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Best Ways To Book SWISS Business Class With Points [Step-By-Step]

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Swiss International Air Lines, the flag carrier of Switzerland, plays an important role in connecting one of the world’s major finance centers to other countries.

With its hub in Zurich Airport (ZRH), SWISS runs a unique set of nonstop flights to Switzerland, positioning itself as one of the go-to airlines within the Star Alliance.

One little-known fact is that SWISS is actually owned by the Lufthansa Group. But what is generally well-known is that its business and first class are top-notch products in the airline industry. SWISS is known for its elegant and sleek business class cabin, as well as its wide selection of food and beverages.

Let’s take a look at how you can book SWISS business class with points.

A Look Inside SWISS Business Class

Swiss Air business class middle seats
SWISS Air offers an elegant business class. Image Credit: SWISS Air

SWISS’ business class cabin has an unusual layout. When you look at the seat map, you quickly see significant variation in the quality of the business class seats on a given plane. Still, no matter what seat you’re in, it’ll almost always have the same elegant, understated luxury.

Regardless of whether you’re flying on the Boeing 777-300ER or the Airbus A330 or A340, it’s the same business class seat. On its long-haul flights, SWISS operates an alternating 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 configuration. This cabin consists of forward-facing, staggered seats with a large privacy shell, an arm table, and more.

The configuration may seem strange at first. Not all seats have direct aisle access, yet some seats are almost completely isolated, providing a more private experience. These solo seats are actually SWISS’ “throne” seats, which are arguably the best seats on the plane.

How To Fly SWISS Business Class Using Points

SWISS releases an excellent amount of award space, as long as you look at the right times.

To start, the most important thing to remember is that SWISS releases award space 330 days before departure, making it easy to mark on your calendar when it’s time to book your SWISS business class flight. And since partner carriers all share saver award space, it’s important to look for award space as soon as possible.

Sure, you can’t plan a year in advance, but you get a consistent stream of award availability on most, if not all, of SWISS’ nonstop U.S. routes.

SWISS also releases award seats closer to the date of departure, meaning it’s a good idea to check for last-minute award availability, as this is also a way to find valuable redemptions.

SWISS does have a frequent flyer program, Miles & More, which it shares with other Lufthansa Group carriers, including Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines. However, its program is not really the best way to book SWISS business class awards.

Here are all of SWISS’ nonstop routes between the U.S. and Switzerland:

  • Boston (BOS) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Miami (MIA) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Newark (EWR) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • New York (JFK) to Geneva (GVA)
  • New York (JFK) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Zurich (ZRH)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Zurich (ZRH)

In general, SWISS is good with award availability for partner bookings. You have better chances of finding award availability using the Miles & More program, although dynamic pricing does come into play.

Lastly, SWISS levies huge fuel surcharges, so we’ll try to avoid redemptions that have high fuel surcharges.

Let’s take a look at some of the best programs to book SWISS business class awards with.

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles is a favorite frequent flyer program here at Upgraded Points, and for good reason.

The program has interesting pricing quirks and some of the best sweet spots in all of points and miles. One of those sweet spots just so happens to be for business class tickets between the U.S. and Europe.

The program offers competitive redemption rates and no fuel surcharges. LifeMiles charges 63,000 LifeMiles for a one-way business class ticket between the U.S. and Europe on Star Alliance partner airlines, including SWISS.

One of the biggest qualms travelers have about LifeMiles is its inconsistent award availability. However, this generally isn’t a problem with SWISS. When you’re looking for Star Alliance award space, it’s best to look at United and Air Canada.

Once you’re ready to book your SWISS ticket with LifeMiles, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the LifeMiles homepage.
  2. If you need to, change the site language from Spanish to English by clicking the flag icon in the top right corner and clicking English.
  3. Click Log in in the top right corner and enter your LifeMiles information.
  4. On the English homepage, click Travel at the top left of the main banner.
  5. Change the dropdown menu that says Smart Search to Swiss Airlines (Switzerland).
  6. Enter your flight details and click the Find Flights button.
  7. Select your travel dates.
  8. After a valid flight shows up, redeem your LifeMiles and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.

Earning Avianca LifeMiles

It’s easy to earn Avianca LifeMiles, thanks to its many transfer partnerships with banks, including Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

All of the above, except for Marriott Bonvoy, transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio.

It’s worth noting that LifeMiles frequently gives members transfer bonuses, sometimes upwards of 30%. This can significantly reduce the LifeMiles you need for a business class redemption.

For example, a 30% transfer bonus from a program like American Express Membership Rewards means that you only need to transfer 49,000 Membership Rewards points for a business class ticket across the Atlantic.

Lastly, there are frequent sales on LifeMiles. There are even sales where you can buy miles with an absurdly generous 200% bonus. Although buying miles is generally a bad idea, buying LifeMiles can often be a reasonable way to fly to Europe in business class.

Hot Tip:

Be on the lookout for frequent transfer bonuses to LifeMiles.

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms 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 Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary 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.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
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)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold 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.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

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.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
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 Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Are you a business owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Aeroplan is another great program, thanks to the many benefits it offers. The program is especially valuable when it comes to partner award bookings. Fortunately, the program has a ton of alliance and non-alliance partners, which opens up numerous redemption options.

Aeroplan also offers the ability to book stopovers and does not pass on fuel surcharges, making it one of the best overall programs when it comes to award redemptions.

Aeroplan uses a zone-based award chart, but it also factors in the total distance flown. This means that award pricing can vary significantly between regions. The farther you fly, the more miles you need.

Aeroplan divides the world into just 4 regions: North America, the Atlantic, the Pacific, and South America. The U.S. is obviously in the North America zone, and the entirety of Europe is in the Atlantic zone — as are all of Africa, the Middle East, and India.

Here’s a map of the travel zones for Aeroplan awards:

Aeroplan region map for awards
Aeroplan divides the world into 4 regions. Distance also needs to be factored in when using Aeroplan for partner awards. Image Credit: Aeroplan

When it comes to Aeroplan awards, pricing depends on the total distance you fly. This is the same whether you’re flying between regions or within the same region.

Here’s the award chart for flights between the North American and Atlantic zones.

Aeroplan award chart NA Atlantic
Aeroplan award chart for partner flights between the North American and Atlantic zones. Image Credit: Aeroplan

Now this is where we can look at some great sweet spots. All the nonstop routes from Boston and the New York City area (JFK and EWR) to Zurich or Geneva fall just shy of the next distance band. All flights fall into the 4,000-mile-and-under distance band, meaning that they can be booked for 60,000 Aeroplan points one-way.

Other nonstop flights between Switzerland and the continental U.S. fall within the 4,001-mile-to-6,000-mile distance band, meaning they can be booked for 70,000 Aeroplan points one-way.

Even longer nonstop flights, such as those between Los Angeles (LAX) and Zurich and San Francisco (SFO) and Zurich, are within the 4,001-mile-to-6,000-mile distance band.

Aeroplan also has a great stopover policy. You can add a stopover for just 5,000 miles, including one-way awards. However, you will want to be careful, as you still need to factor in the total distance flown. This can change a redemption from a sweet spot to a normal redemption if the stopover distance forces an itinerary into the next distance band.

Simply follow these steps to book your SWISS business class flight with Aeroplan points:

  1. Visit Aeroplan’s website.
  2. On the top right, click Sign in and enter your Aeroplan number and password.
  3. On the resulting page, you’ll see a search box. Fill in the desired trip type, origin and destination airports, travel dates, and number of passengers.
  4. Check the box that says Book with Aeroplan points.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Select your flight and pay for any taxes and fees.

Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points

Earning Air Canada Aeroplan points is easy, as the program has a lot of transfer partners. Aeroplan is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

All programs transfer at a 1:1 rate to Aeroplan, aside from Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio to Aeroplan, and for every 60,000 Bonvoy points you transfer, you get a 5,000-mile bonus.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® 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 fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$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)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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 top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$550
22.49%-29.49% 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.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
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 Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Flex℠
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 Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
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 Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.

The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Are you a business owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Hot Tip:

Check out our guide on the best ways to earn Air Canada Aeroplan points.

United MileagePlus

United MileagePlus is another option for those looking to book Star Alliance partner awards. If you already have a lot of United miles or want to deal with a familiar search engine, this may be the best program for you.

However, United does not follow fixed redemption charts, even with flights on partner airlines. All flights, including SWISS business class seats, are subject to dynamic pricing. Generally, this leads to an inflation in the points you need for an award redemption. The silver lining is that United doesn’t levy fuel surcharges.

Although the program can be hit or miss, it does have great redemption opportunities from time to time. As always, it’s always best to compare multiple programs before booking.

United offers an incredibly user-friendly search engine. Here’s what you need to do for awards with United MileagePlus:

  1. Visit the United website.
  2. Check off the box that says Book with Miles to search for award space.
  3. Click Roundtrip or One-way.
  4. Fill in your trip details and click Find flights. Browse your flight options until you find a suitable itinerary.
  5. Redeem your United miles and pay for taxes and fees with a credit card.

Earning United MileagePlus Miles

Although United MileagePlus doesn’t have quite as many transfer partners as LifeMiles and Aeroplan, it does have partnerships with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase transfers at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio in 1 business day. Plus, when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United, you get a bonus of 5,500 extra miles!

One of the most useful aspects of United MileagePlus is its array of co-branded credit cards issued by Chase that help you earn miles quickly and directly.

Recommended United Cards

United℠ Explorer 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.

With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.

With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
50,000 bonus miles
$600
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
21.99% - 28.99% 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)

You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.

You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases, dining purchases (including delivery services), and hotel stays
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
Cons
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

United MileagePlus Frequent Flyer Program

United Club℠ Infinite 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.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 80,000 bonus miles
$960
$525
21.99% - 28.99% 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.
Excellent (740-850)

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.

United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.

Pros
  • 4x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 on travel and dining purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $525 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 80,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and Premier Access® travel services
  • 10% United Economy Saver Award discount within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
United Quest℠ 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.

The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.

The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.
Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
60,000 miles
$720
$250
21.99% - 28.99% 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 newest addition to United’s lineup of cards is the United Quest℠ Card. With it, you can bolster your United MileagePlus miles, thanks to the bonus categories, while enjoying the card’s many perks designed to help save you money on each United flight.

With an annual fee that falls between the United℠ Explorer Card and United Club℠ Infinite Card, the United Quest card makes for a fantastic card option for United frequent flyers.

Pros
  • 3x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on travel, dining, and select streaming services
  • $125 annual United credit
Cons
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Does not offer airport lounge access
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 500 PQP after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, dining and select streaming services
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and priority boarding
  • Up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits each year (terms apply)
  • Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
United Gateway℠ 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.

The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.

The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.
Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.
20,000 miles
$240
$0
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months; after that, 21.99% - 28.99% 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 United Gateway℠ Card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without wanting to pay a credit card annual fee. Plus, the card offers other solid benefits like a 25% back on United inflight purchases, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 at gas stations and on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services, taxicabs, train tickets, tolls, and mass transit
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • If you are a frequent United flyer, other cards offer more perks
  • It does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months; after that, 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
United Club℠ Business 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.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
50,000 miles
$900
$450
21.99%–28.99% 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 United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.

From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • 1.5x miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $450 annual fee
  • Earning rate for United purchases is poor compared to other United cards
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn 2x miles on United purchases
  • Earn 1.5x miles on all other purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • United Club membership — up to a $650 value per year. Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi, and more
  • Free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, save up to $320 per round-trip
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99%–28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

ANA Mileage Club

ANA Mileage Club is normally one of our favorite mileage programs to use for business class flights to Europe. However, as you will see, the fuel surcharges make this option less viable.

For its partner awards, ANA Mileage Club uses a zone-based award chart. The mileage required to redeem an award depends on departure and destination zones and the class of service.

According to ANA’s award chart, business class flights between the U.S. and Europe cost 88,000 miles round-trip. It is worth noting that ANA Mileage Club does not allow one-way award bookings. Award bookings must be round-trip, but open-jaw bookings are allowed.

To redeem your ANA miles, we recommend following these instructions:

  1. Use United’s website to search for award space.
  2. Visit ANA’s website.
  3. Choose ANA Mileage Club.
  4. Choose International then Award Reservation.
  5. Log into your account.
  6. Enter your desired route, dates, and the desired class of travel.
  7. Choose your flights.
  8. Reserve your flight and pay for any applicable taxes and fees.

Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles

ANA is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Amex transfers occur at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott Bonvoy transfers occur at a 3:1 ratio.

Currently, it takes around 3 business days for Amex points to transfer to ANA, while it takes around 4 business days for Marriott Bonvoy points to transfer to ANA.

You also get 5,000 extra ANA miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once, meaning you’d end up with 25,000 ANA miles overall.

Other Options for Booking SWISS

Other frequent flyer programs we’ve looked at include EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.

All of these programs pass on fuel surcharges, and many of them also have high redemption prices.

Turkish Airlines is probably the best program left off of our main list. Though the redemption prices for its program are fantastic at 90,000 miles round-trip, the fuel surcharges can exceed $1,000. In addition, the Miles&Smiles booking process is rather cumbersome.

Great SWISS Business Class Redemptions

Using points and miles to fly to Europe on SWISS is a great option, assuming you can find the award space and book with the right program.

Here’s a consolidated look at round-trip mileage award prices between the U.S. and Switzerland in business class with the programs we’ve discussed.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Route (Round-Trip)Avianca LifeMiles CostAir Canada Points CostUnited Miles CostANA Miles Cost
U.S. to Switzerland126,000120,000 to 140,000 150,000 or more88,000 

Although ANA charges significantly fewer miles than all the other programs, the fuel surcharges exceed $1,500 at times. This makes ANA redemptions significantly less viable.

Overall, your best bets are Avianca LifeMiles or Air Canada Aeroplan. It comes down to what airports you’re flying from and flying to and which points you already have.

Putting all of this information together, let’s go through some fantastic example redemptions you can make to fly SWISS business class:

  • Boston (BOS) to Zurich (ZRH) to Geneva (GVA) one-way in SWISS business class with a stopover in Zurich for 65,000 Aeroplan points plus $41 in taxes and fees
  • Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS business class for 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles plus $38 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS business class for 70,000 Aeroplan points plus $38 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) to Geneva (GVA) one-way in SWISS business class for 60,000 Aeroplan points plus $41 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) to Zurich (ZRH) round-trip in SWISS business class for 88,000 ANA miles plus about $1,500 in taxes and fees

How To Earn Enough Miles for SWISS Business Class

Above, we’ve outlined our favorite methods for booking SWISS business class using points. However, it’s important to remember that the best program to book this award is with whichever transferrable rewards currencies you have.

It’s also important to consider fuel surcharges, which can turn a great award redemption into a poor one. Choosing a frequent flyer program that doesn’t pass on these fuel surcharges can save you thousands of dollars per trip.

From a mileage perspective, ANA Mileage Club has the best redemption rates, but the loyalty program tacks on enormous fuel surcharges. This is what makes Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan our favorite choices for SWISS business class redemptions.

Here is a list of their transfer partners and their included airlines:

  • American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and ANA Mileage Club at a 1:1 ratio. Avianca and Aeroplan transfer almost instantly, while ANA transfers in 3 business days.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards Points transfer to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Capital One miles transfer to Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Brex Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio to Avianca LifeMiles (in 1 day), Air Canada Aeroplan (5 days), and ANA Mileage Club (4 days). Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio to United MileagePlus (3 days).

Why SWISS Business Class Is a Great Redemption

SWISS offers a consistent business class product on an assortment of long-haul aircraft, including the A340, the A330, and the 777-300ER.

And while SWISS doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of Emirates or Qatar Airways business class, like dining on demand and top-shelf drinks, you can still have a fun time on the flight.

Let’s look into why you should book SWISS business class.

Lie-Flat Business Class Seats, Including Throne Seats

SWISS’ business class cabin layout is such that the cabin alternates between a 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 configuration. The solo seats are known as “throne seats,” which are typically the best seats, as they have a great amount of privacy.

Because these seats only exist on a few airlines, reserving a throne seat on SWISS means an exclusive, unique experience that makes you feel like you’re sitting on a spacious throne — hence the name.

Swiss Air business class
SWISS business class “throne” seats. Image Credit: SWISS

Professional Service

SWISS’ service is generally known to be responsive, professional, and polished. Meal service is typically efficient, and ad hoc requests are taken care of promptly.

Additionally, the crew is always happy to serve you and is trained well to make you feel welcome.

Swiss Air business class cabin
SWISS Air business class cabin. Image Credit: SWISS

Great Award Availability and Nonstop Service to Switzerland

SWISS connects travelers to Switzerland via nonstop flights from many international gateways.

If you’re heading to the Swiss Alps, want to taste Swiss fondue, or experience the diverse culture of Switzerland, you won’t go wrong with SWISS business class.

SWISS is pretty good with award space, overall. Generally, you find better availability from cities like Chicago or New York, but it’s possible to find availability from Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well.

Hot Tip:

United’s and Air Canada’s websites are great places to look for Star Alliance partner award availability.

Good Food and Beverage Options

SWISS business class veal tenderloin
SWISS Air business class main course. Image Credit: SWISS

SWISS’ inflight catering is also worth mentioning. Each meal generally has 4 courses, including an appetizer, a main course, a cheese selection, and a dessert (including the popular Mövenpick ice cream).

SWISS also has a good drink selection, including a wide variety of wines. There are also spirits, nonalcoholic drinks, Nespresso, and chocolates.

SWISS Business Class Lounges

SWISS’ Zurich lounges are some of the best business class lounges in the world. Although they are often crowded, there are some great private seating areas, as well as a wide selection of dining options. In these lounges, you can usually find made-to-order food stations, a cold buffet, and a fully stocked bar.

Final Thoughts

When you fly SWISS in business class, you can count on a comfortable, lie-flat seat and superb amenities.

One of the biggest selling points of SWISS business class is the abundance of award availability, as well as the ease of booking (regardless of which transferrable currency you have).

Just remember that fuel surcharges of around $1,500 are levied round-trip, which can definitely be painful.

Avoid these fuel surcharges by booking through Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus.

If you want to redeem with the fewest points possible and are comfortable with paying for fuel surcharges, you can also use ANA Mileage Club or Asiana Club.

Now that you’ve learned how to get there, start planning the rest of your luxury trip to Switzerland!

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to book SWISS business class?

Our favorite redemption methods to book SWISS business class are Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, United MileagePlus, and ANA Mileage Club.

LifeMiles, Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus will not add fuel surcharges, while ANA Mileage Club will.

Which program charges the least for round-trip business class flights between the U.S. and Switzerland?

If you are simply looking for the lowest mileage rate for round-trip tickets, book with ANA Mileage Club. ANA charges 88,000 miles round-trip between the U.S. and Switzerland. However, it is worth noting that ANA adds fuel surcharges.

How much does Avianca LifeMiles charge for business class tickets to Europe?

Avianca charges 63,000 LifeMiles for a one-way partner award to Europe in business class.

What programs transfer to Avianca LifeMiles?

The Avianca LifeMiles program is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy. All transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio, except for Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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