We break down everything you need to know about the JetBlue and JetBlue Plus cards, including which one offers the most valuable sign-up bonus and the most efficient ways to redeem your points.
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JetBlue is well-known for offering low-cost airfare and great in-flight amenities. The caveat: The airline only services select cities throughout North America. But for those who live in or near a city that JetBlue services, the JetBlue cards offer a great opportunity to earn points on every purchase, which can then be used to pay for part or all of your flight.
If you’re considering either of these cards, continue reading for everything you need to know, including which card offers the most valuable sign-up bonus and the most efficient ways to redeem your points.
Recent changes to the JetBlue cards
The JetBlue card currently offers a 10,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, while the JetBlue Plus card offers 30,000 points for the same spend threshold.
Although neither card has updated its sign-up bonus for 2018 so far, we can speculate, based on previous history, that the bonuses will be updated at some point this year.
JetBlue card recent changes
|Change date||Sign-up bonus|
|Sept. 5, 2017||10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days|
(previously 5,000 points after $1,000 spend in first 90 days)
JetBlue Plus card recent changes
|Change date||Sign-up bonus|
|Jan. 1, 2018||30,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days|
|Nov. 8, 2017||60,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days|
As you can see, the JetBlue card’s sign-up bonus is currently on the higher side at 10,000 points – double what has been offered in the past.
While the JetBlue Plus card currently offers a generous 30,000-point bonus, we believe that the card will offer an even higher bonus at some point this year. At the end of 2017, for example, the JetBlue Plus card offered its highest-ever sign-up bonus for a limited time. From Nov. 8 through Dec. 31, 2017, new cardholders were able to earn 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of card membership. If Barclaycard decides to reissue the same promotion during 2018, we will keep you posted!
Which JetBlue card is better in the first year?
The JetBlue cards both offer generous rewards on everyday purchases, including 2 points per dollar on grocery and restaurant purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. The JetBlue Plus card, however, offers twice the number of points on JetBlue purchases than the JetBlue card – making the card instantly more valuable for those who frequently travel on JetBlue Airlines.
The JetBlue Plus card does come at a price, though: $99 per year to be exact. That said, the value of card more than makes up for its annual fee each year.
JetBlue vs. JetBlue Plus
|Sign-up bonus||10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days||30,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days|
|Estimated earnings in first year ($15,900 spend)||$388||$525|
Because both cards require a spend threshold of just $1,000 in the first 90 days to receive the sign-up bonus, it makes sense to opt for the JetBlue Plus card over the JetBlue card. Not only will you receive an extra 20,000 points from the sign-up bonus, you will also receive a 5,000-point bonus each year after your account anniversary. Additionally, we estimate the value of the JetBlue Plus card to be worth $137 more than that of the JetBlue card during the first year, essentially covering the card’s annual fee.
Who is eligible for the sign-up bonus?
According to Barclaycard, the JetBlue card bonuses are only available to first-time card members with new accounts. Therefore, existing cardholders and existing accounts are not eligible for the bonus.
Bonus tip: If the sign-up bonus for either card increases within 30 days of being approved, you can ask to be matched to the higher offer.
Best ways to use 30,000 TrueBlue points
The good news is – if you live in an area serviced by JetBlue – a 10,000- to 30,000-point sign-up bonus can take you a long way. TrueBlue points are very valuable – worth 1.47 cents per point on average by our estimates.
As you can see from the table below, 30,000 TrueBlue points can get you around $441 in JetBlue airfare. The number of points required for a flight is closely linked to the cost of the fare – the point value can skew slightly above or below 1.47 cents depending on the particular flight. However, most fares hover around 1.47 cents per point, which means most JetBlue flights will give you a good redemption value. Also, the value is fairly consistent across fare levels – Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Flex and Mint – so you can get good value out of your points if you fly premium class.
Redemption options for JetBlue cards
|Redemption option||Average point value||Value of 30,000-point sign-up bonus|
|JetBlue fare||1.47 cents||$441|
|JetBlue vacation packages||1.7 cents||$510|
|Hawaiian Airlines transfer||1.7 cents||$510|
|Magazine subscription||2.4 cents||$720|
|Newspaper subscription||7.5 cents||$2,250|
|Flight upgrade (Mosaic members only)||7 cents||$2,100|
There are a couple other redemption options that also give you a great value on your points:
Using points for JetBlue Vacation packages
JetBlue allows you to use points plus cash to pay for its vacation packages. While you can’t use points to pay for the entire package, the value of your points is high with this option – averaging around 1.7 cents per point.
Using points for Hawaiian Airlines redemptions
Though JetBlue, unfortunately, has few airline partners, it recently made a great update to its program by allowing you redeem your points directly with one of its partners – Hawaiian airlines. The number of points required for a Hawaiian airlines fare is determined by where you fly from and whether you fly economy or business class. As you can see from their redemption chart, 30,000 points can get you a one-way flight from the east coast to Hawaii, which is a great value. By our estimates, it amounts to around 1.7 cents per point. (Note, there is a $25 booking fee for these rewards.)
|Economy class (one way)|
|Hawaii||West Coast U.S.||East Coast U.S.||International Destination|
|West Coast U.S.||22,000||X||X||50,000|
|East Coast U.S.||30,000||X||X||50,000|
|Business class (one way)|
|Hawaii||West Coast U.S.||East Coast U.S.||International destinations|
|West Coast U.S.||45,000||X||X||120,000|
|East Coast U.S.||70,000||X||X||120,000|
Should you apply for a JetBlue card now?
If you want to earn an influx of TrueBlue points to use toward free flights in the near future, aka Spring break or Summer vacation, now is a good time to sign up for a JetBlue card. However, there is a possibility that Barclaycard will increase the JetBlue cards’ sign-up bonuses some time during the year – so a little patience may pay off in the long run.
If you do decide to hold out in hopes of receiving a higher bonus, you can earn points in the meantime through JetBlue’s loyalty program, which lets you earn points on a variety of purchases, including airline tickets, Amazon purchases, Lyft rides and more.
If you’re hesitant to apply for a JetBlue card due to the limited flight destinations, keep in mind that JetBlue continues to add new routes on a regular basis. See the upcoming additions here.