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11 Ways To Redeem All Nippon Airways (ANA) Miles for Max Value [2017]

Etihad Business Class

Headquartered in Tokyo, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline in Japan and is part of Star Alliance – the largest airline alliance in the world.

This combination offers many interesting possibilities for redeeming miles to all kinds of destinations, especially since it’s possible to easily earn ANA miles through various American Express credit cards.

It’s also possible to book award flights for travelers other than yourself, but you must register these companions (up to 10) as award users. Award travel can be booked between 4-355 days before departure.

Using ANA Miles With Airline Partners

You can easily earn ANA frequent flyer program miles by signing up for various credit cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards points. ANA is also a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest.

In addition, you can credit any flights taken on United or other Star Alliance members to ANA and earn miles when you fly. These miles can be redeemed for travel on ANA airlines and other Star Alliance partners.

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

American Express Membership Rewards can be transferred to ANA airlines at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers generally take less than 24 hours but may take up to a week. The following cards generally offer great sign-up bonuses, so you can earn miles even faster!

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDMORE INFO
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
$200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
Annual Fee: $550
Detailed Review
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressEarn 25,000 points. Terms Apply.
3x points for flights booked directly with airlines. Terms Apply.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
Detailed Review
Blue Cash EveryDay® Preferred from American Express$150 statement credit
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms Apply.
Annual Fee: $95
Detailed Review
Blue Cash EveryDay® from American Express$100 statement credit
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms Apply.
Annual Fee: $0
Detailed Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American ExpressEarn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x). Terms Apply.
Annual Fee: $0
Detailed Review

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDMORE INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPENEarn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Terms Apply.
Annual Fee: $450
Detailed Review
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPENEarn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. Terms Apply.
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
Detailed Review
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter. Terms Apply.
No annual fee
Detailed Review
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American ExpressEarn up to $400 cash back
5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores. Terms Apply.
No annual fee
Detailed Review

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards

Starwood Preferred Guest points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to ANA. If you transfer 20,000 SPG points, you will receive a 5,000-mile bonus, which results in a 1:1.25 transfer ratio. The following cards offer great sign-up bonuses, helping you rack up those miles!

Transfers generally take 7 days.

CREDIT CARDMORE INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressEarn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights.
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms Apply.
Card Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms Apply.
Card Review

The 11 Best Ways To Use ANA Miles

The following redemptions are some of the best ways to use your ANA frequent flyer program miles. Where are you flying?

1. Fly Round-Trip in ANA Business Class to Japan Starting At 75,000 Miles

ANA business class
Enjoy ANA business class to Japan when you transfer your Membership Rewards points to ANA. Image courtesy ana.co.jp.

Flights to Japan cost 85,000 miles round-trip in ANA business class during regular season, but can go as low as 75,000 miles during low season and 90,000 miles during high season. Flights on partners will always cost 85,000 miles in business class.

First class awards require 150,000 Mileage Club miles during both low and regular seasons and 165,000 miles during high season. In 2017, low season is January 5-February 28 and April 1-April 26.

Regular season includes the following dates: March 1-March 31, May 9-July 26, and August 22-December 19. High season includes January 1-January 4, April 27-May 8, July 27-August 21, and December 20-December 31.

If you would rather save some miles and fly in economy, flights between North America and Japan on ANA metal require 40,000 Mileage Club miles in low season, 50,000 miles in regular season, and 55,000 miles in high season, which is a pretty great rate!

Most frequent flyer programs start award flights to Japan at 70,000 miles round-trip. Flights on partners always cost 50,000 miles round-trip.

Please note that award space can be booked only from the North American cities that ANA services: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Hot Tip: Some award options, especially close to departure, can show up as waitlisted. This means that these flights are unavailable at the moment of booking, but could become available down the road if someone cancels a flight. A waitlist could clear or not; you never know. The best option is to look for awards that are available now, especially when multiple people are traveling

2. Fly Etihad Business Class to Africa or the Middle East for 104,000 Miles

Etihad business class
Fly Etihad business class to Africa or the Middle East with your ANA miles. Image courtesy travelsort.com.

ANA airlines only charges 104,000 miles to fly round-trip on Etihad to the Middle East or Africa in business class. You’ll give up 195,000 miles to fly in first class, which is not quite as good of a deal but still worth considering if you really want to fly first.

You can’t go wrong flying Etihad in business or first class!

However, availability isn’t necessarily the greatest on Etihad. Luckily, if you want to travel to Africa or the Middle East, you can fly EgyptAir with much better availability for the same price, though definitely not as nice of a product.

Economy class redemptions on either Etihad or EgyptAir would ring in at just 65,000 miles round-trip.

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

3. Fly North America to Asia Starting at 80,000 Miles in Business Class During Low Season

thai airways business
You can use your ANA miles to book travel with Thai Airways in business class. Image courtesy thaiairways.com.

ANA breaks up Asia into 2 zones. Asia Zone 1 consists of China, Guam, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and The Philippines.

Asia Zone 2 on ANA includes India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. If you just read ANA’s website, you might stop there…but Asia Zone 2 also includes the “stan” countries like Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan.

Some of these countries are typically very expensive to get to from North America, so using miles can present some incredible value opportunities!

A round-trip business class ticket to Asia Zone 1 will only cost 80,000 miles during low season when flying on only ANA-operated flights. Round-trip business class tickets to Asia Zone 2 countries only cost 100,000 miles during low season, or 55,000 miles in economy class.

If you need to (or want to) fly partners to get to your final destination, ANA’s partner award chart to Asia isn’t quite as good as the ANA-only chart, but it still presents some decent options. Partner flights to Asia Zone 1 cost 95,000 miles in business class or 60,000 miles in economy.

Partner flights to Asia Zone 2 cost 115,000 miles in business class or 70,000 miles in economy. No matter how you slice it, ANA offers some fantastic redemption rates on its own product as well as on partners.

Hot Tip: Flying to Asia also carries lower fuel surcharges compared with flying directly to Japan on ANA—even when your flights to Asia go through Japan!

4. Fly From North America to Europe Starting at 55,000 Miles Round-trip

Swiss Air business class
Swiss isn’t the easiest airline to find award availability for, but you can redeem for a great price when it pops up! Image courtesy of swiss.com.

ANA presents a lucrative opportunity to redeem just 55,000 Mileage Club miles for a round-trip flight to Europe. Most award programs start at 60,000 miles for a basic redemption, so booking with ANA offers an automatic savings.

Be mindful of high fuel surcharges with some airlines in the Star Alliance, such as Lufthansa or Swiss International Air Lines.

Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines do not pass on exorbitant fuel surcharges to award tickets, so I recommend booking flights operated by those airlines if possible.

Business class redemptions require 88,000 frequent flyer miles, and first class requires 165,000 miles if you can find availability.

5. Fly From the U.S. to South America for 88,000 Miles Round-trip in Business Class

patagonia
Escape to Patagonia where the view is amazing in every direction. Image courtesy patagonia.com

This is another one of ANA’s sweet spots when it comes to business class award travel on partners. Many award charts split South American into 2 regions: northern South America and southern South America. The fact that ANA doesn’t presents some great redemption options!

A Star Alliance award requires just 88,000 miles round-trip in business class. For example, an award from JFK to Rio de Janeiro on flights operated by Copa Airlines doesn’t even add much in taxes—less than $100 for a round-trip.

Economy redemptions come to 55,000 miles round-trip, which is another good redemption option if you want to save a few miles. Most domestic airlines charge 60,000 miles for a round-trip to Brazil.

Hot Tip: Currently, there isn’t an award chart available on ANA’s website for travel from North America. In some cases, it is possible to look up the opposite route (e.g. Japan to North America is the same price as North America to Japan). When that isn’t possible, refer to the user-made award chart for ANA by Drew from Travel is Free.

6. Fly Intra-Japan Starting at 5,000 Miles Each Way

Flying within Japan gives you the unique ability to redeem your ANA miles for one-way tickets. (Most other redemptions with ANA require round-trip bookings.)

One-way flights within Japan start at 5,000 Mileage Club miles, but the actual redemption rates are based on the season and the distance between cities. Blackout dates apply to some departure and arrival cities.

In 2017, low season is defined as January 5-February 28, April 1-April 28, and December 1-December 22.

Regular season is defined as March 1-March 15, May 8-August 9, and August 22-November 30. High season is defined as January 1-January 4, March 16-March 31, April 29-May 7, August 10-August 21, and December 23-December 31.

One-way flights that are shorter than 600 miles require 5,000 Mileage Club miles in low season, 6,000 miles in regular season, and 7,500 miles in high season. One-way flights between 601-1,600 miles in distance require 6,000 Mileage Club miles in low season, 7,500 miles in regular season, and 9,000 miles in high season.

Flights 1,601-2,000 miles long come to 7,000 Mileage Club miles in low season, 9,000 miles in regular season, and 10,500 miles in high season each way. Finally, one-way intra-Japan flights that are 2,001-4,000 miles long cost 8,500 Mileage Club miles in low season, 10,000 miles in regular season, and 11,500 miles in high season.

To give you an example, Tokyo to Osaka requires just 5,000 Mileage Club miles to book a one-way award in low season. The same award space in high season requires 7,500 miles.

It’s important to note that when 2 one-way trips are booked, they would each cost the number of miles for the distance and season of each leg. However, when 2 one-ways are booked as part of an open-jaw trip, the mileage is calculated based on the distance and season of the total trip.

Be careful when calculating the distance of each segment vs. the total distance of an itinerary!

To illustrate this with an example, a one-way ticket from Tokyo to Miyako in economy comes to 10,000 miles, or 20,000 miles round-trip. However, going through Okinawa and adding a multi-day stopover each way also comes to 20,000 miles.

Moral of the story: it’s possible to see multiple destinations for the same cost in miles!

Bottom Line: Intra-Japan flights make for a great use of ANA miles since you can redeem for one-way flights and sometimes make stops for no additional miles.

7. Fly Intra-Africa/Middle East for 30,000 Miles Round-trip in Economy

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
When you visit the Middle East, don’t forget to stop and see the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Image courtesy nomadphotographer.com.

This is a much more specialty use of ANA frequent flyer miles, but it’s just too good not to mention! Flights within Africa can be extremely expensive, so the ability to redeem only 30,000 miles to fly round-trip between anywhere in Africa and the Middle East in economy is great.

These redemptions can be made on Star Alliance partners like South African, Ethiopian, and Egypt Air, or non-Star Alliance partners like Etihad.

8. Fly Between North America and Australia/New Zealand From 115,000 Miles Round-trip in ANA Business Class

If you depart from one of the North American cities that ANA flies to, you can score some great award flights to Australia in ANA business class.

For example, a redemption for the round-trip flight from JFK to Sydney comes to just 115,000 miles! This is a great deal for 2 long-haul flights. The same flight in first class requires 210,000 Mileage Club miles, but you’ll likely be hard pressed to find availability.

If you’re short on miles, the same trip comes to 70,000 miles in economy.

9. Fly Between North America and India From 100,000 Miles Round-trip in ANA Business Class

ana business class
ANA business class really won’t disappoint! Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

Again, this kind of booking would apply to the U.S. cities serviced by ANA. If you live in one of these cities or can get there cheaply, these redemption rates are great!

Business class awards from JFK to Delhi with a connection in Tokyo during April, for example, come to 100,000 miles. And since a stopover is permitted, it is possible to visit multiple destinations for the price of 1!

Economy awards require just 55,000 miles round-trip, but these costs vary depending on the season. For example, the same flights in June go up to 60,000 miles in economy and 105,000 miles in business class, which is still a great deal.

10. Fly North America to Japan for 90,000 Miles Round-trip in Business Class

ANA offers one of the lowest redemption rates on flights operated by Star Alliance partners between North America and Japan.

A Star Alliance award requires 50,000-55,000 Mileage Club miles in economy class, depending on the origin of travel. Business class award flights require 90,000 miles, and first class redemptions require 165,000 miles.

Any of these segments can include ANA-operated flights, which is especially helpful if you have connections.

11. Book an Around-the-World Trip

One of the most amazing redemptions available with ANA airlines is their around-the-world booking. Many airlines have gotten rid of these redemptions, but ANA turned their old distance-based program into an around-the-world chart when they made program changes in 2015.

If you have the time and want to make a bunch of stops, this might just be the best ANA redemption available!

When making an ANA partner redemption, you can make up to 8 stopovers on an around-the-world trip.

ANA around the world trip example
An example around-the-world trip found on the ANA website. As long as you are always traveling in the same direction (east or west), you can make up to 8 stopovers before returning home!

There are some restrictions to consider. For example, only 3 stopovers in Europe and 4 in Japan are allowed, and you must choose only 1 direction in which to travel (east or west).

This isn’t going to work for a short trip because you’re not allowed to return to the country of departure in fewer than 10 days. You are also not allowed to use an open jaw in North America, South America, or Latin America.

However, you can make some incredible trips if you have the time, flexibility, and patience to plan them out! The mileage cost is calculated based on the distance flown.

Itineraries start at 20,000 points in economy (for trips 0-2,000 miles) and go up to 450,000 points in first class (for trips 44,001-50,000 miles).

Hot Tip: Bring your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express with you to collect extra points if you’re staying in a Starwood property while getting access to free Boingo WiFi Hotspots everywhere you go! You can also be earning miles for your next ANA redemption! 

Using Your ANA Miles

ANA is the Japan-based member of Star Alliance, and they have 2 separate award charts. One chart is valid when travel is solely on ANA, while the other chart is valid for travel on partners.

List of Star Alliance ANA Airline Partners

You can book flights on all of the following Star Alliance members with your ANA miles:

Airline
UnitedAir New Zealand
Air CanadaThai
CopaAsiana
AviancaEVA Air
TAP PortugalShenzhen Airlines
Brussels AirlinesAir China
LufthansaAir India
AustrianSouth African Airways
SwissEthiopian
LOTEgyptAir
SASTurkish
AdriaAegean
Croatia AirlinesSingapore Airlines

List of Non-Alliance ANA Airline Partners

ANA also partners with these non-Star Alliance airlines:

Airline
EtihadGaruda
HawaiianJet Airways
TAMVirgin Atlantic

The ANA Award Chart

ANA does not offer an easy award chart to view the cost of itineraries with only ANA-operated flights. Instead, you’ll have to look at a couple of different charts to find out the information you need depending on where you are trying to travel.

Note that the first section of award charts below are valid only when flying on ANA-operated flights. If you have a flight on a partner, you will need to refer to ANA’s partner award chart.

ANA US to Japan
Redemption prices from the U.S. to Japan with ANA miles.
ANA US to South Korea
Redemption prices from the U.S. to South Korea with ANA miles.
ANA US to Asia 1
Redemption prices from the U.S. to Asia 1 with ANA miles.
ANA US Asia 2 Award costs
Redemption prices from the U.S. to Asia 2 with ANA miles.
ANA US to Oceania
Redemption prices from the U.S. to Oceania with ANA miles.

Fortunately, the award chart for partner flights is more straightforward.

ANA partner award chart
ANA partner award chart from the U.S.

The around-the-world chart is distance-based, and pricing is determined based on the class of service and total distance flown.

ANA Around the World Award Chart
ANA’s around-the-world award chart.

Awards Bookable Online vs. by Phone

ANA airlines award search engine is one of the best available for Star Alliance because it can search every Star Alliance partner. Garuda is the only non-Star Alliance partner that is able to be searched on ANA’s site.

Generally, any itinerary with partners that are searchable on ANA’s site should be bookable online. If you are booking on a non-Alliance partner that doesn’t show up on ANA’s site, you can call to book and ask ANA to waive the telephone booking fee.

Award Redemption Rules

When booking on ANA-operated flights:

  • Travel is only permitted on ANA-operated flights
  • Awards must be booked for round-trip travel, except intra-Japan flights
  • 1 stopover is permitted
  • 2 open jaws are permitted

When booking on Star Alliance partners and ANA-operated flights:

  • Can include multiple partners on a single itinerary
  • Awards must be booked for round-trip travel
  • 1 stopover is permitted
  • 2 open jaws are permitted

When bookings are on non-Star Alliance partners:

  • Travel is only permitted on 1 partner airline
  • Awards must be booked for round-trip travel
  • 1 stopover is permitted
  • 2 open jaws are permitted

When booking around-the-world awards:

  • Must travel in only 1 direction (east or west)
  • Cannot return to origin country in less than 10 days
  • Up to 8 stopovers are permitted (only 3 in Europe and 4 in Japan)
  • Not allowed to use an open jaw in North America, South America, or Latin America

Conclusion

ANA’s program is complicated because of the number of different charts that apply to various redemptions, but there are great values to be had if you invest a little time in thinking about your award redemption.

Additionally, the ease of earning ANA miles from American Express Membership Rewards and SPG points makes these redemptions even more worth paying attention to!

Happy travels!

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

FAQ

How can I earn ANA miles?
ANA miles can be earned by flying ANA-operated or partner flights and crediting the miles to ANA’s loyalty program: Mileage Club.

ANA miles can also be earned through Starwood Preferred Guest and American Express Membership Rewards as both offer 1:1 transfers.

What are ANA miles worth?
The value of ANA miles depends on how you use them. At a minimum, you should be able to achieve 1.6 cents per mile in value, but if you are making business and first class redemptions it is possible to easily get more than 5 cents per mile in value.

How many ANA miles do I need for a free flight?
The cheapest award flight with ANA is 5,000 miles, and that would be a short one-way flight within Japan. Outside of Japan, one-way flights are not allowed, and the least expensive flight option is 30,000 miles round-trip.

Are ANA award tickets refundable?
ANA does not charge anything to change tickets as long as you keep the same routing and type of award. ANA charges 3,000 miles per person to cancel a ticket.

Do ANA miles expire?
ANA miles expire after 36 months if there is no mileage earning activity on the account.

Can I transfer my ANA miles to United?
No, you cannot transfer ANA miles to United. However, since United is part of Star Alliance, it is possible to use your ANA miles to book flights on United.

Can I buy ANA miles?
It is possible to buy ANA miles. They generally cost 1.85 cents per mile.