JetBlue Plus Review: A Bundle of Benefits for a Reasonable Annual Fee

Its ongoing rewards are generous compared with many other airline credit cards, and benefits like free checked bags and a yearly points bonus can easily make up for the card's $99 annual fee.
Erin HurdSep 24, 2021

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Our Take

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: If you're a JetBlue loyalist or could easily be one, this card is a great pick, thanks to its bevy of benefits. Even if you fly with the airline only once or twice a year, it may still make sense.

Barclays JetBlue Plus Credit Card

JetBlue Plus Card

Annual fee

$99

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Bonus categories
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • Free checked bag
  • Anniversary perk
  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Rewards have limited flexibility
  • Requires excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Flexible rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Transfer points to JetBlue, or use elsewhere

You'll earn bonus points in a variety of popular spending categories. You can also transfer points on a 1:1 basis to multiple airline and hotel programs, including JetBlue, or you can use them to book travel through Chase at 1.25 cents per point. But you won't get any airline-specific perks. The annual fee is $95.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$250

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 14 months

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

For JetBlue loyalists who travel frequently, the  adds up to a great deal. Beyond its generous rewards rates and introductory bonus, cardholders receive a bundle of benefits, including an ongoing annual point deposit that helps make up for a good chunk of the card's annual fee. The ability to use this card to spend your way to status may also appeal to some frequent flyers and is rare among airline credit cards.

Even casual JetBlue flyers could find enough value from the Barclays-issued to make it worth carrying. If your family usually checks bags, even just taking one trip a year could justify the cost of the card.

Of course, JetBlue's not as large as other airlines, so this card's usefulness depends on where you live and where you want to go.

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Card type: .

Annual fee: .

Sign-up bonus: 

Rewards:

JetBlue points at 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 or more in value from your JetBlue points.

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APR: .

Foreign transaction fee: $0.

Other benefits:

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Many airline credit cards offer bonus rewards only on purchases made with the airline. Not so with the , which also earns elevated points on restaurant and grocery store purchases. That can make it a good choice for everyday purchases.

When you pay for your travel with the , you’ll get the first checked bag free for you and up to three travel companions. Without the card, your first checked bag would cost $35, so that’s a one-way savings of $140 if you each checked one bag. If your journey is round-trip, that savings multiplies to $280. If your family of four takes two roundtrip JetBlue flights each year that adds up to savings of $560.

Some cards offer only a one-time bonus, but the rewards cardholders with something extra every year. Each year on your cardmember anniversary, you’ll be automatically awarded 5,000 TrueBlue points.

Based on , those annual bonus points are worth around $65, which lowers the card's effective annual cost of ownership to $34.

If you’re a loyal JetBlue flyer who logs a lot of miles each year, the ability to earn elite status could be appealing. Spend $50,000 on your in a calendar year, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of status. Perks include:

To be sure, $50,000 is a hefty threshold to reach. But the ability to spend your way to status is rare among airline cards, and if you fly JetBlue a lot, these perks can be quite valuable.

Many airline credit cards don’t charge the annual fee for the first year you hold the card. But the 's  annual fee will be charged to your card automatically within six weeks of opening the account. If an annual fee is a dealbreaker, you could opt for this card's little brother, the -annual-fee . Or you could aim for a general travel rewards card like the . It earns 1.5 miles back on every purchase, and you can redeem miles at a value of 1 cent apiece for credit on your statement against travel purchases, including airline tickets. The annual fee is .

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Since JetBlue doesn’t publish an award chart that dictates how many points you’ll need for certain routes, it’s harder to find sweet spots to maximize redemptions. The number of TrueBlue points you’ll need will fluctuate with the cash fares of the tickets.

Even though JetBlue is considered to be a low-cost airline, unlike some low-cost competitors they do have a premium-class cabin (called Mint). But in most cases, it’s not a good value for to redeem for a Mint seat.

JetBlue is a growing airline with a large footprint in places like the Caribbean and Central America, in addition to domestic destinations. But the airline certainly isn't ubiquitous. If you don’t live close to a JetBlue hub like Boston; New York (JFK); Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; or Long Beach, California, you’ll have to take connecting flights to get where you want to go. If driving to a JetBlue-serviced airport is completely out of your way, it’s probably not worth pursuing this card. A better option for you might be a general travel card like the . It earns bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories, including travel and dining. Crucially, those points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel booked through Chase. And you can often get a better value by transferring points to the card’s travel partners, one of them being JetBlue. The card's annual fee is .

If you’re a frequent JetBlue flyer, or even a casual traveler who flies the airline a few times a year, the may deserve a spot in your wallet. The value cardholders can get from perks like free checked bags and a yearly points bonus can outweigh the annual fee.

If you’d have to go out of your way to fly to and from an airport that JetBlue services, you’re probably better off with a more flexible .

To see how this card stacks up against the competition, see NerdWallet's list of the .