JT Genter at NerdWallet has stumbled on a very big find: Emirates Skywards miles can now be used to book JetBlue Mint. While the value isn’t amazing on all routes, this includes Mint Studio, and perhaps the sweetest sweet spot will be JetBlue’s Mint Studio from New York to London at 64K Emirates Skywards miles one-way.
I recently thought about the Emirates / JetBlue partnership specifically because I was thinking about a Mint route, but I dismissed the thought quickly because I “knew” that Emirates could only book JetBlue economy class. It is awesome to see that is no longer the case and a great find from JT.
Emirates previously had route-specific pricing for JetBlue flights, but they now offer a distance-based award chart for both economy and Mint class.
My first impression was that I was underwhelmed with the distance-based pricing. Transcontinental economy class for 26K each way or business class for 52K each way is not particularly exciting, especially when you consider that you can sometimes find Mint on transcontinental routes for around $500 (and sometimes even less) and there are many ways to book American, United, and Delta up front for fewer miles. However, for Mint Studio between New York(JFK) and Los Angeles(LAX) airports, it could be worth the splurge given that Emirates is transfer partners with everyone.
On that note, it is super easy to accumulate Emirates Skywards miles. As JT notes in his post, you can transfer from Amex, Capital One, Chase, Citi, or Marriott Bonvoy. Additionally keep in mind that Emirates Skywards is also transfer partners with Brex.
More interesting to me than the transcontinental possibilities is the route from New York-JFK to London-LHR. I wouldn’t mind flying the JetBlue studio if I needed to travel that route and at 64K miles one-way it is on part with most other business class pricing to Europe. It isn’t the best business class deal to Europe, but the price is on par with others for an onboard product that looks to be a step above many.
In terms of finding availability and booking, you’ll need to use the Emirates desktop site for now and you can book many routes online (Dave at Miles Talk notes that the interface can be very glitchy). Unfortunately, JT reports that certain routes, including New York to London, can not be booked online. The good news is that you can easily book these awards over the phone and you can even place a booking on hold while you transfer miles. That last part is awesome; I hate transferring miles while hoping that my desired award remains available. Being able to put the flights you want on hold before you transfer is awesome. The few times I’ve needed to speak with Emirates Skywards representatives over the phone, I’ve found agents to be quite competent and it sounds like JT’s experience was similar.
In terms of searching, you’ll need to find the P fare class for economy class availability or I fare class for business class availability. JT goes in-depth about how to find available flights, so it is worth reading his piece.
Overall, this is great news for fans of JetBlue Mint and those with easy access to Emirates Skywards miles (which is just about anyone with transferable credit card points). It won’t be the cheapest way to use miles to fly up front, but it can certainly be worth considering when Mint fits your plans.