The other day someone asked me what I thought about the jetBlue American Express Card as they live in Boston, jetBlue is one of the largest airlines flying out of Boston Logan Airport (and growing), and they want to earn as many points as possible to use towards free jetBlue flights. I took a good look at the jetBlue AmEx and found that when booking a Jet Blue Flight using the jetBlue AmEx, one earns 2 True Blue points per dollar spent. When used for non jetBlue spend, one earns 1 True Blue point per dollar spent. This points bonus is the only benefit you get from holding the card (unlike other AmEx cards like the Delta AmEx where you get priority boarding, free bag check, etc). I then thought about the American Express Premier Gold Card (which is a transfer partner with jetBlue) that earns 3 points per dollar on all airfare, 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries, and drugstores, and 1 point per dollar on all other spending. Then I did some math.
If you buy a $300 plane ticket with the jetBlue AmEx you would earn $600 True Blue points. With the AmEx Gold you would earn 900 Membership Rewards points. With a transfer rate of 250 Membership Rewards = 200 True Blue points that $300 jetBlue ticket bought with the Gold AmEx would earn you 720 True Blue points, 120 more than if bought with jetBlue’s own AmEx. That alone is worth having the Gold AmEx over the jetBlue AmEx and that doesn’t even take into account the 2 points per dollar earned for Gas, Grocery, and Drugstores vs the jetBlue 1 for 1 earning ratio.
I informed the gentleman that initially asked my thoughts about the card and he was more than pleased about this, saying that he would go for the Gold AmEx over the jetBlue branded one. It also doesn’t hurt that with Membership Rewards points, they give you transfer flexibility to numerous partners (Aeroplan, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Fairmont, Hilton, Priority Club, Radisson, & Starwood) depending on your travel needs and destination.