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The American Airlines AAdvantage® Mile Up® and JetBlue Plus Card are great cards for everyday purchases and also for those who enjoy traveling.
However, there are some key differences that will influence which card would be the best choice for you.
Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?
Without a scenario comparison, it's difficult to understand the actual reward potential.
We'll assume you fly on a fairly regular basis, but not necessarily every month, because American Airlines AAdvantage Mileup is more of an everyday spending card and JetBlue Plus Card great travel rewards. We'll also assume you book your flights and accommodations through the JetBlue portal.
However, keep in mind that the numbers should be adjusted to your regular spending categories, which may differ – so the exact calculation is dependent on your personal habits.
Compare The Perks
American Airlines AAdvantage® Mile Up®
- Savings on American Airlines Inflight Purchases: When you use your card to pay for food and beverages on your American Airlines flights, you’ll enjoy a 25% saving.
- Loyalty Points: You’ll earn one loyalty point for each eligible mile you earn from purchases.
- No limit on Rewards: There is no limit to the number of miles you can accumulate.
- Authorized users : You can add authorizes users to your account and earn miles on their purchases as well.
- Anniversary Bonus: You’ll earn a 5,000 point bonus each year on your account anniversary.
- Free Checked Bags: You and up to three companions traveling on the same reservation booked with your JetBlue Plus card can receive free first checked bags.
- Annual Statement Credit: You’ll receive $100 statement credit annually after you purchase a JetBlue Vacations package of $100+.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Unlike the AAdvantage MileUp, the JetBlue Plus card does not have foreign transaction fees.
- Mosaic Benefits: If you spend $50,000+ on purchases with your card each calendar year, you can enjoy Mosaic benefits.
Compare The Drawbacks
Of course, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp and the JetBlue Plus , like all credit cards, have potential drawbacks that may influence whether they are a good fit for you.
So, to help you make an informed decision, we'll highlight potential drawbacks here.
American Airlines AAdvantage® Mile Up®
Many AAdvantage cards offer money saving American airlines perks such as priority boarding or free checked bags, but this card does not offer any such features.
Although it has a low spend requirement, you’ll only get 10,000 bonus points as the introductory offer for this card. This is quite low compared to the JetBlue Plus and other similar travel cards.
The best redemption options for this program are seat upgrades and award miles. So, if you’re looking for a card with more flexible reward redemptions, this is not a good choice for you.
While this is a travel card, if you use your card abroad, you’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee.
While this card does offer more benefits than the AAdvantage MileUp, there is an annual fee that is not waived for the first year. If this is a problem for you, you could opt for the JetBlue, but there are fewer benefits.
JetBlue does not publish award charts, showing how many points are needed for specific routes. This makes it harder to find the best possible deals, as the number of points you need will fluctuate.
While JetBlue is a growing airline, it only has a larger footprint domestically, in Central America and the Caribbean. This means that if you don’t live near a JetBlue hub, you’ll need to take connecting flights, negating the benefits of your card.
Compare Redemption Options
With the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp card, you can earn 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar on grocery stores and eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases.
You can redeem your Aadvantage miles to travel to over 1,000 destinations globally. American Airlines awards have flexible options, so you are not limited by black out dates or other restrictions. You can also use your miles for hotel stays, vacation packages, car rentals, first class or business upgrades.
JetBlue Plus offers 6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1X points on all other purchases. You can use your accumulated points to book one way or roundtrip award JetBlue flights with no blackout dates. The amount of points is directly linked to current fares, so the redemption levels can vary. You simply need to select points rather than dollars when searching for flights.
You can also use your points to pay for the air portion on TrueBlue vacation packages, or Hawaiian Airlines flights. However, JetBlue allows you to use a combination of points and cash, so you don’t need to delay booking your next vacation.
Overall ,JetBlue plus bonus is more attractive. However, there are some airline cards that offer similar and even better welcome bonus, such as the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card that offers 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months, or the United Quest card which offers 60,000 bonus miles + 500 PQPs after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, but has higher annual fee.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your AAdvantage Mile Up , there are some tips to help you:
- Be Flexible When Redeeming Miles: The redemption rates for AAdvantage Miles can vary greatly, so the best way to maximize your card benefits is to carefully research the flight options. If you’re flexible about your travel dates, and are prepared to compare the cash value of the flights to see which offers the best redemption rates.
- Have a Plan: The average redemption rate for AAdvantage Miles is 1.2 cents per mile, but if you simply book any flight, you could end up getting far less than this rate. However, with some careful planning, you may even be able to get a better rate.
If you want to make the best use of your JetBlue Plus, there are some tips to help you:
- Check the Desktop for the best deals: While the JetBlue app is user friendly, it can only perform basic fare searches. So, if you’re looking to get the best flight deals, use the “Best Fare Finder” tool on the main website. This allows you to compare prices for different days and you can check multiple months at a time. So, if you have some flexibility about your travel dates, you could save thousands of points.
- Pay for Upgrades: While JetBlue has built a reputation for being a low cost carrier, you can use your points for upgrades with Mint products. Mint has premium features including lie flat beds, great food, and plush bedding.
- Pool Points: JetBlue has one of the few airline reward programs that allows you to combine points with friends and family. You can create a pool account with up to seven people, which means that you can share miles to have sufficient for your flights without needing to pay transfer and processing fees. Just be aware that all parties in the pool can access the points, so only pool with people you can trust.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp
Satisfied borrowers report that you can get credit limit increases with continued positive account activity, which could help you to boost your credit score.
Negative reviews highlight that there are some issues with the grocery store purchase category. There are numerous complaints that the definition of grocery store is a little complicated and customers have had difficulty getting the miles when they purchase groceries as the purchases are classified as “merchandise”.
Satisfied customers report happiness at the ease at which you can qualify for the intro bonus and the ongoing rewards, which make it easier to accumulate sufficient rewards for JetBlue flights.
Negative reviews highlight issues with slow posting of the points. Some customers have complained about having to wait several months for the points to hit their accounts, which can be problematic if you have travel plans for the near future and want to use the points to cover the flights.
While these cards may not have the benefits and perks of other travel cards, these cards have minimal annual fees. This makes them a great choice for the less frequent flier who doesn’t travel enough to cover a hefty annual fee.
However, there are some crucial differences between these cards that will impact which one is the better choice for you.
Why You Might Want the AAdvantage MileUp?
The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp is a great option that could be good if:
You don’t want to pay an annual fee: Most airline cards carry an annual fee that means that you need to recoup sufficient rewards to cover this fee before you start to seriously benefit from the card. However, the AAdvantage MileUp does not have an annual fee, so you can start to enjoy savings immediately.
You want to earn bonus rewards on your groceries: Another common characteristic of airline cards is that they tend to heavily prioritize airline purchases. However, you’ll earn two points on American Airlines and grocery store purchases with this card.
You want to earn loyalty points to boost your AAdvantage status. You’ll earn one loyalty point per dollar, but you’ll need 30,000 or more to earn the lowest tier; the AAdvantage Gold.
When You Might Want the JetBlue Plus?
The JetBlue Plus Card is a solid choice if:
You Want to Earn Points in Other Categories: Most airline cards only offer points on airline purchases, but the JetBlue Plus card offers great point rewards on grocery store and restaurant purchases, so it is a good choice for everyday use.
You Want Free Checked Bags: You and up to three travel companions can get first checked bags free, which has savings of up to $140 per one way trip.
You Want Mosaic Perks: If you spend $50,000 or more on your card in a calendar year, you’ll enjoy Mosaic status that offers early boarding privileges, first and second bags free, non change/cancel fees, free wine, beer and cocktails on board and other benefits.
Compare The Alternatives
If you're looking for an airline credit card with travel rewards – there are some good alternatives you may want to consider: