Editorial Review

JetBlue Card Review: No Annual Fee, but Also Few Key Perks

It's the rare co-branded airline card with no yearly cost of ownership. But you'll get no free checked bags, and the sign-up bonus won't get you very far.

Sara RathnerMarch 25, 2019

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Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: The card may appeal to infrequent JetBlue travelers who refuse to pay an annual fee. But other cards can offer more long-term value.

JetBlue Card

JetBlue Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% - 27.24% Variable

Intro APR

0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.

recommended credit score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
18.24% - 27.24% Variable
Intro APR
0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • 0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Needs excellent credit

  • No free checked bags

Alternate Pick: Flexible Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn a bigger bonus, transfer points to JetBlue

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Redeem points via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal or transfer them to your TrueBlue account to book JetBlue flights. The annual fee is $95.

Read our review

Full Review

The JetBlue Card has potential for loyal JetBlue customers who may be true to TrueBlue — the airline's frequent flyer program — but who aren't interested in paying an annual fee.

The card, issued by Barclays, earns elevated rewards both on JetBlue purchases and in some everyday spending categories, and it also offers deep discounts on in-flight purchases. But in exchange for skipping an annual fee, the card skimps on the side perks. Most notably, it doesn't offer a free-checked-bag benefit.

Similarly, the sign-up bonus isn't much to write home about. What you'd get with the JetBlue Card isn't enough to cover most of the airline's flight offerings.

JetBlue Card: Key features

Card type: Airline.

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Rewards:

  • Earn 3 TrueBlue points for every $1 spent on purchases made directly with JetBlue Airways.

  • Earn 2 TrueBlue points for every $1 spent on restaurant and grocery store purchases.

  • Earn 1 TrueBlue point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

You can redeem points for flights on JetBlue or on Hawaiian Airlines, a JetBlue partner. You can also redeem for vacation packages through JetBlue Vacations. Otherwise, you can donate points to charity or redeem for magazine subscriptions.

JetBlue TrueBlue points are worth an average of 1.5 cents each for domestic travel and 1.7 cents each for international travel, according to NerdWallet valuations.

APR: 0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening., and then the ongoing APR of 18.24% - 27.24% Variable.

Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Foreign transaction fee: 0%

Other benefits: Save 50% when you use the JetBlue Card to purchase food and cocktails on JetBlue flights.

Benefits of the JetBlue Card

Earning points is easy: Unlike a lot of other co-branded airline cards, this one offer elevated rewards on more than just purchases directly with the airline. Buying food will get you closer to a free flight as well, because the card earns double points at grocery stores and restaurants.

Redeeming points is easy, too: You won't be limited by blackout dates when booking award travel on JetBlue. Once you earn enough points, all you need to do is log in to your TrueBlue account and choose the option to search for flights based on points rather than dollars. You can also redeem TrueBlue points with Hawaiian Airlines, a JetBlue partner.

Save on in-flight purchases: A bag of pretzels may not be enough on a long flight. The JetBlue Card gives cardholders 50% off all in-flight food and cocktail purchases when they use their card to pay. So go ahead: Get the wine and the cheese platter.

Get a bonus with no annual fee: Travel cards with no annual fee aren't that common. The JetBlue Card not only has an annual fee of $0, but it also offers a sign-up bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Drawbacks and alternatives

No free checked bags: One big advantage that many co-branded airline cards offer is a checked-bag-fee waiver. You won't get that valuable key perk with the JetBlue Card. Be prepared to pay $30 to check your first bag if you selected the lowest Blue fare, and $40 to check a second bag on Blue and Blue Plus fares (passengers flying on the airline's Mint premium travel service get two free checked bags). If you fly frequently with JetBlue, consider the JetBlue Plus Card, which does offer a free checked bag for you and up to three travel companions booked on the same reservation. The card's annual fee is $99 — but if you and a companion took only one round-trip Blue fare flight per year and you each checked one bag, you'd otherwise pay $120 total.

Underwhelming sign-up bonus: The card's sign-up bonus is modest and not enough to cover most routes that JetBlue flies. If you're willing to pay the $99 annual fee, the JetBlue Plus Card offers a much more generous sign-up bonus. Or if you're adamantly opposed to any kind of annual fee, you could consider a general travel card like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Its annual fee is $0, and it offers a generous sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Redemption options are few: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is also a more flexible option when it comes to redemptions. You can redeem for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more. If you're willing to pay an annual fee, you can get a card with even more flexibility. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an annual fee of $95, but it also offers a rich sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. In addition to redeeming points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point, you can transfer points to your TrueBlue account, because JetBlue is one of the card's transfer partners.

Should you get the JetBlue Card?

This card could work for infrequent travelers who fly mostly with JetBlue but are adamantly opposed to paying an annual fee. But the lack of free checked bags is a big drawback, and other cards can provide greater long-term value.

Information related to the JetBlue Plus Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.