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3 Great Mile Redemption Values

by on Sat June 19, 2010 • 5 Comments

We are frequent flyers who think carefully before we redeem our miles. These are a sampling of the rewards savvy frequent flyes save and search for because of the bargains they offer…and some aren’t nearly as hard to achieve as you’d think for even light travelers.

1. Great hotels for better than Priceline prices

starwood card imageStarwood is the program for Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, St. Regis, Four Points, and Aloft hotels. Most of their hotels let you book nights for a combination of cash and points at attractive levels using their ‘Cash and Points’ feature. A typical $150 per night hotel can be had for just 2,800 points and $45 per night — a cash return on your points of 4% or more.  These low point requirements mean if you don’t travel a lot and depend on your credit card to earn points these are easily within reach, unlike airline miles rewards that can cost 25,000 miles or more.

We always like to keep Starwood points on hand for these rewards as they can even be booked last minute, and as long as you cancel before the hotel’s policy (usually 24 hours prior to arrival) there are no change or refund fees. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is the only credit card which lets you earn Starwood points.

2. Lowest mileage requirements for some great premium flights

You’ll be surprised to learn transfering your points into a Japanese airline’s mileage program is one of the best deals in miles and points. ANA is one of Asia’s largest airlines, and participates in the Star Alliance, which means miles from an ANA account can be used to fly on United, Continental, US Airways, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and more below.

Star Alliance members/Partner airlines logo

ANA uses a distance based reward chart which gives you some unique lower cost opportunities to redeem for flights on any of the airlines above.

– East Coast to most of Europe in business class for 68,000 miles on partners Continental, US Airways, or Virgin Atlantic  (vs 100,000 miles via most other programs). See the chart below, but as long as your roundtrip is less than 9,000 miles you can use the 68,000 mile rate for a business class ticket.

– West Coast to Asia for 90,000 miles in business class versus 100-125,000 miles using usual US carrier programs

– 14-17,000 miles roundtrip for quick hops of a distance of less than 800 miles each way (like LA-Vegas/San Fran, SF-Portland, LA-Phoenix, Miami-Atlanta, NY-Montreal, NY- Raleigh).

Remember — you don’t need to fly on ANA for these rewards — you can use the miles to travel on any of the partners listed above. See below for the miles required for each roundtrip distance. To redeem, you need to create a free account online with then transfer your miles from a program that lets you transfer into ANA. The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express and American Express Gold and Platinum cards each let you transfer points directly to ANA at 1:1 rates with no dilution or fees.

Total roundtrip itinerary distance
(the sum of all basic flight segment mileages)
Economy class Business class First class
0-600 14,000 28,000 45,000
601-1,600 17,000 33,000 55,000
1,601-2,000 20,000 38,000 60,000
2,001-4,000 22,000 43,000 70,000
4,001-7,000 38,000 63,000 90,000
7,001-9,000 43,000 68,000 100,000
9,001-11,000 55,000 85,000 120,000
11,001-14,000 60,000 90,000 140,000
14,001-18,000 65,000 105,000 160,000
18,001-20,000 75,000 115,000 180,000
20,001-22,000 85,000 125,000 200,000
22,001-25,000 100,000 145,000 220,000
25,001-29,000 120,000 170,000 260,000
29,001-34,000 140,000 200,000 300,000
34,001-39,000 160,000 220,000 340,000

3. British Airways Avios for short American Airlines nonstop flights

You can use British Airways Avios for any American Airlines flight that has ‘Low’ award availability for its own members, which you can search on The Avios award program charges based on the number of miles flown on award flights, rather than a single amount for an entire zone. So, short non stop flights tend to cost much less than the traditional zone format. You can take flights of 600 miles or less for 9,000 miles roundtrip, 4,500 one way with few taxes or fees. That compares to 25,000 miles for the same trip using American Airlines miles.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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5 thoughts on 3 Great Mile Redemption Values

  1. Andrea Levine

    Hi –

    I have a lot of United One Pass points and am wondering if it is possible to use them for an Air France flight or actually for six of them for my son’s wedding. Using them for a United ticket would use 130,000 per ticket and that’s not an option.

    Thank you.


      @Andrea – Unfortunately no, Air France is not a partner of United. Where are you trying to fly and when? Though 6 people on one flight is a tough ask for award travel. Have you searched for 2 or 3 on a flight?

  2. cece

    This was written quite a while ago…was wondering if it could be updated as these things definitely change over time?
    If this is still active, can partner flights be booked online on ANA…or will I have to call to find availability?

    I find calling such a rigorous procedure and much prefer doing my own thing online…with ALL programs…excepting maybe SPG – I love their callback feature 🙂

    1. MileCards

      @cece – Hasn’t changed much, you can still look up partner flights online with ANA as long as you have an active account with points in it.

  3. Pingback: Credit cards with airline mile transfer feature | MileCards - Reviews and Comparison Tools

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