident with the flight attendant berating a passenger, grabbing some beers and blowing the escape slide), but how about their credit card? You are about to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly in this Jet Blue credit card review. I’ve updated everything you need to know for 2014.
Who issues the card?
The card is issued by American Express.
What’s the annual fee?
The annual fee for the Jet Blue card is $40. This is definitely on the low end for an airline miles credit card… so that is quite refreshing!
What’s the APR?
What’s unusual about the Jet Blue card is that everyone has the identical interest rate (instead of different tiers which depend on credit quality). At the time of writing that’s 15.24% and it’s variable, depending on the prime rate. That’s also quite refreshing since a lot of airline cards have APR’s much higher than that. Granted, not that many people carry balances on typical airline co-brand cards, but those that do pretty much subsidize the perks for everyone else.
How do you earn rewards?
The card earns “TrueBlue” points on spending, which can then be redeemed for Jet Blue flights.
- 1 point per dollar on regular purchases
- 2 points per dollar on their flight purchases when paying with your AmEx Jet Blue credit card. Please note the advertising says “earn up to 8 points” but 6 of those have nothing to do with the card. This is because all TrueBlue members (even those without the AmEx) already earn 3 points per dollar spent on their flights and another 3 points per dollar for booking them online at jetblue.com (for a total of 6 points). The card is only getting you 2 extra points.
- The points don’t expire and there are no blackout dates. Since most airlines seem to have expiration policies on their miles this is a nice feature
How many points are needed to score a free flight?
The JetBlue credit card application claims that round trip flights start at just 10,000 points. While I’m sure it’s technically correct that award flights “start at” that amount, I wouldn’t say it’s an accurate representation of the typical amount of points you will be paying.
First Test: I priced out a round trip flight – two months in advance – from Los Angeles to Baltimore and the cheapest round trip flight I could find would cost me 22,200 points. I would estimate most round trip domestic flights will probably cost you around 20,000 to 30,000 points and possibly a lot more from the numbers I’ve seen so far.
Second Test: I searched for a round trip flight – a couple weeks in advance – from Austin to Pittsburgh during Christmas time (Tues Dec 21st thru Mon Dec 27th). The cheapest flight would have required 77,400 JetBlue credit card points. Sure, it’s nice that there are no blackout dates, but the points increase directly correlates to the cash price increase, so it doesn’t appear their rewards program will help you defray the cost of any last minute flights.
Should you apply or not?
Overall the JetBlue card is really quite good, but the value of rewards appear to be comparable to most airline cards. However, the super low annual fee is what sets it apart from the competition. However, as with any airline-specific rewards card, make sure you have true loyalty to that airline and have realistic aspirations on what you will do with the points/miles. If the airline doesn’t fly where you might want to go or doesn’t serve the city you live in then it’s kind of pointless to get their card. But, JetBlue has a loyal following and provides a superior flying experience from my point of view, so if you feel the love and want to leverage your spending to earn free flights then this could be a good choice. To see how the Jetblue credit card rates to some more generic travel reward card options, be sure to compare other travel credit cards and their signup offers before making your decision.
This review was last updated August 20, 2014