Japan Airlines is main carrier in Japan and a part of the Oneworld airline alliance. Located in Tokyo, you will find the JAL hubs at Haneda International Airport and Narita International Airport. It operates domestic and international flights to 220 destinations in 35 countries.
Mileage Bank (JMB) is JAL’s frequent flyer program. This program can still be a beneficial to join even if you don’t fly with Japan Airlines frequently. Find out how and other tips and tricks in this complete guide to Japan Airlines.
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Table of Contents
JMB Quick Facts
|Hub||Tokyo (Haneda & Narita)|
|U.S. Destinations||Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Kona, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle|
|U.S. Credit Card(s)||JAL USA Card|
|Transfer Partners||Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt|
|Redemption Options||Flights, upgrades, hotel & car rental bookings, merchandise, donations|
JMB FLY ON Elite Status
Upon joining Mileage Bank’s elite status program, you will automatically become a JMB FLY ON member. The three tiers below that are Crystal, Sapphire, and Diamond. To move up a tier, you need to earn a certain amount of FLY ON Points or hit a certain number of flights.
|Status||Elite Points||Flight + Points|
|Crystal||30,000||30 flights + 10k points|
|Sapphire||50,000||50 flights + 15k points|
|Diamond||100,000||120 flights + 35k points|
Once you unlock a tier, you have that status until the end March 31st of the following calendar year, and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
|Advanced seat selection||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Priority check-in||Yes||Yes + 1||Yes + 1|
|Extra baggage allowance (domestic)||+ 10kg||+ 20%||+ 20%|
|Extra baggage allowance (international)||+ 1 bag||+ 1 bag||+ 1 bag|
|Priority baggage service||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Priority security||–||Yes + 1||Yes + 1|
|JAL lounge access||6 coupons||Yes + 1||Yes + 1|
|Oneworld lounge access||–||Yes + 1||Yes + 1|
|Suspended mileage expiration||–||–||Yes|
After reaching Sapphire status, you are able to join an exclusive paid program. JAL Global Club provides members with benefits including bonus miles on flights, priority airport service, extra baggage allowance, the use of exclusive lounges at airports and hotels, as well as gifts.
It costs 5,000 JMB Miles to join, and renewal is waived if you earn at least 35,000 FLY ON Points or fly at least 14 JAL international flights.
Earning JMB Miles
Similarly Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles and other frequent flyer programs, the best way to earn JMB Miles is to fly with the carrier or with airline partners. Besides that, these miles are quite difficult for Americans to earn. Here are a couple ways that you can stock up on miles.
The best way to earn JMB Miles without flying is through their transfer partners. Marriott Bonvoy members can convert their points to JMB Miles at a three to one ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Points they transfer.
|Personal Cards||Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
|Business Cards||Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card|
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
With this card, you'll earn:
• 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program.
• 3X points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
• 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
$100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
This card comes with a $650 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. However, you can receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy(R). Certain hotels have resort fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Furthermore, enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass Select membership.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card offers 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
• Up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
• 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
• 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchase
• 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
You gain an automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
You'll receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year & an additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
This card does carry a $95 fee; there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card offers 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
• Up to 14X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
• 2X points for all other travel purchases
• 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
This card comes with no annual fees or foreign transaction fees and you'll get 15 elite night credits each calendar year!
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You can enjoy a complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
• 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
• 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
• 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
You'll receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy. Certain hotels have resort fees.
Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
This card does carry a $125 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
Hilton Honors members also have the ability to transfer points to their JMB account. You can convert 5,000 World of Hyatt points to 2,000 JMB Miles. However, we would recommend only transferring if you’re looking to meet the requirement on your JMB account for a redemption.
If you are a U.S. residents, you can earn JMB Miles with the JAL USA Card, issued by the First National Bank of Omaha. As a sign up bonus, cardmembers can get a 10,000-mile after spending $3,000 within the first three billing cycles. The premium version of the card (annual fee of $70) earns 1x JMB Miles on all purchases, plus a 10% mileage bonus on all JAL paid flights.
JMB can also be accrued when you fly with JAL or with the following Oneworld member airlines:
|The Americas||Alaska Airlines
|Middle East & Africa||Emirates
Royal Air Maroc
|Asia & Oceania||Bangkok Airways
China Eastern Airlines
You can also earn JMB Miles by:
- Booking accommodations with over 15,000 hotel partners.
- Booking accommodations with Booking.com, Agoda.com, Hotels.com and more.
- Booking car rentals with Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and more.
- Booking vacations and trips with VELTRA.
- Shopping at JAL Mileage Mall and JAL Mileage Bank World Marketplace.
There are even more ways to rack up on JMB Miles, but they’re not very relevant to U.S. residents.
Redeeming JMB Miles
Most JMB members use their miles towards award flights with JAL and partner airlines. The JAL award fare varies on regions and booking class, while partner award fare varies on distance.
Trade in your JMB Miles for:
- Upgrade awards on JAL international flights.
- Hotel & car rental bookings through JMB World Marketplace.
- Merchandise via JMB World Marketplace.
- Charitable donations.
Although JMB provides other redemption options, they are not very worthwhile for Americans.
JMB Miles Expiration
JMB Miles are valid until the end of the 36th month after they were earned. Miles do not extend with earn and burn activity, so use them within three years or they will go to waste.
JMB Miles Tips & Tricks
Two-step transfers. If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer your Chase points to your Marriott account, then convert to JMB Miles. Chase transfers to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. This also applies to American Express Membership Rewards,
JAL Family Club. Through this, you can pool miles for up to eight family members. Your Family Club membership is valid for five years and must be renewed.
Stopovers on awards. JMB allows you book up to three complimentary layover on the way to or from your destination. Oneworld awards permits up to seven layovers, which is quite generous in the award travel world.
Sweet spots. The following roundtrip itineraries are great deals for your JMB Miles. Keep in mind, stopovers will maximize your miles’ value.
|United States||SE Asia||Business||130,000|
If you fly Japan Airlines or any of the Oneworld alliance carriers, the JMB can be beneficial to travelers who fly with partner airlines or have transfer partners that this airline works with. On top of that, they offer plenty of money saving promotions and deals if you do decide to fly with this carrier.