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.