Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is a frequent flyer program for Turkish Airlines that has, for the most part, flown under the radar for a long time. Turkish Airlines is the national carrier of Turkey, with its headquarters in Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines flies to (at last count) 106 countries, which is mind-boggling.
There are loads of great ways to redeem Miles&Smiles miles for maximum value, but earning them is not as straightforward.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the best ways to earn lots of Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles miles, which we’ll also refer to as Turkish Airlines miles.
There are a few unique ways, particularly for residents of Turkey, so let’s get started!
Sign Up for a Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Account
Here are the step-by-step instructions for creating a Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles account:
- Visit the Turkish Airlines website
- At the top-right corner, click Sign up
- Fill in your information, including name, language, nationality, and date of birth
- Verify your e-mail address, and you’re all set
Before you jump in to earning Turkish Airlines miles, it’s important to understand a few caveats.
The only way to redeem Turkish Airlines miles online is for Turkish Airlines flights. If you’d like to redeem miles for a partner flight, such as on Lufthansa, you’ll need to call in to reserve your ticket.
There’s a pretty convoluted process for making Turkish Airlines redemptions, but it can be worth it if you have lots of miles.
Earn Turkish Airlines Miles With Credit Cards
Before Turkish Airlines added transfer partners, the only realistic way for Americans to earn Turkish Airlines miles was by crediting flights on Star Alliance partners (such as United or Air Canada) to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Due to the relatively easy criteria for Star Alliance Gold qualification, using Turkish Airlines to get there was valid. You only needed to be a Miles&Smiles Elite level to earn Star Alliance Gold.
To do this, you needed first to earn 40,000 Status miles within a year of membership. After that, you could renew your status by earning 30,000 Status miles in the first Elite year or 45,000 Status miles within 2 membership years.
Now, members can earn miles across 3 transferable points programs — Citi ThankYou Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, and Capital One Miles.
1. Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards (Best Option)
Using ThankYou Rewards points is arguably the best and quickest way to earn a lot of Turkish Airlines miles. In fact, it’s the only points system that offers a 1:1 transfer ratio.
Additionally, you could potentially even increase this transfer ratio if you transfer ThankYou Rewards Points when transfer bonuses are being offered. For example, in January 2019, Citi offered a 25% transfer bonus to Turkish Airlines, which would bring the transfer ratio up to 1:1.25.
In order to accumulate Citi ThankYou Rewards Points, you’ll need to have one of their ThankYou Rewards Points-earning credit cards. It’s important to note, not all ThankYou Rewards credit cards are eligible for transfers to partners.
Recommended Citi Cards (Personal)
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|Citi Premier® Card|
(at our partner's secure site)
- Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels.
- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
- 60,000 Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
- Good to Excellent (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $95
Citi Rewards+® Card
(at our partner's secure site)
- Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
- For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and then 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent thereafter.
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.24% – 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
- The Citi Rewards+® Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.
- Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.24% – 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
- Annual Fee: $0
Hot Tip: Want some more help accelerating your ThankYou points balance in a short time? Check out our in-depth guide on how to earn 100k+ Citi ThankYou Rewards points in 90 days!
2. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
Before Citi was added as a Turkish Airlines transfer partner, the only way to transfer points was via Marriott Bonvoy, which we all know as the most flexible rewards currency in the world. I mean, how else can you describe a points system which has 40+ transfer partners?
Typically, Marriott Bonvoy has great sweet spots and there are better uses than transferring to Turkish Airlines, but it can be an option if you’re in a bind for Turkish Airlines miles.
As it does with most of its transfer partners, Marriott Bonvoy transfers points to Turkish Airlines at a 3:1 ratio.
For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 Turkish Airlines miles. That brings the transfer ratio up to 2.4 Marriott Bonvoy points per 1 Turkish Airlines mile.
With the recent revamp of Marriott Bonvoy’s loyalty program, you can earn Marriott Bonvoy points from the co-branded credit cards from American Express and Chase.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
- New Benefit! Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
- New Benefit! 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 Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Good to Excellent (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $95
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
(at Amex's secure site)
- Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and 1 Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
- Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Good to Excellent (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $450
- Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
3. Capital One Credit Cards
Miles&Smiles is a Capital One Miles transfer partner and the transfer ratio is 1:1. Transfers take up to 24 hours.
Recommended Capital One Cards
4. Bilt Rewards
Bilt Rewards points earned through the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card transfer to Miles&Smiles at a 1:1 ratio near instantly.
5. Turkish Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards
Turkish Airlines offers co-branded credit cards, but you can only open them in Turkey and if you’re a Turkish citizen. Though limited, if you’re living in Turkey and are a Turkish citizen, this is certainly an option.
6. Diners Club International Slovenia
Another interesting way to earn Turkish Airlines miles is by being a member of Diners Club International Slovenia.
Similar to the co-branded credit cards, you can only become a member if you’re living in Slovenia. Likewise, the website is in Slovenian, so you won’t be able to apply unless you’re familiar with the language.
7. Refer a Friend for Bonus Miles
Chase and American Express both have excellent referral bonus structures for their Marriott Bonvoy cards.
With Chase, you’ll receive 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for each approved referral, up to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per year.
American Express allows you to refer your friends and family to credit cards you don’t even have! All you need to do is have an American Express-branded card such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card. Each American Express card has different referral structures and maximum referral points per year.
Capital One has a refer-a-friend program for cardholders of the CapOne Venture card and CapOne VentureOne card. Referrals sign up through a personal referral link and must be a new Capital One cardholder for you to earn bonus miles. To find your link, sign in to your account or look in the app for the Refer a Friend tile on the account details page.
Lastly, Citi has a referral program that was recently initiated, but you’ll need to have received an email or letter from Citi in order to refer friends, so it’s not currently available to everyone.
You can earn 10,000 ThankYou points per approved referral and a maximum of 50,000 ThankYou points in a rolling year. Keep in mind you can only receive 5 referral bonuses per card per year with Citi.
Earn Miles Through Shopping and Dining
You can also earn Turkish Airlines miles through shopping with their Miles&Smiles partners. However, all of their partners (excluding hotels or hotel portals) are based in Turkey.
You must make purchases at stores in Turkey to qualify, so it won’t be practical for many of us.
Still, let’s talk about it!
8. Miles&Smiles Shopping Partners
Some of the shopping partners are particularly interesting, including the Istanbul Aquarium, Macrocenter, and Migros. You can also earn Turkish Airlines miles from telecommunications companies like Bakcell and Travelling Connect.
To find out more information on shopping partners, visit the Turkish Airlines website.
Earn Miles Through Travel
Although Turkish Airlines’ shopping partners are limited to shops in Turkey, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are quite a few ways to earn miles through travel — even if you live in the United States.
9. Airfare and Airline Purchases
Turkish Airlines is the most internationally connected airline in the world, making it a convenient airline for almost anywhere you want to go.
By flying on Turkish Airlines, you’re eligible to earn Turkish Airlines miles. You’ll even be able to earn miles when you pay for up to 50% of your paid fare with points using the Cash&Miles program.
Here’s what the mileage accrual looks like for travel on Turkish Airlines:
|Mileage Accrual Table||Economy||Business|
|Ticket Class||Y, B||M, H, S, E, Q, A, O||T, L, V||W, P, F, U||C, D||K, J, Z|
|Turkey||All Cards||Fixed Miles||600||600||300||150||1,250||1,000|
|International||Classic Card||Earnings Rate||125%||100%||50%||25%||150%||135%|
|Classic Plus, Elite, Elite Plus Card||Earnings Rate||125%||100%||50%||25%||175%||160%|
Let’s do an example calculation. If you fly from San Francisco (SFO) to Istanbul (IST), the flight distance is 6,721 miles. If you hold the Turkish Elite Plus level, you’ll earn 160% of 6,721 miles, which ends up being a total of 10,754 Turkish Airlines miles.
Hot Tip: Remember to double-check your flight distance, fare booking class, and elite status when calculating your mileage accruals.
10. Crediting Partner Airlines to Miles&Smiles
For those of you that don’t regularly fly on Turkish Airlines, rest assured you’re still able to earn Turkish Airlines miles by crediting partner flights to Turkish Airlines.
Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance partner, making it easy to transfer miles to other Star Alliance airlines.
In addition, you can also credit Jet Airways, LATAM, and AnadoluJet flights to Turkish Airlines. LATAM is a Oneworld Alliance member, while Jet Airways and AnadoluJet are not in an alliance.
The Turkish Airlines website has more information about specific partner accrual rates.
Remember that you’re subject to the terms and conditions of both Miles&Smiles and the partner airline you’re flying on.
11. Car Rentals and Other Ground Transportation
Currently, Turkish Airlines partners with 11 different car rental partners, making it easy for you to earn miles.
Here are all the partners listed with the mileage earning structure for Turkish Airlines miles:
|Rental Company||Mile||Rental Company||Miles|
|Alamo||Up to 1,000 miles per rental||AVEC||500 miles/day for rentals of up to 2 days, 750 miles/day for rentals of 3 days and more, maximum of 7,500 miles per rental. 50% extra on miles with each subsequent rental starting with the 3rd rental.|
|Avis||500 miles/day for up to 5,000 miles per rental. Another 5,000 miles when you rent at least 4 times from Avis||Budget||500 miles per rental|
|Enterprise||100 miles per day with a maximum of 1,000 miles per rental||Europcar||500 miles per rental, 10% discount for Classic and Classic Plus members, 15% discount for Elite and Elite Plus members|
|Garenta||Unknown||Hertz||500 miles for each 1-6 day rental, 1,000 miles for each 7+ day rental|
|National||Up to 1,000 miles per rental||Rent Go||600 miles per day, up to 6,000 miles per rental|
|Sixt||500 miles per rental and 1,000 miles per transfer with Sixt Limousine Service|
AVEC offers a very competitive accrual structure, but it’s still worth cross-checking the prices before committing to a rental with them.
12. Miles&Smiles Hotel Partners
Miles&Smiles partners with a whole slew of hotel brands. Many of these hotel brands, such as Hilton, only offer mileage exchanges. For example, Hilton offers an exchange of 10,000 Hilton points for 1,000 Turkish Airlines miles.
Other hotels, such as Best Western, offer miles for hotel stays, which is a better deal. The consolidated list for hotel partners is quite large, but check it out here:
All in all, there are a ton of different ways to earn Turkish Airlines miles from hotels around the world. Some are specific to Turkey and some are worldwide chains, so your options are plentiful.
13. Miles&Smiles Hotel Booking Portals
Turkish Airlines also partners with a variety of tourism portals, most of which are hotel booking portals. Here are the specifics:
As you can see, there’s similarly plenty of opportunities to earn huge bonuses on miles with hotel portal bookings. Make sure to double-check that the rates are the cheapest available as the points bonus may not be worth the extra money you spend.
Specialty Earnings for Turkish Airlines Miles
Turkish Airlines miles are pretty valuable. If the above methods of earning Turkish Airlines miles don’t work for you, there are a couple of “specialty” ways to earn Turkish Airlines miles.
14. Buy Turkish Airlines Miles
Turkish Airlines sells miles at 3 cents per mile, and in 1,000 mile-increments. You can purchase 1,000 miles for $30.
You can purchase up to 50,000 miles per calendar year.
Turkish Airlines rarely offers bonuses on purchased miles. In fact, 2014 was the last time they offered a bonus on purchased miles.
15. Miscellaneous Partners in Turkey
There are a lot of other partners in Turkey where you can earn Turkish Airlines miles. Some of these are rather interesting, ranging from insurance providers to universities.
There are partner companies in the telecommunication, fuel, education, and energy sectors. This is rather interesting since you could earn miles on, say, Istanbul Aydin university tuition.
All in all, Turkish Airlines has been a traditionally difficult mileage currency to earn. However, with the advent of new transfer partners, it’s now easier than ever to earn Turkish Airlines miles.
Yes, you’ll need to pay fuel surcharges and go through some hoops to make award bookings using Turkish Airlines miles, but it’s often worth it to save some hard-earned miles for sweet spots.
The information regarding the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.