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Flying JetBlue Mint to the Caribbean — Reader Success Story

July 17, 2019
5 min read
Transatlantic business-class fares are ripe for JetBlue to disrupt.
Flying JetBlue Mint to the Caribbean — Reader Success Story
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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Jesse, who got a good price for business class seats by booking far in advance:

My girlfriend and I like to escape the New York winter in mid-January just after kids go back to school and prices fall; for next year, we set our sights on St. Lucia. Delta is our preferred airline and I'm a Platinum Medallion member, but the schedules for the trip we had in mind were really ugly. Everything went through Atlanta, and the only return flight required a 10+ hour overnight layover. We searched other options on Google Flights, but saw only connecting flights, some of which were pricier than we liked.

JetBlue is our second choice of airline, and we noticed it wasn't showing up in our search results even though we knew from experience that they operate a nonstop from JFK to UVF. It turns out the calendar hadn't extended into mid-January yet, so I signed up for JetBlue schedule alerts, hoping it might present a better option or at least put some price pressure on other carriers.

When the schedule opened up, I was surprised to see MINT as an option for Saturday flights, and shocked to see it offered for only 30,000 TrueBlue points each way. The seat map indicated these were the first two MINT seats on those flights, presumably meaning we were buying from a deeply discounted fare bucket. We both had a few TrueBlue points sitting in our respective accounts from previous flights (since they don't expire), and we created a pool which got us about halfway to the amount we needed.

A lucky targeted Amex transfer bonus of 250:280 got us the rest of the way there with points earned mostly through the 4x dining at restaurants bonus on the American Express® Gold Card and the 5x bonus for air travel [by booking directly with airlines] on the Platinum Card. A small Travel Bank credit for broken in-flight entertainment from an earlier flight took care of almost all the fees, with the rest going on the Platinum card.

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After we booked, we saw the next MINT seats pricing at 45,000 points each way. All this goes to show that there are deals to be had if you can plan far in advance, especially right when schedules are released. It might not be the longest MINT flight, but it's a fantastic way to both start and end a vacation!

You'll generally find greater award availability the further out you book, so if you're planning a trip well in advance, it helps to know when airlines make seats available for purchase. Some airlines maintain their booking calendars for a set period — for example, Delta consistently puts tickets on sale 331 days ahead of departure. JetBlue takes a different approach by making seats available for purchase anywhere from six to ten months out, and extends its schedule roughly every six weeks. The timing is unpredictable, but you can sign up for email notifications like Jesse did if you want first dibs. Booking early isn't always better, however, so don't despair if you're late to the game.

JetBlue Mint is TPG's choice for top domestic business class not only for the high quality of the product, but also for its relative affordability. Mint seats are routinely available for under $500 one-way, which is an excellent price for business class on a nonstop, transcontinental flight, and frequently less than what other airlines charge for inferior business class products with less room and no lie-flat capability. JetBlue partners with all the major transferable points programs, so there are plenty of opportunities to earn rewards toward Mint service — like Jesse did from he American Express® Gold Card and Platinum Card® from American Express.

However, be sure to check rates before transferring. JetBlue tethers award and cash prices, so while you can find exceptional deals on Mint seats when airfare is low, you'll still pay a premium when airfare is high.

Related: TPG Readers Share Tips on When You Should Book Award Travel

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Jesse a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can't respond to each story individually, but we'll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured image by Photo by Zach Honig / 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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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023