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Update: Barclay has since reduced its SCRA benefits to the minimum legal requirements.
This is the very first ThePointSoldier airline credit card review. I decided the JetBlue Plus card will be the topic because I picked that one to be my own first airline credit card and will be applying for it next year sometime.
The official JetBlue credit card has some very unique features that many of its “peers” in the airline credit card industry simply do not share. It offers a much higher points earning potential than any other airline credit card that’s currently available, a very simple status earning system, and best of all, is issued by Barclay, which makes this premium version of the JetBlue card absolutely free to active duty military personnel, due to Barclay’s generous SCRA benefits.
JetBlue’s TrueBlue program refers to its miles as points and this card currently offers a 30,000 point sign-up bonus, after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days on purchases. This may be nothing to write home about, but it’s reasonable. The true value in this card lies in the 6x points you earn on JetBlue purchases and the 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores. You will earn one point per dollar everywhere else. Compare that to the usual 2x points you earn with other airline credit cards on purchases at that particular airline and 1x points anywhere else, and the difference becomes obvious. Keep in mind that while you do earn 5x points on all flights booked with an airline with the American Express Platinum card and that TrueBlue is a transfer partner of Amex’s Membership Rewards program, you can only transfer those points at a 250:200 rate, making the TrueBlue Plus card the clear choice even over the Amex Platinum on JetBlue ticket purchases.
Some of the other benefits this card offers:
- 5,000 anniversary bonus points each year
- 1 free checked bag for cardholders and up to 3 companions
- 10% redemption bonus points
- Mosaic status after spending at least $50,000 a year on purchases
- 50% savings on in-flight purchases
- Annual $100 statement credit when booking JetBlue Getaways vacation package
- No foreign transaction fees (FTF)
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The points just keep racking up with this card thanks to the anniversary bonus points and the 10% redemption bonus point offer. Mosaic status may not be the most valuable elite status in the airline industry, but it does offer its perks and is fairly simple to achieve with the JetBlue Plus card. The 50% in-flight purchase discount is particularly useful on domestic routes that only offer complimentary peanuts or pretzels and a drink. The JetBlue Plus card is also a World Elite MasterCard and, with that, carries some very valuable inherent benefits.
If you are not a military member and would like to give the JetBlue Plus card a try, but are deterred by its $99 annual fee (AF), you have another great product to chose from, the JetBlue card. The AF free JetBlue card shares some common benefits with the Plus version, but only earns you 3x points points on JetBlue purchases. It still offers 2x points on restaurant and grocery store purchases, skips, however, all the other benefits of the JetBlue Plus card with the exception of the 50% on in-flight purchases and the zero FTF feature. It is very rare for an AF free credit card to also be FTF free. The only other AF free credit cards to do so are usually military specific products by financial institutions such as Navy Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, or USAA. Keep in mind that these institutions may offer some decent cash back credit cards, but typically aren’t very points and miles oriented, with exceptions of course. Also, again, they are primarily military focused and may not offer those same products to civilians.
If you are active duty military and have access to a JetBlue operated airport, the JetBlue Plus card is a no-brainer. Otherwise, if you fly JetBlue more than once a year, you can definitely benefit from that card as well, because it allows you to book Blue, instead of Blue Plus fares and still enjoy free baggage. That benefit can potentially pay for the AF by itself, and then some, never mind the increased earning potential of the JetBlue Plus card vs the regular JetBlue card. There is also a JetBlue Business MasterCard, which is virtually identical to the JetBlue Plus card, with the exception of several business oriented features, like having your business name embossed on the card and different billing statement options.
Do you have either JetBlue card version? What do you primarily use the card for? What’s your favorite feature and which ones would you like to see added? Please comment below and follow us on social media.