How I’m Earning 8 Miles/Points Per Dollar Spent at Amazon on ALL Purchases

The big news from yesterday was all JetBlue TrueBlue members can now earn 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent at Amazon when using a special, unique link in your TrueBlue profile or when shopping on Amazon while inflight on JetBlue using their Fly-Fi Wifi network. There appears to be no end date listed for this promotion nor any cap on the amount of points to be earned. The best part about this promotion is that is covers most Amazon purchases and in my personal Amazon shopping, it covers 100% of my purchases.

amazon-jetblue-promo

Direct Link to Bookmark to Access This Promotion.

Here are the excluded categories of which none seem to be of any major consequence.

  • Any product or service sold on a site linked to from the Amazon Site (e.g., a product or service listed through our “Product Ads” program or sold on a site linked to from a banner ad, sponsored link, or other link displayed on the Amazon Site)
  • Any wireless service plan offered through the Amazon Site and not sold or fulfilled by us
  • Any product, including games and other applications, sold through the Amazon Appstore for Android
  • Any product sold on fresh.amazon.com
  • Restaurant takeout
  • Any alcoholic beverage product
  • Any digital Kindle product purchased as a subscription (e.g., Kindle newspaper subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, blog subscriptions, etc.)
  • Any free trial subscription

This is a pretty big deal as this promotion has very few restrictions on what is not eligible, unlike many of the shopping portals out there. For example, TopCashBack (yes, this is my referral link in which we both earn $10) only offers cashback on Jewelry, Patio Lawn & Garden, Watches, Clothing, Amazon Home Services and Amazon Prime (though at a much higher percentage from 8.5% to 10% – so if shopping in those categories, use TopCashBack or other shopping portals). But now for those everyday purchases of soap and toilet paper, you can earn 3 additional points without having to worry about category restrictions.

Anyway going back to the title of this post, with the promotion I can now earn 8 miles/points per dollar spent on my Amazon purchases. Currently, I use my Chase Ink Bold business card to buy Amazon gift cards at Staples to take advantage of the 5x bonus category at Office Supply stores.  I’ve been doing this for years so I’ve always earned 5 Chase UR points per dollar spent at Amazon though at the trade off of price protection and extended warranties offered through my credit cards.  Now factoring in 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent, I’m up to 8 total miles/points earned for every dollar spent at Amazon.

For others trying to replicate this, even if you don’t have access to a Chase Ink card due to not having a business or you are subject to the 5/24 rule, the Discover It cards offer 5% back this quarter at Amazon while historically the Chase Freedom has as well though not in this past calendar year. Another option would be the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card which offers 10% back on Amazon purchases though only for the 6 months of card membership. Using a fair value of 1.4 cents per TrueBlue point, your potential return on Amazon purchases could be 14.2% for the first 6 months of Amex Blue Cash Everyday card membership. Not too shabby!

Summary:

If you shop often at Amazon and buy many of your household goods from them (guilty), then this is an easy way to get an extra 3 points per spent dollar spent ON TOP of existing credit card rewards (in my case 5 Chase UR points per dollar spent). As mentioned above, shopping portals only offer a limited range of categories to earn cashback but with this promotion, you can basically buy almost anything on Amazon & earn an extra 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent.

I’m loving this promotion as I was going to make these “everyday” purchases anyway and now I can earn an extra several thousand points a year on my Amazon purchases just for clicking my unique link before I shop. With the amount I spend at Amazon yearly, there is no doubt I’ll earn a free flight (even if it is just a one way) with this promo so its well worth the few extra mouse clicks before shopping at Amazon. Kudos to JetBlue and Amazon for this exciting new promotion!

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A Quick, Positive Update on the JetBlue Barclaycard Transition

Last month, I posted about the transition of the JetBlue credit card from American Express to Barclaycard as we learned firm dates of the transfer which was occurring March 21st. In short, if you were an American Express JetBlue cardholder as of March 18th, the account would be transferred to Barclaycard and you would receive a new Barclaycard version of the JetBlue card. I argued for most people it would make sense to cancel the American Express JetBlue card so you would be eligible for the signup bonus (currently 30k) for the Barclaycard version. It appeared that if you cancelled by March 17th, then you would not receive the Barclaycard version.

JetBlue Conversion Date

Details of the transition of cards from Barclaycard

However, many readers and clients have reached out to me stating they still received a new Barclaycard JetBlue card in the mail even though they had canceled their American Express JetBlue card in advance of the deadline (which was yesterday). I personally figured it was mistake by Barclaycard as maybe American Express did not provide Barclaycard with an updated list of current cardholders. One of my readers reached out to Barclaycard and got confirmation of what is actually happening. I’ve pasted his comment below of what Barclaycard messaged him via Twitter (bolding mine):

“First, let me assure you that if you have already closed your JetBlue Card from American Express, your account will not be converted to the new JetBlue Rewards MasterCard, issued by Barclaycard. To ensure that our cardmembers would be able to use their new JetBlue Rewards MasterCards immediately when the accounts are transferred to us on March 21, 2016, it was necessary to send the new cards prior to that date and at that time your account was still open with American Express. If you would like to confirm that your JetBlue Card from American Express account is closed, please contact American Express. Barclaycard will not be able to confirm the status of your account until after the conversion on March 21, 2016, but please be reassured that we will not maintain an account for you if you closed your account with American Express prior to March 21st. We hope this information is helpful and are very sorry for the confusion this has caused.”

New JetBlue Credit Card

New JetBlue Credit Card

That explanation makes a lot of sense as I assume Barclaycard wants its new customers to use the cards right away once the American Express cards will not work which is March 20th. Interestingly enough, I cancelled both my wife’s and my JetBlue Amex cards in mid January and we did not receive a Barclaycard version in the mail. While two isolated examples don’t prove anything, it does make me think the message Barclaycard gave my reader above was correct – there was simply a cutoff time, probably sometime in February, in which American Express sent a list of all current cardholders to Barclaycard and Barclaycard sent everyone on that list a card (probably assuming not many people would cancel in that month or so period).

I am very confident that if you cancelled your American Express JetBlue card on or before March 17th, than you have nothing to worry about. Barclaycard has confirmed they sent cards to members whose account very well could have been closed due to the timing of the transition of the JetBlue cards between banks. If you are still skeptical, than I encourage you to call Barclaycard on March 21st to confirm you don’t have an active JetBlue card with them. I would still hold off on applying for the new JetBlue until March 21st when Barclaycard receives the final, active list of cardholders so they do not think you are an active cardholder.

JetBlue 25% Off Award Flight Promotion: 7,700 Points for a Roundtrip to the Caribbean! 

It has been a while but JetBlue is having an award sale once again on flights with 25% off most award flights. It is actually a solid promotion as I’ve found roundtrip flights to the Caribbean for as low as 7,700 points!  

For this promotion, the travel period is almost two months long from 4/26 to 6/16, there are no restrictions on destinations and only Sundays & dates around Memorial Day are excluded. Flights must be booked by 3/4 to lock in the 25% off. Flights won’t be discounted less than 3,500 points and while I normally don’t advocate transferring American Express Membership Rewards points over to JetBlue, it might make sense in this case to top off your account for a discounted award flight. 
I spent a few minutes poplin around for deals and as mentioned above I see some great flights available from NY to the Caribbean for as low as 7,700 points roundtrip for non-stop flights! I also see 7,000 points flights on to many US destinations. These amounts are literally less than half of any roundtrip Avios award flight as those start at 15,000 Avios now. 

I think there are some great deals to be had with this promotion – share your findings in the comments!

New JetBlue Credit Card Details Released + Why You Should Cancel the American Express JetBlue Card Before March 17th

Update: No need to worry if you received a Barclaycard JetBlue card in the mail before 3/21 and you had already closed your American Express JetBlue card.

Earlier this week, several bloggers broke the details behind the new JetBlue credit cards (both a personal and business version) issued by Barclaycard starting in March this year. I highly recommend reading Doctor of Credit’s review of both cards as I find this the most through review I’ve read but here are a quick few highlights of the cards.

New JetBlue Credit Card

New JetBlue Credit Card

Personal Card:

  • 5% Points Rebate When Redeeming Points (no limit)
  • 4x earnings on JetBlue purchases (used to be 2x), 2x earnings on Restaurants/Grocery Stores, 1x earnings on Everything Else
  • $100 Companion Discount if converted from American Express & spend $500 by June 30th
  • 50% Discount on Inflight JetBlue Purchases
  • $40 Annual Fee (same as before)

Business Card:

  • 10% Points Rebate When Redeeming Points (no limit)
  • 6x earnings on JetBlue purchases (used to be 2x), 2x earnings on Restaurants/Office Supply Stores, 1x earnings on Everything Else
  • 5,000 Anniversary Points Every Year
  • Free Checked Baggage
  • $99 Annual Fee (was $40)

Compared to the American Express product, this is a semi-competitive card if you are a regular JetBlue flyer. With my home airport being JFK/LGA, JetBlue is an airline on my radar for domestic/Mexico/Caribbean trips so I plan on obtaining one, if not both of these cards at some point.

Speaking of that, last month I argued that if you are a current JetBlue American Express card holder you should consider canceling your card before the transition in hopes of being able to get the signup bonus on the new JetBlue card. We didn’t know when the transition was occurring but per this letter I just received from American Express (even though my account has been closed for 2 weeks), we now know that any open, existing American Express JetBlue card account will be transferred over to Barclaycard on March 21st. Additionally, March 17th is the last day to cancel the American Express card if you don’t want it converted to the Barclaycard version.

JetBlue Conversion Date

While it is still true we do not know for certain that Barlcaycard will offer a signup bonus on these new cards, I feel confident that we will see at some point a signup bonus of at least 20,000 TrueBlue points (and possibly more). This is not like the transition from the US Airways card to an AAdvantage card for Barclaycard – this is completely new account for Barclaycard and they have the ability to offer this card to new cardholders. Hence why I believe they will offer a signup bonus to entice new customers to get the card.

Hopefully Barclaycard will make the signup bonus known before March 18th so you can wait as long as possible before deciding on what to do with your current American Express JetBlue card. However if they do not, I would be willing to gamble on losing the $100 companion discount in hopes of getting a signup bonus at some point in 2016. I’ve already gone ahead and closed my card (and my wife’s) two weeks ago with no regrets.

What do others think of this strategy?

I Canceled My JetBlue American Express Credit Card and You Should Too

I know the JetBlue American Express card is not a popular card for many of us but I applied for one right before American Express instituted the once in a lifetime policy for signup bonuses since I previously had this card before my travel hacking ways. I’ve kept the card and paid the $40 annual fee since then as I was making money off this card from Amex Offers with my card and several authorized users on it. That all said, I think now is the time to cancel the card – in fact, I just canceled my own and I’ll go over my reasons for doing so.

RIP JetBlue Amex

RIP JetBlue Amex

As you might be aware, American Express lost the JetBlue contract to Barclaycard last year and stopped accepting applications for new cardholders last fall. Everyone who is a current JetBlue cardholder will have their American JetBlue card transferred to Barclays on March 21st. This is the biggest reason why I am cancelling my card as I do NOT want American Express converting my card into the Barclaycard version.

The reasoning is actually quite simple – I tend to chase signup bonuses as my preferred method for earning points/miles and if I let American Express transfer my card to Barclaycard, I will lose out on the ability to earn a signup bonus on this new JetBlue card. At some point this year, Barclaycard will begin accepting applications for the their version of the JetBlue card. I have no clue what the signup bonus will be (or if there will even be one though I think it is highly likely there will be some sort of signup bonus) but if the have a similar promotion to American Express, the signup bonus could be at least 20,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points and I don’t want to lose out on the chance to earn 20,000+ points. This may not sound like a bunch of points but as someone who lives by one of their hubs, I actually prefer to fly JetBlue domestically and especially to the Caribbean.

If American Express is transferring these cards on March 21st, you have some time to cancel before this conversion happens. However, unless you are a frequent JetBlue flyer I would just cancel the card now or if given the option by American Express, convert it to another American Express product if you are given a solid offer (this has been happening for current Costco Amex card holders). In my scenario, canceling the card now gave me a pro rated annual fee refund of $13.33. It also freed up a spot for a new American Express credit card (remember you can have only a max of 4 credit cards) which I used to apply for a 25,000 point offer on the Amex Everyday.

For me, canceling this card was a no-brainer especially when considering the above items. Interestingly, I did not get any retention offers or offers to convert but then again I didn’t push that hard and decided not to HUCA. I have to think for many of you that closing the card will be the right decision if you want to pick up some easy JetBlue points from Barclaycard once their JetBlue card application is available.