Japan Airlines (JAL) is the flag carrier of Japan and a member of the Oneworld alliance. JAL main hubs are located in Tokyo at Haneda International Airport and Narita International Airport. It operates domestic and international flights to 220 destinations in 35 countries, including the United States.
See our list of the best credit card bonuses here.
Mileage Bank (JMB) is JAL’s frequent flyer program. Members from the United States can rack up on miles by transferring from partner loyalty programs, spending with a co-branded credit card, flying JAL or with any of its airline partners, and more. Redemption options include flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, merchandise and donations. Keep reading for all the best ways to earn and burn JMB Miles.
|Tokyo (Haneda & Narita)
|Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Kona, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
|U.S. Credit Cards
|JAL USA Card
|Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt
|Flights, upgrades, hotel & car rental bookings, merchandise, donations
JMB FLY ON Elite Status
JMB FLY ON is JAL Mileage Bank’s elite status program. It has three tiers: Crystal, Sapphire, and Diamond. To move up a tier, you need to collect a certain amount of FLY ON Points or hit a certain number of flights and FLY ON Points:
|FLIGHTS + POINTS
|30 flights + 10k points
|50 flights + 15k points
|120 flights + 35k points
Once you unlock a tier, you have that status until March 31st of the following calendar year, and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
|Oneworld elite status
|Advanced seat selection
|Yes + 1
|Yes + 1
|Extra checked baggage (domestic)
|Extra checked baggage (international)
|+ 1 bag
|+ 1 bag
|Priority baggage service
|Yes + 1
|Yes + 1
|JAL lounge access
|Yes + 1
|Yes + 1
|Oneworld lounge access
|Yes + 1
|Yes + 1
|Suspended mileage expiration
*This is the mileage bonus rate for JAL Group flights. Additional mileage bonuses are available for American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia flights.
**Eligible members can select their preferred benefit from the following options: bonus points, partner status, points for Ringbell Smart Gift (accommodation, meal tickets, gift tickets, home appliances, and etc.) and JAL coupons.
Once you reach Sapphire status, JMB will invite you to join JAL Global Club, an exclusive paid program. Global Club benefits include bonus miles on flights, priority airport service, extra baggage allowance, the use of exclusive lounges at airports and hotels, as well as gifts. The fee is 5,000 JMB Miles, 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
Compared to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles and other frequent flyer programs based in the United States, earning JMB Miles is not an easy task for Americans. Here are all the ways you can rack up on JMB 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.
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Hilton Honors members can also transfer points to their JMB account, but at a less attractive rate of 10,000 points to 1,000 miles. You can convert 5,000 World of Hyatt points to 2,000 JMB Miles as well. Both ratios yield bad value for your points, so we recommend only transferring if you’re looking to top off your JMB account for a specific redemption.
U.S. residents can also earn JMB Miles with the JAL USA Card, issued by the First National Bank of Omaha. Cardmembers get a 10,000-mile bonus for signing up, after spending $3,000 within the first three billing cycles. The premium version of the card ($70 a year) earns 1x JMB Miles on all purchases, plus a 10% mileage bonus on all JAL paid flights.
Earn JMB Miles when you fly with JAL and the following airline partners:
|Middle East & Africa
Royal Air Maroc
|Asia & Oceania
China Eastern Airlines
Other ways Americans can earn JMB Miles include:
- 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 more opportunities to earn JMB Miles, but they’re not as relevant to those living in the United States.
Redeeming JMB Miles
Most JMB members use their miles for award flights with JAL and partner airlines, JAL award fare depends on regions and booking class, while partner award fare is distance-based.
You can also 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.
Other redemption options are available, but they’re more appropriate for Japanese residents.
JMB Miles Expiration
JMB Miles are valid until the end of the 36th month after they were earned. For example, if you fly on July 15, 2021, your miles will be valid until June 30, 2024. Miles do not extend with earn and burn activity, so use them within three years or lose them.
JMB Tips & Tricks
Two-step transfers. Let’s say you don’t have Marriott points, but you do have Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Simply transfer your Chase points to your Marriott account, then convert to JMB Miles. Chase transfers to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. The same trick applies to American Express Membership Rewards,
JAL Family Club. This feature lets you pool miles for up to eight family members, including immediate family, parents and in-laws. Your Family Club membership is valid for five years and must be renewed if you want to continue.
Stopovers on awards. JMB allows you book up to three complimentary stopovers on the way to or from your destination. For example, fly from London to New York with free stopovers to Paris, Helsinki and Los Angeles along the way. Oneworld awards permits up to seven stopovers, 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.
Earning JMB Miles is not easy, especially for those who live in the United States. With the right credit card, however, you can collect enough miles to enjoy excellent benefits, including JMB’s generous stopover allowance. It’s the perfect frequent flyer program if you fly Japan Airlines or any of the Oneworld alliance carriers.
If you prefer to fly with Star Alliance airlines, consider joining ANA Mileage Club instead.