Best High Value Flight Redemptions With Credit Card Points

Best High Value Flight Redemptions With Credit Card Points

Let’s jump right in to some of my favorite low cost, max value redemptions that are possible with credit card points! These are redemptions I would personally make and recommend to people! Note that not all of these cost charts explicitly mention the associated taxes and fees that come with an award redemption. These fees vary by route so it’s hard to give exact numbers.

ANA Business and First Class Between the US and Japan


Best Booking Program

The best program to book ANA is Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Unfortunately, Virgin does pass on fuel surcharges, so expect $200+ in fees for a one way ticket.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
Between west coast and JapanBusiness45,000 miles
Between west coast and JapanFirst72,500 miles
Between central/east coast and JapanBusiness47,500 miles
Between central/east coast and JapanFirst85,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

West Coast and CentralEast Coast
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 105/106)Washington D.C. (IAD) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 101/102 & NH 7028/7029)
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (NH 5/6)Chicago (ORD) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 111/112 & NH 7006/7009)
San Francisco (SFO) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 107/108 & NH 7011/7010)Chicago (ORD) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (NH 11/12)
San Francisco (SFO) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (NH 7/8 & NH 7012/7013)New York (JFK) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 109/110)
Seattle (SEA) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 117/118)
Honolulu (HNL) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 185/186)
Honolulu (HNL) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (NH 183/184)
Houston (IAH) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 113/114)

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Virgin Atlantic is a 1:1 transfer partner with Amex MR, Citi TYP, Chase UR, Capital One Miles, and Bilt Rewards.

How To Book

You must call Virgin Atlantic at 0344 209 2722 to book the award.

Notes

  • Virgin passes on fuel surcharges. Expect to pay $200+ one way for each award ticket
  • The Room/The Suite are only offered on routes with the 777 (JFK)
  • Virgin Atlantic is only good for booking direct flights to/from Japan. Not recommended to use Virgin when your final destination is not Japan/US

Japan Airlines Business and First Class Between US and Japan


Best Booking Program

The best program to book JAL is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan if you want a free stopover or are on the west coast. If you’re on the east coast, it’s better to use American Airlines AAdvantage Program. Both Alaska Airlines and American Airlines do not pass on fuel surcharges so you can expect to pay <$100 in fees for a one way award ticket.

Cost

Booking Through Alaska Airlines Cost
RouteCabinCost
Between west coast and JapanBusiness60,000 miles
Between west coast and JapanFirst85,000 miles
Between central/east coast and JapanBusiness85,000 miles
Between central/east coast and JapanFirst100,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip
Booking Through American Airlines Cost
RouteCabinCost
Between US and JapanBusiness60,000 miles
Between US and JapanFirst80,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

West Coast / CentralEast Coast
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Tokyo (HND) | (JL 15/16)New York (JFK) <> Tokyo (HND) | (JL 3/4 & JL 5/6)
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (JL 61/62)New York (JFK) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (JL 8005/8006)
San Francisco (SFO) <> Tokyo (HND) | (JL 1/2)Boston (BOS) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (JL 7/8)
San Francisco (SFO) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (JL 57/58)Chicago (ORD) <> Tokyo (HND) | (JL 9/10)
Seattle (SEA) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (JL 67/68)
San Diego (SAN) <> Tokyo (NRT) | (JL 65/66)
Dallas (DFW) <> Tokyo (HND) | (JL 11/12)
JAL First Class For Only 85k Miles!
Value Isn’t As Great When Including Intra Asia Segment
East Coast To Japan in Business For Only 80k Miles Booking Through AA
Same Route is More Expensive Booking Through Alaska

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Unfortunately no credit cards can transfer to Alaska Airlines. The only credit cards that earn Alaska miles are the Bank of America Alaska Visa personal card and business card. Bilt Rewards is the only program that can transfer to American Airlines. The other credit cards that earn AAdvantage miles are Citi AAdvantage cards or the Barclays Aviator cards. There’s also Bask Bank which can earn AAdvantage miles.

How To Book

You can book online at alaskaair.com and aa.com.

Notes

  • First Class only offered on the 777 (LAX/JFK/SFO)
  • Not as good value when including intra Asia segment
  • Free cancellation except for $12.50 partner booking fee
  • Alaska offers free stopovers

Cathay Pacific Long Haul Business and First Class


Best Booking Program

The best program to book Cathay Pacific is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
International Long HaulBusiness50,000 miles
International Long HaulFirst70,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

Routes Including USRoutes Excluding US
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Hong Kong (HKG) | (CX 881/882 & CX 883/884 & CX 885/886)Hong Kong (HKG) <> Paris (CDG) | (CX 260/261)
San Francisco (SFO) <> Hong Kong (HKG) | (CX 872/873 & CX 851/870 & CX 879/892)Hong Kong (HKG) <> London (LHR) | (CX 252/253 & CX 250/251 & CX 238/238 & CX 255/256 & CX 254/255)
New York (JFK) <> Hong Kong (HKG) | (CX 843/844 & CX 840/841 & CX 830/831)
Boston (BOS) <> Hong Kong (HKG) | (CX 811/812)
Chicago (ORD) <> Hong Kong (HKG) | (CX 806/807)
Cathay Pacific First Class For Only 70k Miles!

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Unfortunately no credit cards can transfer to Alaska Airlines. The only credit cards that earn Alaska miles are the Bank of America Alaska Visa personal card and business card.

How To Book

You can book online at alaskaair.com.

Notes

  • First Class only offered on the 777 (LAX/JFK/SFO/CDG/LHR etc.)
  • Premium award availability between US and Hong Kong basically nonexistent
  • Free cancellation except for $12.50 partner booking fee
  • Alaska offers free stopovers

Qantas Business and First Class or Fiji Airways Business Class Between West Coast and Oceania


Best Booking Program

The best program to book Qantas and Fiji Airways is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
West Coast and Australia/New Zealand/NadiBusiness55,000 miles
West Coast and Australia/New Zealand/NadiFirst (for Qantas)70,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

QantasFiji Airways
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Sydney (SYD) | (QF 11/12 & QF 4111/4112)Los Angeles (LAX) <> Auckland (AKL) with layover in Nadi
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Melbourne (MEL) | (QF 93/94}San Francisco (SFO) <> Nadi (NAN)
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Brisbane (BNE) | (QF 15/16)Los Angeles (LAX) <> Sydney (SYD) with layover in Nadi
San Francisco (SFO) <> Sydney (SYD) | (QF 73/74)
Dallas (DFW) <> Sydney (SYD) | (QF 7/8)
Dallas (DFW) <> Melbourne (MEL) | (QF 21/22)
Qantas First Class For Only 70k Miles!
Qantas Business Class For Only 55k Miles!
Fiji Airways Business Class For Only 55k Miles!

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Unfortunately no credit cards can transfer to Alaska Airlines. The only credit cards that earn Alaska miles are the Bank of America Alaska Visa personal card and business card.

How To Book

You can book online at alaskaair.com.

Notes

  • Qantas First Class only offered on the 380 (LAX<>SYD, LAX<>MEL)
  • Award availability is hard to find, your best chance is searching within 1 month of booking or booking via British Airways / Cathay Pacific / American Airlines
  • LAX<>SYD has 2 daily flights but only QF11/12 uses the 380 and therefore has first class
  • Fiji Airways has no first class
  • Free cancellation except for $12.50 partner booking fee
  • Alaska offers free stopovers

Star Alliance Business and First Class Between US and Europe


Best Booking Program

The best program to book Star Alliance flights between US and Europe is Avianca Lifemiles. Avianca charges reasonable fees departing from the US but charges much more in fees when departing from Europe. For example IAD -> MUC will have an additional $26 in fees but the reverse MUC -> IAD will have an additional $137 in fees! This is not including the extra $25 fee charged when making award bookings online.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
Between US and EuropeBusiness60,000 / 63,000 miles
Between US and EuropeFirst87,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

West CoastEast Coast
Lufthansa Business from Long Angeles (LAX) <> Frankfurt (FRA) | (LH 450/451 & LH 456/457) | 63,000 milesLufthansa First from Washington D.C. (IAD) <> Munich (MUC) | (LH 414/415 & LH 9280/9281) | 87,000 miles
Lufthansa Business from San Francisco (SFO) <> Munich (MUC) | (LH 7995/7996 & LH 458/459) | 63,000 milesLufthansa Business New York (JFK) <> Frankfurt (FRA) | (LH 400/401 & LH 404/405) | 63,000 miles
Swiss Air Business from San Francisco (SFO) <> Zurich (ZRH) | (LX 38/39 & LX 3208/3209) | 63,000 milesSwiss Air Business from New York (JFK) <> Geneva (GVA) | (LX 22/23) | 63,000 miles
Swiss Air Business from Los Angeles (LAX) <> Zurich (ZRH) | (LX 40/41) | 63,000 milesSwiss Air Business from Miami (MIA) <> Zurich (ZRH) | (LX 64/65) | 63,000 miles
United Business from San Francisco (SFO) <> Paris (CDG) | (UA 984/990) | 63,000 milesUnited Business from New Jersey (EWR) <> London (LHR) | (UA 883/934 & UA 15/110 & UA 17/904) | 60,000 miles
United Business from Los Angeles (LAX) <> London (LHR) | (UA 230/231 & UA 923/935) | 63,000 milesUnited Business from New Jersey (EWR) <> Brussels (BRU) | (UA 998/999) | 63,000 miles
Scandinavian Business from Los Angeles (LAX) <> Copenhagen (CPH) | (SK 931/932) | 63,000 milesScandinavian Business from Boston (BOS) <> Copenhagen (CPH) | (SK 927/928) | 60,000 miles
Scandinavian Business from San Francisco (SFO) <> Copenhagen (CPH) | (SK 935/936) | 63,000 milesScandinavian Business from Chicago (ORD) <> Stockholm (ARN) | (SK 945/946) | 63,000 miles
Lufthansa First Between Washington D.C. and Munich For 87k Miles
United Airlines Business Between London and LA for 80k Miles
Swiss Air Business Between San Francisco and Zurich for 63k Miles
Scandinavian Business Between Boston and Copenhagen For 60k Miles

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Avianca is a 1:1 transfer partner with Amex MR, Citi TYP, and Capital One Miles.

How To Book

You can book online at lifemiles.com. You can change the language to English using the button with the circular flag in the upper right hand corner.

Notes

  • Not good for complex layovers
  • Expensive cancellation and change fees
  • Additional taxes and fees can get expensive departing from Europe

Qatar Airways QSuites To The Maldives or South Africa via Doha


Best Booking Program

The best program to book Qatar Business Class is American Airlines AAdvantage Program.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
Between US and DohaBusiness70,000 miles
Between US and Maldives with layover in DohaBusiness75,000 miles
Between US and Cape Town with layover in DohaBusiness75,000 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

West Coast and CentralEast Coast
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 739/740 & QR 741/742)New York (JFK) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 701/702 & QR 704/705 & QR 9000/9001)
San Francisco (SFO) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 737/738)Chicago (ORD) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 725/726)
Seattle (SEA) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 719/720)Atlanta (ATL) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 755/756)
Dallas (DFW) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 729/730 & QR 731/732)Boston (BOS) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 743/744)
Washington D.C. (IAD) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 707/708 & QR 713/714)
Miami (MIA) <> Doha (DOH) | (QR 777/778)
Doha (DOH) <> Cape Town (CPT) is QR 1369/1370 and Doha (DOH) <> Maldives (MLE) is QR 675/676 & QR 670/675 & QR 672/673
New York To the Maldives For Only 70k Miles on QSuites!
Seattle to Cape Town For Only 75k Miles on QSuites!
Seattle to Doha On QSuites For Only 70k Miles and $7.65 in Fees!

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Bilt Rewards is the only program that can transfer to American Airlines. The other credit cards that earn AAdvantage miles are Citi AAdvantage cards or the Barclays Aviator cards. There’s also Bask Bank which can earn AAdvantage miles.

How To Book

You can book online at aa.com.

Notes

  • American Airlines doesn’t allow free stopovers on award bookings

Star Alliance Business Between US and Asia via ANA


Best Booking Program

The best program to book Star Alliance Flights or partner flights to Asia is through ANA Mileage Club. Although ANA offers amazing redemption rates, the drawbacks of booking through them are that you have to book a round trip and that they have pretty steep fees.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
Between US and East AsiaBusiness95,000
Between US and East AsiaFirst180,000 miles
Between US and Southeast AsiaBusiness100,000 – 136,000 miles
Between US and Southeast AsiaFirst240,000 miles
**All prices for round trip

Example Routes

West Coast and CentralEast Coast
Eva Air Business From Los Angeles (LAX) <> Taipei (TPE) | (BR 25/26)Asiana Airlines Business From New York (JFK) <> Seoul (ICN) | OZ 221/222 & OZ 223/224)
Singapore Airlines Business From San Francisco (SFO) <> Singapore (SIN) | (SQ 31/32 & SQ 33/34)ANA Business From Chicago (ORD) <> Tokyo (HND) | NH 111/112 & NH 7006/7009
Seattle to Tokyo Round Trip For Only 115k Miles!
Seattle to Taipei Round Trip For Only 95k Miles

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Amex MR is the only credit card program that can transfer to ANA.

How To Book

You can book online at ana.co.jp.

Notes

  • ANA requires round trip award bookings
  • ANA allows 1 stopover
  • Imposes pretty high fees for award tickets
  • Website is hard to navigate and find availability

Star Alliance Business Between US and Asia via Aeroplan


Best Booking Program

One of the best programs to book Star Alliance Flights or partner flights to Asia is Air Canada Aeroplan. Air Canada has very reasonable fees with most award tickets charging <$100 in fees.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
Between US and East AsiaBusiness75,000 miles
Between US and Southeast AsiaBusiness87,500 miles
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

West CoastEast Coast
Eva Air Business From Seattle (SEA) <> Taipei (TPE) | (BR 25/26)Singapore Airlines Business From New York (JFK) <> Singapore (SIN) | (SQ 23/24)
ANA Business From Los Angeles (LAX) <> Tokyo (HND) | (NH 105/106 & NH 7542/7543 & NH 125/126)Asiana Business From New York (JFK) <> Seoul (ICN) | (OZ 221/222 & OZ 223/224)
Singapore Airlines Business Class From New York to Singapore For 87.5k Miles
Eva Air Business Class From Los Angeles to Taipei for 75k Miles
Eva Air or ANA Business Class From San Francisco to Bangkok for 87.5k Miles
Asiana Airlines Business Class From Seattle to Seoul For 75k Miles

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Air Canada Aeroplan is a 1:1 transfer partner with Amex MR, Chase UR, Capital One Miles, and Bilt Rewards.

How To Book

You can book online at aircanada.com.

Notes

  • Stopover costs 5,000 miles
  • Can combine partners on same itinerary

Turkish Airlines Business Class Between the US and Istanbul


Best Booking Program

The best program to book Turkish Airlines is their own program: Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles. There are 2 award charts: a promotional award chart (which has the much cheaper rates) and the regular award chart. Flights with promotional award pricing are very hard to find. The majority of flights returned online will show the regular award chart pricing. Turkish Airlines does impose some pretty steep fees that can be more than $200.

Cost

RouteCabinCost
Between US and TurkeyBusiness65,000*
*Prices shown are for promotional award chart pricing
**All prices for one way trip

Example Routes

West CoastEast Coast
Los Angeles (LAX) <> Istanbul (IST) New York (JFK) <> Istanbul (IST)
Turkish Airlines Business Class From San Francisco To Istanbul For 65,000 Miles!

Credit Card Transfer Partners

Turkish Airlines is a 1:1 transfer partner with Capital One, Citi, and Bilt.

How To Book

You can book online at turkishairlines.com. If adding a stopover or booking other Star Alliance partners, you must call their office at 1-800-874-8875.

Notes

  • Promotional pricing awards are very difficult to find
  • Can only book online if the entire itinerary is flown on Turkish Airlines
  • Allows free stopover

Conclusion


There are some really incredible value redemptions that can be made with points. In my opinion, these are probably the most popular and most worth it redemptions out there. So the next time you’re lost on how to use your points, consider using your points on one of these amazing awards!

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