How to Stay in Tokyo for Free: Part 2 – Our $200 Business Class Flights to Japan
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. Emily: Have you always wanted to visit Japan? You can get there for a fraction of the cost with a few credit card sign-up bonuses!
My boyfriend and I recently flew from Austin to Japan for ~$200 round trip in Business Class. And for 3 weeks of lodging (including some fancy hotels), I spent ~$450!
Japan is a beautiful country with LOTS to see and do, from high-rise skyscrapers to old temples to hot springs. I loved Tokyo for its energetic neighborhoods, shopping, and delicious restaurants.
Wherever you go, you’re sure to have an amazing time! In this series, I’ll go into detail about where I stayed in Tokyo, what to do, and some of my favorite restaurants, and show you how you can do it, too!
How to Stay in Tokyo for Free Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Introduction and Planning
- Part 2 – Our $200 Business Class Flights to Japan
- Part 3 – Grand Hyatt Tokyo Hotel Review
- Part 4 – What to Do in Tokyo
- Part 5 – Where to Shop in Tokyo
- Part 6 – Why Tokyo is the Culinary Capital of the World
- Part 7 – Day Trip From Tokyo – Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa Review
- Part 8 – Day Trip From Tokyo – What to Do in Hakone
- Part 9 – Day Trip From Tokyo – Where to Eat in Hakone
Flights to Japan on Miles
We flew to Japan for ~$200 in Business Class. I redeemed 190,000 American Airlines miles, which was before the American Airlines devaluation. Unfortunately, it now costs 240,000 American Airlines miles for 2 round-trip Business Class flights between the US and Japan.
I wanted to book First Class awards, but had trouble finding available seats. So instead I booked into Business Class. I found a route with a few layovers, but it would still be a long trip!
I called the American Airlines customer service line to book the less-than-ideal flights (booking with miles usually takes some level of flexibility). The agent asked where I wanted to go, and the dates I wanted to travel.
I let her know I wanted to fly as close to Okinawa, Japan, as possible, and then fly out of mainland Japan. She was excellent, and found better seats for me than I found for myself!
You Can Do It, Too!
Each round-trip Business Class flight to Japan cost me 95,000 American Airlines miles + $110 in taxes and fees. For an even better flight experience, try to find a seat on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines!
You can read more about our flights to Japan in this post.
If you need more American Airlines miles, consider cards like:
- Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard – 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard – 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
- Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red – 50,000 American Airlines bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of annual fee within the first 90 days of account opening
You can read more about our return flight to the US.
Getting to Japan for free is definitely possible with miles & points! However, it can take some time to find availability that works for your schedule. To me, what’s part of the fun!
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to call American Airlines, and work with a representative. Sometimes they can find seats that you can’t!
I paid 190,000 American Airlines miles and ~$200 to book two round-trip Business Class flights from the US to Japan. It was a lengthy itinerary, but that just meant we got to spend more time in comfy Business Class seats! 🙂
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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! :)