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American Express JetBlue Travel Rewards Credit Card

The AmEx JetBlue card is worth it for JetBlue diehards, but overall mediocre.

The American Express JetBlue travel rewards credit card is a no-brainer for anyone who already travels on JetBlue Airlines often. But the free agents out there might want to pass it up, since there are definitely better deals as far as airline cards go. Still, if you are a JetBlue fan, we don’t blame you: this airline knows how to keep it real. Their TrueBlue points (frequent flyer miles) don’t ever expire, unlike other programs, and they never charge you for your first checked bag. On the darker side, this airline has a pretty limited selection of routes, covering mostly coastal cities, and they only have economy class, similar to Southwest. But JetBlue is known to have slightly roomier seating overall, and you get your own personal TV.

With the American Express JetBlue card, the earnings rate is typical: you receive 1 point for every dollar spent on the card, and double points for ticket and vacation purchases made directly with JetBlue. Don’t be fooled by the AmEx website, which claims that you receive 8x points for ticket purchases. It’s true, you do get 8 points, but only 2 of them are because of the credit card. The other 6 just come naturally with being a TrueBlue member.

 Redeeming TrueBlue Points

Additionally, after spending $1,000 in the first three months, you receive a 20,000 point bonus. The TrueBlue website claims that award flights start at 5,000 points for one way and 10,000 points for round trip tickets, but the truth is that this represents only the very cheapest fares. The number of points required for award tickets is directly relative to the fare of the ticket, so a more realistic range for how much round trip fares cost is anywhere up to 50,000 points. It all depends on the demand for the route, so of course off-peak times will get you the best rates.

What this all means is that these points are basically at a fixed value. There isn’t even an award chart. Realistically speaking, the value of each point is going to approach just 1 cent, unless you have a lot of flexibility and book way ahead of time. But for the typical traveler, this 1% back rate is kind of pitiful. Even a rewards card as simple as the Capital One Quicksilver delivers more, not to mention the plethora of rewards cards that give even better rates.

Still, as mentioned, JetBlue has a loyal following for good reason. They recently topped a customer satisfaction study, along with Southwest. So if you are flying with JetBlue anyway, this credit card is a good deal for you. One way to slightly increase the value of the earned points is to redeem with Hawaiian Airlines, the only partner that allows redemption and not just earning of TrueBlue points. To do this, you have to book over the phone, but it’s worth it: a $550 Hawaiian Airlines fare will cost about 42,500 TrueBlue points.

 Other Perks

The AmEx JetBlue card also comes with some nice perks that keep it in the competition. You receive 50% off in-flight purchases such as movies, meals, and drinks. It shows up as a statement credit after the fact. You also get a $50 statement credit every year you purchase a JetBlue Getaways vacation package with the card. Plus, the $40 annual fee is relatively low, and waived for the first year.

Not to mention that American Express provides a lovely host of benefits, such as 24/7 concierge customer service, rental car insurance, purchase protection, travel accident insurance, exclusive discounts and events, and more. Just take note that American Express does not guarantee zero-percent liability for fraudulent charges. All they promise is to assist with the “dispute resolution.” So hold on tight to those AmEx cards!

JetBlue is arguably an up and comer. Whether that means you should get in on this program now, or wait for a tastier bonus, is up to you.