By: Spencer Howard
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In my last post, we talked about some cheap economy class award redemptions you’ll want to check out. These economy awards are great for those trying to see as many places as they can and for those looking for cheap short flights—even if you usually fly business or first class.
Today, we’re going to take a look at five awesome business class awards that will not only help you get to your destination but help you enjoy the journey. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the great business class redemptions out there, but it will provide you some food for thought.
In this list, you’ll find ways to use American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and SPG Starpoints. Some you might already know, but I’d bet many of you will learn something new that could help you book a fun adventure.
Let’s dig in!
1) Use ANA Mileage Club Miles To Visit Japan
If you’re not familiar with All Nippon Airways (ANA), one of Japan’s major airlines, you should change that. ANA Mileage Club partners with both the Amex Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs making it quite easy to earn the necessary miles.
On top of that, ANA Mileage Club has some really solid redemption rates on their own flights. In fact, if you want to visit Japan, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to book a business class award.
ANA’s award chart includes three seasons: low, regular, and high—which we discussed in our guide to booking flights to Tokyo. If you want to use the fewest miles possible, you’ll want to book during low season as it will only require 75,000 Mileage Club miles for a round-trip business class award.
Regular season will require 85,000 Mileage Club miles while high season will require 90,000 Mileage Club miles for a round-trip award. Even at these rates, you’ll still get a better deal than almost every other frequent flyer program.
Keep in mind that round-trip award bookings are required so you won’t be able to book a one-way award with ANA Mileage Club. Additionally, these rates apply to awards that only include flights on ANA. If you book a connection on United to a gateway airport from which ANA operates, you’ll need 90,000 Mileage Club miles regardless of season.
Whether you book a low, regular or high season or partner award, you can expect a very nice lie-flat seat so you can rest peacefully on the long flight. Also important for business class, each seat will have direct aisle access so you aren’t climbing over someone when you want to walk around and you won’t have someone stumbling over you while you sleep!
If Japan has been on your bucket list, make sure you check out how you can use ANA Mileage Club to fly ANA business class.
2) Fly Singapore Airlines to Europe
Next up, we have the famous Singapore Airlines. You might be wondering why we’re suggesting you fly to Europe on Singapore Air instead of Southeast Asia. Well, you can definitely do that and you’ll have a blast, but who doesn’t love a fun fifth freedom route that’s a little outside the box?!
For 67,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles you can fly from New York City (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) or from Houston (IAH) to MAN (Manchester) in business class. If you’re on the JFK route, you can try out the upper deck of Airbus A380 and feel like you’re on top of the world in a massive business class seat that turns into a lie-flat bed and has direct aisle access.
If you’re flying out of IAH, you can also expect a great business class seat on Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A350. This aircraft has quickly become a favorite of many travelers thanks to its air circulation system that prevents the air from getting so dry—supposedly, this helps with jet lag and who wouldn’t like that?!
If you need to connect on their Star Alliance partner United Airlines to catch one of these flights, you won’t be using the same award chart as is used for itineraries that only include flights on Singapore Airlines. That’s okay, though. Their Star Alliance award chart is actually cheaper so if you connect on United and then fly Singapore Air, you will only need 65,000 KrisFlyer miles for a one-way business class award ticket.
Whatever you choose to do, you won’t have any trouble earning the required miles as Singapore Air is a partner of Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Starwood Preferred Guest.
3) Enjoy EVA Air’s Amazing Business Class To Taipei
If you want to know what it’s like to fly first class but only want to spend the miles required by business class, look no further than EVA Air. It might not be the most well-known airline in the states, but you don’t want to overlook it.
Each seat turns into a lie-flat bed and has direct aisle access—you’re probably starting to notice a trend—which makes this a very comfortable way to fly. EVA Air takes it a step further by providing bedding for its business class passengers. This is usually reserved for first class passengers, but EVA Air has chosen to provide it to business class—it also doesn’t have a first class cabin.
If you want to book a round-trip business class award, you can get some really good value by using ANA Mileage Club which requires 95,000 miles for the booking. If you only need a one-way flight, your best bets will be either Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles which both require 75,000 miles for a one-way business class award.
As mentioned earlier, Air Canada and Avianca both partner with Amex Membership Rewards and SPG while Avianca just recently partnered with Citi ThankYou Points and SPG.
4) Use Citi ThankYou Points To Fly Qatar Airways
We just looked at one fun way to use ThankYou Points, but here’s a fun business class redemption with a program you have probably never considered. You can use Qatar Airways’ own Privilege Club program to book a one-way business class ticket from the states to the Middle East for 70,000 Qmiles.
Qatar Airways is one of the world’s top-rated airlines and is a leader when it comes to business class products. Their Airbus A350 receives rave reviews for its business class and Qatar Airways is starting to roll out its industry-leading Qsuites on its Boeing 777-300s. You can be that will be a hot ticket when they start flying it to the states.
If you don’t have enough ThankYou Points, you can also transfer SPG Starpoints if you need more Qmiles. Don’t forget that each transfer of 20,000 Starpoints will earn you a 5,000-mile bonus.
Alternatively, you can use the American AAdvantage miles program which is also a partner of SPG and has co-branded cards provided by Citi and Barclaycard that earn American miles directly. You can use 70,000 American miles to book a one-way business class award on Qatar Airways to the Middle East as well.
Finally, depending on your home airport, using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles might be a good choice to book a flight on Qatar Airways. From JFK, you can expect to pay 120,000 miles for a round-trip business class award while it will be 145,000 miles from Los Angeles (LAX). Keep in mind that one-way awards booked with Asia Miles require more than half of the round-trip award price.
Asia Miles are pretty easy to earn as they can be acquired by transferring ThankYou Points, Membership Rewards, or Starpoints.
5) Try Austrian Airlines Famous Business Class Catering
If you’re flying to or from Europe and want an amazing food experience, look no further than Austrian Airlines.This Vienna-based airline has gained a reputation as having some of the best in-flight catering thanks to their partnership with DO&CO.
The appetizers come out on a cart staffed by flight attendants who are ready to serve you any of the options. They won’t just hand you multiple plates of appetizers though. They will plate them right in front of you.
If that’s not enough, you’ll also be able to enjoy a fancy Viennese coffee once the meal service is complete. If you find yourself wanting to try a second coffee, don’t hesitate to ask for one. Though, this might make it hard to sleep when flying to Europe! Maybe it’s wise to save the coffee for your flight back to the states when you don’t have to sleep.
Booking business class awards on Austrian Airlines can involve some pretty steep surcharges. Asiana Club, an SPG partner, only requires 40,000 miles for a one-way business class award ticket but you will incur some steep surcharges. ANA Mileage Club requires 88,000 miles for a round-trip award and also includes steep surcharges.
If you want to avoid the surcharges, you’ll need to use a few more miles but you have a couple options. You can use Avianca LifeMiles to book a one-way award with 63,000 miles or United MileagePlus to book with 70,000 miles.
With United Airlines’ MileagePlus program as an option, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book this amazing experience.
Choosing any of these business class awards pretty much guarantees that the journey will be just as much fun as the destination. When it comes to long flights overseas, who wouldn’t want to be comfortable, enjoy great food and drink, and relax?
As you can see from these options, whatever points you have, you have some great options for booking business class awards. Even better, these are only 5 options! There are tons more out there just waiting to be booked. Hopefully, these will inspire you to pick your next business class booking goal or maybe even to try business class for the first time!
Next time, we’ll take a look at a few fantastic first class redemption ideas that really take luxury to the next level.