Every once in a while, I see an offer from a hotel, airline or credit card company that is too good to last. I wrote an article about it for InsideFlyer here, mentioning a few that would get shut down. Shortly after writing about the excessive Citi Prestige perks, for instance, they announced a serious devaluation, albeit not the one that I thought would come. Sadly, though, companies aren’t willing to lose money forever.
I don’t want to say that JetBlue is an exception, but they do tend to place more emphasis on customer satisfaction than most (Management, in fact, gets compensated in part on customer scores.). Thus, I don’t see changes happening as quickly as they would elsewhere.
When it comes to redemptions, JetBlue is easily the most generous airline out there. Its points are worth about 1.5 cents each, +/-, and the cost of redeeming points is not fixed like it is at other airlines. Rather, you redeem based on the underlying fare of the flight that you are buying. For example, a flight from Boston to New York with cash costs $75-$175, based on the fare bucket and amenities that you choose:
If you purchase that same ticket with points, however, the cost varies in miles, but they will get you approximately 1.5 cents each in flight value:
As the cost of the flight rises throughout the day, so does the number of points that are necessary to purchase that flight. By the way, get used to that system: I believe that the majors will begin operating that way by 2018.
The plus side to this system is that you can use points on any flight you want, since you are “purchasing” the flight, just with an alternative form of currency.
Since you earn a minimum of three points per dollar spent on a JetBlue flight, every dollar spent will get you 4.5 cents in value, or a 4.5% rebate when you redeem points.
Adding on from There
It gets better. When you book your flight on jetblue.com, you get six points per dollar spent, instead of the normal three. You rebate when you redeem is now up to 9% (6*1.5c each).
Doubling It with The Credit Card
So now what? If you fly JetBlue, ever, you must have the JetBlue credit card. I don’t care where you get it (Okay, I do care; I hope you get it through the banner below, since proceeds will help to get needy kids new clothes and school supplies.), but you must have it. You can get the card through this banner:
There is a lot to like about this card. It gives you a 30,000 point sign-up bonus (which will get you $450 worth of flights). You get Mosaic status if you spend $50,000 per year on the card in a year. You (and three others in your party) get your first bag checked for free. It does cost $99, but you get 5,000 points each year when you renew, which is worth $75.
But the single best benefit might be the bonus points that you get when spending on the card. You get one point for most purchases, two at restaurants and grocery stores. But when you make JetBlue purchases, such as flights, with your card, you get a whopping six points per dollar spent. That’s in addition to the six you already earned, giving you a total of twelve points per dollar spent. That’s 18% of the cost of your flight coming back to you in TrueBlue points for future flights. And it gets better. JetBlue refunds you 10% of the points that you spend on flights, bringing you up to a total of a 20% rebate. See why I like this card?
Two Other Things To Know
First: There is a no-fee version of the card, as well. You get fewer benefits, a lower sign-up bonus and only three points per dollar spent. As far as I’m concerned, the sign-up bonus alone (an additional 25,000 points, or approximately $375 in flight value) is reason to get the card with the fee, not to mention the 5,000 points each anniversary.
Two: If you earn Mosaic status, you get an additional three points per dollar spent. That brings your total rebate for each flight up to 25% (15 points per dollar, plus the 10% points bonus).
The Bottom Line
There are very few credit cards that I describe as “must-have.” The only other one that I can think of is the IHG Rewards Club card, which gets you a free night every year at any InterContinental product. And the JetBlue card won’t do you a lick of good if you never fly JetBlue. But if you do, the card is a huge money-maker for you.
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Note: This post may contain credit card affiliate links. All credit card proceeds are donated to charity.
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