JetBlue Plus Card in-flight savings benefit

Most people know that airline-affiliated cards provided certain benefits for those taking flights of particular carriers. This usually means a reduced (or no) checked baggage fee and some kind of priority boarding. This has become even more relevant as larger airlines are beginning to try to squeeze even more revenue out of their customers (Air Canada and Westjet, plus JetBlue, for example).

So, it is nice when an extra benefit comes in handy. When my wife and I were traveling home from San Francisco recently we were late arriving to the airport so we didn’t have enough time to get sufficient food for the 5 hour journey. Instead, we relied on the food provided by JetBlue. It wasn’t just the free snacks that held us over, it was the tremendous amount of food in the Eat Up Boxes that gave us the meals that we wanted in-flight. And, since we have the JetBlue Plus Mastercard, the costs was literally cut in half.

As reflected on my most recent credit card statement, instead of spending $46 for this food (which would be a pretty absurd price), we spent $23 (something more reasonable). While I don’t want to rely on this in the future, it is nice to know that it is an option.

Jet Blue Plus anniversary bonus: awesome!

I was pleased to see this image in my inbox this morning:

Some may not know that the JetBlue Plus card comes with a variety of benefits: a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points, 6X the points when you pay for JetBlue plane tickets outright, as well as your first checked luggage free of charge. What some may not remember or realize is that you also get 5,000 points at each anniversary! As The Points Guy values these points at 1.2 cents/point, that means you are getting back $60 of worth back every year. So, essentially, after flying roundtrip only once per year this card because completely worth it.

I recently had the pleasure of booking a number of flights to/from Florida in the Fall and only spent around $30 in taxes + fees because of this card. I’m definitely keeping it for next year!

Should you keep that credit card or not?

As many of you who read this blog know my wife and I have over 25 credit cards to our names. In some, she is the primary user and in some I am. We have accumulated all these cards because of their sign-up bonuses and various benefits like free checked baggage, access to lounges, elite status, etc. But, every little while it is a good idea to think about if you should keep a card in your wallet (or folio, in our case) or cut it free. In fact, The Points Guy has great posts on checking your credit card inventory once in a while.

The biggest question for me in keeping or cancelling a care is if I am getting a benefit that outweighs the annual fee every year. The easiest examples of “keepers” to me are cards for airlines I or my wife use frequently. For example, we have a United Mileage Plus Explorer card and an AAdvantage Aviator Red Card, each with a $95 annual fee, but we keep them year after year because we get benefits of free checked bags (a $25 benefit each flight per bag) and boarding status (we get to come on the plane earlier and make sure our carry-ons fit in the overhead compartment). As long as we have at least four bag-checks on each airline, it is worth it to keep those cards.

Other cards come with anniversary bonuses. The Amtrak Guest Rewards World card provides an annual Companion pass that, if used correctly, can offset its $79 annual fee. My wife and I travel to Providence, RI frequently enough that a round-trip train ticket + companion makes that doable. The JetBlue Plus Card has a fee of $99 but gives free checked bags and 5,000 points after every account anniversary.

Some cards come with status and not necessarily other benefits you might use. The AMEX Hilton HHonors Surpass card has a $75 annual fee but comes with Gold status at all Hilton-connected hotels. That has given me free room upgrades and free breakfast in at least three situations, totally that much money or more. Additionally, I have earned more points than usual, making it more possible to have a free night sooner. Basically, it does end up paying for itself.

It’s really the big, expensive cards that make me seriously think whether or not it’s worth it to keep them. I currently have a Citi Prestige card, which I got in December 2015 when the sign-up bonus was 50,000 ThankYou points. I applied because I knew that while it has a $450 annual fee, each calendar year it comes with a $250 airline credit. So by using it in 2015 to buy a flight and 2016 to buy a flight, I received $500 in credits to offset the fee the first year. Additionally, it also comes with a host of other benefits including access to the Priority Pass network of lounges across the globe, which my wife and I used extensively during our honeymoon. The fee just came up again and I am debating whether or not to keep the card. It is essentially a $200 annual fee card (with the offset airline credit) in order to access a whole host of lounges and potentially free hotel nights as well. I’m not sure what to do with it but I have some time to decide.

So there you have it – my basic analysis of the different types of benefits you can earn. It really is an individual decision whether or not to keep these cards and, as the Points Guy said at a recent workshop I attended, “do the math.”

Get 75K Jetblue points for free!

Today Jetblue announced a new promotion in concert with Virgin America that could earn you up to 75,000 TrueBlue points for doing something very small: having a certain amount Virgin Elevate points in your account and making one paid flight. Here are the steps:

  1. See how many points you currently have in your Elevate account. Then add some through transferring from Starwood, CitiBank, or AMEX Rewards to boost your balance. Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 3.12.21 PM
  2. Take a screen shot of your Virgin Elevate account with whatever amount of points you can muster.
  3. Send an email to pointsmatch@jetblue.com by July 4 with that screenshot and wait to hear you are registered.
  4. Book and fly a paid roundtrip JetBlue flight before 8/31/16.

This is also being reported by View from the Wing and DansDeals with some pretty amazing fanfare. I personally may take a mileage run from JFK-BOS just to get the 75,000 points. It will make for some cheap tickets to Florida this winter!

 

 

WeWork is Tru-ly cool (Get it?)

Right now WeWork has a promotion with JetBlue for a variety of levels of TruBlue points depending on how you participate.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.51.17 AM

As you can see, the most lucrative bonus is of course for the most expensive item (that makes sense). Considering pricing depends on the location (Brooklyn Heights rates found here), that may or may not be worth your while.

That being said, a tour is the one item that only requires time. Since I am on Spring Break this week, I decided to take a look!

I was met by a lovely guide who took 20 minutes to show me around the (as-of-yet not complete) space in Brooklyn Heights. He walked me around the common shared space (which has free coffee, tea, fruit, and on-tap beer) as well as the key-card-required private space. They have a variety of office sizes from 1-person to what looked like 12-person offices. While the Brooklyn Heights location is new so has plenty of space (opened April 1st) their largest space in the US – NOMAD – is almost out of room! Suffice to say the benefits are pretty awesome and the prices seem workable for start-ups and small companies alike. There were even a few tutoring companies based there.

In conclusion, I’d highly recommend taking the tour – even if only to earn 500 TruBlue points. After all, when JetBlue has deals, that can be worth 1/7 of a flight to Florida!

Stay warm.