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The cheapest ways to fly in JetBlue’s premium Mint cabin

Sept. 07, 2021
9 min read
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Reviews of JetBlue’s premium Mint cabin have been almost universally positive since the product debuted back in 2013. It even took home the TPG Award for best domestic business class multiple years in a row. The seats are spacious and private, the food and drinks are consistently great, and perhaps most importantly, it's often reasonably priced.

We’ve seen Mint routes for under $300 per person, so it’s possible to score a relative deal for this comfortable inflight experience. Also, although the airline isn’t a part of any formal airline alliance, there are a few ways to book Mint with points and miles. Today, we’ll look at both revenue and award options to find the cheapest ways to book JetBlue Mint.

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(Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

Aircraft and routes

JetBlue’s Mint product is only available on select A321, A321neo and A321LR aircraft. You'll find these planes operating a growing number of transcontinental, Central American, Caribbean and U.K. flights. Here are some key Mint routes:

  • New York-JFK to/from Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Aruba (AUA), St. Maarten (SXM) and London (LHR).
  • Newark (EWR) to/from Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Aruba (AUA) and St. Maarten (SXM).
  • Boston (BOS) to/from Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and St. Maarten (SXM).
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to/from Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR), Miami (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

Note that some Mint routes are seasonal or operate just once a week, so make sure to check JetBlue’s schedule carefully when planning your trip dates.

Related: The best premium cabin seats in the US and how to book them

(Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Aside from on the new A321LRs flying to London and select A321neo flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles (which offer even better seats), JetBlue offers a consistent business-class cabin across its Mint-equipped fleet.

There are 16 Mint seats spread across five rows, with each row alternating between a 2-2 configuration (odd-numbered rows) and 1-1 configuration (even-numbered rows). All seats are fully lie-flat and feature a massage function, a built-in power outlet, USB port and seatback entertainment. That said, the seats in the even-numbered rows offer the most privacy, complete with closing doors.

First look: JetBlue’s brand-new Mint Suite, Mint Studio business class

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Booking JetBlue Mint with cash

Not surprisingly, the most straightforward way to book Mint tickets is naturally with cash. As mentioned, we've seen Mint fares go for under $300 one-way. However, you can usually expect to pay around $600 each way on cross-country routes, $500 each way on Caribbean routes and around $1,000 to the U.K.

To see if we could determine a time or route that was consistently the cheapest, we searched 14 Mint routes for a one-way ticket for both close-in dates (less than 72 hours) and three months in the future. Here’s a chart of the results:

OriginDestinationClose-inFuture
BostonSeattle$697$499
BostonLos Angeles$808$759
BostonLas Vegas$813$846
New York-JFKSan Francisco$959$817
New York-JFKLos Angeles$799$667
New York-JFKSeattle$1,148$548
New York-JFKLondon Heathrow$1,979*$992*
New York-JFKSt. Maarten$430$430
NewarkAruba$890$640
NewarkSt. Lucia$435$435
Los AngelesNewark$992$648
Los AngelesMiami$949$499
Los AngelesFort Lauderdale$699$599
Los AngelesLiberia$442$442

*Price each way when booking a round-trip ticket

Overall, the Caribbean Mint routes are typically going to be your best chance at flying Mint at the lowest prices. Booking a couple of months in advance will often score you lower prices, but the differences aren't always that significant. In one of our examples, it was cheaper to book close-in than far out so there's no hard and fast rule there at the moment.

Related: The best credit cards for booking flights

How to book JetBlue Mint with points

There are three main ways to book JetBlue Mint tickets with points. You can either redeem directly through JetBlue TrueBlue, Emirates Skywards or your credit card's travel portal. Some transferrable card points such as Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards also transfer into the JetBlue program. Although you can also book JetBlue flights with HawaiianMiles, it doesn't have an avenue to book Mint tickets.

While booking Mint seats via TrueBlue might seem like the most obvious option, it is rarely the most valuable. JetBlue uses a dynamic pricing scheme so the price of an award flight will always be tied to the cash rate. The more a flight costs in cash, the more it will cost in points.

TPG values TrueBlue points at 1.3 cents per point. However, based on our experiences, the redemption value tends to be around 25% lower for Mint award tickets than for the rest of the seats on the plane. As such, you'll usually be better off saving your points for economy redemptions.

(Screenshot courtesy of jetblue.com)

Luckily, in July, Emirates Skywards began offering Mint redemptions. Previously, only economy awards were available.

Emirates prices JetBlue awards based on the distance flown. And in many cases, the redemption rates can actually be a good deal. Emirates’ award chart for JetBlue flights is as follows. As you can see, Mint is always double the price of economy in this program.

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
7,001-15,00060,000 miles120,000 miles

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).

JetBlue's new route from New York-JFK to London Heathrow would cost 64,000 miles (3,451 miles in distance). That said, reports suggest that U.K. flights are not bookable with Skywards miles yet. All other routes are bookable online via Emirates' website. As long as there’s "I" fare availability, it should be bookable through Emirates.

(Screenshot courtesy of emirates.com)

Considering transcontinental routes sometimes start around $900 each way, you can get about 1.7 cents in value per mile with these redemptions, which is pretty solid. If you need Emirates miles, you can transfer points to Skywards from all major transferable points programs, including Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1 ratio), Amex Membership Rewards (1:1), Bilt 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).

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

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The final option to consider is redeeming your transferable points at a fixed rate directly through your credit card's travel portal.

For instance, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you're able to redeem your points on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal for 1.5 cents apiece. This means that a $300 Mint ticket to the Caribbean would cost just 20,000 Chase points. Meanwhile, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card holders can redeem at 1.25 cents each toward travel in the Chase portal.

If you have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and receive the 35% Pay with Points rebate (up to 1 million points per calendar year), that ticket would come out to a very attractive 19,500 Amex points.

Bottom line

JetBlue Mint is a wonderful product and there are plenty of affordable opportunities to fly at almost any given time. The cheapest Mint fares are typically offered on flights to the Caribbean, but if you're booking far enough in advance, you can find good deals on cross-country and U.K. flights as well.

Although there historically haven't been many good ways to book Mint awards with points, this is no longer the case now that Emirates Skywards offers Mint redemptions. When cash fares are low, redeeming your points at a fixed value through your credit card's travel portal may also be an appealing option.

Additional reporting by Richard Kerr.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.