You can now book JetBlue Mint with Emirates miles — and it’s a good deal

Despite not being a member of a major alliance, Emirates lets you earn and redeem Skywards miles with more than a dozen partner airlines. Among them is JetBlue.

Since the beginning of the partnership, you could only use Emirates miles to book JetBlue economy flights. However, as reported by NerdWallet, that’s no longer the case.

Effective immediately, you can redeem Emirates Skywards miles for both economy and Mint (business class) flights on JetBlue. Even better, the redemption rates can oftentimes actually be a good deal.

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Emirates’ JetBlue award chart

As with most of its mileage partners, Emirates now prices JetBlue awards based on the distance flown. In the past, these awards were priced by specific routes.

Emirates’ award chart for JetBlue flights is as follows. As you can see, Mint is always double the price of economy.

One-way distance (miles)EconomyMint
0-2508,000 miles16,000 miles
251-50010,000 miles20,000 miles
501-1,00014,000 miles28,000 miles
1,001-2,00020,000 miles40,000 miles
2,001-3,00026,000 miles52,000 miles
3,001-4,00032,000 miles64,000 miles
4,001-5,00038,000 miles76,000 miles
5,001-6,00044,000 miles88,000 miles
6,001-7,00050,000 miles100,000 miles
7001-15,00060,000 miles120,000 miles

JetBlue’s Mint product is offered on transcontinental and select Caribbean flights and will soon launch on flights between the East Coast and London. In other words, most Mint awards will cost between 40,000 and 64,000 miles each way.

To give you an idea, here are the rates for some popular Mint routes:

  • New York-JFK to Aruba (AUA): 40,000 miles (1,951 miles in distance)
  • New York-JFK to Los Angeles (LAX): 52,000 miles (2,475 miles in distance)
  • Boston (BOS) to San Francisco (SFO): 52,000 miles (2,704 miles in distance)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Miami (MIA): 52,000 miles (2,342 miles in distance)
  • New York-JFK to London Heathrow (LHR): 64,000 miles (3,451 miles in distance)

Related: What it was like to fly JetBlue’s new Mint business class

Booking JetBlue awards with Emirates

Although Emirates’ search tool can be a bit wonky, these awards can be booked online.

In the search box on Emirates’ website, click “Advanced search: multi-city, promo codes, partner airlines.”

Then, select “book classic rewards flight,” “search partner flights only” and type in your itinerary. Based on our experiences, you shouldn’t check the “flexible dates” box as that results in an error message.

As long as there’s ‘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.)

That said, as I mentioned, Emirates’ website isn’t perfect. There will be times when an award should be available but won’t show on Emirates’ website. For instance, you can’t search for awards between New York-JFK and London yet.

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In these cases, call Emirates Skywards to book your awards over the phone. As an added benefit, phone agents can even put awards on hold for you. This is useful for when you want to book a flight but still need to transfer miles into your account.

Related: Best ways to redeem Emirates Skywards miles for maximum value

Is it worth it?

While redeeming Emirates miles for JetBlue economy flights is rarely a good deal, the same can’t be said for Mint redemptions.

Let’s take a look at the nation’s most premier route: New York-JFK to Los Angeles (LAX). Right now, the cheapest Mint fare you can find on this route is $898 one-way. When redeeming 52,000 miles for that ticket, you’ll get about 1.7 cents in value per mile.

Is this the maximum value you can get from your miles? No, but it still is a very solid deal. After all, TPG valuations typically peg Skywards miles at just 1.2 cents apiece.

By comparison, JetBlue’s own TrueBlue program is charging at least 82,200 TrueBlue points for the same flights. Since the program prices awards dynamically, you’ll rarely ever get more than 1.3 cents in value per point.

Related: The cheapest way to fly in JetBlue’s premium Mint cabin

You’ll get a similar value from your Emirates miles when redeeming for JetBlue’s new flights to London. Flights across the pond are currently pricing around $1,000 each way when booking a round-trip ticket. So, based on the 64,000-mile rate, you’ll get about 1.6 cents in value per mile. However, if you only need a one-way ticket, the cash fare jumps to over $2,500. In that case, using miles is truly a no-brainer as you’ll get nearly four cents in value per mile.

Obviously, the redemption value will vary based on the cash prices but as you can see, there will be times where it makes sense to redeem your miles. Considering JetBlue often offers Mint fares to the Caribbean for under $300 each way, those redemptions will likely be harder to justify.

Earning Emirates miles

The most exciting part of all of this is how easy Emirates miles are to earn. Even if you’ve never flown on the Dubai-based carrier, you can transfer points to its Skywards program from all major transferable points programs. This includes Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1 ratio), Amex Membership Rewards (1:1), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1), Capital One Miles (2:1) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred).

In other words, if you have a credit card that earns flexible points, then chances are you can transfer your rewards to Emirates to book these awards. While JetBlue also partners with all major transferable points programs, the transfer ratios are sometimes less attractive.

Related: The easiest airline miles to earn and why you want them

Bottom line

There historically haven’t been many good ways to book JetBlue Mint flights with points. The best option has often been to book through Chase Ultimate Rewards or another travel portal and redeem your points at a fixed value.

Needless to say, the ability to redeem Emirates Skywards miles for JetBlue Mint is a welcome addition. Emirates miles are extremely easy to earn and the value to be had with these redemptions can be compelling. Depending on the route, there’s a good chance you’ll pay fewer miles than if you were to book through JetBlue’s own TrueBlue program.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

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.

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