Costco wasn’t the only partner that American Express lost last year. The credit card giant also parted ways with JetBlue, who moved on to Barclays. And the new Barclays cards are pretty good. There are, as far as I can tell, currently four different cards, although you can only apply for three of them (The JetBlue Rewards MasterCard will automatically be shipped to current American Express holders. This card, which you can’t apply for, offers similar benefits to the others, including bonus points for certain category purchases, discounts and a $40 annual fee.).
The JetBlue Card
The standard JetBlue Card is the no annual fee version of the product. That fact is unusual, since most travel cards come with a fee. Despite being free, the card still offers pretty good benefits, starting with 10,000 TrueBlue points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. I value TrueBlue points at about 1.5 cents each, so that’s the equivalent of a $150 sign-up bonus. You also receive triple points on JetBlue purchases and double points on restaurants & groceries, so your total rewards will be 1.5%-4.5% toward flights on JetBlue, depending on what you are buying. Other benefits are sparse: There are no free checked bags, no anniversary or redemption bonuses and no path to elite status. Still, it’s a very good basic card for someone who flies JetBlue occasionally and wants a few extra points. And it costs you nothing.
The JetBlue Plus Card
It’s rare that they make credit card applications so difficult to find, but the Plus card is worth the extra effort.
The annual fee is $99, but it’s absolutely worth it if you fly JetBlue frequently (or even semi-frequently), as the benefits are worth far more than the fee. For starters, you earn 30,000 TrueBlue points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, a relatively easy hurdle for a $450 value. You’ll also receive a 5,000 point “anniversary bonus” each year (worth about $75) and receive a 10% rebate of points that you redeem, with no maximum; you are essentially redeeming at 90% of the regular price. You also get an annual $100 credit when you buy a Getaway Vacation and you can fly on that trip (or any other JetBlue flight) with a free checked bag for you and three companions.
But, for heavy spenders, my favorite perk is Mosaic Status after you make $50,000 in purchases in a year. Mosaic comes with a number of benefits, including bonus points, priority security/boarding/check-in, a second checked bag and a private customer service line. But the best part about Mosaic status is the fee waivers. Cancellation and change fees are waived for Mosaic members and others on their itinerary. That way, if the price of your trip drops, a quick call to customer service will get you a credit for the difference. Need to cancel entirely? No problem, you can do that, too.
Note: I am still waiting for a definitive answer on whether you get the 15,000 bonus points that you normally receive when earning Mosaic Status, but it seems unlikely. The representatives that I spoke with at Barclays were uncertain, but Mosaic T&C say the following:
Common to Both: No foreign transaction fees, 50% savings on inflight purchases (not including internet)
The JetBlue Business Card
This card is very similar to the Plus card above. Same fee and virtually the same benefits, with the notable exception of receiving double points at restaurants and office supply stores instead of restaurants and groceries. You can find this card by clicking on the link at the bottom of the Compare Cards section.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to pick up a few extra points or turbocharge with a premium card, Barclays offers you a few good options.
Jon L says
I’m pretty excited about my Plus card, just got it in the mail this week. Great benefits, and the card is the best looking card in my wallet. Feels quite premium with that silver MasterCard logo 🙂
Mike Friedman says
Yeah, I’m also really linking mine. I use a 5X card at grocery stores, but this one is a good option at restaurants (not to mention flying JetBlue, where 6 pts/$ is worth about 9%). Generally has better benefits than the cards from other banks. These credit card/mileage wars are paying off.
Zomy Woof says
If you want the Plus card, it might make sense to get the Basic card first for its 10K sign-up bonus and then get the Plus with its sign-up bonus.
S Germain says
When JetBlue switched tot he Barclay MasterCard , I received all the info about the improved benefits provided by getting the JetBlue MasterCard including 10,000 bonus points after spending
$1000 in 3 months. I also read that on Mike Friedman’s blog. But that is not true. Barclay says it doesn’t apply to customers who were originally with the JetBlue Amex card because they don’t consider you a new customer. Well I didn’t need to switch to Barclay’s card. I may not get the amount of points I get with the JetBlue card but I’d rather deal with a bank that provides good, caring, customer service which Barclay does not. I had a Barclay credit card through Priceline and was not at all happy with all the so called rules they had that somehow avoided Barclay making good on their reward program. I stopped using that card and it’s closed .
Mike Friedman says
Thank you for letting me know that and I’m sorry that happened to you. That’s a pretty lousy thing to do, since you weren’t a Barclay’s customer, you were an American Express customer. Clearly, they gave out some bad information.