Quick guide to Asiana Airlines miles
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While working on other more common airline award charts, we decided to make another one, this time an Asiana Airlines mileage redemption chart.
It may not be as important to you as our AA award chart or United Airlines award chart, but it’s worth a look. The reasonable award chart and the seven possible stopovers made it interesting to me, so I wanted to see the award chart in standard format, U.S.-based. Look close enough and you’ll be floored at some route prices.
Overview of the Asiana program
Asiana is an airline based in South Korea. It’s a Star Alliance airline, meaning it’s got literally dozens of airline partners that can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go (except maybe Antarctica).
Asiana has a little-known loyalty program, though I’d argue it’s got sweet spots that are well above average. So why don’t we talk about it more?
The answer is simple: Its airline miles are really difficult to earn — so difficult that we often ignore the sweet spots because we don’t want to stare at something we can’t have.
We’ll cannonball into the Asiana mileage chart in just a bit.
Asiana miles value
Here’s the thing — Asiana miles can actually get you significantly farther than the miles you earn from common U.S. carriers like United Airlines and Delta. However, they’re just not nearly as easy to accrue, as we’ll cover in a moment.
Asiana miles value = 1.3 cents each
How to earn
You can earn Asiana miles a handful of different ways, such as by staying at various hotels, renting cars, or even through its cobranded credit card (seriously, don’t bother). Instead, there are only two ways to earn Asiana miles with efficiency.
Transfer Marriott points
Asian doesn’t partner with the vast majority of flexible points programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards. However, they are a partner of Marriott.
You can transfer Marriott points to Asiana at a ratio of 3:1 (in other words, 3 Marriott points = 1 Asiana mile). That may seem like a pretty lousy conversion rate, but that’s normal for Marriott points, so it’s not uniquely poor.
We estimate that Marriott points are worth 0.8 cents each. And again, we value Asiana miles at 1.3 cents each. That means we don’t recommend you transfer your Marriott points to Asiana unless you’ve already got an award ticket in mind and you know you’ll get a value of at least 2.4 cents per mile for that flight.
There is one trick, however, to get an improved transfer rate with Marriott: When you transfer your points in increments of 60,000, you’ll receive a bonus 5,000 airline miles. So if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to Asiana, you’ll end up with 25,000 total miles! You’re therefore receiving a conversion rate of 3:1.25.
We recommend opening the following credit cards to easily earn tons of points:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Be sure to read our post on the best Marriott credit cards, as it’s got important information as to if you’ll be eligible for each card.
Fly Star Alliance airlines
Here’s some good news: You’ll earn Asiana miles when flying Star Alliance partners — and you’ll earn them based on the distance you fly. Unlike other airlines, which award miles strictly according to how much you pay for your flight, Asiana gives you the opportunity to score a ton of miles for potentially little money, if you can find an inexpensive ticket.
You’ll earn miles based on your fare basis code. Here’s a look at how many Asiana miles you’ll earn when flying United Airlines.
At the top of the list is business class, which has three fare basis codes that earn 125% of the miles you fly. For example, if you fly one-way from Chicago to Paris on United, you’ll have flown 4,153 miles. If your business class flight has the fare code “J,” you’d earn 125% of those miles flown, or 5,191 Asiana miles.
However, if your fare basis code is “K,” you’d only earn 50% of the miles flown, or 2,077 miles.
You can click here to view each partner airline and see how many miles you’ll earn for your flight.
How to redeem
Asiana doesn’t have a full award chart online, so we made one here. You’ll find that the prices abide by geographical zones, which makes for fantastic sweet spots. Just note that the airline does pass along fuel surcharges for some airlines, sometimes in excess of $400 for flights across the ocean. Read our post on how to avoid fuel surcharges to ensure you dodge any big fees.
Here are some ideas as to how you can use Asiana miles.
Around the World with Star Alliance
We’ll start with the thing that initially caught my eye about this airline — the ability to add up to seven stopovers into your journey.
You’ll need to book an “Around the World” ticket to make it happen. Below is a visual of the rules from Asiana’s website. In summary, you’ve got to cross the Atlantic and Pacific, and you cannot backtrack from one zone to another (zones outlined in the above award chart). You can backtrack within zones, however.
Prices for Around the World flights are as follows:
- 140,000 miles in coach
- 230,000 miles in business class
If you cram-in seven stopovers, that’s like paying 17,500 miles per leg in coach, or 28,750 miles in business class. Both deals seem respectable, but the value here has to be the business class route. Let’s examine one of the above mock itineraries and price it out separately in business class:
- Seoul to Tokyo – 30,000 miles
- Tokyo to Los Angeles – 60,000 miles
- Los Angeles to New York – 22,500 miles
- New York to London – 40,000 miles
- London to Frankfurt – 25,000 miles
- Frankfurt to Singapore – 57,500 miles
- Singapore to Bangkok – 30,000 miles
- Bangkok to Busan – 37,500 miles
That amounts to 302,500 miles. You’ll save 72,500 miles by booking Around the World instead of separate bookings. That’s $942 in savings, per our estimate of Asiana miles value.
Business and first class to Europe
These prices are pretty insane. The ability to book business class to Europe for 40,000 miles each way is a good 17,500 miles cheaper than you’ll find from most U.S. airlines. And 50,000 miles for first class flights is 30,000 miles less than most airlines.
Just be sure to pick an airline that you know won’t incur fuel surcharges, like United Airlines. Spending 80,000 miles for a round-trip business class flight between San Francisco and Paris, for example, is an absolute steal — especially considering those flights often sell for $4,500+. That gives you a value per mile of 5.62 cents each! Far above our estimated average value.
Business class to the bottom of South America
Asiana’s prices are merely competitive with U.S. airlines if you’re looking to fly to the northern regions of South America, like Colombia and Peru. However, if Patagonia, Iguazu Falls, or Rio have been on your to-do list, Asiana provides another bargain.
You can fly all the way to Chile, or to Argentina or Brazil, for just 35,000 miles one-way in business class. Oh, and there are no fuel surcharges. That’s ridiculous — most other airlines will charge 20,000+ miles more for the same route.
There are lots of interesting routes in the Asiana award chart. Example: If you’re willing to book a journey not originating in the U.S., you can find some very good deals, too. However, unless you have a ton of Marriott points, I don’t foresee this being a popular option.
Let us know what you think of Asiana’s loyalty program! And subscribe to our newsletter for more posts like this delivered to your inbox once per day.
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