42 Best Ways to Redeem Marriott Points for Flights [For Maximum Value]

Etihad First Class Apartment - Couples Pre Dinner

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Marriott has a large worldwide presence, with more than 6,000 hotel properties spread across the globe. There are plenty of amazing Marriott properties (as well as flight options) where you can redeem your hard-earned Marriott Bonvoy points.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to redeem your Marriott points. While there is plenty of value in using Marriott points to book hotel nights, there’s a whole world of flight redemptions to explore here too!

Table of contents

Table of Contents

How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

You have tons of ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points thanks to a number of credit card options.

Marriott Credit Cards

To earn Marriott points directly, you can use any of the cards below:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Limited Time Offer! Earn 125,000 bonus points! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.

Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Annual Free Night Certificate

If you hold these cards, you will earn an annual free night certificate on your account anniversary that can be used at properties costing up to 35,000 points per night. This is a solid perk that can make these cards keepers in your wallet for a long time.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards through one of several credit card options, and then transfer these Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. Thanks to the numerous bonus categories with Chase cards, you can earn points very quickly.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card, which is currently offering a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points per $1 on travel and dining worldwide, eligible delivery services, take out and dining out, plus other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees.

The sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,000+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A fantastic, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - this is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year; as well as a number of other benefits.

Earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, plus 1x on all other purchases — with no limit to the amount you can earn. All for an annual fee of $95.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card - Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, plus 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card - earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business.

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. There's no annual fee.

Marriott Brands and Categories

Marriott Brands
Marriott has 30 hotel brands that include luxury, high-end, and mid-tier properties. Image Credit: Marriott

Marriott has a wide variety of hotels across 30 brands, so you won’t have any trouble finding a hotel that fits your needs.

If you’re into luxury stays, visit one of their JW Marriott properties. If you’re on the road and need a comfortable bed for the night, Courtyard Hotels might be right for you.

Not all Marriott properties participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Here’s a complete list of brands that do:

Marriott Hotel Brands
JW MarriottCourtyard HotelsSt Regis
Ritz-CarltonSpringHill SuitesThe Luxury Collection
EDITIONProtea HotelsW Hotels
Marriott HotelsFairfield Inn & SuitesWestin
Marriott Vacation ClubAC HotelsSheraton
Delta HotelsMoxy HotelsLe Meridien
Autograph Collection HotelsMarriott Executive ApartmentsTribune Portfolio
Renaissance HotelsResidence InnDesign Hotels
Gaylord HotelsTownePlace SuitesFour Points
You can book award stays with each of these Marriott brands using your Marriott points.
CategoryCash + PointsPoints OnlyCash + PointsPoints OnlyCash + PointsPoints Only
1$55 + 3,5007,500$50 + 2,5005,000$60 + 4,50010,000
2$65 + 6,00012,500$60 + 5,00010,000$70 + 6,50015,000
3$80 + 8,50017,500$70 + 7,50015,000$90 + 9,00020,000
4$105 + 12,00025,000$90 + 10,00020,000$120 + 13,50030,000
5$140 + 17,00035,000$120 + 16,00030,000$165 + 19,00040,000
6$190 + 25,00050,000$165 + 22,00040,000$225 + 27,50060,000
7$250 + 30,00060,000$225 + 27,50050,000$325 + 35,00070,000
8$440 + 42,50085,000$325 + 35,00070,000$635 + 50,000100,000

The required number of Marriott points for an award stay is determined by the category of a given hotel. Award redemptions book you a standard room.

Transferring Marriott Bonvoy Points to Airline Partners

Marriott Transfer Partners

Keep in mind that for all of these partners, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 airline miles for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer to that airline. Most of the partners transfer at a 3:1 ratio, but not all.

So for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 airlines miles into the airline mileage account of your choosing, meaning you will receive 25,000 airline miles in exchange for your 60,000 Marriott points.

The most you can transfer in 1 day is 240,000 Marriott points — which would leave you with 100,000 airline miles.

Hot Tip: Transferring your points to an airline partner is a great way to “empty out” your account if you don’t have many to work with. Check out these other great ways to use 10,000 or fewer Marriott Bonvoy points.

The 42 Best Ways to Redeem Your Marriott Points for Flights

1. Fly Emirates First Class (Mileage Bank)

Emirates First Class A380 - Seat with Amenities & Excitement
Emirates first class. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Emirates first class is a favorite award redemption for almost everyone.

Now, there’s a better option that is often overlooked. With Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program, you can fly first class on Emirates between the U.S. and the Middle East for 120,000-135,000 miles one-way. If your award costs 120,000-135,000 JAL miles, you will need to transfer 300,000-330,000 Marriott points.

Keep in mind that a round-trip booking will include up to about $1,716 in taxes and fees. You can avoid fuel surcharges by changing your departure country to one that limits/restricts fuel surcharges.

Here are some examples of Emirates A380 routes that have limited/no fuel surcharges:

  • Auckland (AKL) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 135,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$38
  • Sydney (SYD) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 120,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$62
  • Hong Kong (HKG) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 65,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$39
  • Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 65,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$236
  • Seoul (ICN) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 90,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$80
  • Sao Paulo (GRU) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 120,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$306
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Dubai (DXB) nonstop will cost 90,000 JAL miles with total taxes and fees of ~$129

Keep in mind also that you will not be able to utilize the Emirates chauffeur service on any award tickets anymore, regardless of who you booked with.

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to book Emirates First Class!

2. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class to Southeast Asia or South Africa (Mileage Plan)

Cathay Pacific First Class Seat
Cathay Pacific has a great first class product! Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Alaska Airlines provides some amazing opportunities to enjoy premium cabin products.

You can use 70,000 Alaska miles for a one-way first class ticket between the U.S. and Southeast Asia. To take this flight in business class, you would only need 50,000 miles. 50,000 Alaska miles is equivalent to 120,000 Marriott points, and you’ll get 75,000 Alaska miles with 180,000 Marriott points. 

If you think that’s a great first class deal, then you’ll love this: for no additional miles, you can continue to South Africa after a stopover in Hong Kong. Business class to South Africa is 62,500 miles, which is equivalent to 157,500 Marriott points. 

This means you’re essentially getting a bonus business class flight from Hong Kong to Johannesburg (they don’t have a first class cabin on this flight).

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Cathay Pacific first class.

Hot Tip: Another way to transfer your Marriott points into miles is to purchase a Hotel + Air Travel Package. These packages consist of a 7 night hotel stay and a stash of airline miles.

3. Fly Japan Airlines First Class to Asia (Mileage Plan)

JAL A350 First Class
JAL A350 First Class. Image Credit: Japan Airlines

A recent addition to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program, you can now experience Japan Airlines’ great first class product for 70,000 miles from the U.S. to Asia one-way. You can also try business class to Asia for 60,000 miles one-way. You’ll get 75,000 JAL miles for 180,000 Marriott points, and 60,000 JAL miles is 150,000 Marriott points.

Not only does Japan Airlines have a great first class product, but the service is fantastic. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to visit Asia, don’t forget to get check out this amazing option.

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Japan Airlines first class.

4. Fly Qantas First Class to Australia or New Zealand (Mileage Plan)

qantas airlways first class
One of the best ways to cross the Pacific is in first class on Qantas. Image Credit: Qantas

While not the easiest award ticket to get, Qantas first class definitely should be on your bucket list. For 70,000 miles, you can fly from the United States to Australia or New Zealand in luxury. For 180,000 Marriott points, you’ll get 75,000 miles (transfer minimums mean you can’t hit 70,000 exactly).

Long considered one of the top airlines in the world, you definitely won’t be disappointed by the Qantas first class experience!

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Qantas first class.

5. Fly Fiji Airways Business Class to the South Pacific (Mileage Plan)

Fiji Airways Airbus A350 Business Class Cabin from Front
Fiji Airways Airbus A350 Business Class Cabin from Front. Image Credit: Greg Stone
If you’ve ever thought about visiting Fiji or another island in the South Pacific, check out the business class product on Fiji Airways. For only 60,000 miles one way, you can fly from the U.S. to the South Pacific in business class — 60,000 miles is equivalent to 150,000 Marriott points. 

6. Fly LATAM Premium Business Class to South America (Mileage Plan)

LATAM business class Dreamliner
Fly to South America in style with LATAM using Alaska Airlines miles transferred from Marriott. Image Credit: LATAM

If you’re looking for a solid lie-flat seat to South America, check out LATAM’s business class product for only 60,000 miles. While South America is a notoriously difficult region if you want a quality business class product, LATAM provides an option on several routes.

Next time you’re looking for a flight to the region, don’t forget the great value of this award booking. Again, 60,000 miles is 150,000 Marriott points.

7. Fly Hainan Airlines Business Class to China (Mileage Plan)

Hainan Airlines A350 Business Class Champagne
Hainan A350 Business Class – Champagne. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

One of Alaska Airlines’ newer partners, Hainan Airlines provides a great way to get to China from several gateway airports in the United States.

For only 50,000 miles one-way (equivalent to 120,000 Marriott points), you can fly business class on Hainan to many cities in China. While not as well-known as some of Alaska’s other partner airlines, Hainan is a solid option next time you’re traveling across the Pacific.

8. Stopovers on One-Way Flights (Mileage Plan)

hong kong
Enjoy a stopover in Hong Kong when flying Alaska partner Cathay Pacific. Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

When booking a one-way ticket with the Mileage Plan frequent flyer program, you have the option to include a stopover on your journey. As we noted earlier, you can include a stopover in Hong Kong on your way to South Africa on Cathay Pacific. This is a great way to easily add a second city to your travel plans.

Remember to look into stopover options when booking with Mileage Plan; it’s one of the best ways to get the most out of your miles.

9. Fly Etihad in The Apartments (AAdvantage)

Etihad First Class Apartment - Dining Soup
The Apartments on Etihad’s A380 are second to none. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Perhaps the best first class “seat” in the sky is The Etihad Apartments. Calling it a seat is an understatement; each Apartment is really more of a room, and the experience is pure luxury from start to finish.

For 115,000 AA miles, you can fly The Apartments from New York City to Abu Dhabi. This 115,000 AA miles can be transferred from 285,000 Marriott points.

If you can’t make it to New York City for a flight, you can still enjoy Etihad’s highly regarded first-class cabin from several other U.S. cities.

To try Etihad’s business class product, you can use 70,000 American miles to fly from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi. You can get 70,000 plus a bonus 5,000 AA miles from 180,000 Marriott points.

You can also fly The Apartments between the Middle East and Australia for only 100,000 miles, which equals 240,000 Marriott points. If you’re building a fun adventure around the world, you’ll be happy you included this!

To book this flight, you’ll need to visit Etihad’s site and find “Guest First” space. Once you find space, you can call the Australian call center for American Airlines to place a hold on the ticket. With a ticket held, you can call a U.S. call center to complete the booking.

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Etihad first class.

10. Fly Japan Airlines First Class to Japan (AAdvantage)

Japan Airlines First Class Seat
The Japan Airlines First Class seats feature an amazing 33 inches in width! Image Credit: Stephen Au

If you already have some American miles, consider topping off with a transfer from the Marriott program. For 80,000 American miles, you can fly from the U.S. to Japan in first class. 80,000 AA miles is equivalent to 195,000 Marriott points.

As we discussed earlier, Japan Airlines not only has an amazing product, but the inflight staff are top-notch. You won’t be disappointed with this experience!

You can also book Japan Airlines business class for 60,000 American miles.

Need more options for Japan? Here are the best ways using points and miles to fly to Japan.

11. Fly Qantas Business Class to Australia (AAdvantage)

Qantas Boeing 747 Business Class Seat without Mattress Pad
Qantas Boeing 747 Business Class Seat without Mattress Pad. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Most of us want to visit Australia at some point in our lives, so why not fly there in style? For 80,000 miles (195,000 Marriott points), you can enjoy a great business class experience on Qantas, one of the world’s top airlines.

Like several partners of American Airlines, you will need to find availability on Qantas’ website, then call to complete the booking. Start looking early, as award space is often sparse.

Need help booking? Check out the best ways to book Qantas business class.

12. Fly Qatar Airways Business Class Between Doha to Japan or Korea (AAdvantage)

Qatar QSuites, 777, Honeymoon Suite
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

For only 40,000 American miles, you can fly between the Middle East and Japan or South Korea in business class. This provides a great opportunity to try Qatar Airways’ fantastic business class product.

Remember that 40,000 AA miles can be earned by transferring 105,000 Marriott points to American Airlines.

If you’re departing from Doha, you will also be able to enjoy Qatar’s excellent business class lounge.

13. Fly Air France or KLM With Promo Awards (Flying Blue)

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to use the Flying Blue frequent flyer program is to book Promo Awards. Every few months, Flying Blue runs 25%-50% award discounts on flights to and from different European cities.

Ever since Air France/KLM removed their award chart and went to a variable award system, it’s been difficult to predict how much awards will cost. The lowest award prices can be attained from the Flying Blue calculator.

With a 25% discount, a business class flight to Europe is anywhere from 39,750 to 50,675 miles (104,250 to 122,025 Mariott points). While Flying Blue does pass on surcharges on award bookings, these Promo Awards can still provide some great options.

14. Utilize Flying Blue’s Definition of Europe (Flying Blue)

A second way in which Flying Blue really stands out is its definition of the European region: countries like Algeria, Israel, Morocco, and Tunisia are included.

This means you can book one-way business class flights from 53,000 miles, or only 21,500 miles one-way in economy.

If you see a Promo Award to one of these countries, that can take this deal to another level! So don’t forget Flying Blue when you want to visit Israel or North Africa — you might be able to get an amazing flight for a steal.

Remember that one-way business class flights from 53,000 miles are 129,000 Marriott points, and one-way economy class flights from 21,500 miles are 60,000 points. Note that 60,000 points will actually get you a total of 25,000 miles, which is just over the 21,500 miles necessary.

15. Fly Korean Air First Class (Korean Air SKYPASS)

Korean Air Kosmo Suites 2.0
Korean Air’s newest first class product is the Kosmo Suites 2.0. Image Credit: Korean Air

If you’re looking for easy access to first class award space, look no further than Korean Air. For 80,000 miles, you can book an off-peak, one-way ticket in first class to South Korea. If you’d like to see Japan too, you can book a stopover in Seoul on your way to Tokyo. You can acquire 80,000 Korean Air miles by transferring 195,000 Marriott points. 

While you can’t book Korean Air first class with partner miles, this actually ensures there is more award space available. So take advantage of that to book an amazing first class experience!

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking Korean Air first class.

16. Fly Air France to Tahiti (Korean Air SKYPASS)

A fun (but often forgotten) way to get to from Los Angeles to Tahiti is on Air France. You can use 90,000 Korean miles for a round-trip journey in business class or 60,000 miles in economy. You will receive 90,000 Korean Air miles by transferring 225,000 Marriott points.

You’ll notice we mention the round-trip cost for this award; that’s because Korean Air requires round-trip bookings for partner airlines. You can book a one-way, but it will cost the same as a round-trip…so we strongly recommend a round-trip award!

17. Fly SkyTeam Partner to Europe (Korean Air SKYPASS)

While many programs will charge over 100,000 miles for a round-trip business class flight to Europe, Korean Air only charges 80,000 miles. And for 50,000 Korean Air SKYPASS miles you can book a round-trip in economy, which is an absolute steal!

This applies to any of their SkyTeam partners from Delta to Air France to Aeroflot (yes, Russia is included in the European region).

Korean Air does pass on carrier-imposed surcharges, so this can make the cash cost a bit higher than some awards. However, round-trip bookings do allow for a stopover and an open-jaw, so you can see more of Europe.

You can transfer 80,000 Korean Air miles from 195,000 Marriott points, and 50,000 Korean Air miles can be earned from 120,000 Marriott points. 

Need help using your Korean Air miles to book Delta One to Europe? Use our comprehensive booking guide to make it easy.

18. Fly Delta to Hawaii (Korean Air SKYPASS)

Delta plane
Use Korean Air miles to fly Delta to Hawaii for one of the cheapest ways to visit the islands. Image Credit: jremes84 via Shutterstock

Without a doubt, using Korean Air miles is one of the best ways to visit Hawaii. A round-trip economy ticket only costs 25,000 miles (60,000 Marriott points)! Most U.S.-based airlines will charge at least 5,000 miles more.

19. Fly on a Cheap Business Class Award to Europe (Etihad Guest)

brussels airlines business class
Fly Brussels Airlines in business class for 88,000 Etihad miles. Image Credit: brusselsairlines.com

Redeem 88,000 Etihad miles (219,000 Marriott points) between New York City (JFK) and Brussels round-trip. You can also fly this route in economy class for 54,000 Etihad miles (132,000 Marriott points). If Toronto or Washington, D.C. (IAD) are more convenient, they are also eligible for the same redemption to Brussels.

Availability can be tough to find, especially in business class, so we suggest planning ahead on this one. It’s definitely worth a little extra effort!

20. Fly Czech Airlines Business Class From Prague to Seoul (Etihad Guest)

Czech Airlines Business Class
Czech Airlines Business Class. Image Credit: Czech Airlines

Flying Czech Airlines between Prague and Seoul is basically the Europe to Asia version of the Brussels Air options we just discussed. For only 25,610 Etihad miles (61,830 Marriott points), you can fly business class one-way.

Considering that most economy flights cost more than this one, you might as well check out this option when flying from Europe to South Korea!

21. Fly Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca (Etihad Guest)

The 2 previous Etihad redemptions are route-specific, but their award chart for Royal Air Maroc is distance-based.

We’ve done some digging and found a sweet spot redemption for you: fly between New York City (JFK) and Casablanca in business class for only 44,000 Etihad miles (117,000 Marriott points) or 22,000 miles in economy (25,000 miles = 60,000 Marriott points).

These are great one-way redemptions to get you to North Africa!

22. Fly Oman Air Business Class (Etihad Guest)

oman air business class
Find a great business class product on an under-the-radar airline with Oman Air. Image Credit: omanair.comOman Air doesn’t have the name recognition of some other famous international carriers, but their business class product is highly regarded by all who have tried it.

If you want to give them a try, Etihad miles provide 2 award sweet spots you’ll want to check out.

A one-way flight between London and Muscat is 44,000 miles (117,000 Marriott points) in business class, while a one-way business class ticket between Muscat and Singapore is only 42,000 miles (111,000 Marriott points).

Read more: Check out our review of an Oman Air Boeing 787 flight from Muscat (MUS) to Bangkok (BKK).

23. Fly American Airlines First and Business Class at Pre-Devaluation Rates (Etihad Guest)

american airlines business class 777
Etihad provides better redemption rates for business and first class on American Airlines. Image Credit: American Airlines

Etihad has a fantastic award chart if you want to fly American Airlines. Let’s look at some of these options:

  • Fly to Asia 1 (Japan, Korea, Mongolia) for 50,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points) in business class or 62,500 miles (157,500 Marriott points) in first class
  • Fly to the South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc.) for 62,500 miles (157,500 Marriott points) in business class and 67,500 miles (172,500 Marriott points) in first class
  • Fly to Europe for 50,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points) in business class or 62,500 miles (157,500 Marriott points) in first class
  • Fly to Asia 2 (China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.) for 55,000 miles (135,000 Marriott points) in business class and 67,500 miles (172,500 Marriott points) in first class

American Airlines may have devalued their award chart in early 2016, but you can still get the old award flight rates by using Etihad miles.

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking American Airlines first class.

24. British Airways Travel Together – First Class With a Friend/Spouse (Avios)

British Airways First Class 787-9
Use your British Airways Visa Signature® card to earn a Travel Together certificate and fly first class with a friend. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

If there’s one thing that people always seem to remember about British Airways, it’s that you should expect high taxes and fees. This is especially true for first class flights, even on award tickets.

However, if you have a British Airways co-branded credit card, you can earn a Travel Together Ticket. To earn this perk, you’ll need to spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature® card during a calendar year.

Here’s an example of how the Travel Together Ticket works: you could book a round-trip first class flight on British Airways from Los Angeles to London for an off-peak award cost of 170,000 Avios (420,000 Marriott points) plus about $1,500-$2,000 taxes and fees.

For no extra miles, your companion can be booked in first class with you. They’re only responsible for the taxes and fees on their companion pass.

If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got an example of taking this to the extreme in our trip report on BA first class, round-trip to England, for 2 sets of travel together tickets (4 people)! Use the British Airways Avios reward flights calculator.

Need Help Booking? Read our guide to help you book British Airways first class using points!

25. Short-Haul Flights Abroad (Avios)

If you need a short-haul flight while abroad, there’s a good chance Avios will be your best option. For flights 650 miles or shorter, you can book an economy class ticket for only 4,500 Avios (13,500 Marriott points). This can be a great way to see multiple cities in countries like Japan.

In the U.S., flights that are 650 miles or shorter now cost 7,500 Avios (22,500 Marriott points). This can still be a solid deal, but abroad is where you will really maximize the value of short-haul flights with Avios.

26. West Coast to Hawaii (Avios)

Flights to Hawaii are not cheap. Fortunately, Avios provide a fantastic option from the West Coast.

You can fly either American Airlines or Alaska Airlines to Hawaii for only 12,500 Avios (37,500 Marriott points) one-way in economy class.

27. Fly China Airlines Business Class to Asia (SkyMiles)

China Airlines Business Class
Try business class to Asia on China Airlines by redeeming SkyMiles. Image Credit: china-airlines.com

SkyMiles are often knocked for not providing much value. If you know where to look, though, there are some fun routes to try.

You can fly China Airlines in business class for 80,000 SkyMiles (195,000 Marriott points) one-way to Asia. If you have a stash of SkyMiles, give this option a look.

Hot Tip: Did you know China Airlines is a Taiwanese airline? Their headquarters is actually in Tapei.

28. Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (SkyMiles)

Known for its fun environment, Virgin Atlantic is a fantastic experience crossing the Atlantic Ocean. For 75,000 SkyMiles (180,000 Marriott points), you can try their Upper Class product.

The advantage to flying Upper Class from the U.S. to Europe is that the taxes and fees will be very low. If trying the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow is on your bucket list, the increase in out-of-pocket cost could definitely be worth a fun lounge visit.

Need Help Booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking Virgin Atlantic Upper Class!

29. Fly ANA Business Class to Japan (ANA Mileage Club)

ANA Business Class Seat
Enjoy the comfort of ANA business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Before we get into some fun ways to use ANA miles, there are a few important points to remember. Awards must be booked as round-trips, and some partner awards include significant taxes and fees.

They also have regular and low season awards for flights operated by ANA, so you’ll want to book low season when possible as they require fewer miles. One particularly great part of their programs is that you can use a stopover and an open jaw.

Now, let’s talk about flying ANA to Japan in business class. During regular season, you can fly business class on ANA for 85,000 miles (210,000 Marriott points) round-trip, and during low season you can do so for only 75,000 miles (180,000 Marriott points). If you choose to fly a partner airline, it will always be 85,000 miles.

Taking this trip in economy class will cost 50,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points) round-trip during regular season and only 40,000 miles (105,000 Marriott points) during low season.

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking ANA business class.

30. Fly Etihad Business Class to the Middle East and Africa (ANA Mileage Club)

Etihad Business Class 777
Flying on Etihad’s Business Class is phenomenal. – Image Credit: Upgraded Points

While ANA is a member of Star Alliance, they also partner with Etihad. Since ANA & Etihad paused their normal partnership in December of 2017, you can only book flights that are codeshared. If you can find Etihad flights that codeshare with ANA, you will be able to redeem ANA miles for flights on Etihad.

For only 104,000 miles (252,000 Marriott points), you can fly round-trip on Etihad to either the Middle East or Africa.

You’ll pay 195,000 miles (200,000 miles = 480,000 Marriott points) round-trip for a first class redemption on Etihad. While this isn’t quite as amazing as the business class redemption, it’s still a great way to try Etihad’s highly regarded first class.

If you fly out of New York City (JFK), you can try The Apartments, Etihad’s premier first class experience only available on routes serviced by an A380.

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to book Etihad business class!

31. Fly ANA Business Class to Asia (ANA Mileage Club)

ANA Business Class
ANA Business Class. Image Credit: All Nippon Airways

ANA breaks up Asia into 2 zones:

  • Asia 1 — China, Guam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines
  • Asia 2 — India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Round-trip business class tickets to Asia 1 are only 80,000 miles (195,000 Marriott points) during low season or 95,000 miles during regular season (100,000 miles = 240,000 Marriott points). An economy trip will cost 45,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points).

Asia 2 business class award flights are only 100,000 ANA miles (240,000 Marriott points) during low season or 110,000 miles (270,000 Marriott points) during regular season, while an economy trip will cost 55,000 miles (135,000 Marriott points).

32. Fly Around the World (ANA Mileage Club)

If you’re up for a real adventure (and have a little time), ANA has an Around the World award chart. You can include up to 8 stopovers on this journey: 3 can be in Europe, and 4 can be in Japan.

Before you start booking, keep in mind that your journey must travel in 1 direction (east or west) and your trip cannot be fewer than 10 days. Additionally, you cannot use an open jaw in Latin America, North America, or South America.

Because this is a distance-based chart, you can create a trip for as low as 20,000 ANA miles (25,000 ANA miles = 60,000 Marriott points) in economy if it’s under 2,000 flown miles.

If you want to try something out of this world, you can create an itinerary that has you travel between 44,001 and 50,000 miles in first class. That trip would cost 450,000 ANA miles (1,080,000 Marriott points).

33. Fly Lufthansa First Class to Europe (Asiana Club)

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Bed
Lufthansa First Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Long a favorite of travelers around the world, the Lufthansa first class experience is one you won’t want to miss. With Asiana Club, you can fly from U.S. to Europe for only 50,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points). This award booking will incur some hefty taxes and fees, but for only 50,000 miles it’s still a great deal!

To top it off, make sure you book a flight that allows you to experience the Lufthansa First Class Terminal — it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.

Need help booking? See our step-by-step Lufthansa first class booking guide.

34. Fly Air China in First Class (Flying Club)

Virgin Atlantic’s award chart isn’t high on many people’s list of favorites because of the high taxes and fees charged. Still, you might want to consider a first class redemption on Air China.

You can fly first class round-trip on Air China for only 75,000 miles (180,000 Marriott points)! This redemption does include $700 in taxes and fees, but the low mileage cost makes this an option to consider.

35. Fly Singapore Suites From New York City (KrisFlyer)

Singapore Suites FRA-SIN
Use your KrisFlyer miles to try Singapore Suites, one of the best first class experiences in the sky. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

While there are several options to try Suites class on Singapore Air’s A380, the only option in the U.S. is between New York City (JFK) and Frankfurt.

Without a doubt, Singapore Suites is one of the best first class experiences in the sky. From JFK to Frankfurt, you can try Suites for 86,000 KrisFlyer miles (213,000 Marriott points). If the 7-hour journey isn’t enough for you, fly from JFK to Singapore (with a connection in Frankfurt) instead for only 132,000 miles (321,000 Marriott points).

For those who really want to have some fun, fly all the way to Sydney or Auckland (or vice versa). A Suites trip between Sydney or Auckland and New York City (with connections in both Singapore and Frankfurt) is 167,000 miles (411,000 Marriott points).

Availability is often better returning to the U.S., so if you’re struggling to find award space for your departure, consider booking Suites class back to the states.

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Singapore Suites or first class.

36. Fly United Business Class Within the U.S. (KrisFlyer)

United Polaris 787-10 seat
Flying on United Polaris is a great way to try a new product on select routes within the U.S. Image Credit: Stephen Au

If you need a domestic flight on United, your first thought is probably to book with United miles.

You could do that, but if you use KrisFlyer miles you could spend 23,000 miles on a one-way business class flight instead of 25,000 United miles. You’ll still have to transfer 60,000 Marriott points, but you’ll be left with 2,000 miles extra!

37. Fly United to Hawaii (KrisFlyer)

Fly United to Hawaii thanks to KrisFlyer miles. Image Credit: Shutterstock

As one of the most popular destinations for travelers, we’re always looking for great redemptions to Hawaii.

United charges 22,500, 40,000, and 50,000 miles for economy, business, and first class, respectively. You can do better by booking with KrisFlyer miles, since it only requires 17,500, 34,500, and 46,000 miles for the exact same flights!

38. Fly First or Business Class to Europe or North Africa (Aegean Miles+Bonus)

Aegean Airlines might not be the most well-known Star Alliance member, but you don’t want to overlook some of the great value in their award chart.

One particular benefit to using Aegean miles is that they include North Africa and Israel in their European region. For these flights, you can use 60,000 Aegean miles (150,000 Marriott points) to fly first class one-way from the U.S. or 45,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points) to fly business class. This is a particularly great deal to Israel!

Like many European carriers, you will be responsible for fuel surcharges, so that is something to consider. However, the low mileage cost could definitely make this a good option.

One more thing to remember is that they only allow 1 connection on award bookings, so plan for that when putting together your itinerary.

39. Cheap Flights in North America and to the Caribbean (Aegean Miles+Bonus)

Why use United miles when you can get the same United flight for at least 10,000 miles cheaper?

With Aegean miles, you can fly round-trip to the Caribbean for 25,000 miles (60,000 Marriott points) in economy class. You can also fly in business class for 42,000 miles (111,000 Marriott points). That’s 18,000 miles cheaper than United charges!

These rates also apply to domestic flights on United. While the economy rate is the same as United, the business class rate will save you 8,000 miles.

40. Fly Business Class to Central or South Africa (Aegean Miles+Bonus)

South African Airways
South African Airways A330-300 business class. Image Credit: South African Airways

If you’re looking for a great way to get to Central or South Africa, you can use 55,000 Aegean miles (135,000 Marriott points) for a one-way ticket in business class. For comparison, the same flight would cost 80,000 United miles. That’s a difference of 25,000 miles!

41. Fly to the Remote Provinces of Canada (Aeroplan)

Reaching provinces such as the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon can be really expensive. We’re talking fares of $1,000 round-trip from the U.S — and that’s an economy class ticket.

Fortunately, if you use Aeroplan, you can redeem 25,000 miles (60,000 Marriott points) for a round-trip ticket. This is definitely one of the better economy redemptions for a flight that doesn’t leave North America.

Business class fares can easily cost you over $2,000. Again, Aeroplan comes through with round-trip redemptions requiring only 50,000 miles (120,000 Marriott points).

If you’re an adventurer, you will definitely want to keep this in mind for a trip way, way up north!

42. Fly Business Class to Western Europe (Aeroplan)

While Air Canada’s Aeroplan program isn’t what it once was, it can still be a great way to get to western Europe. For 55,000 miles (135,000 Marriott points), you can fly one-way in business class from the U.S. to places like Paris, Copenhagen, and Berlin. If economy class is more your speed, you can book a flight for 30,000 miles (75,000 Marriott points).

Award bookings with some of Air Canada’s Star Alliance partners do include some significant fuel surcharges, so consider that when using Aeroplan. Fortunately, award bookings with some partners — including Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and SAS — do not include these fuel surcharges.

Even with these annoying surcharges, Aeroplan excels as a program by allowing either 2 stopovers or 1 stopover and an open jaw. This makes seeing more of Europe much easier!

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to book Lufthansa business class!

Final Thoughts

There are far too many great uses of Marriott points to count.

As a transfer partner with over 40 airlines, Marriott points are definitely among the most valuable rewards points in the world. There’s so much value to be had when using Marriott points, from flying on Emirates first class to Lufthansa first class!

Now you have the full picture on the best ways to redeem Marriott points for flights.

Frequently asked questions

When do Marriott points expire?

Marriott points won’t expire if you have any qualifying activity within 24 months, which includes earning points through a co-branded Marriott credit card or redeeming points for an award stay.

What hotels does Marriott own?

Marriott properties include JW Marriott Hotels, Autograph Collection hotels, Marriott Hotels, Courtyard, Renaissance, and more.

Can you upgrade your room with Marriott points?

Yes. You can use Marriott points to upgrade both paid and award stays.

How many Marriott points do you need for an award stay?

Award stays start at 7,500 Marriott points per night for Category 1 hotels and increase to 85,000 Marriott points for Category 8 hotels. When peak and off-peak pricing is introduced in 2019, award stays will range from 5,000-100,000 points/night.

Can Marriott points be transferred?

Marriott points can be transferred to airlines, but at a relatively poor rate. You’ll get the most value out of your points by booking award stays at Marriott properties.

What credit cards earn Marriott points?

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.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Not sure when this post was made, but looking on April 17, 2018 I know that at least two of your properties are at higher categories. The MOXY Milan Malpensa Airport (Category 2) – is now a (Category 3). The JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa (Category 5) is now a (Category 6).


  2. I’m confused but my question is simple.

    Are American Express Membership Rewards or Marriott Rewards points better to transfer to Emirates Skywards?


    • Hey Dianne,

      We believe that American Express points are better to transfer to Emirates because of the 1:1 ratio you can transfer at. Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio and it’s harder to earn Marriott points versus American Express points. Thanks for reading!


  3. How did you arrive at the 60k point total with latam? My point estimate from SFO to Lima was 180k. Appreciate any help you can provide


  4. Angela N. Penkin September 5, 2019

    I have this offer:
    Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
    EARN 100K POINTS + GET A 0% INTRO APR for 6 months Spend $5000 in the first 3 months.

    So trying to understand from what I read, I cannot actually book the flights directly with the 100,000 points. I fly to San Diego 2 times a year and would want to use the points for flights. So if reading this correctly – I would turn in 60,000 points which would then become 75,000 points but would only be 25,000 points for the airline, which won’t even buy me a ticket to San Diego. Is that correct? Also, at the end of each year (coming up) I have an expenditure for the following year that is around $5500. How would I know if that would be an approved purchase towards my points?
    Lastly, who are the local airline partners?
    Thank you for your article!


    • With every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to most Marriott airline partners, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus. For example, if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to Alaska Airlines, you’ll receive 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles.

      For your upcoming $5,550 expense, put that spend on the Bonvoy Business card in the first 3 months that you apply for the card, and you will earn the 100k sign up bonus.

      Marriott has 44 airline partners that can found in our Marriott Transfer Partners article

      Hope this helps!


  5. LaNovia Hamilton- Izzard September 24, 2019

    I have never used any points as of yet so I am unsure of how the points and miles work. I have just one simple question, cann you use points to upgrade your seating on American Airlines from CLT- BCN, with tickets being purchased in advance?


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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