Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
2x points on all your spending.
Alitalia MilleMiglia is a mysterious mileage program, but one that can get you good value if you’re looking to get to Italy in Business Class.
Yes, the $295 is a real ballpark you’ll get from Alitalia. While most Business Class award tickets to Europe with surcharges will set you back almost $1,000, award tickets using Alitalia miles have taxes and surcharges that are more reasonable. They also don’t match what you see marked as surcharges when you look up Alitalia award flights via its partner Air France Flying Blue (where they come out to around $500), and it’s been this way for several years.
Right now, Alitalia is offering a 50% bonus on purchased miles until March 27, and you can get a maximum of 75,000 miles this way.
So, you can buy 48,000 miles for $800 Euros (or $900 USD). That gets you a one way ticket in Alitalia’s luxurious business class for about $1,000, when you add the taxes and surcharges, which is a solid price.
Or, better yet, transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to Alitalia and get the flight for close to nothing (just $120 – $175 each way in taxes and surcharges).
Before you do it, make sure there’s award space.
You can get a sense by logging into the Alitalia site and using its clunky award search tool.
Don’t try using partner airline sites like Delta.com or AirFrance.us to check, because the space they see is often different than what’s available when you use Alitalia miles.
Once you find a flight with space, you’ll want to put the award on hold before you purchase or transfer any miles.
To do that, you’ll need to call Alitalia directly on 1 800 223 5730, where you’ll reach an English speaking agent (generally in Albania). Or, if your language skills are adventurous, try the Italian call center on +39 06 65649.
They can put awards on hold for up to two weeks.
Some agents will insist you ‘activate’ your Alitalia account by having 1,000 miles in it before putting a reservation on hold. You can take care of that with a quick transfer from Amex Membership Rewards.
But we would not advise sending all the points over for an award until you have a reservation on hold with a confirmed price.
Some other notes:
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