Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
ANA Mileage Club is a great program for getting big value out of your miles. It lets you fly any Star Alliance airline like United, Lufthansa, or Thai at attractive prices, and allows a free stopover on all roundtrip awards that begin outside Japan, letting you visit two cities for the price of a single roundtrip.
But ANA has unusual routing rules for how you can fly across regions.
To get a sense, first here are the 10 zones ANA uses to define award travel prices.
And these are the basics of what you can’t do.
On the flip side, ANA allows you to fly some very creative routings from North America.
Here’s an example of going to Asia via Australia, Oceania or New Zealand to get two expensive trips for one price. Here, you can spend time in Auckland and Hong Kong on the same ticket for 75,000 miles in Economy Class.
You can also visit New Zealand and Japan on the same ticket with no fuel surcharges at all and fly home in an ANA First Class suite, which is one of the best First Class products in the world. This trip from Los Angeles gives you 10 days in New Zealand and 9 days in Tokyo.
When trying to piece together a complicated award on the ANA site or with a phone agent, there are some arcane things to keep in mind (but most trips won’t break these rules)…
You can backtrack (connect through a city you’ve already had on your trip), but not on the same leg.
In other words you can pass through your origin city (Tokyo) on the way *back* from your destination (Seoul).
But you can’t pass through your origin city on the way *to* your destination. In the example below you leave Tokyo, stay in Sapporo, then try to fly via Tokyo again to your final destination Frankfurt. In this case you’re passing through your origin city on the same leg.
You can’t have a stopover (or layover) in a more expensive zone than your destination.
So you can do this (stop and visit Honolulu on the way from New York to Tokyo, since a Honolulu – Tokyo award is cheaper than a Tokyo – New York award):
But you can’t do that (stop and visit Seoul on the way from Tokyo to Los Angeles because an award from Los Angeles to Seoul is more expensive than one from Los Angeles to Tokyo):
ANA adds fuel surcharges to most of its partners, but there are four ways to avoid or minimize them:
Putting all this together, ANA let you get lots of great ‘2 in 1’ trips that let you see two continents for one good price. Getting creative is a great way to take advantage of good award prices and generous routing rules.
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
Foreign Transaction Fee Waived
Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?
Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.
"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."