JetBlue Card from American Express Review – Good for Bargain Hunting?

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Doesn’t it feel nice to have something for free?

Well, my philosophy is to utilize a bargain for more bargains. That’s why the JetBlue Card from American Express appealed to me as an airline partner credit card. It offered me a $0 free for the first year and after that, an annual fee of $40 ( my quick-to-do-math friend calculated it as $3.3 per month.)

Frankly, I had never before taken interest in reward points on travel credit cards. Somehow, the last quarter of 2013 had a long list of necessary travel engagements for me; both personal and professional. I was staring at huge expenses on just to and fro air travels.

The JetBlue Card from American Express offered me value for this expense by presenting 20,000 True Blue points for $1000 spent on this card in the first three month of membership. And, their first award flight started at 5000 points + $2.50 taxes/fees (taxes and fees vary based on departure and arrival cities).

It was certain that I was going to shell out good chunk of money on air travel in the last few months of the year. But I had a good chance of “recycling” that money through the JetBlue card for my later travels.

So I got the JetBlue Card from American Express and started studying how many other benefits I could derive from this card till my required 5000 reward points kicked in.

Here are some of the benefits of the JetBlue Card from American Express that I personally liked:

  • Earned points have no expiry date. I didn’t have to worry about losing my reward points after a certain period.
  • I could generate double rewards by doing online transactions. (3 points on spending a single dollar, but 6 True Blue points on every dollar spent if I booked my tickets on www. jetblue.com )
  • Similarly, double reward points (two True Blue points) are accumulated on every dollar spent while purchasing Gateway Packages with JetBlue Card from American Express.
  • While redeeming points, Jet Blue card members can select any seat, any time as there are no blackout dates on flights operated by Jet Blue.

While keeping tabs on jetblue.com for promotional offers and deals, I came across some impressive customer service efforts in their day to day operations. For example, during the recent snow storm conditions, Jet Blue card members from various cities in Northeast,  Mid-Atlantic  and New England were offered special facilities as fees waiver for changing/ cancelling their flights and fare differences. The customers were also given options to rebook their flights even before the departure of their initially scheduled flight. Or, customers could go in for a refund with a cancelled flight. The same travel alert page provided links to track one’s own flight/ a friend’s flight and to change a prior booking if the alert impacted the reader’s flight in any way. Good customer care, I would say.

There are some other partner benefits too for holders of Jet Blue card from American Express. Like other cards, Jet Blue also has partner hotels, shopping deals, car rentals etc. But you can find some nice surprise here, like purchasing Chef Cooking Online Lessons with Jet Blue card.

Recently, some new benefits were added to the JetBlue Card from American Express which will bring more advantages to customer’s in-flight experiences. If customers use their JetBlue Card from American Express for select in-flight purchases,  they will receive a 50% refund as statement credit for the same. These purchases include meals, cocktails, movies  and even pillows and blankets! The statement credits will take 6-8 weeks to appear on card holder’s billing statement, after the transaction’s registration on related card account.

Likewise, buyers of a Jet Blue Getaway vacation package with this card will also receive a $50 statement credit for each calendar year of purchase.

In fact, Jet Blue encourages card holders to group together their purchase activities for getting more reward points.

For example, buying a Getaway package from Jet Blue will get you 6 points. If you book your flight for the same package of jetblue.com, using your Jet Blue card, you get extra 2 points thus bringing you a total of 8 points within one activity.

Another good point is, one can get 30-35% discount on my car rentals and earn double or triple reward points for these services.

For any other eligible purchase, card members receive one True Blue point on every dollar.

JetBlue Card from American Express card holders can avail of Global Assist Hotline as soon as they travel more than 100 miles from home. This hotline helps Jet Blue card member in emergencies like lost passport, sudden illness, finding a lawyer or even finding an English speaking doctor if need be.

For those who like to shop, Jet Blue Card from American Express offers a complimentary ShopRunner membership worth $79 annually. With this membership, card holders get free 2-day shipping at 80+ online stores.

From time to time, select Jet Blue flights offer surprise gifts for Jet Blue card members. One such surprise gift was a complimentary glass of cocktail, wine or beer on showing their JetBlue Card from American Express. This complimentary gift-scheme was operated on select Jet Blue flights from 11/1 to 12/31/2013.

Social media addicts can share their Jet Blue flying experience at Sofly, a social media space exclusive for Jet Blue card members. They can share their Jet Blue photos, travel tips, traveling experiences etc with others on Sofly. Card holders can link their Facebook and Twitter accounts to Sofly page and continue their social media experience.

Overall, the detailed customer service, complimentary gifts and reward point schemes are appealing for card members of JetBlue Card from American Express.  I would have loved it even more if Jet Blue offered the first ticket as complimentary or at a concession instead of making me wait till 5000 Jet Blue points show up in my account.

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