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JetBlue’s Mint seats are widely considered the best domestic Business Class seats and for good reason! These lie-flat seats are available on 19 routes, mostly from the Northeast to the Caribbean and West Coast.
Early this week, The Points Guy was tipped off by a reader to the fact that JetBlue points are now worth significantly less than they used to be when you redeem them for Mint seats. So I thought I’d put together a quick reminder of the best credit card points to use to book Mint seats.
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Best Credit Card Points for Booking JetBlue Mint Seats
JetBlue doesn’t have an award chart – instead, the points price of a flight varies with the ticket price. It’s pretty much the same as what Southwest does with their award redemptions.
JetBlue points are typically worth 1.3 to 1.4 cents each toward an award flight. So you can expect to be able to book a $200 flight for ~14,000 to 15,000 points + taxes. But when you look at the points price for Mint awards, you’ll notice the value you’re getting per point is just about 1 cent each.
So you might want to save those JetBlue points for other redemptions and use these credit card points instead!
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® here
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal. You can also pool the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards onto your Chase Sapphire Reserve and then use them to pay for travel at 1.5 cents each.
So, for example, you could earn the 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point bonus after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and turn that bonus into $1,200 in JetBlue Mint flights if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve.
You can read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve here.
2. U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
Apply for the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card here
The points you earn with the US Bank Altitude Reserve card are also worth 1.5 cents toward travel booked through US Bank’s travel site. And they’re even easier to use with US Bank’s Real-Time Rewards.
Once you’ve activated Real-Time Rewards for your account, you’ll get a text message every time you make an eligible travel purchase asking if you want to redeem points for the purchase. Click “redeem” and you’re done! This step-by-step guide explains how to setup Real-Time Rewards.
If you’re interested in applying for the US Bank Altitude Reserve card, you’ll need to have a relationship with US Bank before they’ll approve you for the card. That could be a bank account, loan, or credit card account.
If you want more details on either card check out our full review of the US Bank Altitude Reserve card.
3. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
With the AMEX Business Platinum card, you can use your AMEX Membership Rewards points to pay for travel, like Mint airfare, booked through the AMEX travel site. And you’ll get a 35% points rebate for any Business or First Class flight or any coach flight with your selected airline.
AMEX Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent each when using Pay with Points, but with 35% rebate, you’ll be able to get more value from them.
For example, the AMEX Business Platinum card has an up to 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point bonus. You can earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and an additional 25,000 points after spending another $10,000 on purchases ($20,000 total) in the same timeframe.
Once you include the points you earn from the minimum spending you’ll have at least 95,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points. Here’s the value of the airfare you could book with those points:
|Points||Value of airfare through the Amex Travel Portal||35% points rebate amount|
|95,000 Amex Membership Rewards Points||$950||33,250 Amex Membership Rewards points|
|33,250 Amex Membership Rewards points||$332.50||11,638 Amex Membership Rewards points|
|11,638 Amex Membership Rewards points||~$116.38||~4,073 Amex Membership Rewards points|
To use the Pay with Points feature, you need to redeem at least 5,000 points, but you can partially pay for the flight with points. As you can see, the with the rebate you can book almost $1,400 in airfare with those 95,000 original points. That’s a value of ~1.47 cents per point over 3 flights.
With the AMEX Business Platinum card’s points rebate, you can get up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. You can read our full review of the AMEX Business Platinum card here.
4. Options for Getting 1.25 Cents Per Point
If you have the American Express® Business Gold Card, you can use your AMEX Membership Rewards points to pay for travel just like with the AMEX Business Platinum card. And you’ll get a 25% points rebate for any First or Business Class flight or any coach flight with your selected airline.
The AMEX Business Gold card has a 35,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point bonus which you can earn after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Once you include the points you earn from the minimum spending, you’ll have at least 40,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points. Here’s the airfare you could book with those points:
|Points||Value of Airfare Through the AMEX Travel Portal||25% Points Rebate Amount|
|40,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points||$400||10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points|
|10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points||$100||2,500 AMEX Membership Rewards points|
You can get up to 250,000 points back per calendar year with the AMEX Business Gold card’s points rebate. If you only had 40,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points you’d be getting a value of 1.25 cents per point on your first 2 flights. And if you had more points, the value per point might increase slightly because you could make more redemptions since you need at least 5,000 points to use Pay with Points.
You could also keep things simpler and get 1.25 cents per Chase Ultimate Rewards point when you use them to book travel through the Chase Travel Portal with either the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. So if you don’t have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, those are solid options.
With JetBlue’s devaluation of their points when you use them to book Mint seats, what is your plan for using points to book those awards?
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Hat tip: The Points Guy