16 Best Ways to Redeem Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Miles for Maximum Value

South African Airways Business Class

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Until relatively recently, Turkish Airlines miles have been difficult to earn due to the lack of transfer partners available.

As a result, even if there were some great sweet spots, it would be increasingly difficult to earn enough points without flying a ton and crediting your flights to earn Turkish Airlines miles.

Now, Turkish Airlines is transfer partners with Citi ThankYou Rewards and Marriott.

Miles & Smiles has a lot of excellent award sweet spots — and because it hasn’t received a lot of coverage in the frequent flyer world, these sweet spots have stayed below the radar for the most part.

For example:

  • One-way flights are allowed (but you cannot fly more than 1 carrier on inbound or outbound flights)
  • On one-way awards, you can have up to 4 segments
  • On round-trip awards, you can have up to 8 segments

Additionally, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles passes on all fuel surcharges, so do be aware of that when booking award flights.

They use a region-based award chart, so there are definitely lots of opportunities for optimization and award sweet spots!

Let’s get started!

The Pros and Cons of Turkish Miles & Smiles (Quick Overview)

Although there are lots of opportunities to optimize Turkish Airlines miles, we’ll first go over some of the pros and cons before deep-diving into all the sweet spots. Take note of the items in this list so you’re 100% informed about the details of booking with Turkish.

To begin with, fuel surcharges are always passed on.

If you are booking Turkish Airlines flights only, you can reserve your flights completely online. Otherwise, you’ll need to call the sales office at 1-800-874-8875.

Turkish Airlines recently implemented an online search engine that could potentially allow you to book partner flights online. The major downside to this is that the search engine is very buggy and often doesn’t show all possible availability.

One inconvenient quirk of Turkish Airlines is that after you reserve your award flights, you’ll need to go in-person to a sales office located in any of the following cities:

North American Cities With Turkish Airlines Ticket Sales Offices
Los AngelesMiami
New YorkSeattle
San FranciscoWashington, D.C.

Until then, your award is basically on hold. The bright side of this? Your awards can essentially be indefinitely held while you “go to a sales office.”

Note: Some offices, including the Toronto and Los Angeles sales offices, are willing to issue award tickets completely over e-mail. This is yet another case of YMMV (your mileage may vary). Try your hand at that before physically making a potentially unnecessary trek to a sales office!

There are a few fees Turkish Airlines charges as well:

  1. Redeposit fees: $25 for international or 100 Turkish Lira for domestic flights
  2. No-show redeposit fees: $50
  3. Any changes (time/date/routing) on Turkish flights: $25
    • Note that you may not change Star Alliance partner flights

On all award tickets, 1 stopover is allowed. You are allowed 1 open-jaw (instead of a stopover) for round-trip awards, and one-way awards are exactly half the cost of round-trip awards.

Miles & Smiles miles expire 3 years after they are earned, but you can pay $10 per 1,000 miles and extend them for 3 years.

On Star Alliance awards, there are mileage criteria for your stopover allowance. In order to add a stopover, you must book an award with a minimum cost of:

  1. 60,000 miles in economy
  2. 90,000 miles in business
  3. 135,000 miles in first

For example, if your award costs 55,000 miles in economy, you cannot use a stopover.

Mixed cabin awards are never allowed. You also can’t mix carriers for one direction of the flight.

For example, if you’re flying from the United States to the Middle East, you cannot fly to Turkey in Turkish Airlines and to Cairo on Egyptair; you must fly on Turkish Airlines the whole way.

Your entire itinerary may have up to 8 segments if it is round-trip and 4 if it is one-way.

You can backtrack, but the same airport can’t be in your itinerary more than once in the inbound and outbound legs. (This would normally be a great opportunity for optimization, but it’s pretty much nullified because of the restriction on mixed carriers.)

If you’re short on Turkish Airlines miles and need 10,000 miles or less, you can pay €25 per 1,000 miles to top off your balance.

You can’t transfer or combine miles at all, and if you want to redeem miles for someone else, including a spouse, you must follow a relatively tedious process in writing:

  • You have to submit a signed written request that includes the full name, birth date, and relationship to the member of the person the award will be issued to.
  • You’ll also have to notify them of the departure/arrival points, travel dates, a picture of your Miles & Smiles membership card, valid ID, and a signature.

Update: Some travelers are having luck redeeming awards over the phone for other people without requiring the huge legwork as we talked about right above. Of course, the competency of your representative comes into play here. If the rep is unwilling to help, try hanging up and calling again (HUCA).

Whew! Now that we have that business out of the way, let’s dive into this guide!

How to Boost Your Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles

Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

As we stated above, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles is a relatively new transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards. It’s now easier to earn Turkish Miles thanks to this transfer partner.

There are no shortage of ways to earn lots of Citi ThankYou Points, so give this method a lot of thought if you want to earn Turkish Airlines miles!

Recommended Citi Cards

Marriott Credit Cards

Another great way to earn a lot of Turkish Airlines miles is with Marriott.

Marriott is an invaluable transfer partner for so many airlines, and there are just so many ways to maximize Marriott points for flights and hotel stays.

Although the time to transfer Turkish Airlines points is unknown, it will probably take anywhere from 7-10 business days for transfers to complete.

Recommended Marriott Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card - earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $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.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 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. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Hot Tip: Also, don’t miss our dedicated piece: 13 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles

The 16 Best Ways to Use Your Turkish Airlines Miles

As we discussed above, you can’t book any partner flights online — you’ll need to call the Turkish Airlines reservation office to book partner awards. Otherwise, you can book Turkish Airlines award flights online.

Let’s discover the best ways to redeem your Turkish miles!

1. Fly Air New Zealand Business Class to Europe (45,000 miles)

Air New Zealand Business Class
You’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you fly Air New Zealand’s business class on the fifth freedom flight from Los Angeles to London. Image courtesy of airnewzealand.com.

One of the biggest drawbacks of using Turkish Airlines miles is that they pass on fuel surcharges on all flights. So, the best way to get around it is to fly on airlines that don’t charge fuel surcharges!

Sadly, there are very few of these airlines in Europe. Flying in business class to Europe without fuel surcharges is a challenge, but one of the best ways is on Air New Zealand’s fifth freedom route from Los Angeles to London.

The biggest challenge will be finding award availability — but when you do, this is nearly unbeatable!

It will cost 45,000 miles each way + ~$320 in taxes and fees. (Keep in mind that more than $200 of the taxes and fees is the UK APD, which is unavoidable.)

Air New Zealand’s business class is excellent, with cutting-edge seats and an excellent soft product, which is why we placed this at the top of our list.

2. Fly Swiss Air Business Class to Switzerland (45,000 miles)

Swiss Air Business Class
Get ready to enjoy some Swiss luxury for only 45,000 miles plus taxes and fees! Image courtesy of ausbt.com.au.

SWISS Air has an excellent route network, a great business class product, and flies to a huge tourist destination: Switzerland.

They unfortunately do levy fuel surcharges. Nevertheless, if you’re able to pony up $600 to Europe or $350 from Europe each way, it’ll be worth it to use Turkish Airlines miles here.

SWISS flies to Geneva (GVA) from New York City (JFK) and Zurich to these 7 cities:
Boston (BOS)Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
Los Angeles (LAX)Miami (MIA)
Newark (EWR)New York City (JFK)
San Francisco (SFO)

3. Fly SAS Business Class to Scandinavia (45,000 miles)

Flying on SAS business class is an excellent way to get to Scandinavia with 45,000 Turkish Airlines Miles! Image courtesy of airlinereporter.com.

SAS is the main flag carrier for 3 countries: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

They fly the A330 with a great staggered 1-2-1 configuration. You’ll have plenty of room to stretch out, a comfortable bed to rest in, and great food en route to Scandinavia!

For each of the 3 countries mentioned above, SAS flies to the respective country’s largest hub airport: Stockholm (ARN) in Sweden, Copenhagen (CPH) in Denmark, and Oslo (OSL) in Norway.

The route network is as follows:

Nonstop flights on SAS to Copenhagen (CPH)
Boston (BOS)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
San Francisco (SFO)Miami (MIA)
Chicago O’Hare (ORD)Newark (EWR)


Nonstop flights on SAS to Stockholm (ARN)
Boston (BOS)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
San Francisco (SFO)Miami (MIA)
Chicago O’Hare (ORD)Newark (EWR)
Los Angeles (LAX)


Nonstop flights on SAS to Oslo (OSL)
Newark (EWR)Miami (MIA)

Bottom Line: If flying out of the U.S., expect your costs to be 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles plus ~$580-$600 in taxes and fees. If returning the U.S., expect around ~$350-$400 in taxes and fees.

4. Fly Austrian Airlines Business Class to Austria (45,000 miles)

Austrian Airlines 767 Business Class Seat
Ready to visit Austria? You can fly to Vienna for 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles aboard the 767 or 777! Image courtesy of theluxurytravelexpert.com.

Austrian Airlines generally operates 2 aircraft on flights from the U.S. to Austria: the 767 and 777.

Oddly enough, the 767 has a better business class product, with a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. The 777 alternates rows with a 1-2-1 and 2-2-2 configuration, so direct aisle access is a luxury you’ll have to hope for. When possible, you should choose the 767 over the 777 flying Austrian Airlines! 

You’ll be able to fly one-way for 45,000 miles plus $600 in taxes and fees to Austria, and return to the U.S. for 45,000 miles plus $400 in taxes and fees.

Here are the routes that fly the 767:

Cities in North America that fly the 777 to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
Los Angeles (LAX)Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Cities in North America that fly the 767 to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
Toronto (YYZ)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
Newark (EWR)Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
New York City (JFK)Miami (MIA)

Bottom Line: Overall, it’s an excellent way to get to Austria comfortably in business class for low miles costs if you can pay for the fuel surcharges.

5. Fly South African Airlines Business Class to Johannesburg (67,500 miles)

South African Airways A340 Business Class
Though not quite as luxurious as the A330, South African Airways’ A340 provides a solid nonstop experience from New York City to Johannesburg for only 67,500 miles each way. Image courtesy of travelupdate.boardingarea.com.

If you want to visit South Africa, the only airport you can fly nonstop to is Johannesburg (JNB).

There are 2 routes you can fly:

  • New York City (JFK) – Johannesburg (JNB) on South African Airlines
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Johannesburg (JNB) on Delta Airlines

Delta is a SkyTeam partner, so we won’t be looking at that method in this guide — the route we’ll focus on is from JFK.

Since we’re not flying to Europe, the fuel surcharges are slightly lower; you’ll be paying around ~$290 each way in total taxes and fees.

Unlike South African Airways’ A330 (which is phenomenal and operated on flights to Senegal and Ghana), you will be flying the A340-600 in a 2-2-2 configuration. They are much more open and do not feature direct aisle access for all seats.

Still, the seats become lie-flat beds and are a solid way to make a 16-hour flight significantly more enjoyable!

You’ll pay 67,500 miles + ~$290 in taxes and fees each way to fly business class on this route.

6. Fly Transcontinental in the U.S. (from 10,000 miles)

United Polaris Middle Seats
Though not available on transcontinental flights, United’s amazing Polaris business class is sure to please the pickiest of travelers! Image courtesy of United.com.

Flying across the country in America can be exceedingly expensive. With economy flights in excess of $500-$1,000 at times and business/first class in excess of $2,000, you definitely want to save money where you can.

If you are planning a transcontinental flight involving Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), or Newark (EWR), you might want to read this section!

United Airlines is going to be your best bet here since Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance partner. United Airlines currently does not feature a regularly scheduled Polaris Business Class on transcontinental flights, but they will.

Here’s the upcoming schedule starting in 2019:

  • Newark to San Francisco: twice daily from February 14, 2019; up to 3 times daily from March 8, 2019
  • Newark to Los Angeles: once daily from January 7, 2019; up to twice daily from February 14, 2019

Flying this product will only cost 15,000 miles each way and 30,000 miles round-trip. This is probably the best deal you’re ever going to get on United Polaris Class across the U.S.! 

If you want to fly economy, here’s the breakdown for the other cabin classes:

Cabin ClassTurkish Airlines Miles Cost
(Transcontinental Flights)

Taxes and fees will generally be minimal, with a maximum of $50 levied each way.

7. Fly Air Canada Business Class to India (52,500 miles)

Air Canada Signature Business Class
Branded as Signature Class, Air Canada’s seats are 21 inches wide and 80 inches long! Image courtesy of aircanada.com.

Flying to India is often excruciatingly expensive and a distant journey.

With an average flight time of 14 hours from Canada, your trip to India would definitely be more comfortable in business class.

Air Canada is a Star Alliance partner, and they operate some fantastic business class flights to India.

Unfortunately, Air Canada levies fuel surcharges of $400 each way, so your total taxes and fees will be approximately $450 each way.

However, spending the few hundred dollars extra might be worth it — because it only costs 52,500 miles each way to fly to India in business class from Canada. 

Air Canada operates 2 nonstop routes to India as follows:

  • Vancouver (YVR) – Delhi (DEL)
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Delhi (DEL)

On these routes, Air Canada utilizes the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an excellent business class product. This is a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration with direct aisle access, loads of privacy, and solid catering.

Bottom Line: Overall, if you want to fly business class to India from Canada, definitely consider using Turkish Airlines miles to do it, with a one-way cost of 52,500 miles + $450 in taxes and fees.

8. Utilize “Oceania’s” Generous Zone Definition (from 15,000 miles)

Air New Zealand Business Class
If you have a chance, you can also try the Air New Zealand business class product! Regardless of what plane you fly, Air New Zealand business class is one of the best in the world. Image courtesy of airnewzealand.com.

Turkish Airlines has an extremely generous definition of Oceania, and we can use it to our advantage. Specifically, the region includes these islands, countries, and territories:

Oceania (defined by Turkish Airlines)
Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Honolulu, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Notice that Guam, Hawaii, and Tahiti are included with Australia, New Zealand, and the like. This is an astonishing observation, because flights from Hawaii to Australia can be more than 10 hours long!

You will mainly be searching for Air New Zealand flights here, since Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Hawaiian Airlines are not Star Alliance partners.

“Intra-Oceania” flights in each cabin class:

And here is an example route you can take:

  • Honolulu (HNL) to Auckland (AKL) one-way for 25,000 miles + ~$100 in taxes and fees in Air New Zealand’s 777 business class (9 hours each way!)

9. Fly Within the “Far East” in Business Class (35,000 miles)

ANA business class
Trying out ANA business class within Asia is a great way to use your Turkish Airlines miles.

The Far East, as defined by Turkish Airlines, contains the following:

Turkish Airlines Far East Region
Brunei, Cambodia, China (except Hong Kong and Macao), China Taipei, Hong Kong – SAR of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam

Basically, the Far East includes all of Asia with the exception of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, and Central Asia.

Since this is such a huge region, you can get tons of value from flying business class within the Far East for only 35,000 miles each way.

Of course you’re still limited to 1 carrier, but there’s still some room for optimization. As always, you’ll be on the hook for all fuel surcharges.

Here are some example routes:

  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – Jakarta (CGK) one-way for 35,000 miles + ~$100 in taxes and fees in ANA 787 Dreamliner business class (Note: ANA’s flight out of Narita uses an inferior 767!)
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Singapore (SIN) one-way for 35,000 miles + ~$62 in taxes and fees in Asiana’s A330 regional business class
  • Taipei (TPE) – Denpasar-Bali (DPS) one-way for 35,000 miles + $37 in taxes and fees in EVA Air’s amazing A330 regional business class

10. Fly Between Europe 2 and the Far East in Business Class (45,000 miles)

EVA Air Business Class Cabin
EVA Air’s Royal Laurel business class is awesome! You can try it on flights between Europe 2 and Asia using Turkish Airlines miles. Image courtesy of Travel Wire Asia

Another sweet spot is flying from Europe 2 to the Far East or vice-versa in business class.

With flights up to 12 hours long, paying only 45,000 miles is a great deal. Your fuel surcharges will be at their lowest when originating from the Far East as opposed to Europe 2.

Here are some example routes from Europe 2 to the Far East:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$377 in taxes and fees in ANA business class
  • Copenhagen (CPH) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$210 in taxes and fees in SAS business class
  • Warsaw (WAW) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$216 in taxes and fees in LOT Polish business class
  • Paris (CDG) – Taipei (TPE) one-way for 45,000 miles + $159 in taxes and fees in EVA Air business class
  • Brussels (BRU) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$150 in taxes and fees in ANA business class
  • Munich (MUC) – Beijing (PEK) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$345 in taxes and fees in Air China business class

And here are some examples you can take from the Far East to Europe 2:

  • Singapore (SIN) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$328 in taxes and fees in Swiss Air business class
  • Bangkok (BKK) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$143 in taxes and fees in THAI Air business class
  • Vienna (VIE) – Shanghai (PVG) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$291 in taxes and fees in Austrian Airlines business class
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$88 in taxes and fees in Asiana Airlines business class
  • Hong Kong (HKG) – Munich (MUC) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$45 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Beijing (PEK) – Rome (FCO) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$290 in taxes and fees in Air China business class

Bottom Line: As you can see, there are tons of routes you can fly between Europe 2 and the Far East! This is just a taste of the possibilities. You can expect to pay 45,000 miles for one-way flights and 90,000 miles for round-trip flights.

11. Fly to the Middle East via Europe in Business Class (47,000 miles)

Turkish Airlines Business Class
While hardly an aspirational business class product, Turkish Airlines is a great way to fly to the Middle East via Istanbul for only 47,000 miles each way. Image courtesy of YouTube/Turkish Airlines

If you are interested in visiting the Middle East, you can transit through Europe to fly to the Middle East for only 47,000 miles each way!

Here are the countries included in the Middle East:

Turkish Airlines Middle East Region
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Remember that you may not fly across the Pacific, as you would be transiting through a more expensive region (Far East) and would therefore be subject to the award prices for the Far East.

You must fly transatlantic to qualify for this award price. Not a problem, though, because you’ve got tons of options!

Here are some example routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST) – Muscat (MCT) one-way for 47,000 miles + ~$324 in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Tehran (THR) one-way for 47,000 miles + ~$674 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa Airlines business class
  • Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Zurich (ZRH) – Dubai (DXB) one-way for 47,000 miles + ~$636 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class

Your taxes and fees will be pretty high, but it might be worth it — you’re basically getting another 5-6 hour flight from Europe to the Middle East for only 2,000 miles more!

12. Fly From Europe to South Africa in Business Class (45,000 miles)

South African Airways A330 Business Class
Flying on South African Airways from London to Johannesburg in the A330 is an outstanding use of 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles. Image courtesy of ausbt.com.au.

Flying to South Africa from Europe presents a great opportunity to fly in business class: you can fly for 10-12 hours for only 45,000 miles! Of course, you’ll still be responsible for fuel surcharges.

Seeing as how this is a pretty niche redemption, it can be overlooked at times — but it’s definitely worth considering!

Here are the countries included in the Southern Africa region:

Turkish Airlines Southern Africa Region
Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles

With South African Airlines as a Star Alliance partner and several other partners positioned in Europe, there’s plenty of variety to be had with these redemptions.

Here are some example routes you can take:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Johannesburg (JNB) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$500 in taxes and fees in South African Airways business class
  • Munich (MUC) – Cape Town (CPT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$363 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Zurich (ZRH) – Johannesburg (JNB) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$337 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class
  • Istanbul (IST) – Mauritius (MRU) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$182 in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class

Here are some great example routes in the opposite direction:

  • Cape Town (CPT) – Munich (MUC) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$262 in taxes and fees in South African Airways business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$273 in taxes and fees in South African Airways business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$262 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$262 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class

Hot Tip: If you’re traveling to South Africa, you will most likely be traveling to Johannesburg or Cape Town, as those are the biggest airports in the region.

13. Fly From Europe 2 to the Middle East in Business Class (24,500 miles)

Middle seats provide direct aisle access in Lufthansa business class. Fly Lufthansa business class from America to the Middle East using Turkish Airlines miles!

If you want to fly on a short-haul, international flight from Europe 2 to the Middle East in business class, it won’t cost you very much at all!

With business class flights priced at 24,500 miles, there’s some solid value to be had with this redemption.

Here are some unique and awesome redemptions you can make with only 24,500 miles:

  • Zurich (ZRH) – Dubai (DXB) one-way for 24,500 miles + ~$253 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class
  • Frankfurt (FRA) – Kuwait City (KWI) one-way for 24,500 miles + ~$276 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Istanbul (IST) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 24,500 miles + ~$94 in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class

14. Fly From South America to Europe 2 in Business Class (52,500 miles)

TAP Business Class
Flying TAP Portugal business class from South America to Europe will only cost 52,500 Turkish miles each way! Image courtesy of liveandletsfly.boardingarea.com.

Turkish Airlines also has a very inclusive definition of South America, so we can use this to our advantage — especially when flying between Europe 2 and South America.

Here are the countries and territories that make up South America:

Turkish Airlines South America Region
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia

The list of areas governed by the South America award chart is huge!

We won’t be able to look at all the routes to Europe 2, but here are several great options you can book with 52,500 miles each way:

  • Rio de Janeiro (GIG) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$48 ($400 in reverse) in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$600 ($400 in reverse) in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Sao Paolo (GRU) – Porto/Lisbon (OPO/LIS) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$30 ($303 in reverse) in taxes and fees in TAP Portugal business class
  • Bogota (BOG) – Barcelona (BCN) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$414 ($39 in reverse) in taxes and fees in Avianca Vuela business class
  • Panama City (PTY) – Istanbul (IST) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$387 (no reverse route) in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class

Bottom Line: There are plenty of ways you can fly from South America to Europe 2 in business class. These routes range anywhere from 8-12 hours, so you’ll definitely be able to fly on these long-haul routes in comfort!

15. Turkish Airlines Special Offers

Turkish Airlines
Watch out for special promos from Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles! Image courtesy of ttgmema.com.

There’s a little-known secret to Turkish Airlines: special offers with Miles & Smiles.

The reason it’s not well-known is because it’s not easy to find the promotions. Here’s how you can view the special offers:

  1. Visit Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  2. Scroll down almost all the way to the bottom
  3. Click Special Offers from Miles&Smiles

The regions are rotated periodically, so the special offers will change often. They typically offer 25% off awards, so that’ll be an extra bundle of points you can save!

16. Fly Star Alliance from the Continental U.S. to Hawaii (From 7,500 miles)

United Airlines Polaris Business Class
United Airlines lie-flat business class can be found on select routes to Hawaii. Image Credit: runwaygirlnetwork.com

The very last redemption here is on United Airlines. You can fly domestically to Hawaii for 7,500 miles one-way or 15,000 miles round-trip. This is an excellent deal, and one of the best, if not the single best way to fly to Hawaii from America. Also, it includes any East Coast flights as well. The same flight in business class costs 25,000 miles round-trip or 12,500 miles one-way.

Considering that some of these flights contain lie-flat seats in business class, it could potentially be a huge sweet spot for travelers headed to Hawaii.

Final Thoughts

Although Turkish Airlines is a relatively unknown frequent flyer program, the recent addition of Turkish Airlines to Citi as a transfer partner has drawn significant attention to Miles & Smiles.

There are a few booking quirks, and it is generally not a “beginner-friendly” award program — but if you’re willing to stick it out, you can book some awesome sweet spots!

Featured Image: Courtesy of ausbt.com.au


How do I join Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles?

Do I need to be an Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles member to search for awards?

Yes, you must be a member to search for award availability.

How many Turkish Airlines miles do I have?

You may check your miles balance by signing in on the top right corner of the Miles & Smiles homepage.

When do Turkish Airlines Miles expire?

Turkish Airlines miles expire 3 years after they are earned. You can extend miles for another 3 years at a rate of $10 per 1,000 miles.

Can I transfer miles to Turkish Airlines from other loyalty programs?

Yes! You can transfer from Citi or Marriott!

How many Turkish Airlines miles are required for a trip reward?

You can see the award chart by following these steps:

  1. Visit Miles & Smiles
  2. Scroll down to the Miles&Smiles Award Tables section
  3. Click Award Ticket Table for the complete award chart

Which credit cards can I use to earn Turkish Airlines miles?

You can earn Turkish Airlines miles from any Citi ThankYou Rewards or Marriott Rewards-earning credit cards.

How can I contact Turkish Airlines?

You can contact Turkish Airlines 24 hours a day at +1-800-874-8875.

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 in a six-figure job, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.


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  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees

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. Does the traveler have to be the person to appear at the sales office? Or could I delegate it to friends/family who live in those cities?

    • Stephen Au · November 16, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Stefano,

      Unfortunately, at least one of the travelers must be present at the sales office.

  2. Thank you for the very comprehensive write up.

    I just want to point out that: (1) You can actually book a ticket for anyone, you only have to provide their exact name and some basic info over to the call center. (2) Some offices, including LA, is willing to issue tickets via email. They are also now implementing online booking for star alliance award tickets, but it’s still very buggy.

    • Stephen Au · December 14, 2018 · Reply

      Hey Kaew!

      Thanks for reading!

      You bring up several good points which we will use to update this post.

      Keep in mind that a lot of these situations is dependent on the competency/knowledge of the representative.

      But, we will absolutely include caveats! Thanks a lot for reading. We tremendously value your feedback.

  3. Great insight Stephen. I’m thinking on transferring 50k ThankYou points. into Turkish Air and then find a round-trip business class award flight Honolulu (HNL) to Auckland (AKL). Where would I look? Air New Zealand doesn’t show award availability without having their Air Points in your account. Any advice on making this trip happen?

    Thank you,


    • Stephen Au · February 9, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Gary,

      Do not use Air New Zealand to search for award availability on their flights because their award availability might not reflect what is provided to partners like Turkish Airlines. Search on United.com or Aeroplan.com for the routes you want. Write down the flight numbers, dates, class of service, etc when you find availability. Call Turkish Airlines and follow the directions there. Thanks for reading.

  4. Hi Stephen,

    I believe the answer is no, but is there any way to transfer my Turkish miles & smiles miles to Singapore Airlines? I have 27,000 miles that I don’t see myself using but I’m flying Singapore to Bali in 2020.

    • Stephen Au · April 17, 2019 · Reply


      Unfortunately, you can’t transfer. However, check out your upgrade options on SQ aiding Turkish Airlines miles! Maybe you can get some value there.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Kurt,
        Can you use your TK miles to get your free flight tickets from SIN to DPS on SQ?

        • Stephen Au · August 23, 2019 · Reply

          Hey Ash,

          If you only hold Turkish Airlines miles, you can book travel solely within Asia on Singapore Airlines up to business class.

  5. Than · May 8, 2019 · Reply

    Hi, I am based in Belgium and I am thinking between Miles&Smiles and Asiana Club. What do you think? Which one is better? Thanks

    • Stephen Au · May 10, 2019 · Reply


      It’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations as it all depends on what your own travel goals are. However, Asiana Club is very useful for U.S.-based travelers due to the sweet spots to Europe and the Middle East. Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is also very useful for the redemptions in this post. Thanks for reading.

      • Hello!
        I was trying to use Aeroplan or United’s Mileageplan to find availability for ANA or EVA from Asia to Europe but i can’t seem to find any! Anyone having similar issues?

        • Stephen Au · July 17, 2019 · Reply

          Hey Louis,

          Airline award availability is subject to inventory release from each individual airline. Keep playing with your dates and being flexible! Thanks for reading.

          • Anthony Anderson · August 1, 2019

            Hey, I’m trying to figure out how to book an award flight from mainland U.S. to Hawaii. I live close to CMH. I can’t figure out if I need to find direct flights or can I have multiple stops. For example, can I fly CMH to ORD to HNL?


          • Andrew Kunesh · August 1, 2019

            Hey Anthony, great question! Turkish Airlines does allow you to include layovers on mainland U.S. to Hawaii award tickets on United Airlines. However, note that the airline imposes a max connection time of 4 hours. Additionally, all legs must have saver availability in order to be booked.

  6. Siddig · July 31, 2019 · Reply

    Hi Stephen,
    Great article.
    I think TK increased the award ticket miles since this post.
    I’m looking to fly SFO-RUH (one way or return) and it’s costing 240,000 + $656 tax.
    is there is a better way to do this ?

    • Stephen Au · August 9, 2019 · Reply


      This isn’t correct. Turkish Airlines has “guaranteed award space”, which is significantly more expensive than the saver award space. This space is available when airlines don’t release any saver space. Keep playing around with dates until you see dates that have availability.

  7. Siddig · August 1, 2019 · Reply

    Hi Stephen,
    Great insight.
    I have 120,000+ miles on Turkish Airlines and I’m trying to book a trip to Riyadh (RUH) in Dec, but the one way business is coming to 120K. In your piece here you mention 47K one way. Can you help me figure it out What is the best option for me ?


    • Stephen Au · August 6, 2019 · Reply


      I’m not sure which routes you’re thinking about, but Turkish Airlines controls availability. I would recommend calling them to see if they can help you out.

  8. Nilesh Bhimani · August 24, 2019 · Reply

    I have 50k + miles in my Miles and Smiles account of Turkish. I am living in India/Mumbai.
    1. How can I consume these miles for any of the domestic trip in India?
    2. Can I spend mile to buy any product (Other then air ticket or any service)?

    Waiting for your response,
    -Nilesh Bhimani

    • Stephen Au · August 26, 2019 · Reply


      If you’re making redemptions on Air India, we would suggest you call Turkish Airlines directly at their 24 hour booking and customer services hotline:


      Also, please visit their website and contact them regarding other uses of Turkish Airlines miles.

  9. Hi there,

    I’m a Miles And Smiles (TK) member and am flying from Istanbul to Hong Kong on Singapore Airlines. Can I earn miles from this flight? If yes, would that be status miles or just bonus miles?


    • Andrew Kunesh · August 28, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Memin, good question! You can earn both elite and redeemable miles on Miles & Smiles when flying on most Singapore Airlines tickets. How many miles you’ll earn depends on the length of your flight and the fare class you’re booked in. You can check how many miles your fare class earns on Turkish Airlines’ partner earning page for Singapore Airlines.

  10. My husband and I are were able to make a booking using miles and smiles over the phone for an Air Canada flight. Everything was done over a 10 minute phone call including providing credit card. We did not have to go to a sales/ticketing office and our tickets were issued immediately by email.

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