As was rumored to be the case last year, JetBlue has officially inked a deal with Barclaycard to offer a new co-branded credit card product to their customer base. The announcement comes on the heels of American Express’ recent departure from a 16 year partnership with Costco – accounting for at least 10% of their card revenue.
The JetBlue Rewards MasterCard will be issued by Barclaycard, who has done a good job over the past couple of years in delivering travel rewards products with compelling benefits. The new JetBlue credit card will launch on March 21st, 2016.
JetBlue Rewards MasterCard Offer Details
The new card will offer 4 points per dollar on flights purchased directly with the airline, in addition to any other direct spend. Cardholders will once again, earn 2 points per dollar on all dining AND grocery store purchases, as used to be the case with an earlier version of the JetBlue American Express card.
Companion voucher signup bonus…
With its launch on March 21st, 2016 – JetBlue Rewards MasterCard customers will have until June 30th to spend $500. This will earn them a $100 companion discount. Note that the JetBlue MasterCard signup bonus will be up for grabs to both JetBlue card holders who are transitioning to the new product, as well as new customers. At this point in time, that’s all we’ve heard on a signup bonus.
No foreign transaction fees…
Despite that JetBlue isn’t a major international airline, they have expanded some of their destinations in recent months (see JetBlue’s route map below). Including various Caribbean destinations. The new JetBlue MasterCard will have no foreign transaction fees, offering frequent TrueBluer’s a greater incentive to earn abroad.
$40 Annual Fee…
This was a pleasant surprise. Despite Barclaycard and JetBlue reintroducing grocery and dining spend, along with increased earning on JetBlue purchases, the $40 annual fee is remaining the same following the transition.
MasterCard World Elite Program…
Current and new JetBlue MasterCard holders will be entered into the MasterCard World Elite portfolio. The program comes with some worth-while benefits, including but not limited to rental car discounts (through partner rental companies), purchase protection, extended warranty protection, some version of collision coverage on rental cars (more to be discovered on this particular card), MasterCard World Elite hotel room upgrades and special event discounts.
5% Rebate on JetBlue TrueBlue Points…
Redeeming JetBlue TrueBlue points directly through the carrier will net you a 5% rebate on any points used for an award booking. Note that it’s uncapped, so you’ll continue to build up your balance indefinitely on redemptions.
JetBlue Business MasterCard by Barclaycard Also Launching
Also note that small business owners may be more interested in the JetBlue Business MasterCard, also launching at the same time as the consumer version. It will come with similar improvements.
What to expect with the JetBlue Business MasterCard
- 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases
- 2 points per dollar on dining and office supplies
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
- An annual 5,000 ($50) credit
The downside to these improvements, however, is that the annual fee for the JetBlue Barclaycard version will be increased to $99.
Should you get the new JetBlue Rewards MasterCard?
That really depends how frequently you fly JetBlue. For myself, I’ve been fortunate enough t0 live within 15 minutes of two major JetBlue hubs, and they offer some of the cheapest non-stop fares to other cities I frequent. Take a look at their hubs to the right.
The new credit card offers compelling earning potential given the reintroduction of spending categories. 2x points on both dining and groceries is big, and given how frequently I fly JetBlue I’ll likely be using the new card to to book flights directly with the airline rather than through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Even if you don’t plan on getting the new JetBlue MasterCard, you should signup for the TrueBlue rewards program as a good practice in covering your travel hacking bases.