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Sweet Spot Sunday is a weekly series highlighting the best-value award redemptions across loyalty programs.
JetBlue’s Mint is one of the best business-class products in the skies, with excellent service and top-notch seats. Better yet, the airline recently rolled out all-new Mint Studios and Suites on planes operating JetBlue’s new London routes and a handful of domestic jaunts too.
That said, booking JetBlue Mint is tough if you’re on a budget. Cash tickets are expensive on most routes, and JetBlue’s own TrueBlue loyalty program prices Mint awards accordingly (read: You’ll need tons of points).
Thankfully, there’s a workaround: Booking with Emirates Skywards. Let’s take a closer look at how to leverage JetBlue’s partnership with Emirates to get a great deal on JetBlue Mint business-class awards.
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Why it’s a good value
JetBlue TrueBlue prices award tickets based on the cost of a cash ticket. Mint tickets aren’t cheap, so you’ll often find sky-high award prices as a result. For example, this mid-January flight from New York-JFK to Los Angeles (LAX) costs a whopping 82,200 points one-way.
Thankfully, there’s a way around this: Using miles from Emirates Skywards. Emirates and JetBlue have a long-standing partnership, and Emirates recently revamped its JetBlue award chart to include Mint flights. This isn’t to say that Mint flights are cheap this way, but you can expect predictable pricing that’s consistently lower than booking with TrueBlue points.
Here’s a look at Emirates’ JetBlue award chart. The JFK to LAX example above clocks in at 2,465 miles flown, so Emirates would charge just 52,000 miles for the same flight. This is a huge saving, especially if you need to transfer points from a credit card to book your ticket. By opting to transfer to Emirates Skywards instead of JetBlue TrueBlue, you could save over 30,000 points.
Or, you can book shorter routes like New York-JFK to Aruba (AUA) — which clocks in at 1,951 miles flown — for 40,000 points in business class. Again, this is usually far cheaper than booking with JetBlue TrueBlue.
There are two downsides to booking with Emirates, though. Unfortunately, you cannot book JetBlue’s new flights to or from the U.K. using Emirates Skywards miles. Additionally, Emirates Skywards has access to more limited award space than JetBlue TrueBlue, so you may need some flexibility to find bookable Mint award space.
How to book JetBlue awards with Emirates Skywards
Booking JetBlue awards through Emirates is pretty straightforward and can be done online — here’s a step-by-step look at how to do so.
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Step 1: Log in to your Emirates Skywards account
You’ll need an Emirates Skywards account before you can search for an award ticket. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one easily. For a limited time, new members can get 2,020 bonus miles by signing up using the invite code EXPO2020. Once you have an account, sign in to start the booking process.
Step 2: Search for award availability
In the search box on Emirates’ homepage, click “Advanced search: multi-city, promo codes, partner airlines.”
Then, click the “Book Classic Rewards Flight” and “Search partner flights only” buttons and enter your desired itinerary. Based on our experience, you shouldn’t check the “Flexible dates” box as that results in an error message. Also, make sure to select “Business Class” to find Mint seats.
Step 3: Pick your flight
You’ll then be shown all of the flight options available for your date. As long as there is “I” fare availability, it should be bookable through Emirates. Your best bet would be to use ExpertFlyer to search inventory and set alerts if there’s no availability. (ExpertFlyer is owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures.) If you see a flight you’d like to book, click on it to start the booking process.
Step 4: Confirm and pay
Now, follow the on-screen prompts to book your ticket. Although minimal, you’ll want to pay the taxes and fees with a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve so that you’re protected if something goes wrong during your trip.
How to earn miles for this award
The beauty of this sweet spot is how easy Emirates Skywards miles are to earn. You can transfer points to the Dubai-based carrier from all the major transferable points programs. This includes Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles and Marriott Bonvoy. All transfers are at a 1:1 ratio, with the exception of Marriott, which transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-point TrueBlue bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.
If you need to stock up on points, consider opening a Citi Premier® Card to start building your Citi ThankYou balance. The card currently offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. This is more than enough points to book a one-way JetBlue Mint ticket on any route.
JetBlue Mint is one of the best business-class products in the sky, and the airline’s partnership with Emirates makes booking the premium product cheaper and easier. Keep this redemption in mind the next time you need to fly transcontinental — you’ll have an excellent experience and save points at the same time.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.