The 18 Best Ways to Redeem China Eastern Airlines “Eastern Miles Points” [2021]

China Eastern
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China Eastern is one of the world’s most important major airlines. Why? China Eastern connects much of the world to a vital global business hub: Shanghai.

Also known as China Eastern Airlines, China Eastern possesses roots all the way back to 1988 as a branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Today, it has grown to become China’s second-largest airline by the number of passengers carried, just after Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines.

The SkyTeam airline offers a unique frequent flyer program known as Eastern Miles. The miles you can earn and redeem are typically referred to as Eastern Miles points.

In this guide, we’ll show you all the top ways you can redeem China Eastern Eastern Miles points for maximum value. You don’t have to book flights on China Eastern to get awesome value — read on for more details!

Table of contents

Table of Contents

The Pros and Cons of Eastern Miles

Deciphering all the policies that Eastern Miles has for redeeming points can feel a whole lot like reading hieroglyphs. Luckily, we’ve boiled down the major takeaways for Eastern Miles point redemptions in this section.

Here are some of the top reasons why you’d gravitate towards Eastern Miles:

  1. You can book one-way tickets for half of the price of a round-trip award ticket on partner awards.
  2. 1 open-jaw is allowed on international itineraries as long as the open-jaw is within a single region/zone.

Here are some of the major cons of Eastern Miles you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. The only eligible changes you can make to your award ticket are flight date and time changes.
  2. There are no refunds/voluntary cancellations permitted unless you are an Eastern Miles Platinum member.
  3. You can only redeem up to 2 round-trip award tickets or 4 one-way award tickets for other travelers besides yourself in China Eastern first or business class for flights between China and Europe, the South Pacific, North America, South Africa, or Hawaii.
  4. Mixed cabin awards are allowed only on round-trip redemptions.
  5. One-way tickets on China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, and China United Airlines cost more than half of a round-trip ticket.
  6. Most fuel surcharges are passed on.
  7. The award price for children and infants is the same as for adults.

Using Your China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles Points

China Eastern has some interesting rules when it comes to Eastern Miles point redemptions.

China Eastern’s frequent flyer program is based entirely on the metric system, so Eastern Miles points are accumulated and redeemed based on kilometers.

In other words, when you fly on an eligible plane ticket, the miles you earn are usually a function of the flight distance in kilometers, not miles. As a result, it’s significantly easier to earn Eastern Miles points.

Let’s say that you flew on a short, 500-mile (805-kilometer) flight with a 200% accrual rate. That means that you would earn 1,610 Eastern Miles points, as opposed to 1,000 Eastern Miles points.

In total, China Eastern has 4 types of award charts:

  1. Domestic China flights operated by China Eastern and its subsidiaries
  2. International flights operated by China Eastern and its subsidiaries
  3. Domestic flights operated by partner airlines
  4. International flights operated by partner airlines

Let’s take a look at some of these award charts.

China Eastern Award Charts

China Eastern Airlines uses distance-based award pricing for its domestic flights and region-based award pricing for its international flights.

Also, China Eastern’s award chart covers its own flights, as well as flights on its 2 major subsidiaries: Shanghai Airlines and China United Airlines.

Here is China Eastern’s domestic award chart:

China Eastern Domestic Award Chart (Excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
Distance Bracket1 to 600 kilometers601 to 1,200 kilometers1,201 to 1,800 kilometers1,801 to 2,400 kilometers2,401+ kilometers
One-Way Economy Class6,00012,00016,00020,00025,000
Round-Trip Economy Class12,00023,00030,00038,00048,000
One-Way Business Class8,00016,00020,00025,00032,000
Round-Trip Business Class16,00030,00038,00048,00060,000
One-Way First Class11,00021,00028,00035,00043,000
Round-Trip First Class22,00040,00053,00066,00082,000

For example, if you booked a flight on Shanghai Airlines from Shanghai-Pudong (PVG) to Harbin (HRB), you would travel a flight distance of 1,653 kilometers.

Therefore, it would cost 16,000 Eastern Miles points for a one-way economy flight and 20,000 Eastern Miles points for a one-way business class flight.

Let’s take a look at Eastern Miles’s international award chart on China Eastern flights:

China Eastern International Award Chart 
Between Mainland China and:Hong Kong, Macau, and TaiwanNortheast Asia and Southeast AsiaSouth Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, North AfricaEurope, South Pacific, HawaiiNorth America, South Africa
One-Way Economy Class20,00025,00030,00046,00055,000
Round-Trip Economy Class38,00048,00055,00090,00098,000
One-Way Business Class30,00038,00045,00085,000100,000
Round-Trip Business Class58,00070,00080,000160,000180,000
One-Way First Class40,00050,00060,000135,000135,000
Round-Trip First Class70,00080,00090,000240,000280,000

As you can see, China Eastern charges more points for a one-way ticket than half of a round-trip ticket, so you’ll want to book round-trip tickets in general for maximum value.

You might be wondering how you’ll know which countries/territories fall into each region.

The details are not readily accessible on Eastern Miles’s website, so we’ve put together the region definitions for you here:

China Eastern Eastern Miles Region Definitions
RegionIncluded Areas
China MainlandMainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
China Hong Kong, Macau, TaiwanHong Kong, Macau, Taiwan
Northeast AsiaJapan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea
Southeast AsiaBrunei, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Guam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Saipan, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam
South Asia, Central AsiaBangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Middle East, North AfricaAfghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen
Central Africa, South AfricaAll other African countries not in the “Middle East, North Africa” zone
EuropeAll European countries
North AmericaCanada, U.S. (excluding Hawaii)
Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Central AmericaAntigua, Aruba, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, The Bahamas
Northern South AmericaColumbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guiana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Southern South AmericaArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
HawaiiHawaiian Islands
South PacificAustralia, New Zealand, and South Pacific island countries

If you put all of this together, we can conclude that, for example, a flight between Shanghai and India it would cost 55,000 for a round-trip economy ticket or 80,000 for a round-trip business class ticket.

SkyTeam and Non-Alliance Airline Partners Award Chart

China Eastern and its wholly-owned subsidiary Shanghai Airlines have been a full member of the SkyTeam alliance since 2011.

You can redeem Eastern Miles points on the following partners (non-SkyTeam partners included):

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Aeroméxico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Japan Airlines (non-SkyTeam partner)
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Qantas (non-SkyTeam partner)
  • Saudia
  • TAROM
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir

Eastern Miles is a bit quirky when it comes to partner award charts because it offers a partner award chart for domestic flights.

What this means is that you can enjoy slightly better pricing for domestic flights wholly within certain countries.

Check out the partner award chart for domestic flights below:

Eastern Miles Partner Award Chart for Domestic Flights (One-Way)
Within 1 CountryEconomy ClassBusiness ClassFirst Class
ChinaMainland China1 to 1,201 kilometers15,00025,00030,000
1,201+ kilometers25,00050,00060,000
Taiwan, China15,00030,00040,000
Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, U.S. (excluding Hawaii)20,00040,00050,000
All other countries15,00030,00040,000

It’s a bit confusing at first glance to interpret this chart. Let’s do a few sample exercises!

If you wanted to book a one-way domestic Russia flight from Moscow (SVO) to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy (PKC), you’d pay 20,000 Eastern Miles points in economy and 40,000 in business.

Similarly, if you booked a one-way flight between Taiwan (TPE/TSA) and Shanghai (PVG/SHA), you’d pay 15,000 miles in economy and 30,000 miles in business.

Lastly, if you wanted to book a domestic flight from Seoul (ICN/GMP) to Busan (PUS), you’d pay 15,000 miles in economy and 30,000 miles in business. This flight falls under “All other countries.”

The very last award chart that Eastern Miles employs is a region-based partner award chart, valid for international flights.

The prices below are for one-way tickets (click image to enlarge):

Eastern Miles Partner Award Chart
Eastern Miles Partner Award Chart. Image Credit: Eastern Miles
Eastern Miles Partner Award Chart continued
Eastern Miles Partner Award Chart continued. Image Credit: Eastern Miles

As a reminder, the region definitions are in the previous section about China Eastern award charts, so you’ll want to refer to that same chart.

For example, if you wanted to book an international flight on Middle East Airlines from Beirut (BEY) to Accra (ACC), you’d be redeeming 40,000 points in economy or 70,000 points in business class to fly from the Middle East, North Africa region to the Central Africa, South Africa region.

Awards Bookable Online vs. Phone

In general, there are 5 main ways you can make an award reservation:

  1. China Eastern website
  2. China Eastern service office
  3. China Eastern service hotline
  4. China Eastern app
  5. China Eastern mobile website

You’ll probably be making a majority of your reservations through the service hotline over the phone because the website doesn’t offer the full picture when it comes to award availability.

Plus, the website is very clunky in general. The only time you might be able to use the website is if you’re booking an award ticket on a China Eastern-operated flight.

Technically speaking, China Eastern says you can’t call the service hotline for award upgrades or partner award tickets, according to its chart below:

Valid Award Booking Methods for Eastern Miles
Type of Award TicketChina Eastern WebsiteChina Eastern Service OfficeChina Eastern Service HotlineChina Eastern AppChina Eastern Mobile Website
China Eastern Award Ticket
China Eastern Award Upgrade
Partner Award Tickets

If you’re wondering where this information can be found, you can find it via the Eastern Miles membership handbook.

As a reminder, it may be difficult to search for partner award availability because the search engine is known to produce invalid results.

The China Eastern global hotline is reachable at +86-21-2069-5530.

To redeem Eastern Miles points, you’ll need to set up a Consumption Password via the mobile app or a service center. After that, you must also upload or provide valid ID documents to redeem points for other beneficiaries, such as family members.

Award Redemption Rules

China Eastern Eastern Miles has some unique award ticket rules.

To start, one-way redemptions on China Eastern are more expensive than 50% of a round-trip redemption. This is not the case with partner airlines, as one-way award tickets are exactly 50% of the price of a round-trip award ticket.

One-way tickets are permitted in addition to round-trip tickets. Open-jaws are allowed only if the open-jaw takes place within the same region.

China Eastern only allows 2 types of changes for award tickets: date and time changes.

As a result, you’ll definitely want to make sure that the passenger’s information and the flight information are 100% correct before booking your award ticket because you cannot cancel your ticket voluntarily and get your miles back unless you’re an Eastern Miles Platinum member.

If you’re an Eastern Miles Platinum member, you can voluntarily refund your award ticket and get your points back with no fee.

That means if you make a mistake as small as misspelling the passenger’s name, you’ll lose all of your points!

Your award tickets are valid 1 year from the date of issuance.

Also, upgrade and award redemptions will cost the same for children and infants as they will for adults.

Interestingly, you are actually limited in the number of China Eastern business and first class flights you can book per year for other travelers besides yourself.

Specifically, you can only book up to 4 one-way or 2 round-trip award tickets in China Eastern business or first class between China and Europe, the South Pacific, North America, South Africa, or Hawaii.

Except for Japan Airlines, you can book mixed carrier awards including mixing China Eastern with other partners.

When booking Japan Airlines award flights, you can only book round-trip itineraries — one-way trips are not allowed.

You can only perform 1-class upgrades on 4-class cabins (economy, premium economy, business, and first). The only 2-class upgrades you can make are economy-to-business upgrades (skipping premium economy).

You can perform 2-class upgrades on 3-class cabins (economy, premium economy, and first). For example, you can upgrade from economy all the way up to first class.

How to Boost Your Eastern Miles Points

Eastern Miles points are nearly impossible to earn with U.S. credit card spending, but they are incredibly easy to earn in China.

This probably makes a lot of sense because China Eastern is a Chinese airline, and China has a ton of banks where you can get rewarded for credit card spending.

The most practical way for those based in the U.S. to earn Eastern Miles points is by crediting your partner award travel (including on Delta Air Lines) to Eastern Miles. Remember that you can also earn Eastern Miles on non-SkyTeam partner flights such as Japan Airlines and Qantas.

Also, you can accumulate Eastern Miles points by booking hotel stays, tour packages, and even blogging on Flyertea, China’s largest frequent flyer social media website.

The 18 Best Ways to Use Your Eastern Miles Points

As we’ve seen above, there’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to a niche program like Eastern Miles.

However, the most important tidbit you’ll need to keep in mind is the fact that Eastern Miles points redemptions are in kilometers, not miles.

This means that many redemptions will seem expensive, but upon conversion by dividing by approximately 1.61, you’ll find that many of these redemptions are extremely attractive, often beating out frequent flyer programs like Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Delta SkyMiles.

For example, let’s say a particular flight redemption will cost around 50,000 Eastern Miles points. When you convert these points to miles, it’s roughly equal to 31,000 equivalent miles.

If you try to compare it to how much Flying Blue would charge, for example, and you find out that Flying Blue charges 40,000 miles for the same ticket, you can conclude that using Eastern Miles points is actually a superb deal!

This will give you a baseline to compare how good an Eastern Miles points redemption is. By converting Eastern Miles points from kilometers to miles, you will be able to compare loyalty program redemptions side-by-side.

Let’s get into the top ways to redeem Eastern Miles points!

Upgrade a China Eastern International Ticket From Economy to Business Class

China Eastern business class
China Eastern business class. Image Credit: China Eastern

One of the best ways you can redeem Eastern Miles points is on upgrades aboard China Eastern.

Why? China Eastern offers some amazing deals on paid economy tickets. On top of this, you can redeem a reasonable number of miles for international upgrades, particularly from economy to business class.

Here is the domestic award upgrade chart:

Eastern Miles Award Upgrade Chart for Domestic Mainland China Flights 
DistanceFrom Premium Economy (W) to BusinessFrom Economy (Y, B, M, E) to Business From Economy (H, K, L, N) to Business From Economy (R, S, Z) to Business From Business (J, C, D, Q, I) to First 
1 to 600 kilometers4,0004,0006,00010,0003,000
601 to 1,200 kilometers6,0006,0009,00015,0005,000
1,201 to 1,800 kilometers7,0007,00011,00018,0007,000
1,801 to 2,400 kilometers9,0009,00014,00021,0009,000
2,401+ kilometers11,00011,00019,00026,00011,000

Here is the international award upgrade chart:

Eastern Miles Award Upgrade Chart for International Flights
Between Mainland China and:From Premium Economy (W) to BusinessFrom Economy (Y, B, M, E) to Business From Economy (H, K, L, N) to Business From Economy (R, S, Z) to Business From Business (J, C, D, Q, I) to First 
Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan10,00010,00018,00025,00016,000
Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia10,00010,00018,00028,00018,000
South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa13,00013,00024,00034,00022,000
Europe, South Pacific, Hawaii30,00030,00050,00070,00040,000
North America, South Africa33,00033,00055,00077,00044,000

For international flights, particularly between the U.S. and China, the most realistic fare class you’ll be upgraded from is an N-class ticket. If you’re lucky enough to find an R-, S-, or Z-class ticket on your route, consider yourself lucky.

Here is great sample redemption you can make:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Shanghai (PVG) one-way in business class upgraded from an N-class economy ticket for $820 + 55,000 China Eastern Miles points (cash value = $9,000+)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Shanghai (PVG) one-way in first class upgraded from an I-class business ticket for $2,260 + 44,000 China Eastern Miles points (cash value = $14,935)

Depending on what your exact redemption is, you can get a whopping 15 to 30 cents per Eastern Miles point in value by leveraging upgrades!

Hot Tip: One caveat to remember if you’re performing searches: due to Chinese flight restrictions from COVID-19, China Eastern is proactively restricting many flights to only sell the most expensive fare classes. Therefore, it is temporarily more difficult to find discounted or deeply discounted economy tickets to upgrade.

Book China Eastern First Class Between Shanghai and Europe (From 135,000 Points)

China Eastern first class
China Eastern first class. Image Credit: China Eastern

China Eastern first class is one of our choices for the best first class seats for couples. Why? Because it is one of the only airlines in the world besides Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Etihad Airways that offers double beds.

This rare first class hard product is available on 777-300ER aircraft, and award availability is very generous.

Plus, the cash prices for this ticket are egregious — expect to pay nearly $10,000 each way if you wanted to use cash!

Luckily, Eastern Miles offers a nice way to redeem points for a double bed first class seat with excellent award availability. Although the soft product won’t be as polished as airlines like Singapore Airlines, it’s still an excellent, comfortable way to go if you value an airline’s hard product the most.

In this case, an excellent sweet spot is a one-way first class flight between Shanghai and Europe that can be booked for as little as 135,000 points one-way or 240,000 points round-trip.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Shanghai (PVG) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in China Eastern first class for 135,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$274 in taxes and fees
  • Shanghai (PVG) – Paris (CDG) round-trip in China Eastern first class for 240,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$669 in taxes and fees

Fly Between the U.S. and the South Pacific in Business Class (From 140,000 Points)

Korean Air business class suites
Korean Air business class Prestige Suites. Image Credit: Korean Air

Korean Air is one of China Eastern’s most useful partners. Korean Air offers many convenient itineraries to the South Pacific via Seoul-Incheon (ICN).

You can handily redeem miles for Korean Air business class, though first class is not an option anymore.

Korean Air’s business class product, particularly the Prestige Suites, which are Apex Suites with direct aisle access and lie-flat seats, are highly rated. Plus, the service quality of Korean Air is top-notch.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in Korean Air business class for 140,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$296 in taxes and fees
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Auckland (AKL) one-way in Korean Air business class for 140,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$295 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Brisbane (BNE) one-way in Korean Air business class for 140,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$308 in taxes and fees

Hot Tip: If you are willing to book flights in the reverse direction departing from the South Pacific, you can save around $200 in fuel surcharges! 

Fly Between France and South Asia in Air France’s Brand-New Business Class (From 100,000 Points)

Air France new business class
Air France’s new business class aboard the A350. Image Credit: Air France

Air France’s brand new A350 aircraft features Zodiac Optima seats, and they are very similar to the seats you will find on United Polaris class, for instance.

These exceptional seats can be had on many Air France routes between Paris and India. And when you consider the Eastern Miles award pricing here, you’ll find that the points cost is quite attractive!

On Air France business class flights between Europe and the Caribbean, you will pay 90,000 Eastern Miles points, which is roughly equal to 55,900 frequent flyer miles.

For comparison, Delta SkyMiles charges around 75,000 miles, and Flying Blue charges around 67,500 miles!

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Paris (CDG) – Delhi (DEL) one-way in Air France’s new A350-900 business class for 90,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$325 in taxes and fees
  • Paris (CDG) – Mumbai (BOM) one-way in Air France’s new A350-900 business class for 90,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$325 in taxes and fees

Fly From Central or Southern Africa to the U.S. in ITA Business Class (From 130,000 Points)

Alitalia 777-200 business class
ITA 777-200 business class. Image Credit: ITA

ITA, known formerly as Alitalia, is Italy’s flag carrier. This SkyTeam alliance partner offers convenient nonstop flights to Rome (FCO) and an overall solid experience.

One of the best ways to get 20+ hours in business class luxury is to redeem 130,000 Eastern Miles points for Alitalia one-way business class to the U.S. from Central and South Africa via Rome!

You’ll want to book flights departing from Africa to save the most on fuel surcharges because you’ll find total taxes and fees of nearly $1,000 if you depart from the U.S.!

Here is a great example route you can book:

  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Rome (FCO) – Los Angeles (LAX) one-way in ITA business class for 130,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$320 in taxes and fees

Fly Round-Trip in Japan Airlines First Class Between Tokyo and Europe (From 270,000 Points)

Japan Airlines first class
Japan Airlines’ first class seats feature an amazing 33 inches in width! Image Credit: Stephen Au

One of the most aspirational first class flights you can book is Japan Airlines first class. This first class product is famous not only for its spaciousness and plush comfort but also for its superb food and beverage program and incredible service.

Ordinarily, these redemptions are available to Oneworld airline partners only — however, Eastern Miles enables you to redeem miles for this magnificent first class product.

One of the nicest Japan Airlines first class redemptions you can make is on routes between Japan and Europe. You can only redeem Eastern Miles points for round-trip Japan Airlines first class flights, so you’ll pay around 270,000 Eastern Miles points (135,000 points each way).

This is approximately equivalent to 168,000 frequent flyer miles. And this is an excellent deal compared to other loyalty programs — for example, American Airlines AAdvantage charges 180,000 miles round-trip or 90,000 miles one-way!

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – London-Heathrow (LHR) round-trip in Japan Airlines first class for 270,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$329 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – Paris (CDG) round-trip in Japan Airlines first class for 270,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$173 in taxes and fees

Book Economy Flights Between Europe and the Middle East/North Africa at a Bargain (35,000 Points)

KLM economy class
KLM economy class. Image Credit: KLM

Flights between Europe and the Middle East or North Africa are often expensive, and nonstop flights on these same routes are often egregiously pricey!

When you consider the fact that many of these flights are less than 6 hours and can cost $600+ for one-way economy, you’ll probably want to seek out ways to redeem points to offset these costs.

And though these redemptions aren’t quite as glamorous as ultra-long-haul first class tickets, they will still save you a bundle of money.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Amsterdam (AMS) – Dubai (DXB) one-way in KLM economy for 35,000 points + ~$169 in taxes and fees
  • Paris (CDG) – Riyadh (RUH) one-way in Saudia economy for 35,000 points + ~$224 in taxes and fees
  • Rome (FCO) – Cairo (CAI) one-way in ITA economy for 35,000 points + ~$79 in taxes and fees

Book China’s Most Solid Business Class to/From Australia (90,000 Points)

XiamenAir 787-9 business class
XiamenAir’s 787-9 business class. Image Credit: XiamenAir

XiamenAir is one of the smaller Chinese airlines, but don’t let that deter you because it is known to be the best all-around business class product you can get from a Chinese airline.

You’ll enjoy reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, tasty Asian food, and a comfortable soft product experience.

Additionally, XiamenAir offers nonstop flights between Australia and China at a competitive price: 90,000 points one-way in business class.

Here is a great sample redemption you can make:

  • Xiamen (XMN) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in XiamenAir business class for 90,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$149 in taxes and fees

Fly Nonstop Between Mexico and North Asia in Aeroméxico Business Class (110,000 Points)

Aeromexico 787-9 business class
Aeroméxico 787-9 business class. Image Credit: Aeroméxico

Aeroméxico is Mexico’s flag carrier airline. Also a member of the SkyTeam alliance, it is a crucial player in the global route network connecting Latin America to the rest of the world.

Its business class product gets solid marks all around, especially on the newer 787-9 aircraft featuring reverse herringbone business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

These planes are typically reserved for flights to major Spanish-speaking cities such as Madrid (MAD) or major Latin American hubs such as São Paulo (GRU), but you’ll also find Aeroméxico’s 787-9 flown frequently to Seoul-Incheon (ICN).

You’ll also note that Aeroméxico’s longest routes are to North Asia, so it’d be an excellent opportunity to savor Aeroméxico’s best business class for a great deal — 110,000 Eastern Miles points one-way.

Hot Tip: If you are on the lookout for Aeroméxico’s top business class product, be sure to seek out the 787-9, instead of the 787-8, because the latter has a 2-2-2 configuration with Aerospace Diamond seats.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Mexico City (MEX) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) one-way in Aeroméxico business class for 110,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$203 in taxes and fees
  • Mexico City (MEX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) one-way in Aeroméxico business class for 110,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$292 in taxes and fees

Fly Between Southeast Asia and the South Pacific in Business Class (80,000 Points)

Vietnam Airlines 787-9 business class seat
Vietnam Airlines 787-9 business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s most tourist-friendly countries. If you find yourself in Southeast Asia with plans to fly to the South Pacific, you might be shocked to find that nonstop flights are at least 9 hours long!

You’ll want to do your best to find comfortable business class flights on these long-haul routes, and Vietnam Airlines is one of your best options.

This carrier offers reverse herringbone seats, great amenities, and comfortable bedding for a comfortable journey down under to the South Pacific.

You can redeem just 80,000 Eastern Miles points for one-way business class flights between Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Hanoi (HAN) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 80,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$67 in taxes and fees
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) – Melbourne (MEL) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 80,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$67 in taxes and fees
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 80,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$67 in taxes and fees

Get Incredible Value on Saudia Business Class Between the Middle East/North Africa and Europe (55,000 Points)

Saudia business class
Saudia business class. Image Credit: Saudia

Although Saudi Arabia isn’t a top tourist destination globally, it’s starting to grow rapidly. Whether you’re in Saudi Arabia for pleasure or business, you will get incredible value booking Saudia business class with Eastern Miles points.

One of the biggest sweet spots is for flights between the Middle East and Europe. One-way business class flights between Saudi Arabia and major Western European cities are hugely expensive when you consider that flights are typically shorter than 6 hours!

It’s best to redeem points for these flights because award availability is generous. Plus, Saudia offers comfortable reverse herringbone seats for your journey.

Just keep in mind that Saudia is a dry airline, which means it does not serve alcohol.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Jeddah (JED) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Saudia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$199 in taxes and fees (cash value = $1,500+)
  • Jeddah (JED) – Milan-Malpensa (MXP) one-way in Saudia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$133 in taxes and fees (cash value = $1,500+)
  • Riyadh (RUH) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in Saudia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$199 in taxes and fees (cash value = $2,500+)

Book Pricey Intra-Europe Economy Flights and Save Big (25,000 Points)

Air France economy
Air France economy. Image Credit: Air France

Another great way to save big on cash when redeeming Eastern Miles points is to book intra-Europe point-to-point flights on SkyTeam airlines.

In general, hub-to-hub flights (i.e. Paris to Amsterdam) are significantly cheaper than point-to-point flights (i.e. Nice to Moscow).

You can use this fact to save big on intra-Europe flights. Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Amsterdam (AMS) – St. Petersburg (LED) one-way in KLM economy class for 25,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$67 in taxes and fees
  • Athens (ATH) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France economy class for 25,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$51 in taxes and fees
  • Moscow (SVO) – Split (SPU) one-way in Aeroflot economy class for 25,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$71 in taxes and fees

Fly Between the U.S. and Southeast Asia in China Airlines Business Class (120,000 Points)

China Airlines 777-300ER business class
China Airlines 777-300ER business class. Image Credit: China Airlines

China Airlines is one of the most elegant airlines you can fly in business class. The Taiwanese flag carrier receives high marks all around for its phenomenal business class product boasting velvety reverse herringbone seats, amenities from The North Face, and a remarkable quality of service.

Plus, China Airlines offers lots of well-timed connecting flights to Southeast Asia from the U.S. As a result, you can fly on one-stop itineraries via Taipei (TPE) to most of Southeast Asia without wasting too much time in layovers.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Taipei (TPE) – Bali (DPS) one-way in China Airlines business class for 120,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$81 in taxes and fees
  • New York City (JFK) – Taipei (TPE) – Bangkok (BKK) one-way in China Airlines business class for 120,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$83 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Taipei (TPE) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL) one-way in China Airlines business class for 120,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$81 in taxes and fees

Book Delta One Suites Between the U.S. and Europe (90,000 Points)

Delta One Suites A350-900 Sitting Photo
Delta One Suites are elegant and sleek. Image Credit: Stephen Au

One of the most aspirational ways to fly from the U.S. to Europe is on Delta One Suites! Delta One Suites are exceedingly private with sliding doors, staggered forward-facing lie-flat seats, and much more.

If you are lucky enough to find availability, you can redeem 90,000 Eastern Miles points for a one-way ticket between the U.S. and Europe in Delta One Suites.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in Delta One Suites for 90,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$729 in taxes and fees
  • New York City (JFK) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in Delta One Suites for 90,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$729 in taxes and fees
  • Seattle (SEA) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in Delta One Suites for 90,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$729 in taxes and fees

Fly Kenya Airways Business Class Within Central and South Africa (40,000 Points)

Kenya Airways business class
Kenya Airways business class. Image Credit: Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways offers African transcontinental flights with lie-flat seats on widebody aircraft to/from its hub in Nairobi (NBO). This SkyTeam airline is known for charging a ton for tickets on nonstop flights to major cities in Africa.

You can redeem Eastern Miles points for flights within Central and Southern Africa at a great price of 40,000 points one-way.

Here is a great sample redemption you can make:

  • Nairobi (NBO) – Johannesburg (JNB) one-way in Kenya Airways lie-flat 787 business class for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$108 in taxes and fees

Although finding lie-flat seats on Kenya Airways flights within Africa is not easy, you can still get exceptional value by booking recliner-style seats on routes like these:

  • Nairobi (NBO) – Accra (ACC) one-way in Kenya Airways business class for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$108 in taxes and fees
  • Nairobi (NBO) – Mahé (SEZ) one-way in Kenya Airways business class for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$108 in taxes and fees
  • Nairobi (NBO) – Mauritius (MRU) one-way in Kenya Airways business class for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$108 in taxes and fees
  • Nairobi (NBO) – Victoria Falls (VFA) one-way in Kenya Airways business class for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$108 in taxes and fees
  • Nairobi (NBO) – Yaounde (NSI) one-way in Kenya Airways business class for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$108 in taxes and fees

Book Garuda Indonesia Business Class Between Northeast Asia and Indonesia (55,000 Points)

Garuda Indonesia business class
Garuda Indonesia business class. Image Credit: Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia is the flag carrier of Indonesia, home to the fourth-largest population in the world after China, India, and the U.S.

This airline offers one of the rarest first class products in the world, and it’s easy to see why because it also happens to be one of the best first class products.

Unfortunately, first class is extremely difficult to book for U.S. residents, but business class is much more attainable.

In particular, redeeming Eastern Miles points for Garuda Indonesia business class is one of our favorite ways to use your points because it enables you to book 7 hours of luxury for as little as 55,000 points!

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Bali (DPS) one-way in Garuda Indonesia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$25 in taxes and fees
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Jakarta (CGK) one-way in Garuda Indonesia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$25 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – Jakarta (CGK) one-way in Garuda Indonesia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$45 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Bali (DPS) one-way in Garuda Indonesia business class for 55,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$45 in taxes and fees

Fly on Aeroflot’s Brand-New Business Class Suites Between Russia and Europe (40,000 Points)

Aeroflot A350 suite
Aeroflot’s A350 suites are impressive and private. Image Credit: Aeroflot

Aeroflot’s newest long-haul aircraft is the A350 — a widebody aircraft equipped with brand-new suites in business class! These suites feature sliding doors, fully lie-flat seats, a side table, lots of storage space, and technologically-advanced amenities.

And although Aeroflot will continue to add A350s to its fleet over time as new planes get built, you’ll still find that these are quite rare. If you follow closely, you’ll find that this aircraft is usually flown to Western Europe from Moscow.

Currently, this is the only flight offering the A350 suites:

  • Moscow (SVO) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in Aeroflot’s new A350 business class suites for 40,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$131 in taxes and fees

Book Qantas Domestic Economy Flights (15,000 Points)

Qantas economy
Qantas economy is a fun experience, regardless of what age group you’re in. Image Credit: Qantas

Our last redemption is for Qantas’ domestic economy flights. Some Australian point-to-point routes are very expensive when paying with cash, but redeeming 20,000 Eastern Miles points each way is an excellent opportunity to deflect up to $450 in costs per ticket!

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Adelaide (ADL) – Darwin (DRW) one-way in Qantas economy for 20,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$86 in taxes and fees (cash value = $450)
  • Brisbane (BNE) – Perth (PER) one-way in Qantas economy for 20,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$90 in taxes and fees (cash value = $300)
  • Melbourne (MEL) – Broome (BME) one-way in Qantas economy for 20,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$92 in taxes and fees (cash value = $670)
  • Perth (PER) – Hobart (HBA) one-way in Qantas economy for 20,000 Eastern Miles points + ~$80 in taxes and fees (cash value = $350)

Final Thoughts

There are tons of high-value ways to redeem Eastern Miles points. And although the policies are quite restrictive, you’ll definitely come out ahead if you know what awards to look out for.

You can redeem points for SkyTeam alliance flights, as well as flights on Japan Airlines and Qantas!

Eastern Miles points are counted in kilometers, so the number of points you’ll redeem will be higher than other loyalty programs — however, it’s also much easier to accrue points since you’ll be earning points based on flight distances in kilometers.

Hopefully, you found this comprehensive guide useful to help you make the most of your Eastern Miles points!


Frequently asked questions

Why is China Eastern so cheap?

China Eastern often offers exceptional pricing on flights, especially you’re booking a connecting flight, instead of a nonstop flight.

In short, China Eastern takes advantage of exceptionally low operating costs. Thanks to a large population base to appeal to, China Eastern can make a lot of money on volume sales. China Eastern also often offers fewer amenities than airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines.

What alliance is China Eastern part of?

China Eastern is a part of the SkyTeam alliance that includes Delta Air Lines, Air France, KLM, and more.

Is China Eastern better than Air China?

China Eastern is similar to Air China, although the products offer different features. For example, China Eastern’s business class hard product mostly consists of reverse herringbone seats or Vantage XL staggered seats, both of which are considered to be industry-leading. Air China still offers lie-flat 2-2-2 Aerospace Diamond seats that don’t guarantee direct aisle access at all seats.

Does China Eastern serve food?

China Eastern serves food on all long-haul flights, even in economy. As a reminder, China Eastern is a full-service legacy carrier, so you’ll enjoy a lot of the same perks you would on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

Does China Eastern have Wi-Fi?

China Eastern offers Wi-Fi, but there have been accounts of the Wi-Fi not working on flights. This is also highly aircraft dependent, but don’t expect to have blazing-fast Wi-Fi on your Chinese Eastern flight, especially on the older aircraft.

Can you smoke on China Eastern Airlines?

No, you may not smoke on China Eastern Airlines. As is the case with almost every single airline in the world, passengers are not allowed to smoke at any point during the flight.

Is China Eastern reliable?

China Eastern is highly reliable and safe. The airline has made significant strides in improving the in-flight experience, as well as its operational excellence.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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4 comments

  1. Is it possible to upgrade flights if it is China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines codeshare flights?

    Reply

  2. Can we purchase China Eastern Miles for a top up?

    Reply

    • Hi Dantart,

      Yes, you can by calling the Eastern Miles services hotline at 855-589-5530. The price is ¥25 per 100 Eastern Miles points, which is very expensive but might be worthwhile if you’re close to a specific redemption.

      Reply

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