Your Guide to Using Transferable Points for Flights to Japan! This Week: AMEX Membership Rewards Points!

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Your Guide to Using Transferable Points for Flights to Japan!  This Week:  AMEX Membership Rewards Points!

JasonYour Guide to Using Transferable Points for Flights to Japan!  This Week:  AMEX Membership Rewards Points!Million Mile Secrets Team

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The Mrs. and I recently took a trip to Japan after being inspired to visit by a friend who lived there for a few years.  And after visiting, we’re ready to go back for round two!  We loved just about everything – the culture, the food, the public transportation…and the world-class toilets.

Because of the trip, I’ve had lots of friends interested in traveling to Japan.  So I thought I’d put together a little guide on how to get to Japan using transferable points.

The Deer Park in Nara Is a Worth While Side Trip!

Earning transferable points is a great way to give yourself flexibility with your travel dates.  You won’t be stuck searching for available award seats or dealing with blackout dates.

How to Use Transferable Points for Flights to Japan

To keep things simple, I’ll cover the best ways to fly in and out of Tokyo.  And I won’t cover every option for every different type of flexible rewards.  Instead, I’ll review the most useful and practical transfer partners.

I’ll cover the basics that will help you make an informed decision, things like:

  • Transfer ratio:   How many points do you need to transfer to get the number of miles you need?
  • Transfer time:   How long does it usually take to transfer your points to the airline?  This is important because you don’t want to find an award only to see it disappear while you’re waiting for the miles to show up in your account.
  • Award Prices:   How many miles will it take to book a flight to Japan with a particular airline?
  • Partner Award Prices:   You can use most airline miles to book award flights on their partner airlines.  For example, you can use United Airlines miles to book award seats on ANA.  However, typically airlines have different award charts for their partner airlines.  And partner award seats are usually harder to find because in many cases, you’ll only be able to book the lowest priced (i.e. Saver level) awards.  Also, sometimes airlines don’t allow partner bookings for Business or First Class seats.
  • Fuel Surcharges:   When you book an award ticket, you’ll always have to pay for taxes and fees, which can be very high depending on where you’re going (i.e. London).  But some airlines also add fuel surcharges, in addition to the taxes and fees.  This can add $100s to the ticket cost.  So I’ll let you know whether or not you can expect these types of charges with each particular airline.
  • Pros:   What are the reasons you’d want to transfer points to an airline?
  • Cons:   What are the downsides of transferring points to an airline?
  • Other notes:   If there are any special rules, tips, or ticks you should know for the airline, they’ll be covered here.

How to Get to Japan With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

You can earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the following cards:

And the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the following no-annual-fee cards can be pooled onto the “premium” cards listed above, and then transferred to Chase’s travel partners:

British Airways

British Airways operates a distance-based award chart, so British Airways Avios points aren’t the most universally useful rewards for booking awards to Japan.  With British Airways, you’ll pay based on the distance of the flight segment, NOT the total flight distance.  So shorter non-stop flights can be a good deal, but if you need a connecting flight you’ll pay extra for it!

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

Award Prices:   British Airways operates a distance-based award chart.  You can use the Great Circle Mapper to estimate the distance of each segment of your flight.

 British Airways Avios Points Required for Each Flight
Travel DistanceCoach Premium EconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
Off-PeakPeakOff-PeakPeakOff-PeakPeakOff-PeakPeak
0 to 649 miles4,0004,5005,7506,7507,7509,00015,50018,000
650 to 1,149 miles 6,5007,5009,50011,25012,75015,00025,50030,000
1,150 to 1,999 miles8,50010,00012,75015,00017,00020,00034,00040,000
2,000 to 2,999 miles10,00012,50020,00025,00031,25037,50042,50050,000
3,000 to 3,999 miles13,00020,00026,00040,00050,00060,00068,00080,000
4,000 to 5,499 miles16,25025,00032,50050,00062,50075,00085,000100,000
5,500 to 6,499 miles19,50030,00039,00060,00075,00090,000102,000120,000
6,500 to 6,999 miles22,75035,00045,50070,00087,500105,000119,000140,000
7,000+ miles32,50050,00065,000100,000125,000150,000170,000200,000

Partner Award Prices:   British Airways uses the same chart for their awards and partner awards unless you book a flight with 2+ or more partner airlines.  In that case, you’ll want to reference this chart.  You’ll notice that the prices aren’t good and the fees are hefty.

With almost all partner awards, you can only book the peak price.

With British Airways Avios points, you can book Japan Airlines flights under 650 miles within Japan for 4,500 Avios one-way + taxes & fees.  And from some West Coast cities, you can book one-way awards on partners like American Airlines or Japan Airlines starting at 25,000 British Airways Avios points + taxes & fees.  But your options for flying cheaply to Japan are limited.

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes

Pros:   Great for booking short-haul flights within Japan or non-stop flights from the West Coast

Cons:   Not good for folks who can’t fly non-stop or need to fly farther to get to Japan, higher fuel surcharges & fees on some flights

Other notes:

Iberia

Iberia operates a distance-based award chart, just like British Airways.  And you can even transfer Avios points in between your Iberia & British Airways account.  But you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to do it.

Iberia is a member of the oneworld alliance, so you’ll be able to book partner awards flights with Japan Airlines, American Airlnes, and Cathay Pacific!

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

For more details on using Iberia Avios points to fly to Japan, see the Iberia notes under the AMEX Membership Rewards section.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines miles are not particularly useful for getting to Japan.  The biggest advantage they have is how easy they are to earn.  You can transfer points from Citi ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, and Marriott / Starwood to Singapore Airlines.  So if you don’t have enough flexible points to get to Japan in any single program, you can easily combine points together and book award flights with Singapore Airlines miles.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Up to 2 days

Award Prices:   Japan is in Zone 7 of the Singapore Airlines award chart.  Award flights from the West Coast are comparable in price to other options for coach flights, but Singapore Airlines only flies from Los Angeles to Tokyo.  And I’m not sure how easy it is to find available award seats.  I searched on the Singapore Airlines website for ~15 minutes and could only find partner award flights.  Maybe you’ll have better luck.

One-Way Saver Award Prices With Singapore Airlines Miles

Because of Singapore Airlines’ more restrictive routing rules, I couldn’t find flights with Singapore Airlines from the East Coast.  But even if you can find those award seats, you’re better off booking a partner award, which will cost fewer miles.  But you’ll want to pay attention to fuel surcharges with certain airlines.

Partner Award Prices:   Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance.  You can book awards with their partner airlines from North America to Japan for:

  • Coach – 108,000 Singapore Airlines miles round-trip
  • Business Class210,000 Singapore Airlines miles round-trip
  • First Class – 250,000 Singapore Airlines miles round-trip

One-way partner awards are half the price of the round-trip partner awards.

Fuel Surcharges:   Singapore Airlines does not add fuel surcharges to their own flights.  But if you’re booking a partner award flight you’ll pay fuel surcharges when the airline you’re flying with has them.  Most European & Asian airlines add hefty fuel surcharges.  But others, like United Airlines, don’t have any fuel surcharges.

Pros:   Some of the easiest airline miles to earn as they transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott / Starwood

Cons:   High cost of awards and restrictive routing rules

Other notes:

  • You are allowed 1 stopover (layover of 24+ hours) & 1 open jaw (origin or destination is not the same) on round-trip Saver award flights
  • You can add stopovers on award flights for $100 each (up to 3 total), but you can’t book them online
United Airlines

United Airlines prices their awards as “Saver” awards and “Everyday” awards.  Saver awards are much cheaper, so those are what you’ll want to find and book.  Everyday awards can be absurdly expensive and are typically NOT a good deal.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

Award Prices:   

  • Coach – 35,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way Saver Award, up to 80,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way Everyday Award
  • Business Class70,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way Saver Award, up to 175,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way Everyday Award
  • First Class 90,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way Saver Award, up to 200,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way Everyday Award

Partner Award Prices:

  • Coach – 35,000 United Airlines miles one-way
  • Business Class80,000 United Airlines miles one-way
  • First Class – 110,000 United Airlines miles one-way

Fuel Surcharges:   No, United Airlines does not add fuel surcharges for their award flights or partner award flights!

Pros:   United Airlines awards are easy to find and book and typically there are lots of available award seats

I Did This Search for United Airlines Award Seats From Chicago to Tokyo on July 17, 2018, and You Can See There Are Plenty of Last-Minute Seats!  Plus, It Only Gets Better the Farther Out You Search or If You Have a United Airlines Credit Card!

Cons:   Business & First Class partner awards and Everyday Awards are expensive!

Other notes:

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic doesn’t fly to Tokyo or Japan, but they are worth mentioning because they have one of the best options for partner award flights from the US to Japan.  And Virgin Atlantic miles are super easy to collect.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

Award Prices:   There are no Virgin Atlantic flights to Tokyo or Japan.

Partner Award Prices:   Virgin Atlantic has a different award chart for each partner airline.  You can check them out here.  But the only useful partner is ANA, and when I say useful, I mean amazing!

All the prices below are for round-trip awards – you can NOT book one-way partner award flights:

Round-Trip Partner Award Prices on ANA Using Virgin Atlantic Miles

Those prices aren’t typos!  You can book a First Class partner award on ANA from the West Coast to Japan for only 110,000 Virgin Atlantic miles!  That’s only 2,000 miles more than what it would take for a Singapore Airlines partner award in coach!

Unfortunately, you cannot book partner award flights online.  You’ll have to book them over the phone (800-365-9500).

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes, but the fuel surcharges on ANA flights are reasonable.  I checked a few different flights from the US to Japan and saw fuel surcharges in the $170 range, and you’ll spend an additional ~$100 in taxes & fees.

Pros:   Incredible ANA awards, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott / Starwood points to Virgin Atlantic – so they’re easy to earn!

Cons:   Can’t search for or book partner awards online, only one useful award flight option to Japan, fuel surcharges on award flights

 Other notes:

  • You can search for ANA awards on the United Airlines website or Air Canada’s Aeroplan site and then call Virgin Atlantic to book the flights.

American Express Membership Rewards Points

AMEX Membership Rewards points are very helpful for getting to Japan because, as you’ll see, they have lots of useful airline transfer partners.  And they are easy to earn!

If you’ve got a collection of AMEX points, ANA is typically the best option for award flights to Japan.  But one of the best things about AMEX Membership Rewards points is the frequent transfer bonuses they have with their partner airlines.  And through September 12, 2018, there is a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic miles are the cheapest way to book partner awards on ANA.  And with this bonus, you’ll be able to book a round-trip First Class flight from the US to Japan by transferring only 93,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic (or less if you live on the West Coast)!

Air Canada Aeroplan

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program (for now) and is part of the Star Alliance.  Aeroplan is also partners with Cathay Pacific, however you can only redeem Aeroplan miles on a few select Cathay Pacific routes, none of which will get you to Japan. 🙁

Aeroplan doesn’t have the best award prices to Japan.  But they do have handy rules for adding stopovers to award flights (on flights between 2 continents) and if there is a transfer bonus to Aeroplan it could be a good option.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

Award Prices:   A round-trip flight to Japan costs 75,000 Aeroplan miles in coach, 150,000 Aeroplan miles in Business Class, and 210,000 Aeroplan miles in First Class.

These Are the Award Prices for Round-Trip Flights

One-way awards cost half of the Aeroplan miles required for round-trip flights.

Partner Award Prices:   Aeroplan doesn’t have a separate award chart for partner awards.  But they partner with useful airlines for getting to Japan, like United Airlines & ANA.

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes, but not with all of their partners.  If you want to avoid these extra fees try booking partner awards flights with United Airlines.

Pros:   Visit extra cities for free via stopovers, lots of useful partner airlines, frequent transfer bonuses

Cons:   Fuel surcharges on most flights to Japan, not the best award prices

Other notes:

  • You’re allowed 2 stopovers or 1 stopover & 1 open-jaw on award flights between 2 continents
  • Reasonable lap infant fees – $50 to $125 or 5,000 to 12,500 Aeroplan miles
  • For more tips check out our guide to using Aeroplan miles.
ANA

ANA (All Nippon Airways) is one of the best options for booking award flights to Japan.  They have incredible low-season award prices and good partner award chart prices during other times of the year.

The biggest drawbacks are how complicated and confusing ANA’s award charts and rules are and potentially higher taxes & fees on award flights.  I’ll keep things as simple as possible by only including information that is relevant to award flights to and from Japan.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:  2 to 3 days

Award Prices:   Flights from North America to Japan with ANA vary in price depending on when you’re traveling.  Awards to and from North America are divided into low (L), regular (R), and high season (H).

In the chart below Y is coach, C is Business Class, and F is First Class.  You can only book round-trip international awards:

ANA Has Different Award Prices for Different Times of the Year

Here are the dates for each season through early 2020:

These Are the Dates of Low, Regular, and High Season

Partner Award Prices:   The only partners useful for flying to Japan are ANA’s Star Alliance partners.  And you can fly on more than 1 Star Alliance partner on a single award flight.

You cannot book one-way partner award flights, so all the prices listed are for round-trip tickets only.  And there is one award chart for the entire year.  But it is broken down into Zone 1-A & Zone 1-B.

ANA Partner Awards Vary in Price…Slightly

This is how the ANA website explains the difference between Zone 1-A & Zone 1-B:

What this means for award flights from the US to Japan is you will pay Zone 1-A prices for non-stop flights (but you can have connections within Japan) and Zone 1-B prices if you have a connecting flight.

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes, and they are ~$260 (plus taxes & fees).  But you won’t pay this extra fee with certain partners like United Airlines

Pros:   Amazing award prices (especially during low-season), lots of direct flight options from the US

Cons:   Must book round-trip award flights, confusing and convoluted rules, the extra fees can add up

 Other notes:

  • ANA miles expire after 36 months and cannot be extended
  • You can have 1 stopover and 1 open jaw on award flights
British Airways

It’s not uncommon for there to be an AMEX Membership Rewards transfer bonus to British Airways.  And they can be quite generous, which could make British Airways a useful option.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

For more details on using British Airways Avios points to get to Japan check the Chase Ultimate Rewards points section.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific operates a distance based award chart.  And they are a member of the oneworld alliance, which includes American Airlines &  Japan Airlines!

Personally, Cathay Pacific’s award prices aren’t good enough to justify the hassle you’ll need to go through to understand their award booking rules, much less to actually book an award.

But they are transfer partners with most flexible points programs, so it might be easier for you to accumulate the miles you need.  And booking award seats with Cathay Pacific miles could make sense if you’re already in Asia and want to book a short-haul side trip to Japan.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   1 to 2 days

Award Prices:   When you’re flying to Japan on Cathay Pacific you’ll need to connect through Hong Kong, so be sure to add in that connection when you’re calculating the mileage for your award.  This extra connection bumps all Cathay Pacific awards from the US to Japan into the “Ultra-Long” category.

So this isn’t a great option for award flights to Japan.  But you can book one-way awards, which might be helpful for you.

These Are the Low-Level One-Way Award Prices

Partner Award Prices:   The most useful Cathay Pacific partners for getting to Japan are American Airlines and Japan Airlines.  One thing to note is, with Japan Airlines you can only book round-trip award tickets with Cathay Pacific miles.

If you are booking an award which includes only 1 partner airline or 1 partner airline and Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon, then you’ll use the “Asia Miles Standard Award” chart shown above.  A Standard Award round-trip award flight can have up to 3 stopovers and 1 open-jaw, but the rules are complicated and this doesn’t apply to all award flights.  You can read more about the stopover and open-jaw rules under #5 in the terms.

This oneworld multi-carrier chart below applies if your award flight includes:

  • Two oneworld partner airlines, but does not include Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon
  • Three or more oneworld partner airlines and Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon is 1 is one of those airlines
If You’re Flying With Multiple Cathay Pacific Partners, Then You’ll Use This Award Chart

For oneworld multi-carrier flights, the stopover and open-jaw policy looks like it could be even more generous.  But I can’t make heads or tails of it.  And I’m not sure how practical it is for most flights to Japan anyway.

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes, but certain airlines don’t add them (i.e. American Airlines)

Pros:   Easy to earn – they transfer from AMEX Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott, useful for short-haul or one-way awards, potentially generous stopover and open-jaw policy

Cons:   Expensive award prices, overly complicated, and the most useful partners (for getting to Japan) can’t be booked online

 Other notes:

  • You can book award flights online if you’re flying on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, or Qatar Airways.  But for awards which include any other partner airline (which covers most of your options to Japan) you’ll need to fill out a “Flight Award Request Form or call 866-892-2598 to book your award
  • Use this tool to figure out how much a specific award flight will cost
  • Sometimes you’ll get a phone agent that doesn’t completely understand Cathay Pacific’s convoluted award booking rules.  Don’t be afraid to hang up and call again.
Delta

Delta no longer publishes an official award chart.  So it’s a bit of a guessing game estimating how many Delta miles it will cost to get to Japan.  And they are a part of the SkyTeam alliance, which doesn’t include any of Japan’s major airlines.

But Delta does have frequent award flash sales, including great deals to Asia!  So this is a good option to keep in your back pocket in case a good deal pops up.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

Award Prices:    Delta doesn’t have an award chart.  But I found one-way coach flights starting at 35,000 Delta miles and one-way Business Class award seats starting at 80,000 Delta miles.

If You’re Heading to Japan From Detroit, You Could Book an Extra Comfy Delta One Suite Seat!

Partner Award Prices:   No partner award chart, but partner awards to Japan tend to have similar prices to Delta award flights

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes, but not on Delta flights originating in the US

Pros:   Potentially useful award sales

Cons:   No award chart, fewer non-stop flight options compared to other airlines

 Other notes:

  • I’ve seen Delta award sales to other parts of Asia, but not directly to Japan.  But these sales could be a good way to get close to Japan and then get a cheap flight for the final leg and see an extra country on the way over.
Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has terrible award prices for flights from the US to Japan.  They also don’t have any non-stop flights to Japan and you aren’t allowed a stopover in Hawaii, which is the only reason I’d want to connect in Hawaii on my way to Japan.  In addition, I’m not sure how easy it is to find the cheapest awards, so that only increases the cost.

But there have been transfer bonuses to Hawaiian Airlines in the past, so that could make this a more interesting opportunity, but only if you want to top up your Hawaiian Airlines account for an award flight.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Instant

Award Prices:   The prices listed in the chart below are for one-way award tickets.  I originally thought these were round-trip prices, but a quick chat with a Hawaiian Airlines representative confirmed that they are not.

The Award Prices Listed Here Are for One-Way Flights

Partner Award Prices:   No practical partner award options for flights to Japan.

Fuel Surcharges:   No

Pros:   Low fees

Cons:   No non-stop flights to Japan, no stopovers in Hawaii, terrible award prices

 Other notes:

  • This is only a useful option if you already have a collection of Hawaiian Airlines miles and only need to transfer some AMEX Membership Rewards points over to top off your account, or if you live in Hawaii.
Iberia

Iberia operates a distance-based award chart, just like British Airways.  And you can even transfer Avios points between your Iberia & British Airways account.  But you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to do it.

Iberia is a member of the oneworld alliance, so you’ll be able to book partner award flights with Japan Airlines, American Airlines, and Cathay Pacific!

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   1 to 2 days

Award Prices:   No Iberia flights to Japan

Partner Award Prices:   Iberia has a separate award chart for each of their partner airlines, although most are exactly the same.  You’ll pay based on the total distance of the flight.  And for most partners, you’re only allowed to book round-trip award flights.

If you are booking an award with more than 1 oneworld partner, then you’ll use the award chart below.  And it is the same chart as the award charts for flights with American Airlines and Japan Airlines, which are 2 of the more useful partners for flying to Japan.

Most non-stop round-trip flights from the US to Japan will be between 10,000 to 14,000 miles in distance, so I’ve highlighted those award prices.

The Price of Your Iberia Award Will Depend on the Distance You’re Flying

The best deals will be on the shortest flights, so you’ll want to look for non-stop flights on American Airlines or Japan Airlines.

Fuel Surcharges:   Yes, but certain partners, like American Airlines, don’t have fuel surcharges

Pros:   Good award prices for certain shorter flights, easy to earn – they transfer from AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Marriott, and British Airways

Cons:   Some partner awards can only be booked over the phone (which incurs an extra fee), partner awards are non-refundable

 Other notes:

  • You can book American Airlines partner awards online, but you’ll need to call to book partner awards with most other airlines
Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines miles are not particularly useful for getting to Japan.  But they are easy to earn.  You can transfer points from Citi ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, and Marriott to Singapore Airlines.  So if you don’t have enough flexible points to get to Japan in any single program, you can easily combine points together and book award flights with Singapore Airlines miles.

See the Singapore Airlines notes under the Chase Ultimate Rewards section for more details.

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   Up to 24 hours

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic doesn’t fly to Tokyo or Japan, but they are worth mentioning because they have an amazing award chart for partner award flights on ANA.  Plus, Virgin Atlantic miles are super easy to collect and there’s a 30% transfer bonus through September 12, 2018!

With the 30% bonus, you’ll only need to transfer 85,000 to 93,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic to book a round-trip First Class award on ANA to Japan!  You’ll have a hard time finding a better deal than that!

Transfer ratio:   1:1

Transfer time:   1 to 2 days

See the Virgin Atlantic notes under the Chase Ultimate Rewards section for more details.

Bottom Line

Japan is one place that should be on your bucket list!  Even outside of cherry blossom season, it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest countries I’ve visited.  And the people couldn’t be more helpful!

Plus, getting there doesn’t have to cost a fortune!  With transferable points, there’s no shortage of options for booking award flights.  So I’m putting together this guide on how to use flexible points to visit Japan.

For the next installment of this series, I’ll be covering how to get to Japan using Citi ThankYou points.

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

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Last year my wife & I flew one way first class on Cathay from USA to Mumbai via HongKong using Alaska miles — this was inspired by your posts. It was an amazing experience. Thanks a lot for all the info you provide. Now, I am collecting Virgin Atlantic miles for two of us to fly first class to Tokyo on ANA. I have collected enough miles for one ticket. Could you please suggest whether having all 240K points in one account or having 120K points each in two different accounts (my and my wife’s) is better or it does not matter? I am guessing they would not allow an uneven split such as 160K in one account and 80K in the other. Your input will help me decide my credit card strategy.

hello. surprisingly flying from hnl to nrt using the virgin atlantic website there isnt any availability with ana, but there is with delta. 40,000 miles round trip +about $50 taxes with virgin atlantic flying delta compared to 60,000 miles and about $85 on deltas website. factoring in the 30% bonus means transferring only 28000 amex points to virgin atlantic! wow! thanks for the tip, jason!

Author

Glad to hear you found a deal. Also, you can’t search for ANA awards on the Virgin Atlantic website. What you can do is search for ANA awards on the United Airlines or Aeroplan websites. Then you’ll need to call Virgin Atlantic to book those seats.

Let me know when the trip is!

Great post! How do points rates compare if you were to redeem via Chase’s travel portal with the 50% bonus from the Sapphire Reserve? Thank you.

Author

It really depends on the cash price of the flight. The biggest advantage to paying through the Chase portal is you won’t have to search for award flights or worry about blackout dates. That is helpful, but then again during busy times of year when award seats are tough to come by cash prices are likely to be higher so you’ll end up needing more points for your ticket.