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Miles and Points

This or that? Jetblue Mint with points or cash

I thought it’d be fun to start a new short series called This or That?, where I just deliberate with myself (and hopefully the readers) about decisions I’m trying to make in my travel. I’m always so affected by analysis paralysis I think the process of writing it out can be helpful. Plus, hopefully it gives you all food for thought as well.

Anyway, I feel like awhile back I saw a tweet or post to the effect of “you should never use Jetblue points on Mint”. Since Jetblue points are only worth one cent per point on Mint flights, the theory is there isn’t value there. Well, I just so happened to be planning to book a Mint flight and so I decided to take a look at whether booking with cash or points would work better for my situation.

So this or that – cash or points?

Option 1 – Book Jetblue Mint with points

So, do you really get 1 cent per point when booking Jetblue Mint? For reference, the other day I booked a flight where I actually got almost 1.5 cents per point of value so 1 cent per point is a huge dropoff. So I checked out the Mint flight I wanted, and when you include taxes and fees, it does come out to about 1 cent per point.

So the pros of booking the flight with points are obviously not paying any cash out of pocket and being able to save my cash for other things. Still, 43,400 Jetblue points would put a serious dent into my Jetblue balance and I totally get what people are saying. I could use 43,400 points for the $450 flight or I could use it for $650 worth of Jetblue flights. 

Still, not paying cash is super tempting.

Option 2 – Book Jetblue Mint with cash and the US Bank Altitude Reserve credit

The “that” in this scenario is booking Jetblue Mint with cash. ThOne thing I needed to calculate was how many Jetblue points I’d get in return for booking the flight with cash. If I booked with cash, I’d book with my US Bank Altitude Reserve (more on that later) so I’d be earning 6 points per dollar booking at So I’d get 2,700 points back which means my net cost if booking with points would be 46,100 points. If I booked using my Jetblue I’d double that return.

To be honest, the 2,700 points doesn’t mean too much to me, but I would book the flight with the US Bank Altitude Reserve. I took a retention offer around this time last year but forgot to use my $325 air travel statement credit so I need to use it before I call for retention again.

So, this or that?

So should I use the points or use the travel credit? I’m not sure there’s a “correct” answer here but I’m leaning towards using the travel credit because I don’t feel like gaming it I just want to get it over with and cancel the card (or get a reconsideration offer). That money is a sunk cost to me from a long time ago so it’ll feel like found money even though in reality it’s not.

I also am buying into the 1 cent per Jetblue point being not worth it. I mean, I can use Chase Ultimate Rewards or even the devalued CNB point and get more value.

What do you think?

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Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

7 thoughts on “This or that? Jetblue Mint with points or cash

  1. What about replacement cost? You can’t value your points in a vacuum! If you have a hard time generating B6 points (sounds like you might) then waiting for the 1.5cpp redemption makes sense, otherwise just burn them. There’s nothing “wrong” with using your AR travel credit though. Personally I like mint via the biz platinum at 1.5cpp.

    1. If I had biz Platinum I would totally do that great idea! I’m not in a vacuum don’t worry, I have no problem earning JetBlue. But great point I should have mentioned it

  2. I agree with Russ. Use bank points.
    Ultimate Rewards with Sapphire Reserve 1.5, MRs with ~1.54 with Biz Plat, TYP 1.25 with Premier, or CNB with ~1.2.

  3. Cash or points — I just don’t see the point in paying 4x for a lie-flat seat for a 5-hour flight. B6 has decent seats with free entertainment that you can upgrade to Even More Space for $30 or something. When they start service to London — sure, but for a medium-haul, I just wouldn’t know why (unless I were awash with points).

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