Saving as a jpeg will always save with a white background but with png you should be able to retain the transparency you are looking for. Is there any reason for not being able to print directly from your AI file? AI will also retain transparency.
Here's a tip, when you are working on your design choose to view the transparency grid. View > Show Transparency grid. It will appear as a grey/white checked box under your artwork, this way you know which areas of the design will be transparent.
When exporting to PNG make sure that you choose Color > Transparent from the Background options.
Thanks Paul. Perfect.
I saved the png and retained the transparency. The page border still comes up as a faint black line. Any way of getting rid of that?
I'm not sure why that would happen. Do you have a stroke applied to page border?
You could open your PNG file in an image editing program, Photoshop for example, and crop it out.