Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

Best Ways To Book Japan Airlines First Class With Points [Step-by-Step]

Spencer Howard's image
Spencer Howard
Spencer Howard's image

Spencer Howard

Former Content Contributor

51 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 21U.S. States Visited:

Always a fan of flying, Spencer wanted to find ways to upgrade his travel experience. Over the years, Spencer has been a guest speaker on multiple YouTube shows as well as podcasts on maximizing point...
Edited by: Kellie Jez
Kellie Jez's image

Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

6 Published Articles 1179 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...
& Michael Y. Park
Michael Y. Park's image

Michael Y. Park

Editor

18 Published Articles 173 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

If Japan Airlines first class isn’t near the top of your list of flying experiences to try, you might want to reconsider.

From the plush lounge to your private first class seat to the incredible hospitality, this is a chance to enjoy pure luxury. If you enjoy Champagne, flying first class on Japan Airlines will be a particularly special treat.

Before we dive into the best ways to book this amazing experience, let’s discuss what you can expect when flying first class with one of the best airlines in the world.

(We’ve also covered the top ways to fly to Japan using points and miles!)

A Look Inside Japan Airlines First Class

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Red Suite Library Room
Red Suite Library Room inside the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

If you fly out of Tokyo Narita (NRT) or Tokyo Haneda (HND), your first class journey starts in a Japan Airlines first class lounge. You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a place to relax, have a drink, enjoy some food, or do some work with fast Wi-Fi. Best of all, many Japan Airlines first class lounges feature a made-to-order sushi bar.

Their first class lounges even have self-pouring beer machines that have become a favorite of many luxury travelers.

Self-Pouring Beer Machine
The self-pouring beer machine that comes with chilled glasses is pretty awesome! Image Credit: Stephen Au.

Once you’re on board, Japan Airlines goes to great lengths to ensure you enjoy all of your food and drinks with true Japanese service. Japan Airlines is known for having some of the best food of any airline.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777 300ER First Class JAL Suite 2A
Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Although the JAL first class suite does not have doors, like those of Emirates first class, Singapore Suites, or the Etihad Apartments, the dividers provide plenty of privacy so you can feel right at home.

How to Fly Japan Airlines First Class on Points

As an Oneworld alliance member, you have many ways to book Japan Airlines first class award seats.

You can book first class award tickets on Japan Airlines through their Mileage Bank program, American Airlines AAdvantage, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, or one of their many other Oneworld partners. Take a look below at the best ways to book this flight.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

The first option we will look at to fly Japan Airlines first class is with its own Mileage Bank program.

Mileage Bank uses a region-based award chart for its flights. This differs from the distance-based chart Mileage Bank uses for partner award redemptions. However, since we are only focusing on Japan Airlines first class flights using Mileage Bank, that award chart will not apply here.

Here is the award chart for award flights between North America and Japan in first class using Mileage Bank:

Japan Airlines MileageBank award chart NA Japan
Mileage Bank award pricing between North America and Japan in first class. Image Credit: Japan Airlines

In addition to the region-based award chart, Mileage Bank also utilizes seasonality for its pricing, meaning that the number of miles depends on when you are flying. You can find the exact mileage required and the seasonality chart on Japan Airlines’ website for all Japan Airlines Mileage Bank redemptions.

During the low season, you can book one-way awards between North America and Japan for 70,000 miles.

It is worth noting that Mileage Bank does not allow for stopovers on its award redemptions, so you would not be able to stop in Japan and continue onward with your first class redemption.

You can book flights on Japan Airlines online by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Japan Airlines website.
  2. Log in to your JAL Mileage Bank account.
  3. Select Book Award Tickets.
  4. Select JAL International Award Ticket Reservation.
  5. Enter your travel information, including travel dates, departure and destination airports, and whether you want to fly one-way or round-trip.
  6. Select Designate Date if your travel must be on the specific dates you have selected, or Award Reservation Calendar if you have flexible travel dates.
  7. Click Next.
  8. If you select Designate Date, you’ll be taken directly to your flight options.
    • Ensure the flights you select have available seats and do not require waitlisting.
  9. If you select Award Reservation Calendar, you will see 7 dates for your departure and 7 for your return. Select the dates. You will be taken to your flight options for those dates.
  10. Confirm that you’re OK paying the Mileage Bank miles and taxes and fees required.
  11. Select your desired flights and hit Next (assign seat now) so you can select your seat and complete the booking process.

Earning Japan Airlines Miles

Earning Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles is difficult, as the program only partners with Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio. With every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you receive 5,000 bonus miles.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is another excellent way to fly Japan Airlines first class. The program revamped its award charts, including those for partner airlines, in late 2022. However, in March 2024, Alaska is switching to a distance-based award chart.

For now, one-way Japan Airlines first class flights can be booked starting at 70,000 Alaska miles. This is the same pricing that Japan Airlines charges using its Mileage Bank program.

However, the Mileage Plan allows for stopovers, even on one-way award redemptions, which can provide significantly more value when it comes to award redemptions. You can have a stopover in Tokyo for up to 364 days for Japan Airlines flights by using Alaska miles.

In addition to the stopover policy, it is easier to earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles than Japan Airlines Mileage Plan miles.

Hot Tip:

Check out our guide on the best ways to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for maximum value.

To book, go to Alaska’s website and follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Alaska Airlines website.
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Search for your desired route (make sure you select Use Miles).
  4. Select your desired flight and click Add To Cart.
  5. Pay the necessary taxes and fees and complete your booking.

You can also schedule a stopover on a one-way award ticket booked with Alaska miles.

Earning Alaska Airlines Miles

Earning Alaska Airlines miles can be difficult, as they only have 1 major transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio. With every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you receive 5,000 bonus miles.

Here are Marriott Bonvoy credit cards we recommend:

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
30,000 points
$210
$0
21.49%–28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Pros
  • Up to 14x points per $1 on Marriott purchases
  • 2x points per $1 on travel purchases
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each year (automatically gives you Silver Elite status)
Cons
  • Lower point earn rate than other Marriott Bonvoy cards
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status is the lowest status tier
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%–28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual Free Night Award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual Free Night Award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
Earn 3 Free Nights
$1,050
$95
21.49%–28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.

Pros
  • Earn big when you use your card at thousands of participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Earn big at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • Marriott Silver Elite Status is the lowest status tier
  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite status, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%–28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
85,000 points
$595
$250
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $250 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
  • Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit, available for Qualifying Rates.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 bonus points
$665
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

In addition, Alaska Airlines also has 2 co-branded credit cards, both personal and business versions.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!
Get 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
60,000 bonus + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™
$960
$95
20.24% - 28.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card in your wallet, you could get great perks and earn miles at the same time. This is a win-win if Alaska is the airline you prefer to fly with! Plus, its annual companion fare is a great benefit for traveling couples.

Pros
  • 3x miles per $1 spent on Alaska purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on eligible gas, local transit (including rideshare), cable, and select streaming services
  • 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cons
    • $95 annual fee
  • LIMITED TIME ONLINE OFFER — 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™!
  • Get 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™. Every year on your credit card account anniversary you’ll receive a companion fare which allows you to book a companion flight from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23). Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation – that’s a savings of $70 per person roundtrip!
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, local transit (including rideshare), cable, and select streaming services, and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • 10% reward bonus on all miles earned on card with an eligible Bank of America checking, savings, or investment account.
  • Priority boarding on Alaska Airlines when tickets are purchased with card.
  • With oneworld® Alliance member airlines and Alaska’s Global Partners, Alaska has expanded their global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide bringing more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Flexibility with no blackout dates on Alaska Airlines flights when booking with miles or a companion fare.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.24% - 28.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines AAdvantage

Another excellent and, quite possibly the simplest, way to book Japan Airlines first class is through the American Airlines Advantage program.

American Airlines has devalued its program a few times over the years; however, plenty of value remains to be had. In most situations, the best value to get out of American miles comes from partner awards, which are not subject to dynamic pricing, unlike American’s flights.

For partner airlines, American has a published award chart. On the partner award chart, Asia is divided into 4 regions, and Japan is considered to be part of Asia Region 1.

Here is what American charges for one-way award flights on partner airlines between North America and Japan:

SCROLL FOR MORE
From Contiguous 48 U.S. States and Canada: Main CabinPremium EconomyBusiness/FirstFirst
To: Asia 135,50050,00060,00080,000

American charges 80,000 miles for first class seats on partner airlines, including Japan Airlines. Although the mileage requirements are slightly higher than with other programs, including Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, the miles are also significantly easier to earn.

Here’s what you need to do to book partner awards with American Airlines miles.

  1. Head over to American’s website.
  2. Click Redeem miles,
  3. Enter your travel information, including the origin and destination airports, the number of passengers, and the departure date.
  4. Select a one-way or round-trip journey.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Confirm your award space.
  7. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning American Airlines Miles

Earning American Airlines miles is relatively simple, as there are numerous American Airlines co-branded credit cards from Citibank and Barclays.

The AAdvantage program is also a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Bilt Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers from Marriott Bonvoy occur at a 3:1 ratio. However, there is no 5,000-mile bonus if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points, unlike other programs.

Here are Citibank American Airlines co-branded credit cards we recommend:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.

Learn More(at Citi's secure site)
Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
50,000 miles
$700
$99, waived for first 12 months
21.24% - 29.99% Variable

Blue skies and fair winds make for a good day to fly! Choosing your airline can be difficult, since factors like location, time, and destination all go into whether or not you can fly somewhere.

An easy choice for many people is American Airlines, because they’re the largest airline in the world. If you’re an American, you’ve probably flown American Airlines at least once.

Frequent fliers tend to enjoy the treatment they can get, from boarding privileges to free bags to lounge access. There’s many reasons to fly with AA, and if so then getting a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® could be for you.

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 0%
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Program

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.
Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
70,000 miles
$980
$595
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a go-to card thanks to its exclusive perks and benefits for people who love to fly American Airlines. With a complimentary Admirals Club membership, free checked bags, inflight discounts, and the ability to earn Loyalty Points for every $1 you spend, there is plenty to love about the card.

Pros
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible hotels booked through aa.com/hotels
Cons
  • $595 annual fee
  • Doesn’t earn many miles on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights and at grocery stores, all without needing to pay an annual fee.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights and at grocery stores, all without needing to pay an annual fee.
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
10,000 miles
$140
$0
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® is perfectly suited for those looking for a way to earn more American Airlines miles and earn Loyalty Points, all without needing to pay an annual fee.

Pros
  • 2x mile per $1 on American Airlines and grocery store purchases
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases
Cons
  • Other cards are more rewarding for frequent American Airlines flyers
  • Charges a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flight
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%
Hot Tip:

Using American Airlines’ search engine is a great way to search for Oneworld partner availability.

Other Options for Booking Japan Airlines

You can also book flights on Japan Airlines with any of their other Oneworld partners, including British Airways. Unfortunately, the redemption rates on these other carriers are often quite poor.

For example, British Airways uses a distance-based award chart. Flights between the U.S. and Japan are typically quite far, meaning you need to use a lot more miles to fly between the continents. Typically, the best value to get out of British Airways Avios comes from short-haul flights.

Great Japan Airlines First Class Redemptions

Japan Airlines 777
Look for Japan Airlines’ “Limited Days of the Week” awards to save a ton of miles on first class flights! Image Credit: rebius / Adobe Stock

First, let’s take a look at some standard awards between the U.S. and Japan. After that, we will look at more creative ways to book Japan Airlines in first class.

If you’re flying from major U.S. hubs, including New York City (JFK), Chicago (ORD), or Los Angeles (LAX), your cheapest option is 140,000 Japan Airlines miles or 140,000 Alaska miles round-trip. You could also book with 160,000 American miles round-trip.

How to Earn Enough Miles for Japan Airlines First Class

If you are ready to book a flight in Japan Airlines first class but don’t have enough miles for the itinerary you want, there are plenty of ways to earn more.

Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Japan Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 rate to all those programs. For every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer with Japan Airlines or Alaska Airlines, you receive an extra 5,000 miles bonus. You don’t get that bonus with transfers with American Airlines.

Citi Credit Cards

Citi offers plenty of American Airlines co-branded credit cards that can quickly earn you lots of American Airlines miles.

When Should You Search for Award Space?

Finding a first class award seat on Japan Airlines is not always easy, but if you’re flexible with your travel dates, you can create a fantastic trip.

As soon as you have an idea when you’d like to travel, start searching. You might be able to find space many months before departure, but Japan Airlines might not release award space until days before you want to depart. Flexibility is important when it comes to Japan Airlines premium cabin award redemptions.

What Makes Japan Airlines a Great Redemption?

Flying first class with Japan Airlines is a memorable experience, thanks to the great seats and top-notch service and offerings. Champagne lovers get a chance to sip on one of the most expensive Champagnes in the world, for example.

First Class Service

The cabin crew in Japan Airlines first class is second to none. They take great pride in creating an amazing flight experience for passengers, so you can sit back, relax with a glass of Champagne, and enjoy the flight.

Amazing Champagne: Louis Roederer Cristal 2009

Speaking of Champagne, several airlines around the world serve Dom Perigon, Krug, etc. But Japan Airlines stands alone in serving Louis Roederer Cristal 2009, which retails for over $300 per bottle. Needless to say, you won’t be disappointed.

Phenomenal Whiskey: Hibiki 17

Hibiki 17
If you are a fan of high-end whisky, you’ll have a chance to try the discontinued and legendary Hibiki 17 whisky in Japan Airlines first class. Image credit: Stephen Au.

Another huge perk of Japan Airlines first class is the liquor selection. You’re given the opportunity to try Hibiki 17, an increasingly rare and world-class whisky. Because Hibiki 17 has been discontinued, the demand is extraordinary now. Bottles can retail anywhere from $750 to $1,000.

First Class Suite

Japan Airlines First Class Seat
The Japan Airlines first class seats feature an industry-leading 33 inches in width! Image credit: Stephen Au.

Your first class suite provides a comfortable seat that converts into a nice lie-flat bed. Additionally, you have space to move around and enough privacy to make you feel right at home.

Final Thoughts

When you fly with Japan Airlines, you can expect an exceptional first class experience. Whether you’re flying out of Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda, you get a chance to experience Japan Airlines’ incredible first class lounges. Once on board, it only gets better as you settle into your suite and see the first class cabin crew in action.

While you can use Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program to book your award tickets, you may be better off using American Airlines AAdvantage or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan to book. These miles are significantly easier to earn.

Granted, it’s not always an easy award ticket to book, but you will be thrilled to put in that little extra effort. Japan Airlines award space can be hard to come by, but it is worth taking the time to look.

That said, you may need to be flexible and book either well in advance or at the last minute to score Japan Airlines award seats.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to book Japan Airlines first class?

If you are booking first class on Japan Airlines, check Japan Airlines Mileage BankAlaska Airlines Mileage Plan, or American Airlines AAdvantage.

Japan Airlines and Alaska Airlines have the best redemption rates, but booking with American Airlines can be more rewarding, since the miles are easier to earn.

Can I book Japan Airlines first class with American AAdvantage miles?

Yes, you can. Both airlines are part of Oneworld, meaning you can use your American miles to book partner airline award tickets.

What do I get when flying Japan Airlines first class?

Japan Airlines has an amazing first class suite and a cabin crew that is second to none. You also get to enjoy one of the most expensive Champagnes in the world.

If you depart from Tokyo Haneda (HND) or Tokyo Narita (NRT), make sure you enjoy one of Japan Airlines’ first class lounges.

Is Japan Airlines first class worth it?

If you enjoy top-notch service, food, drinks, and comfort, then you should consider flying first class on Japan Airlines — especially if you have enough points to make it easier on your wallet.

Spencer Howard's image

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience.

Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class!

Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy  and terms of service  apply.

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse
DMCA.com Protection Status