JetBlue Card vs. JetBlue Plus Card

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In a Nutshell

Even with an annual fee, the JetBlue Plus Card is the clear favorite for the wealth of benefits it provides. Consider it if you’re a JetBlue loyalist who flies at least once a year with the airline. If you’re afraid of an annual fee, though, the JetBlue Card could be a good starter travel card.
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What you need to know about each card

Both JetBlue credit cards offer valuable rewards. You also don’t have to worry about blackout dates.

But if you want more perks with this airline, you’ll need to get the card with the annual fee. Here’s a breakdown of each card and what it has to offer.

JetBlue Card

The JetBlue Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and you get what you pay for in terms of perks. New cardholders earn just 10,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after account opening. You’ll also earn three TrueBlue points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, two points per $1 spent on purchases at restaurants and grocery stores and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

You’ll also get 50% off in-flight food and cocktails and no foreign transaction fees.

That said, the card doesn’t offer another common (and valuable) airline credit card perk: a free checked bag. And there’s no anniversary points bonus or path to elite status with the TrueBlue program.

JetBlue Plus Card

The JetBlue Plus Card charges a $99 annual fee, but more than makes up for it if you travel regularly with the airline. When you open an account, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening the account and paying the annual fee.

Everyday rewards include six TrueBlue points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, two points per $1 spent on purchases at grocery stores and restaurants and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

What makes the card really valuable, though, is its added benefits.

For starters, you’ll get one free checked bag for you and up to three others on your reservation on eligible flights. Your first checked bag with the airline can cost up to $35 one way, so if you fly at least twice a year round trip on your own and check a bag each time, that benefit alone more than makes up for the annual fee.

There are other perks, too, including …

  • 50% off in-flight food and cocktails
  • A $100 annual statement credit if you purchase a JetBlue Vacations package using your card worth $100 or more
  • 5,000 bonus points each year after your first account anniversary
  • 10% of your points back every time you redeem for an eligible JetBlue award flight
  • TrueBlue Mosaic status after you spend $50,000 or more each year on purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

JetBlue Card vs. JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue CardJetBlue Plus Card
Sign-up bonus offer10,000 points40,000 points
Highest rewards rate3 points per $16 points per $1
Standout perksNoneFree checked bag, path to elite status, annual vacation credit, anniversary bonus
Annual fee$0$99

Winner: JetBlue Plus Card

Even with its annual fee — and even if you don’t use the airline very often — the JetBlue Plus Card offers more value overall.

Just two round-trip flights with checked bags each year would more than make up for the card’s annual fee. Add in the higher points-earning rate, anniversary points, annual vacation credit and the opportunity to earn Mosaic status (which comes with an extra checked bag, early boarding, complimentary alcohol on board and more), and the card is a no-brainer for TrueBlue members.

Even though the JetBlue Card has no annual fee, it just can’t compete on perks or earning potential.

What to consider when applying for airline credit cards

While the JetBlue Plus Card is the better JetBlue credit card, that doesn’t mean it’s the best airline credit card for you. If you’re thinking about getting an airline credit card, focus on which airline you fly the most. The card can make it easier to rack up points or miles with that airline, giving you more chances to earn free flights.

Another factor to consider is flight access. For example, JetBlue has a large footprint in the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean but is not as prevalent in the midwestern and western U.S.

Finally, consider whether the airline has any partnerships with other airlines. United Airlines, for instance, is a member of the Star Alliance, which also includes several international airlines like Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines. If you have United miles, you could book flights on any of these partner airlines through United’s website.

Not sure either card is for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you want a JetBlue credit card, here are some other airline and travel credit cards to consider.

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.