Tuesday, April 19th, 2016, 3:49 pm
-The base card has no annual fee and offers 5K points for spending $1,000 in 90 days.
-The Plus card has a $99 annual fee and offers 30K points for spending $1,000 in 90 days.
What’s that signup bonus worth? It all depends on the flights you take, but here are 3 examples:
1. JFK-Chicago on 5/11 is $63.10 or 3.7K points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.55 cents per point (63.10-5.60/3,700).
2. JFK-Los Angeles on 5/11 is $138.10 or 9.2K points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.44 cents per point.
3. JFK-Fort Lauderdale on 5/11 is $85.10 or 5.3K points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.5 cents per point.
Assuming a value of 1.5 cents per point that would make the 10K bonus worth about $150 and the 30K bonus worth about $450.
-The Plus card also offers a 10% points rebate every time you redeem your points. The rebate will post within 1 business day of using points. That effectively makes your points about 10% more valuable and bumps up the signup bonus value of the Plus card to about $500. It means that the JFK-ORD example will really only cost Plus cardholders 3,330 points, the JFK-LAX flight will cost 8,280 points, and the JFK-FLL flight will cost just 4,770 points after the 10% rebate.
-JetBlue points never expire. JetBlue also allows families to pool their points together.
-The Plus card offers a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to 3 passengers on the same reservation. That’s a value of up to $160 in waived checked bag fees per round-trip.
-The Plus card offers 5,000 points upon every card anniversary. Combined with the 10% rebate that’s 5,500 points that are worth about $83 towards JetBlue flights. That drops the effective annual fee from $99 down to just $16.
-The Plus card offers an annual $100 statement credit when you book a $100+ JetBlue vacation package.
-If you spend $50K in a calendar year on the Plus card then you’ll get JetBlue Mosaic status for the remainder of the calendar year and for the following calendar year.
Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.
-Both cards offer 2 points per dollar on groceries and restaurants as well as 1 point per dollar everywhere else. The Plus card also offers 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases while the base card offers 3 points per dollar. That’s on top of the 3-11 points per dollar that you earn for the flight itself, which makes for a nice rebate on JetBlue flights.
-Both cards also offer a 50% rebate for in-flight purchases of cocktails, food, JetBlue movies and other eligible purchases.
-Both cards offer no foreign transaction fees.
It’s nice that they are offering a no-annual fee base card, but the benefits are pretty spartan when compared to fee-free cards like Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and AMEX Everyday. The main advantage is the lack of foreign transactions fees, but other than that it’s slim pickings.
The Plus card on the other hand is a no-brainer, even for once-per-year JetBlue flyers. The signup bonus makes it well worth the initial $99 annual fee and the anniversary bonus makes it worth keeping the card despite the $99 annual fee. The free checked bags and the 10% rebate on award tickets seal the deal on a very solid card offering. And the very generous bonus points offered on JetBlue purchases is icing on the cake.