Sharon and I both have a JetBlue Plus co-brand card from Barclays. We signed up for them because of the sign-up bonus and have kept them to maintain a good relationship with Barclays (which may have helped us get approved for this hard-to-get business card).
I’m going to make sure one of us has a JetBlue Plus card so we can take advantage of the free checked bag and 10% rebate on point redemptions. The card has a $99 annual fee but you get 5,000 points on your account anniversary.
Based on our recent award tickets, I value JetBlue TrueBlue points at 1.4 cents each. That works out to $70 in points and I only need to get an additional $30 in value to break even.
However, I was surprised when I received an email about a new feature of the JetBlue Plus card. Starting on March 1st, cardholders can use their TrueBlue points to cancel out any purchase on the card.
It’s called Points Payback. Details were limited in the launch email and cardholders were told to log into their account for more details.
I was interested to see if my JetBlue card would now be more like a cashback card than a co-brand card. Once I saw the details, I was less interested.
With Points Payback, you can cancel out charges on your JetBlue card. Redemptions start at 3,333 points for a $25 statement credit. That works out to a 0.75 cent value per JetBlue TrueBlue point. Since I can use my points at 1.4 cents to book JetBlue flights, this isn’t going to be a great use of my points.
However, this could be an interesting opportunity even if you don’t fly JetBlue. Signing up for the JetBlue Plus card would net 60,000 points after spending $1,000. Those 61,000 points would be worth $457 if used with Points Payback and you wouldn’t ever need to fly with JetBlue. That’s a 45% return on your initial spending on the card.
Of course, you could do better redeeming points for JetBlue flights but this makes the card appealing even for those who don’t live in a city where JetBlue flies.
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