Wow. I mean wow.
Here’s the deal. Emirates’ award chart has been updated to include the ability to book Mint flights using Emirates miles and I feel a bit chuffed with excitement.
Discovered this evening by miles guru JT Genter in an article for NerdWallet (great find, JT!), this represents a new and wonderful opportunity for my favorite game – Frequent Flyer Mile Arbitrage. This is simply finding the best ways to book a particular flight which is very often not with that program’s own miles. Given that JetBlue uses a revenue based redemption, it’s pretty much impossible to get outsized value for JetBlue points.
Even better, you can transfer to Emirates from all of the US credit card programs plus Marriott Bonvoy. That includes Chase, Citi, Capital One, and Amex. Even Brex transfers to Emirates.
Emirates published an award chart which is fixed, and that is where the opportunity lies. Viewable on this page, here’s the chart:
|Zone||One-way distance (miles)||Economy||Mint|
This means that you can fly a transcontinental flight like JFK-LAX or to the Caribbean for 52,000 miles in Mint. This even includes flights with the new Mint Studio – if you are lucky enough to find award space when you need it. JFK-London would be 64,000 miles.
On August 18th, as an example, I could a seat from JFK-LAX in Mint Class – with the new Mint Studio product – for 52,000 miles. This would cost 82,000 JetBlue TrueBlue miles.
Now, JT really does an excellent job of all the really fine details, so I’ll give you the abridged version. Please check his piece out if you need more details.
- You can only search on the desktop Emirates site, not the app.
- You will need to be sure to do an Advanced award search.
- On that screen you you’ll need to select Partner Flights
- Do not check the “Flexible Dates” box.
- If you want to confirm seats and if it’s got the new Mint product, you’ll need to search the seatmap on JetBlue.com.
- The Emirates site is buggy as heck. I got the flights to show, then nothing but errors after that. But you can call Emirates and agents can even put the flights on hold.
- If you have Expert Flyer, you can search that way, but you’ll need to search revenue fares, not awards, for an I fare for Mint or P for Economy. You can also use ITA Matrix (see JT’s instructions).
- If you see anything greater than I0, you should be able to book it. If you are nervous about phantom space, just call Emirates. (Not that I’ve encountered it, but the buggy website could give pause).
- Also, as JT points out, not all Mint routes appear on the Emirates website, in which case you’ll need to call.
Until now, there was no way to affordable book JetBlue Mint with a reasonably priced partner award chart. Emirates miles are easy to get via transferable points and, while a 52,000 mile transcon price may well be less exciting than just 12,500 using Turkish miles on United or 25,000 Etihad miles to book AA First Class transcon, this represents a way to get in to JetBlue Mint for as much as half off the cost in JetBlue TrueBlue points. This doesn’t mean that it will be the least expensive Business Class option for your route (and it usually still won’t be), but if you want to try Mint, this is your chance!
Huge hat tip goes to JT Genter / NerdWallet
^^ This bonus would get you 1.5 JetBlue Mint flights in North America / Caribbean. ^^
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.