We’re returning from a trip to New York where we flew with JetBlue, one of our favorite domestic airlines. They have a number of non stop flights from Orlando, and all their flights have seat back entertainment as well as free WiFi that works reasonably well. That ticks off many of the boxes for what we want when we travel. One of the negatives about JetBlue is that they joined with the other airlines (except Southwest) in raising checked baggage fees in the fall of 2018. So now the fee for your first checked bag is $30. That is unless you have the JetBlue Plus credit card.
I applied for this card just over a year ago when it had a 60,000 point sign up bonus (the current bonus at the time of this writing is 40,000 points). This article from Frequent Miler puts the value of JetBlue points around 1.4 cents each and I think that’s around the value I’ve gotten from them. Even having to pay the $99 annual fee the first year, I received points worth $840. Even at the current 40,000 bonus points, you’ll be getting $560 worth of points and that’s a great return.
The question is if the card is worth paying the $99 fee each year to keep it when you’re not getting the sign up bonus?
In the set up for this post, I wrote that we just finished flying on JetBlue. For this trip, their flight times and price met our needs. We needed to be to New York on Friday afternoon and were flying home on Tuesday morning so we’d have time to stop at the kennel and pick up our dog, cause, priorities people. Could you stay away from this face a day longer than you needed to?
Since you can redeem JetBlue TrueBlue points for any available flight with no capacity restrictions, I redeemed some of the points from the sign up bonus for our tickets (and still have some left over) and we prepared for our trip.
The weather during our trip was going to be in the 20’s to 30’s in New York the entire time. Being Floridians, we’re not prepared for those temperatures, neither physically nor emotionally. That meant bringing winter clothes somewhat equivalent to us going on an Arctic expedition. We were also going to see a show at Lincoln Center so we needed to dress appropriately. Needless to say, we each had to check a bag.
The normal charge for the first checked bag on JetBlue would be $30 and a second bag would cost $40.
So for us, it would cost $30 x 2 passengers x 2 flights = $120
Since we have the JetBlue Plus card, here’s what I saw when I checked in for our flights with Sharon and I checking one bag each.
Here’s the checked bag benefit of the JetBlue Card:
The cardholder and up to 3 travel companions on the same reservations, who have purchased Blue fares, will each receive their first checked bag free on JetBlue-operated flights that do not include first checked bag free. All ticket purchases must be made with your JetBlue Plus Card, and the primary cardmember’s TrueBlue member number must be entered at the time of booking.
To be honest, I didn’t charge the ticket purchase to my JetBlue card. I charged the $22.40 in taxes and fees from the two award tickets to our Citi Prestige card so we’d get the travel protections in case of any delays or cancellations.
For a single roundtrip on JetBlue, the JetBlue Plus card saved me $20. On top of that, I get 5,000 bonus TrueBlue points on the card anniversary date and 10% rebate on all award redemptions.
If you have an airline you fly often, it usually pays to have their co-brand credit card. Just by getting the baggage fees waived on a single round trip flight with two passengers, we saved more than the annual fee of the card. Getting bonus miles each year, a rebate on redemptions, discounted food and drinks onboard JetBlue flights is just a extra bonus.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary