An important disclaimer: boys and girls, don’t try this at home! I don’t plan to take out a mortgage in a near future, so I’m OK with abusing my credit score in the manner described below. It doesn’t mean you should follow my lead.
So, guys, I’ve been a very bad girl. Remember my post on getting denied for card, after card, after card? So, you would think I was planning to slow down, take a break from applying for at least few months. Wrong! That’s not how points addict’s brain works.
At the end of the post I jokingly mentioned that I was thinking about applying for Jet Blue offer of 60,000 points (annual fee is $99, not waived) Direct Link (doesn’t pay commission)You have to spend $1,000 in 90 days, according to T and C:
I was definitely joking at the time because: 1) Look at all the recent denials from other issuers 2) Barclay rejected two of my apps for Aviator card within the last few months, so I felt my chances of success with Jet Blue offer were slim.
But this is a very attractive bonus, double from what Barclay usually offers on this particular product. It’s basically an equivalent of buying Jet Blue points for 0.17 cents apiece, factoring in non-waived $99 annual fee. I mean, how could I NOT apply, right? So I did…and it went to pending status. I figured that was the end of it.
I didn’t have much hope for approval, obviously, so what is a gal to do? Apply in her husband’s name, that’s what! That one went to pending status as well. Ugh. Demoralized after these unwelcome (though totally expected) developments, I started looking for other ways to get my fix. Few weeks prior I got targeted offers from Fifth/Third bank (say that ten times in a row). I won’t share a link because like I said, the offer was tied to our SSNs. We would each have to spend $500 to get $250 bonus.
That’s a bit low by my usual standards. Still, $500 is $500. I can sure use that money for one fancy Bora Bora dinner. Plus, minimum spending requirements are quite low. I decided to go ahead and apply in each of our names. And this is what the page said :
All four cards were approved in the end!
I can hardly believe it either. And no reconsideration calls were required. This just goes to prove my point that with credit cards you never know unless you apply. Obviously, trying to beat Chase 5/24 rule is pointless, it’s not gonna happen unless you are pre-approved in branch. But I didn’t see any recent data points that Barclay has instituted any restrictions on Jet Blue card.
I also didn’t really want to take any chances because I feel like this offer could disappear at any moment. It is a legitimate link, but it doesn’t show up on Barclay website, so there is no commitment on bank’s part. I don’t really have any solid plans for Jet Blue within the next few years. However, I felt strongly that this is the right time to “buy.” Aside from the fact that the bonus is at an-all-time-high, here are few additional reasons:
1) Jet Blue has an excellent coverage from Florida, specifically Orlando and Tampa airports. One route I’m particularly intrigued by is Orlando-San Jose (Costa Rica). I’ll have more on this topic at a later date. Jet Blue also flies non-stop to Boston and few other major US cities.
2) The program is revenue-based. This is great news for families like mine. It means that I don’t have to worry about award availability. As long as a seat is available for sale, I can book it with points. Obviously, when you travel last-minute the price will usually be quite high. It’s a tradeoff, no question about it.
I wrote a post highlighting some advantages of Jet Blue program, and mentioned that very often you can get around 1.4-1.7 cents per point. Not too shabby!
3) You can pull points between accounts within the same family. Again, a very nice feature.
4) Jet Blue points never expire. For realz, no strings attached. This is obviously great news for those of us who fly infrequently. It’s the main reason I passed on 50k Cathay Pacific bonus (now 35k aside from targeted offers). While my mileage supply is pretty much depleted at the moment, I didn’t want to be under pressure to use up those miles within the next three years.
While I do think renewing the card makes sense for those who plan to fly Jet Blue in a near future (due to 10% mileage rebate, free bags and 5,000 points bonus), I will probably downgrade it to a no-fee version next year. Later, when I do have solid plans to fly, I will simply upgrade it again.
5) This one is a bit of a wishful thinking, but still. You know how Jet Blue has recently partnered with Icelandair? While you can’t currently redeem Jet Blue points on that European carrier, perhaps that will change in a few years. Maybe I’ll be able to book non-stop flight from Reykjavik to Orlando with my stash. Now that would be cool.
I may seem crazy, but I’m not really
Well, not completely. Yes, all these new cards mean that I will have to meet $6k in minimum spending within 90 days, factoring in recent BoA card approval. That said, this is the perfect time for me to take on this challenge. I just paid my property taxes with one of the cards, which took care of $1,200 right there. I did have to pay 2.8% fee (it was too late to send payment via Plastiq), but the bonus will more than make up for it.
In addition, our car insurance is supposed to renew next month, which requires a sizable chunk of money. I usually prepay 6 months’ worth in order to get a full-pay discount. I also take care of car payment via Plastiq (my referral link). And if I’m having a tough time at the end of three months, I can always do one of the things listed here The easiest options for me are prepaying power bill and buying a few Walmart gift cards.
Jet Blue credit card offer was simply a deal I couldn’t say No to. I did hesitate because I have zero new travel plans at the moment. However, I know we will fly at some point, so why not strike when the iron is hot? Who knows what kind of restrictions Barclay plans to implement in a near future.
So, if everything goes according to the plan, I should have 122k Jet Blue points in a few months. Now I just need to figure out when and how I’ll be spending them. Carper diem! Or I guess, I should say Carpe Jet Blue.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.