Here Are the 4 Types of Airline Miles That Are EASIEST to Earn (and Amazing Things You Can Do With Them)

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There exist four magical airlines that make infinite vacation-taking SUPER easy:

  • Flying Blue (the loyalty program of Air France and KLM)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • JetBlue

These airline miles are so easy to earn because they’re transfer partners of ALL FIVE flexible points:

  • AMEX Membership Rewards points
  • Capital One miles
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points
  • Citi ThankYou points
  • Marriott points

In other words, if you collect any of these points, you can dump them all into one of the above airlines.  For example, if you earn the welcome bonuses of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and the American Express® Gold Card, you can transfer all three to Singapore Airlines and book stunning vacations.

You can convert DOZENS of credit card welcome bonuses into these airline miles, and visit places like Aruba, Jerusalem, and Venice!

Depending on the number of welcome bonuses you earn, you could easily have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of points in a hurry!

I’ll show you what I mean, and give you a couple sweet spots for each airline.

The Easiest Airline Miles to Earn

Below are the 4 magical airlines, along with a list of the transfer ratios of each points program.  Not all of them are the same, so take note before you decide to transfer your points.

1.   Flying Blue

Transfer Ratios:

  • AMEX Membership Rewards points – 1:1
  • Capital One miles – 2:1.5
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points – 1:1
  • Citi ThankYou points – 1:1
  • Marriott points – 3:1

Israel

One of the greatest values with Flying Blue miles is US to Israel.

Flying Blue doesn’t have an official award chart, but they have a “miles price estimator” that allows you to enter your origin and destination to see what you can expect to pay.

Here are some prices to Tel Aviv from:

  • Miami – 22,000 miles one-way
  • Dallas – 23,000 miles one-way
  • New York – 25,000 miles one-way
  • Los Angeles – 29,000 miles one-way

As reference, you can expect to pay 40,000 miles one-way from the US to Tel Aviv with American Airlines, and 42,500 miles one-way with United Airlines.  So you can save as much as 20,500 miles each way (or 41,000 miles round-trip!).

Promo Awards

Flying Blue frequently offers “Promo Awards” where they discount flights from random cities.  Here are some Promo Awards from recent history:

  • Seattle to Europe for less than 22,000 miles round-trip in coach
  • New York to Europe for 28,000 miles round-trip in coach
  • Mexico City to Europe for 57,500 miles round-trip in Premium Economy
  • Toronto to Europe for 70,000 miles round-trip in Business Class

Just note that Flying Blue often has higher taxes than other airlines like United Airlines (nothing too terrible).  But it’s absolutely worth paying half the amount of miles other airlines charge!

Visit Paris for literally half the miles of US airlines when Flying Blue publishes a good sale

2.   Singapore Airlines

  • AMEX Membership Rewards points – 1:1
  • Capital One miles – 2:1
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points – 1:1
  • Citi ThankYou points – 1:1
  • Marriott points – 3:1

Hawaii

If Hawaii is in your sights, one of the smartest moves you can make is transferring your points to Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines is partnered with United Airlines, so you can use Singapore Airlines miles to book United Airlines seats to Hawaii.  And here’s a twist, prices are much cheaper than if you had booked directly through United Airlines!  Here’s what you’ll pay for a one-way flight from the Continental US:

  • Coach – 17,500 Singapore Airlines miles (5,000 miles less than United Airlines charges)
  • Business Class – 30,000 Singapore Airlines miles (10,000 miles less than United Airlines charges)

That means coach flyers will save 10,000 miles round-trip over booking direct with United Airlines.  And Business Class flyers will save 20,000 miles round-trip over booking with United Airlines!

Europe

You can fly to Europe for cheap with Singapore Airlines miles.  And the quality of your experience will be leaps and bounds ahead of US airlines.  The catch is there are only 2 US airports you can fly from:

  • Houston to Manchester
  • New York (JFK) to Frankfurt

The prices for both routes are as follows:

  • Coach – 22,500 miles
  • Business Class – 72,000 miles
  • First Class – 86,000 miles
Frankfurt is centrally located and a short flight from just about anywhere in Europe

While it is possible to book Business Class flights to Europe for less than 72,000 miles with airlines like United Airlines and American Airlines, Singapore Airlines is one of the most luxurious airlines in the world.  Whether you’re flying in coach or Business Class, you’ll have a much better trip on Singapore Airlines.

Even if you’re not interested in these 2 destinations, this is still an excellent way to cross the Atlantic for cheap.  It’s very inexpensive to hop around on budget European flights once you’re over there.

3.   Virgin Atlantic

  • AMEX Membership Rewards points – 1:1
  • Capital One miles – 2:1.5
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points – 1:1
  • Citi ThankYou points – 1:1
  • Marriott points – 3:1

There really aren’t a ton of uses for Virgin Atlantic miles that would excite the miles & points enthusiast (comment below if you disagree).  The sweet spots are either too obscure, or the fuel surcharges are prohibitively high.

 First Class to Japan

ANA is a partner of Virgin Atlantic, and another of the most impressive airlines in the world.  And they’ve got super luxurious Business Class and First Class seats!

You can use Virgin Atlantic miles to fly to Japan from:

  • Eastern and Central US – 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles round-trip
  • Western US and Canada – 110,000 Virgin Atlantic miles round-trip

That’s pretty cheap, especially considering you’ll get to experience one of fanciest seats available.  Just note that you can’t book one-way flights.  And you might pay ~$350 per round-trip in taxes & fees.  Not ideal, but worth it for a seat that costs thousands and thousands of dollars.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a bucket list regular.  And one of the best ways to get there is with Virgin Atlantic miles.

You can book a one-way seat between Los Angeles and Auckland for:

  • 40,000 Virgin Atlantic miles in coach
  • 62,500 Virgin Atlantic miles in Business Class

Both of those prices are pretty stunning, but the Business Class especially.  Because of this, it’s very hard to lock down a seat for this price.

4.   JetBlue

  • AMEX Membership Rewards points – 1:1
  • Capital One miles – 2:1.5
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points – 1:1
  • Citi ThankYou points – 1:1
  • Marriott points – ~6:1

JetBlue is a different animal than the other airlines on this list.

They don’t have an award chart that can be exploited.  They don’t have “sweet spots.”  That’s because they price their award flights according to the cash value of the seat.  If they have a sale, you’ll pay fewer points.  If it’s peak holiday season and prices are sky-high, so your award flight will be.

Regardless, you can expect to receive a value of ~1.4 cents per JetBlue point.

JetBlue Mint

JetBlue has perhaps THE best domestic First Class seat available.  They’ve got lie-flat seats!

Here’s a look at all the routes you can book a JetBlue Mint flight:

Prices vary, but unbelievable deals will pop up now and again.  Like a one-way JetBlue Mint seat between Boston and San Francisco for ~28,000 JetBlue points!  But recently JetBlue has devalued what their points are worth toward Mint seats.  So if you want to book yourself in Mint Class, check out these other points.

Caribbean

If you live in the New England area, JetBlue can serve you very well.  They fly to LOTS of the postcard favorites in the Caribbean, like:

  • Aruba
  • Bermuda
  • Cuba
  • Grand Cayman
  • St Lucia

Depending on your origin and date of travel, you can find round-trip JetBlue flights for less than 12,000 miles round-trip in coach.  That’s insane, and less than half what you’ll expect to pay with other US airlines.

Which Cards Earn Points that Transfer to These Partners?

Here is a list of the most popular credit cards that earn the points you need to travel for free with the above airlines.  Just by opening a few of these cards, you could EASILY have hundreds of thousands of points which you could convert into airline miles.

Again, these are not ALL the cards, just the most popular.  Check out our Best Travel Credit Card Offers page to see all your options.

The information for the Chase Freedom, Capital One Spark Miles, Capital One Spark Miles Select has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Let me know if you’ve used any of these airlines for stunning vacations!  And subscribe to our newsletter below for more posts like this:

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Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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