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JetBlue Replaces AmEx With New MasterCard

Airline Credit Cards, Credit Cards
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After JetBlue and American Express parted ways in 2015, the low-cost airline partnered with Barclaycard to replace the JetBlue Card from American Express.

While Barclaycard has yet to issue a card for new applicants, it recently announced a replacement for those carrying the airline’s co-branded AmEx — and it’s a big win for cardholders.

UPDATE March 22, 2016: JetBlue now has three cards available for new applicants. Read about them here.

The details

The new card offers most of the great benefits the JetBlue Card from American Express had, including a $50 annual statement credit after you purchase a qualifying JetBlue Getaways vacation package, and a 50% discount on eligible in-flight purchases. It also charges a $40 annual fee. However, the new JetBlue Rewards® MasterCard® offers more than its predecessor in some regards, including:

  • Earn 4 TrueBlue points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Earn a $100 companion travel discount when you spent at least $500 by June 30, 2016.
  • Get 5% of your points back when you redeem.
  • No foreign transaction fee — the JetBlue Card from American Express charged a 2.7% fee.
  • It’s a MasterCard, which is accepted virtually everywhere.

“JetBlue has a loyal customer base,” says Matt Fields, vice president of media relations at Barclaycard, “and for the folks who have enjoyed using the card for reward travel, this really takes it up a notch in terms of what they get back.”

How does it stack up to other airline credit cards? Considering you can earn up to 8 TrueBlue points per $1 when you book flights on JetBlue.com as a TrueBlue member with Blue Flex status, using the JetBlue Rewards® MasterCard® to book can net you up to 12 points per $1. At a minimum, Blue members earn 6 points per $1 when booking on JetBlue.com.

NerdWallet values TrueBlue points at 1.4 cents apiece on average, giving you a minimum rewards rate of 14% and a potential rate of 16.8% on JetBlue flights booked through the airline’s website. If you’re loyal to JetBlue, you can’t get much better than that.

What you need to do

If you currently have a JetBlue Card from American Express, just wait. You should receive the JetBlue Rewards® MasterCard® by mid-March. You can activate your new card beginning March 21 at 6 a.m. Eastern time. Until that time, you can continue to use your JetBlue Card from American Express as usual.

Once you active your JetBlue Rewards® MasterCard®, make sure to create an online account with Barclaycard if you don’t already have one. Also update any automatic payments, digital wallets and relevant online accounts that were connected to your JetBlue Card from American Express.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi


Image via iStock.