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What to Do If You Are Sitting on Unused JPMiles

Rithika V Karumbaiah
Image source: fanjianhua/Freepik

If you had a Jet Airways flight that was scheduled to take off on April 18, then you probably are one of the many passengers who must have felt the pinch of the carrier temporarily suspending all flights. A move that the airline took after failing to secure adequate funding.

An inconvenience to passengers, undoubtedly, but also an inconvenience to credit card holders.

Why?

Well, if you own a travel credit card, chances are that your bank has a tie-up with an airline’s frequent flyer programme. Chances also are that the frequent flyer programme in question is Jet Airways’ JetPrivilege.

So, as a cardholder who has diligently used their card in the hope to earn enough points to convert to miles, what do you do now that Jet has decided to ground all flights?

In fact, cardholders have been pushed into three corners:

  1. They’re wondering what to do with their JPMiles.
  2. The ones who have Jet Airways co-branded credit cards are wondering if they should continue using their cards.
  3. The ones who have unused credit card points (and whose card issuer has partnered with Jet Airways’ frequent flyer programme) are wondering what to do with their points. Well, here are some of the options.

    If you are a JetPrivilege member with unused JPMiles, you can…

1. Keep your worries at bay, thanks to Etihad

While Jet’s flights may be non-functional, its frequent flyer programme JetPrivilege is still going strong. In fact, it’s still actively enrolling new members.

Why would it do this, you ask?

Well, you see JetPrivilege is separate from Jet Airways. In fact, 50.1% of JetPrivilege is now owned by Etihad Aviation Group (thanks to its investment in Jet). Because of this, JPMiles still carry some worth. So, you can still redeem your JPMiles for hotel stays, fuel, and more.

The question is can you redeem your miles for air tickets?

You can’t redeem them for Jet Airways’ tickets (obviously). But you can redeem them for tickets from one of their 25 partner airlines, including Etihad Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, and more.

So, if international travel is on your itinerary, you are good to go.

The same goes for domestic travel, you can redeem your JPMiles for airline tickets from Indigo, GoAir, SpiceJet, and Air India.

2. Take a look at what you can get from the JetPrivilege Reward Store

While it honestly doesn’t seem likely that JetPrivilege is going to close and leave you sitting on a mountain of unused air miles, there are other ways you can redeem them if you prefer cutting your losses as soon as possible.

Over the years, JetPrivilege has grown to become more than just a frequent flyer programme. In fact, it has grown to become a rewards redemption portal. Anything you could ever want (be it shoes, perfume, or a stay at a 5-star hotel) can be bought with JPMiles. The only caveat being, you need to have enough JPMiles.

So, for those of you not looking to travel soon, this is another option you can take advantage of.

If you’re a Jet Airways co-branded cardholder, you can…

1. Request to transfer

If you own a co-branded credit card, your card issuer may give you the option of transferring your Jet Airways co-branded card to that of another variant.

This, however, is entirely dependent on the card issuer. But, with regards to using your credit card, you shouldn’t have any problem since your card is issued by the bank and not Jet Airways.

2. Continue earning JPMiles

If you own a Jet Airways co-branded credit card, you will continue earning JPMiles on your transactions. And since you can redeem them for a multitude of things, Jet grounding its airlines shouldn’t really affect how you use your card.

If you have unused credit card reward points, you can…

1. Still redeem your points for air miles

Check whether you can redeem your credit card reward points to any other frequent flyer programme if you have do not want to convert them to JPMiles. Most travel credit cards are partnered with multiple frequent flyer programmes whose air miles can be redeemed for a number of partnering airlines.

2. Redeem your points for travel vouchers

You can also redeem your credit card reward points for a travel voucher. This is (sort of) the best of both worlds. You use your points and you save on travel.

Besides travel vouchers, you can redeem your points for lifestyle, entertainment, retail, and dining vouchers as well. All of which you probably already know.

What does all of this mean?

As you can see, there really isn’t any reason to be anxious when it comes to your JPMiles. However, if you are sitting on a pile of unused JPMiles, consider redeeming them sooner rather than later.

Why?

Well, simply because while JetPrivilege is going strong right now, its future still hangs in the balance. Etihad may be supporting the frequent flyer programme for the time being, but if its investment falls through there is every chance that your JPMiles will end up being worthless overnight (à la Kingfisher frequent flyer miles).