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The 16 Best Ways To Redeem China Southern Miles [2024]

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China Southern is one of the world’s largest airlines. In fact, this former SkyTeam member was the largest airline in the world at one point. This state-owned airline operates some of the most interesting flights in the world, including the only A380 flights from a Chinese airline.

Though China Southern maintains its operations in the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, you’re likely to see this carrier’s planes all across the world.

In this guide, we’ll be exploring all of the best ways you can use China Southern miles. Let’s get started.

The Pros and Cons of China Southern Miles

China Southern has a popular frequent flyer program within China: Sky Pearl Club. There are some pros to using China Southern miles to book award travel:

  1. You get a free hotel night if you’re traveling on a China Southern flight with an 8+ hour layover in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, or Wuhan, even on award tickets
  2. Low change fees
  3. The kilometer-based system for accruing China Southern miles makes many awards competitive
  4. You can redeem miles on one-way flights

Here are the top drawbacks of using China Southern miles:

  1. No stopovers are allowed
  2. Fuel surcharges are passed on for most airlines
  3. The only allowed ticket changes are date and time changes
  4. All other modifications will result in ticket cancellation and rebooking with a massive 50% mileage refund fee
  5. Infants and children will be charged the same redemption price as adults
  6. There are identity verification requirements when booking awards for others
  7. Only China Southern awards can be booked online

As you can see right off the bat, China Southern Sky Pearl Club has some quirks to it, and they’re not all bad.

For example, if you are flying on a China Southern flight, have a layover in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, or Wuhan of more than 8 hours, and are connecting on either a China Southern flight or a China Southern-marketed XiamenAir flight, you will get a free hotel night stay. The class of hotels you get to stay in depends on the fare you’re booked in. For instance, international first class passengers get to stay in “A-class” hotels.

Using Your China Southern Miles

Now, let’s get into what the process is actually like to redeem China Southern miles.

First of all, let’s talk about the China Southern frequent flyer unit system. One of the most important characteristics to keep in mind about China Southern miles is that the units are actually based on kilometers flown.

The mileage you will accrue will depend on the flight distance in kilometers, which actually means that China Southern miles are easier to earn since you’d earn more China Southern miles per distance flown.

For example, let’s say you flew on a 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) flight with a 100% accrual rate. That means you’d earn 1,609 China Southern miles instead of 1,000 China Southern miles.

China Airlines adopts 2 award charts: 1 for China Southern and its subsidiaries and another for its airline partners. Let’s first take a look at the award chart for China Southern.

China Southern Award Charts

China Southern uses a distance-based award chart for its own flights, which is further split into 2 sub-charts:

  1. Flights within Mainland China excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
  2. International flights including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
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China Southern Domestic Award Chart (Excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
Distance Bracket1 to 800 kilometers801 to 1,700 kilometers1,701 to 3,000 kilometers
Economy6,000 miles12,000 miles15,000 miles
Premium Economy7,000 miles14,000 miles18,000 miles
Business class12,000 miles24,000 miles30,000 miles
First class15,000 miles30,000 miles38,000 miles

For example, if you’d like to book a one-way business class flight from Guangzhou (CAN) to Shanghai (PVG) aboard China Southern, this 1,200-kilometer flight would cost 24,000 China Southern miles.

Here’s what China Southern’s international award chart looks like. Keep in mind that this includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as well:

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China Southern International Award Chart (Including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
Distance Bracket1 to 800 kilometers801 to 1,700 kilometers1,701 to 3,000 kilometers3,001 to 5,000 kilometers5,001 to 7,700 kilometers7,701 to 10,000 kilometers10,001 to 15,000 kilometers
Economy20,000 miles25,000 miles28,000 miles30,000 miles40,000 miles55,000 miles64,000 miles
Premium Economy24,000 miles30,000 miles34,000 miles36,000 miles48,000 miles66,000 miles77,000 miles
Business class30,000 miles38,000 miles42,000 miles45,000 miles60,000 miles90,000 miles110,000 miles
First class40,000 miles50,000 miles56,000 miles60,000 miles80,000 miles203,000 miles233,000 miles

For example, a one-way first class flight between San Francisco (SFO) and Guangzhou (CAN) on China Southern would be 11,100 kilometers in flight distance, which means it would cost 233,000 China Southern miles to book.

Airline Partner Award Chart

Although China Southern was a former member of SkyTeam, its departure hasn’t completely negated the available redemption opportunities.

Today, China Southern still maintains individual partnerships with most SkyTeam airlines, in addition to a few non-alliance airline partners:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • American Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • ITA
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Sichuan Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir

Currently, you can’t redeem miles on Aeromexico, China Eastern, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, or TAROM, though this was available in the past.

Bottom Line: China Southern’s list of airline partners includes most of its former partners in the SkyTeam alliance, plus American Airlines and Sichuan Airlines.

Here is the China Southern partner airline award chart (click to enlarge):

China Southern Partner Award Chart
China Southern employs a region-based award chart for partner redemptions. Image Credit: China Southern

You won’t be able to find the region definitions on the main redemption page, but you can find the definitions by reading the China Southern Sky Pearl Club membership manual:

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China Southern Sky Pearl Club Region Definitions
RegionIncluded Areas
Northeast AsiaMainland China excluding Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea, Japan, East Russia, Mongolia, Taiwan
Southeast AsiaBrunei, Cambodia, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Saipan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Southwest AsiaAfghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
South PacificAmerican Samoa, Australia, Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Independent Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
USA/CanadaU.S. (excluding Hawaii), Canada
Mexico/Hawaii/Central AmericaMexico, Hawaii, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antilles
Latin America 1Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Latin America 2Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
EuropeAlbania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, West Russia, Yugoslavia
North AfricaAlgeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya
Middle East/Near EastBahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Oman, Syria, U.A.E., Yemen
Central and South Africa/Indian OceanThe Republic of Sierra Leone, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion

So, for example, let’s say you wanted to book a one-way economy flight from Paris (CDG) to New York (JFK) on Air France. In this situation, you would be flying from Europe to the USA/Canada regions, which would cost you 45,000 China Southern miles.

Awards Bookable Online vs. Phone

Which awards are bookable completely online versus only over the phone? You can book China Southern Airlines-operated award flights online, or using these methods:

Any partner redemptions must be booked through China Southern customer service via one of these 2 phone numbers:

  • Domestic China hotline at 020-95539
  • International hotline at +86-20-8668-2000

Furthermore, you can only book award travel for yourself without undergoing the required ID verification. If you want to book an award for someone else, you’ll need to follow the steps for Sky Pearl Club redemption ticket verification.

Award Redemption Rules

China Southern has mostly straightforward award ticket rules.

For example, you can book one-way or round-trip tickets. For round-trip tickets, your class of service must be the same. Stopovers and open jaws are not allowed.

Unfortunately, there are only 2 valid changes you can make to award tickets:

  1. Date changes
  2. Time changes

That means that the passenger’s name and ID number, along with the flight route and operating airline cannot be changed. If the information is incorrect and you’d like to make a change, you’ll have to apply for a ticket refund and rebook the ticket from scratch.

To make matters worse, there is a massive 50% mileage penalty for voluntary refunds. That means if you redeemed 150,000 miles and found out that the traveler’s name is misspelled, you’ll lose 75,000 miles just by canceling the ticket.

Also, any miles that were set to expire will not be extended.

For instances of involuntary refunds, such as flight cancellations, 100% of your miles will be refunded. The miles refunded will be posted back to your account with the original month of accrual, and your miles will be valid for 36 months from the original month of accrual.

That being said, if you do need to make a date/time change, you will pay very modest change fees:

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On or More Than 24 Hours Before DepartureLess Than 24 Hours Before Departure
Domestic China ticket¥50 or equal currency per ticket per change¥100 or equal currency per ticket per change
International and Hong Kong/Taiwan ticket¥100 or equal currency per ticket per change¥200 or equal currency per ticket per change

There are no international redemptions allowed on Sichuan Airlines. For example, you cannot book a Sichuan Airlines flight from Chengdu (CTU) to Bangkok (BKK).

Korean Air is one of the few partner airlines where there are blackout dates, which you can check here by scrolling to the table near the bottom of the page.

SkyTeam redemptions are limited to a maximum of 3 segments on one-way tickets and a maximum of 6 segments on round-trip tickets.

Lastly, awards on Aeromexico, China Eastern, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, and TAROM are ineligible for redemption with China Southern miles.

How To Boost Your China Southern Miles

Now that we’ve discussed everything you need to know about redemption policies for China Southern, let’s talk about some of the easiest, quickest ways to boost your China Southern miles.

In general, the easiest way for U.S.-based travelers to earn China Southern miles is by crediting partner airline flights to China Southern. For example, you can credit most revenue flights on Delta Air Lines to earn China Southern miles. The same is true of any airline partner, including Air France and Korean Air.

Furthermore, there are quite a few co-branded credit card options within China that you can use to quickly accumulate China Southern miles.

The 16 Best Ways To Use Your China Southern Miles

Now that we’ve discussed all of the administrative stuff, such as change fees, award pricing and structures, as well as how you can earn China Southern miles, we’ll dedicate the rest of this article toward showing you the top China Southern redemption sweet spots.

Our top redemptions focus on delivering outsized value relative to the route and competitor pricing, as well as the best airline premium cabin products.

As a reminder, China Southern’s mileage system is actually in kilometers, which means that the redemption costs will appear higher.

However, upon closer inspection, you will find that it’s actually quite easy to accumulate a lot of China Southern miles because your earnings are based on the distance you travel in kilometers.

For example, if a particular award flight costs 25,000 China Southern miles, you can roughly equate that to around 15,500 miles after converting from kilometers.

This will provide you with an indication of how “good” of a redemption value the award ticket provides, as it allows you to make an apples-to-apples comparison with other frequent flyer programs.

Without further ado, let’s get into our top ways to redeem China Southern miles!

1. Book a Connecting China Southern Flight With an 8+ Hour Layover and Get a Free Hotel Stay

China Southern Transit Hotel
China Southern offers complimentary transit hotels to eligible China Southern passengers! Image Credit: China Southern

One of the most unique benefits of China Southern is that if you have a layover of 8 or more hours in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, or Wuhan, you could get a free hotel stay.

Best of all, award tickets qualify for this perk, and in some instances, you can even get a 5-star hotel stay.

If you are connecting in Guangzhou from an international flight and traveling onward on an international flight in F, J, C, D, I, or O class, you are entitled to a stay with a Grade A partnered hotel.

Additionally, Sky Pearl Gold members flying on international W, S, Y, P, B, M, H, K, U, A, L, Q, E, and G tickets are entitled to a Grade A partnered hotel.

If you’re connecting in Guangzhou from an international flight and onwards on a domestic flight in F, J, C, D, I, or O class tickets, you’re entitled to a Grade B partnered hotel stay.

Also, Sky Pearl Silver members flying on a W, S, Y, P, B, M, H, K, U, A, L, Q, E, or G ticket are entitled to a Grade B partnered hotel.

Lastly, if you are connecting in Guangzhou from an international flight and onwards on an international W, S, Y, P, B, M, H, K, U, A, L, Q, E, or G ticket, then you are entitled to a Grade C or D partnered hotel.

The website doesn’t provide accurate instructions for booking your hotel, so your best bet is to call or email China Southern at +86-20-8612-4008 or nhzz@csair.com, respectively.

2. Fly China Southern Business Class Between Europe and China (90,000 Miles)

China Southern A380 Business Class
If you’re flying on a China Southern Airlines A380, you will enjoy 1-2-1 business class seating with direct aisle access and quality Chinese food. Image Credit: China Southern

One of the best ways to redeem China Southern miles is on China Southern flights. To be specific, China Southern offers a superb business class hard product on its newest aircraft like the A380, 777-300ER, and more.

And since China Southern uses a distance-based award chart, you’ll want to carefully plan your routes to make sure your itinerary doesn’t get bumped up to a more expensive price.

If you fly on China Southern Airlines business class on most routes to Europe, you will experience lie-flat business class seats with direct aisle access, great-tasting Chinese food, and a convenient schedule with plenty of point-to-point routes.

China Southern’s business class tickets on point-to-point routes to Europe are usually incredibly expensive when paying with cash, so you will get excellent value here.

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way for 90,000 China Southern miles + ~$260 in taxes and fees in China Southern business class (cash ticket = $5,000)
  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Paris (CDG) one-way for 90,000 China Southern miles + ~$260 in taxes and fees in China Southern business class (cash ticket = $4,200)

These routes fall under 10,000 kilometers in flight distance, meaning you will pay just 90,000 China Southern miles in business class. This is equivalent to just 56,000 miles earned through another frequent flyer program.

For comparison, most frequent flyer programs charge at least 60,000 miles for the same flight, and the price can go all the way up to more than 80,000 miles for this one-way ticket!

3. Book Lie-flat China Southern Business Class Seats Within China (From 38,000 Miles)

China Southern 787 8 Business Class
China offers lie-flat business class seats on some domestic China flights. Image Credit: China Southern

You can find some comfortable business class seats on China Southern’s domestic flights.

China Southern often charges over $1,000 for one-way domestic business class tickets, which can be pricy. Luckily, you can redeem China Southern miles for lie-flat seats on domestic Chinese routes to save a nice handful of money.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Beijing-Daxing (PKX) – Ürümqi (URC) one-way in China Southern’s 787-8 business class for 42,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees
  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Beijing-Daxing (PKX) one-way in China Southern business class for 38,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees
  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Shanghai-Hongqiao (SHA) one-way in China Southern business class for 38,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees
  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Ürümqi (URC) one-way in China Southern’s 787-8 business class for 45,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees
  • Shanghai-Hongqiao (SHA) – Ürümqi (URC) one-way in China Southern’s 787-8 business class for 45,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees

Hot Tip: Looking to book China Southern flights from the U.S.? Check out our definitive guide on China Southern’s nonstop U.S. routes, including plane types and seat options! 

4. Book Ultra-exclusive Lie-flat China Southern First Class Seats Within China (From 30,000 Miles)

China Southern 787-8 First Class
China Southern offers a rare and exclusive first class product with just 1 row of seats on the 787 Dreamliner. Image Credit: Airline Equality

China Southern offers an exclusive first class product in addition to a solid business class product on most of its planes. This includes the A380, the 777-300ER, the 787-8, and even some A330 aircraft!

Here are some great sample redemptions you can make:

  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Beijing-Daxing (PKX) one-way in China Southern first class for 38,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees
  • Shenzhen (SZX) – Beijing-Daxing (PKX) one-way in China Southern first class for 38,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees
  • Shenzhen (SZX) – Shanghai-Hongqiao (SHA) one-way in China Southern first class for 30,000 miles + $8 in taxes and fees

5. Fly China Airlines Business Class Between the U.S. and Taipei (120,000 Miles)

China Airlines A350 Business Class Cabin View
China Airlines’ business class is luxurious and posh. Image Credit: Nick Ellis

China Airlines is one of the most solid business-class airlines in the world, thanks to an exceptional hard product and a posh soft product including amenities from The North Face.

The Taiwan flag carrier is a redemption partner of China Southern, and you can book nonstop business class flights between the U.S. and Taipei for 120,000 China Southern miles (~74,500 equivalent frequent flyer miles), which is a great deal.

Here are some great sample tickets you can book:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Taipei (TPE) one-way in China Airlines business class for 120,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Taipei (TPE) one-way in China Airlines business class for 120,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Taipei (TPE) one-way in China Airlines business class for 120,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees

6. Fly Business Class Between the U.S. and Europe (80,000 Miles)

KLM business class
KLM’s older business class doesn’t have direct aisle access at every seat, but it is very comfortable. Image Credit: KLM

Nonstop business class flights between the U.S. and Europe can become exceedingly expensive at times, and you’ll be pleased to learn that China Southern has several strategic European airline partners you can redeem miles on.

For this flight, you will redeem 80,000 China Southern miles, which is equivalent to 49,700 frequent flyer miles due to the kilometer conversion.

That’s a great deal, considering other programs like Air France-KLM Flying Blue charge a minimum of 53,000 miles, while Delta SkyMiles charges at least 75,000 miles.

Just remember that you’ll be responsible for paying all fuel surcharges, and they are hefty.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$725 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$725 in taxes and fees
  • Seattle (SEA) – London (LHR) one-way in Delta One business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$729 in taxes and fees

Hot Tip: Curious about the cost of baggage? Check out our detailed guide to China Southern’s baggage fees.

7. Book XiamenAir’s Rare Lie-flat 787-8 First Class (From 60,000 Miles)

XiamenAir first class
XiamenAir first class is one of the rarest first class products you can book. Image Credit: Skytrax

XiamenAir is one of the most solid Chinese airlines you can book. Its business class consists of industry-leading reverse herringbone seats, great catering, and friendly service.

However, did you know that XiamenAir’s older 787-8 planes have a first-class product? Specifically, it’s just 1 row of open-air suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. And if you’re lucky enough, you can redeem miles to fly on this exceedingly rare first-class ticket.

Keep in mind that many of the 787-8 routes are seasonal. You’re much more likely to find these seats on domestic China flights, though it’s still possible to find seasonal international service on these aircraft.

Here are a few routes you can book:

  • Fuzhou (FOC) – Beijing-Daxing (PKX) one-way in XiamenAir 787-8 first class for 60,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees
  • Fuzhou (FOC) – Chengdu (CTU) one-way in XiamenAir 787-8 first class for 60,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees
  • Shenzhen (SZX) – Beijing-Daxing (PKX) one-way in XiamenAir 787-8 first class for 60,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees
  • Xiamen (XMN) – Beijing-Daxing (PKX) one-way in XiamenAir 787-8 first class for 60,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees
  • Xiamen (XMN) – Chengdu (CTU) one-way in XiamenAir 787-8 first class for 60,000 China Southern miles + ~$63 in taxes and fees

If you’re interested in following the actual planes equipped with these first-class seats, here are XiamenAir’s tail numbers for its 6 787-8 Dreamliners:

  • B-2760
  • B-2761
  • B-2762
  • B-2763
  • B-2768
  • B-2769

8. Fly to Latin America in American Airlines Business Class (From 75,000 Miles)

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L rear view
American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Although there aren’t many top-notch business class options to fly from the U.S. to South America, one of the best products you can book is American Airlines Flagship Business.

The true Flagship experience is aboard the 777-300ER, though you’ll probably be extremely happy with the 787-9 Flagship Business seat, offering plenty of space, direct aisle access, lie-flat beds, and amenities from Casper.

In total, there are a few great routes you can fly to South America for maximum comfort. Best of all? You can redeem China Southern miles for these expensive tickets:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Buenos Aires (EZE) one-way in American Airlines business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$11 in taxes and fees
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Lima (LIM) one-way in American Airlines business class for 75,000 China Southern miles + ~$25 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Santiago (SCL) one-way in American Airlines business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$11 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Buenos Aires (EZE) one-way in American Airlines business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$11 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – São Paulo (GRU) one-way in American Airlines business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$10 in taxes and fees

9. Fly Business Class From the U.S. to North Africa (115,000 Miles)

Air France 777 Business Class Pair Seats
Air France business class. Image Credit: Nick Ellis

Air France plays a pivotal role in connecting Western Europe to North Africa.

Considering how convenient many Air France itineraries are between the U.S. and North Africa with a layover in Paris, you can begin to imagine how Air France is a top airline for these types of routes.

In addition to offering tons of nonstop routes from the U.S., Air France offers many flight options to places like Morocco, Cairo, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia, and more.

Here are a few solid redemptions you can make using China Southern miles for business-class flights between the U.S. and North Africa:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Paris (CDG) – Marrakesh (RAK) one-way in Air France business class for 115,000 China Southern miles + ~$754 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris (CDG) – Casablanca (CMN) one-way in Air France business class for 115,000 China Southern miles + ~$754 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Paris (CDG) – Cairo (CAI) one-way in Air France business class for 115,000 China Southern miles + ~$507 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG) – Tunis (TUN) one-way in Air France business class for 115,000 China Southern miles + ~$762 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Paris (CDG) – Algiers (ALG) one-way in Air France business class for 115,000 China Southern miles + ~$754 in taxes and fees

10. Fly Business Class From the U.S. to the South Pacific (From 125,000 Miles)

Korean Air A321neo Prestige 2
Korean Air’s business class, specifically the Prestige Suite, is very private. Image Credit: Stella Shon

If you’re considering flying to the South Pacific using China Southern miles, you’ll likely find that you don’t have many options to get there.

Luckily, Korean Air operates superb business class products to the South Pacific via Seoul-Incheon (ICN).

You also be responsible for modest fuel surcharges, and you’ll redeem a reasonable amount of miles: 125,000 for a one-way business-class flight between the U.S. and the South Pacific.

Here are some of the best routes you can take:

  • Boston (BOS) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Auckland (AKL) one-way in Korean Air business class for 125,000 China Southern miles + ~$311 in taxes and fees
  • Chicago (ORD) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Brisbane (BNE) one-way in Korean Air business class for 125,000 China Southern miles + ~$323 in taxes and fees
  • Las Vegas (LAS) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Auckland (AKL) one-way in Korean Air business class for 125,000 China Southern miles + ~$295 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in Korean Air business class for 125,000 China Southern miles + ~$296 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in Korean Air business class for 125,000 China Southern miles + ~$296 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Brisbane (BNE) one-way in Korean Air business class for 125,000 China Southern miles + ~$307 in taxes and fees

11. Fly Between Hawaii and Central America or Mexico on Delta (From 25,000 Miles)

Delta Airbus A220 Economy Class Cabin
Flying Delta in economy is a fantastic way to save big on miles while flying comfortably. Image Credit: Greg Stone

For those of us looking to maximize value on economy flights, we’ve got a special sweet spot for you here.

China Southern considers Hawaii, Mexico, and Central America to be a single region. This means that you can redeem as few as 25,000 miles on intra-region flights.

The secret, however, is finding a representative that is capable of bypassing region transit rules, and it may be a matter of hanging up and calling again if you can’t find a representative who can ticket this reservation.

The reason why this is important is that you’re transiting through the U.S., which is a different region.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Atlanta (ATL) – Belize City (BZE) one-way in Delta economy for 25,000 China Southern miles + ~$31 in taxes and fees
  • Kahului (OGG) – Los Angeles (LAX) – Guatemala City (GUA) one-way in Delta economy for 25,000 China Southern miles + ~$31 in taxes and fees
  • Kona (KOA) – Los Angeles (LAX) – San Jose (SJO) one-way in Delta economy for 25,000 China Southern miles + ~$31 in taxes and fees

 12. Fly Vietnam Airlines Between Europe and Southeast Asia (From 105,000 Miles)

Vietnam Airlines 787-9 business class front cabin view
Vietnam Airlines 787-9 business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Vietnam Airlines has a great business-class product for long-haul flights. Reverse herringbone seats are available mostly on the 787-9 Dreamliners and the A350-900 aircraft, and it is one of the best ways to travel to or from Southeast Asia.

This SkyTeam airline offers convenient nonstop or 1-stop flights to most of Europe. If your final destination is in Vietnam, you’ll want to choose Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in the south or Hanoi (HAN) in the north.

Remember that flights originating from Vietnam will involve much lower fuel surcharges than flights originating in Europe.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Hanoi (HAN) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$154 in taxes and fees
  • Hanoi (HAN) – London (LHR) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$154 in taxes and fees
  • Hanoi (HAN) – Moscow (SVO) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$137 in taxes and fees
  • Hanoi (HAN) – Paris (FRA) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$179 in taxes and fees
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$149 in taxes and fees
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) – London (LHR) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$149 in taxes and fees
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Vietnam Airlines business class for 105,000 China Southern miles + ~$145 in taxes and fees

13. Fly KLM Business Class From Latin America to Europe (From 100,000 Miles)

KLM business class
KLM’s newest business class consists of reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Image Credit: KLM

Another great way to redeem China Southern miles is to fly on KLM’s newest World Business Class from Latin America to Europe.

These flights are among KLM’s longest routes offered, and you can redeem as few as 100,000 China Southern miles (~62,000 equivalent frequent flyer miles). Just for reference, other frequent flyer programs like Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Delta SkyMiles require around 90,000 miles for a one-way flight.

And if you originate from select Latin American countries, you can avoid fuel surcharges completely! In many other Latin American countries, you will see reduced fuel surcharges.

Here are some great example redemptions you can book:

  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$446 in taxes and fees
  • Rio de Janeiro (GIG) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$26 in taxes and fees
  • Santiago (SCL) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$210 in taxes and fees
  • São Paulo (GRU) – Amsterdam (AMS) one-way in KLM business class for 100,000 China Southern miles + ~$26 in taxes and fees

14. Fly Aeroflot’s New Business Class Between Europe and Dubai (From 55,000 Miles)

Aeroflot new A350 business class
Aeroflot unveiled an impressive business class suite aboard the A350-900. Image Credit: Aeroflot

In the past, Aeroflot offered a 2-2-2 business-class layout using the Collins Aerospace Diamond seat, and those seats did not have direct aisle access at every seat.

These days, Aeroflot is flying the A350-900 with beautiful new business-class suites with sliding doors. There’s a lot to love with Aeroflot’s new Horizon Premier business-class suite, and this actually makes Aeroflot business class one of the most well-rounded business-class products out there.

Luckily, we can redeem China Southern miles for flights on Aeroflot’s new business-class suites, and one of the best sweet spots is between Moscow and Dubai. Here are some great example routes you can book:

  • Moscow (SVO) – Dubai (DXB) one-way in Aeroflot’s new A350 business-class suites for 55,000 China Southern miles + ~$133 in taxes and fees
  • Moscow (SVO) – London (LHR) one-way in Aeroflot’s new A350 business-class suites for 40,000 China Southern miles + ~$132 in taxes and fees

15. Fly Nonstop From Italy to the U.S. on ITA Business Class (From 80,000 Miles)

ITA Business Class
ITA’s staggered business class seats are a great way to enjoy Italian hospitality! Image Credit: Poltronafrau

ITA is the new national airline of Italy, replacing the financially imperiled flag carrier Alitalia.

If you’re lucky enough to find award availability on this solid airline, you’ll be rewarded with great redemption rates and the ability to fly nonstop from Italy without a layover in Paris, London, Amsterdam, or Madrid.

As a reminder, your fuel surcharges will be cut in roughly half if you originate in Europe instead of the U.S.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Rome (FCO) – Chicago (ORD) one-way in ITA business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$387 in taxes and fees
  • Rome (FCO) – Los Angeles (LAX) one-way in ITA business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$387 in taxes and fees
  • Rome (FCO) – Miami (MIA) one-way in ITA class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$387 in taxes and fees
  • Rome (FCO)New York (JFK) one-way in ITA business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$387 in taxes and fees
  • Rome (FCO) – San Francisco (SFO) one-way in ITA business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$387 in taxes and fees

16. Fly Between Europe and South America in Air Europa Business Class (From 100,000 Miles)

Air Europa business class
Air Europa is a Madrid-based airline that offers lie-flat seats on point-to-point routes for maximum convenience. Image Credit: Air Europa

Our very last redemption is a decidedly underrated one. Air Europa is the third-largest airline in Spain after Iberia and Vueling.

If you’re interested in booking nonstop award flights to or from Spain without flying a Oneworld carrier, Air Europa is an incredibly handy airline to know about.

Since Air Europa is a SkyTeam partner as well as an individual airline partner of China Southern, you can easily redeem miles for Air Europa flights, even in business class.

Again, you’ll want to avoid departing from the U.S. if possible — your taxes and fees will be cut in half if you originate from Europe.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Madrid (MAD) – Miami (MIA) one-way in Air Europa business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$279 in taxes and fees
  • Madrid (MAD) – New York City (JFK) one-way in Air Europa business class for 80,000 China Southern miles + ~$279 in taxes and fees

Final Thoughts

There are actually quite a few nifty ways to redeem China Southern miles for excellent value. Although it’s a quirky program, there are definitely ways to make the most of Sky Pearl Club.

There are a few strange rules, like a 50% mileage penalty for voluntary refunds, an extremely limited list of viable ticket changes you can make, as well as black-out dates on Korean Air. But overall, it’s a decent program you can use to get some valuable flight redemptions.

Whether it’s getting a free 5-star hotel night stay on connecting award flights aboard China Southern, redeeming miles for transatlantic business-class flights, or booking some extremely rare first-class products, there are certainly a lot of ways to redeem China Southern miles.

As a reminder, China Southern miles are based on kilometer units, so be sure to convert the mileage cost from kilometers to miles if you’re trying to compare award prices to other mainstream programs like Air France-KLM Flying Blue or Delta SkyMiles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What frequent flyer program is China Southern?

China Southern’s frequent flyer program is called Sky Pearl Club. You can earn and redeem miles within this program, and the miles are typically called China Southern miles.

However, the frequent flyer program is based on the metric system, so earning and redeeming miles is based on kilometers.

Are China Southern tickets refundable?

China Southern award tickets are refundable, but you will pay a huge 50% penalty for voluntary refunds.

So if you redeemed 50,000 China Southern miles for a ticket and you’d like to refund it, you will lose 25,000 miles!

How do I find China Southern award space?

You can find China Southern award space by searching on China Southern’s online website.

You can also use ExpertFlyer to search for China Southern award space.

What alliance is China Southern part of?

China Southern isn’t in an alliance. The airline left SkyTeam in favor of crafting individual partnerships with non-alliance airlines.

Is China Southern a Delta partner?

Yes! China Southern is a partner of Delta Air Lines. It is also partners with Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air Europa, Air France, American Airlines, China Airlines, Czech Airlines, ITA, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Sichuan Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, and XiamenAir.

Is China Southern a Oneworld partner?

No, China Southern is not a Oneworld partner. However, China Southern is partners with American Airlines, a Oneworld airline.

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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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