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 RathnerSeptember 8, 2020
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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.

Barclaycard The JetBlue Card Credit Card

JetBlue Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate in certain categories

  • 0% APR period on balance transfers

  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

  • Discounts on select in-flight purchases

Cons

  • Low rewards rate on most spending

  • No travel credits

  • No redemption bonus (unlike other JetBlue cards)

  • No anniversary bonus (unlike other JetBlue cards)

Alternate Pick: Flexible Rewards

Discover it® Miles
NerdWallet rating 

Discover it® Miles

Miles you can use on any airline

With no annual fee, this card gives you 1.5 miles for every $1 you spend. It comes with a new-cardmember bonus offer, and points are redeemable for statement credit against many kinds of travel expenses — flights on any airline, stays at any hotel and so on.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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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. But it lacks the benefits of other airline cards, like free checked bags and a large enough sign-up bonus to cover the cost of a round-trip flight.

Still, the JetBlue Card, issued by Barclays, earns elevated rewards both on JetBlue purchases and in some everyday spending categories. It also offers deep discounts on in-flight purchases. If your main priority is a no-fee airline card and you’re a frequent JetBlue flyer, this card could be a good fit. But if you’re willing to pay a fee in exchange for more premium perks, you have other options.

Nerd tip: This card's big brother is the JetBlue Plus Card. It features more generous rewards, but also an annual fee of $99. For more information about that card, see our review here.

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 or transfer your points to another TrueBlue member’s account. Otherwise, you can donate points to charity.

NerdWallet values JetBlue points at 1.1 cents each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.1 cents or more in value from your JetBlue points.

APR: 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: 3% (minimum $5).

Foreign transaction fee: None.

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 offers 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 $35 to check your first bag if you selected the Blue Basic, Blue or Blue Extra fare, and $45 to check a second bag on Blue Basic, Blue, Blue Extra and Blue Plus fares (passengers flying on the airline's Mint premium travel service and those who have attained Mosaic status, 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 would otherwise pay $140 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 Discover it® Miles. Its annual fee is $0, and it offers a nifty sign-up promotion: "UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.."

Tied to JetBlue Program

With the Discover it® Miles, you can redeem for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card also offers more flexibility, along with a nice welcome offer. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on eating out and ordering in, travel (including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals), gas stations, rideshares, transit and streaming services (including Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio and Spotify Premium). All other purchases earn 1 point per $1. Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards, merchandise or charitable donations.

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.

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