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Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Loyalty Program Review

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Ehsan Haque
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Ehsan Haque

Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 100U.S. States Visited: 24

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and mile...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
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Michael Y. Park

Editor

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

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

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 44U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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When it comes to choosing which airline loyalty programs to put your time and effort into, Turkish Airlines looks at first glance like a prime candidate.

It has the third-largest network of routes in the world (after American and Delta); flies to 129 countries, more than any other airline; serves destinations in Europe, Asia, and Africa that U.S. airlines aren’t as likely to cover; and, if you go to Türkiye a lot, is basically a no-brainer. Plus, the Miles&Smiles award chart is famous for its sweet spots.

But is the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles program really worth your time and money? That’s what we’re here to talk about in this in-depth, point-by-point analysis.

Turkish Airlines Credit Card Partners

Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines does not offer a co-branded credit card in the U.S., but there’s still good news! Turkish Miles&Smiles is a transfer partner of numerous transferable points programs, including Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Let’s go over each.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

Miles&Smiles is a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards. You must transfer at least 2,000 points with each transaction, and transfers occur at a 1:1 ratio.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

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

Learn More(at Bilt's secure site)
$0

Never before has there been a credit card built specifically with renters in mind. Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, designed specifically to help renters earn rewards on their rent payments with no fees.

Of course, aside from rewards on rent, there are many other solid benefits that the card offers that add extra value to cardholders. In this guide, we provide a complete breakdown of everything the Bilt card has to offer to help you decide whether the card makes sense for you.

Pros

  • 3x points per $1 at restaurants including eligible delivery and takeout
  • 2x points per $1 on travel booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies
  • 1x point per $1 on rent payments, without a transaction fee, up to 100,000 points each year
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to airline transfer partners
  • Cell phone protection
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Primary rental car coverage

Cons

  • Does not offer a welcome bonus
  • Requires at least 5 transactions that post each statement period to earn bonus rewards
  • $0 annual card fee
  • 1X points on rent payments with no fees (on up to $100,000 in rent payments every year) and non-bonus purchases
  • 2X points on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X points on dining

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

Card Categories

Capital One Credit Cards

Getting a Capital One credit card is a great way to earn Turkish miles, as the Miles&Smiles program is a 1:1 transfer partner of Capital One.

Recommended Capital One Cards

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-840)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

Pros

  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit on bookings made through Capital One Travel
  • Unlimited complimentary access for cardholder and 2 guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • 10,000 bonus miles awarded on your account anniversary each year
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • Add authorized users for no additional annual fee (rates & fees)
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)

 

Cons

  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status

 

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros

  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
  • Access to Capital One transfer partners

Cons

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Citi Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou Rewards tends to fly under the radar, especially when compared to other transferrable programs. However, Citi ThankYou Points can provide a ton of value, thanks to transfer partners such as Miles&Smiles.

You transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Miles&Smiles at a 1:1 ratio.

Recommended Citi Card

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® 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.

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros

  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards 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

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards are a great way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points quickly. But how are they with Turkish miles?

Unlike other programs, which transfer to Turkish Miles&Smiles at a 1:1 ratio, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio. However, for every 60,000 points you transfer, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus points. This means that 60,000 Bonvoy points will give you 25,000 Turkish Airlines miles.

Overview of the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Program

The Upgraded Points team loves the Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles loyalty program, and for good reason. The program is filled with some of the best sweet spots in all of the points and miles world. Combined with its fixed award chart and the ease of earning Turkish miles, this program has more to offer than meets the eye.

With its hub in Istanbul (IST), Turkish Airlines flies to 129 countries, more than any airline in the world. Turkish Airlines is also a member of the Star Alliance, a global aviation alliance with 25+ partner airlines. As a result, you can earn and redeem Turkish miles to fly all over the globe on both Turkish-operated flights and partner airlines.

Turkish offers an incredible business class product, which, thanks to its great award pricing, can be booked at great mileage rates.

Miles&Smiles also has an elite status tier system for its most frequent flyers.

How Do You Join Miles&Smiles?

Joining Miles&Smiles can be done simply by filling out this sign-up form. It’s free to join.

There are a few things worth noting, though. The password you set for Turkish is more like a PIN for an ATM card. It can only contain numbers and must be 6 digits. Your password cannot contain your date of birth, cannot include 3 consecutive digits (e.g., “3-4-5”), and cannot use the same number more than 2 times.

How To Sign in to Your Miles&Smiles Account

You sign in to your Miles&Smiles account from the Turkish Airlines homepage. You sign in with your Miles&Smiles membership number or email address and your 6-digit password.

MilesSmiles homepage
You can log in to your Miles&Smiles account from the Turkish Airlines homepage. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

How To View Your Account Activity

The easiest way to check your Miles&Smiles mileage balance is to:

  1. Log in to your Miles&Smiles account.
  2. Click the drop-down menu button next to your name.
  3. Click on Miles Transactions.

From here, you can see all the information regarding your Miles&Smiles account, including your member number, your current elite status, your current miles balance, and when your miles will expire.

Miles Expiration

Turkish miles expire 3 years from the time they’re earned. You can extend the expiration date for a price: For every 1,000 miles, you can pay a fee of $10 to extend them for another 3 years.

Miles&Smiles Mileage Program

Once you’ve started earning your miles, you can start achieving higher tiers, using those tiers to increase your earnings and rewards.

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite Status

The Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles program has 4 elite tiers: Classic, Classic Plus, Elite, and Elite Plus.

You can earn Turkish Miles&Smiles Elite status by earning Status Miles, which are miles earned from flights with Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance member airlines.

To earn or renew Classic Plus elite status, you can earn Status Miles or meet the flight segment requirements. To earn or renew Elite and Elite Plus status, there is no flight segment option; you must earn the required Status Miles.

SCROLL FOR MORE
 ClassicClassic PlusEliteElite Plus
Status UpgradeN/A

Earn 25,000 Status Miles

OR

Fly 40 fights in the last 12 months

Earn 40,000 Status Miles in the last 12 monthsEarn 80,000 Status Miles in the last 12 months
Renew Your Status

N/A

Earn 17,000 Status Miles

OR

Fly 30 fights in 1 year 

OR

Earn 35,000 Status Miles or fly 30 fights in 2 years

Earn 30,000 Status Miles in the first year* 

OR

Earn 45,000 Status Miles in 2 years* 

Earn 40,000 Status Miles in the first year 

OR

Earn 60,000 Status Miles in 2 years 

Status Mile Accrual on Business Class International FlightsUp to 1.5xUp to 1.75xUp to 1.75xUp to 1.75x
Status Validity PeriodLifetime2 years2 years2 years

* It’s worth noting that how you renew Elite status depends on whether or not you live in Türkiye. The table illustrates status renewal for those residing in Türkiye. If you live outside of Türkiye and earn 25,000 Status Miles in the first year or 37,500 Status Miles in the 2-year membership period, your Elite status is extended for another 2 years. If you fail to meet those criteria, your status is reduced to Classic Plus. 

Classic

Prerequisite: Signing up

This is the entry-level membership you’re placed in automatically when you create an account. This tier lets you collect miles as you fly with Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance Program partners. You’re eligible to earn 1,000 welcome miles after your first flight through Turkish.

Classic Plus

Prerequisite: Earning 25,000 Status Miles or 40 flights in the previous 12 months

This next-level tier is basically a souped-up version of Classic that tacks on:

  • Access to business class check-in counters for domestic flights
  • Lounge access for domestic flights
  • 10 kilograms (22 pounds) extra baggage allowance (except on flights implementing the piece baggage concept)
  • Star Alliance Silver card privileges

Elite

Prerequisite: Earning 40,000 Status Miles in the previous 12 months

You get all of the Classic Plus privileges plus:

  • Access to the Istanbul Airport International Arrivals Terminal special passport desk
  • Lounge access for you and a guest (or spouse and children)
  • Special telephone help-line assistance
  • 20 kilograms (44 pounds) extra baggage allowance or 1 extra piece of baggage
  • Private entrances and passport control at Istanbul Airport
  • Star Alliance Gold card benefits
  • Free standard seat selection (only for Turkish Airlines-operated flights)

Elite Plus

Prerequisite: Earning 80,000 Status Miles in the previous 12 months

You get everything you get with Elite as well as:

  • 2 free cabin upgrades on Turkish Airlines flights
  • Upgrades on reward tickets for companions
  • Guaranteed seats for certain classes
  • Elite gift card for up to 3 people
  • 25 kilograms (55 pounds) extra baggage allowance or 1 extra piece of baggage

Is Miles&Smiles Elite Status Worth It?

Elite status with an airline is a great idea if you fly a particular airline regularly. Benefits including business class check-in counters, extra baggage allowance, and lounge access can make frequent trips via Turkish much easier and more pleasant. Of course, what you get out of it depends on what status you hold with Turkish Airlines.

It can also be beneficial when you fly a Star Alliance partner. Miles&Smiles Classic Plus gets you Star Alliance Silver status, and both Miles&Smiles Elite and Miles&Smiles Elite Plus get you Star Alliance Gold status.

Is it worth working toward Turkish’s highest tier? Although achieving the highest Elite Plus status with Turkish can be difficult, it does come with incredible perks, including 2 free cabin upgrades on Turkish Airlines flights and Elite gift cards for up to 3 people.

Depending on your personal flying patterns, Miles&Smiles status can really upgrade your travel.

Purchasing Turkish Status Miles

You can buy Status Miles to upgrade your status or extend your current Miles&Smiles status. The amount you can purchase is based on your current Miles&Smiles status:

  • Classic members can buy up to the last 5,000 miles needed to upgrade their status.
  • Classic Plus members can buy the last 5,000 miles needed to maintain or the last 10,000 miles needed to upgrade their status.
  • Elite members can buy the last 10,000 miles needed to maintain or upgrade their status.
  • Elite Plus members can buy the last 10,000 miles they need to protect their status.

There are also a few things to look out for when it comes to purchasing Status Miles:

  • You can’t buy Status Miles retroactively to extend status that has already changed.
  • Turkish charges $70 for every 1,000 Status Miles purchased.
  • You can’t get a refund for miles purchased as Status Miles or for the fees paid for them.
  • Miles are sold in chunks of 1,000.

How To Earn Turkish Miles&Smiles Miles

Fortunately, earning Turkish miles is not too difficult, as Miles&Smiles is a transfer partner of 4 of the major bank loyalty programs. You can also earn miles by flying Turkish and its partners and booking with non-air travel partners.

Earning Points Through Flying

You can earn Turkish miles by flying with Turkish Airlines, AnadoluJet, Turkish Airlines’ Star Alliance partners, or Turkish partners outside of alliances. The number of miles you earn depends on whether you’re flying Turkish Airlines itself, one of its partner airlines, and other criteria.

Turkish Star Alliance partners
Turkish Airlines’ Star Alliance partners. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines Flights

On Turkish Airlines-operated flights, you earn reward miles based on fare class, Miles&Smiles elite status level, and the distance of the flight.

You can determine how many miles you would earn on a Turkish Airlines flight by looking at this chart:

SCROLL FOR MORE
 Mileage Accrual TableEconomyBusiness
Ticket classY, BM, H, S, E, Q, A, OT, L, V, GW, P, F, UC, DK, J, Z
TürkiyeAll CardsFixed Miles6006003001501,2501,000
InternationalClassic CardEarnings Rate125%100%50%25%150%135%
Minimum Miles1,2501,0005002501,5001,350
Classic Plus, Elite, Elite Plus CardEarnings Rate125%100%50%25%175%160%
Minimum Miles1,2501,0005002501,7501,600

Let’s say you wanted to fly from Turkish Airlines’ hub in Istanbul to Los Angeles (LAX) in business class (fare K) as an Elite member.

To see how many miles you would earn, look up the physical distance between the 2 airports, which in this case is 6,865 miles. Then look at your status tier. Lastly, look at the fare class.

Thus, 6,865 miles x 1.6 (160% of the miles flown) = 10,984 redeemable miles.

Star Alliance Partner-Operated Flights

You can also earn miles by flying Turkish’s Star Alliance partner airlines and crediting those miles to your Miles&Smiles account. Turkish miles are earned according to the class specified by the airline operating the flight. Turkish has charts specific to each partner airline.

For simplicity’s sake, let’s take a look at a flight operated by United Airlines, a common Turkish partner for U.S.-based travelers.

Here’s the United-specific chart for Turkish:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Cabin classBooking classPercentage of Flown Miles
BusinessJ, C, D150%
Z, P100%
Premium EconomyO, A, R100%
EconomyY, B, M, E, U, H100%
Q, V, W, S, T, L75%
K, G, N50%

Booking classes not eligible for accrual: F, X, I 

Using the example above, flying from Istanbul to Los Angeles in business class (booking codes J, C, or D) earns 150% of the mileage flown, or 10,297 miles total (6,865 miles x 1.5).

It’s important to remember that earning on partner airlines is strictly tied to your fare booking class — your Turkish Miles&Smiles status doesn’t factor in.

You should also check if your fare class is eligible to earn miles. For example, when flying on United, you can’t book a ticket in the F, X, or I fare classes, as they are not eligible to earn Turkish miles.

Earning Points With Credit Cards

Although Turkish Airlines doesn’t have a co-branded credit card in the U.S., consider cards offered by its transfer partners, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy

Other Ways To Earn Points

Like most major airlines, the Turkish Miles&Smiles program offers its members the opportunity to earn miles in ways that don’t involve flying.

Earning Miles on Hotel Stays

You can earn Turkish miles on hotel stays with Turkish Airlines’ many well-known hotel partners, including Best Western, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham.

Earning Miles on Car Rentals

In addition to earning miles on hotel stays, you can also earn Turkish miles on car rentals. These include popular car rental agencies such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Sixt.

Earning Miles With Plaza Premium

Lastly, you can earn Turkish miles when you book Plaza Premium airport lounge access.

How To Redeem Turkish Miles&Smiles Miles

The Turkish Miles&Smiles program offers some of the best deals in points and miles, thanks to its incredible award chart and many sweet spots.

Turkish Airlines publishes a zone-based award chart for both its flights and its partner airline flights. However, there are 2 award charts: 1 for promotional award tickets and 1 for regular award redemptions. Turkish allows you to book one-way tickets on award redemptions.

Turkish Airlines Awards

One of the best ways to redeem Turkish miles is for flights on Turkish Airlines itself. Thanks to its region-based award chart, it’s easy to know exactly how many miles you need for a given award ticket.

Miles&Smiles saver-level award pricing for travel on Turkish Airlines is incredible, with rates being among the cheapest of any program.

For Turkish-operated flights, there are 2 levels of award availability: regular and promotional. Look for promotional award space when possible, as those seats can be booked at a much lower mileage rate than the award ticket space on the regular chart.

If you’re searching for award space on Turkish Airlines’ website and see award pricing at much higher rates, that simply means there’s no saver award space available.

Here are some great ways to use Turkish miles on Turkish-operated flights:

  • North America to Central Asia in Turkish Airlines business class one-way for 52,500 miles plus taxes and fees
  • North America to Europe in Turkish Airlines business class one-way for 45,000 miles plus taxes and fees
  • North America to the Middle East in Turkish Airlines business class one-way for 47,000 miles plus taxes and fees
Hot Tip:

To search for award availability on the Turkish Airlines website, log in to your Miles&Smiles account. You don’t need any miles in your account to search for award space.

Star Alliance Partner Awards

In addition to being able to redeem Turkish Miles&Smiles for Turkish flights, you can also redeem these miles for its Star Alliance partners, which include airlines like Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines, among others.

When looking up award space for Star Alliance partners, look for the promotional award chart for partner awards, as they are considered saver-level awards, which can be booked using Turkish miles.

Turkish also has generously defined its regions. For example, Turkish places Hawaii in the North American zone, unlike nearly every other program out there. This means that flying between New York and Chicago is priced the same as New York to Honolulu.

Turkish also defines the entirety of Europe as 2 zones: Europe 1 and Europe 2. The pricing is the same no matter where you fly from or where you fly into (New York to London is priced the same as Los Angeles to Athens).

Here are some great ways to use Turkish miles on Star Alliance-operated flights:

  • Continental U.S. to Hawaii in United Airlines economy one-way for 7,500 miles plus taxes and fees or in United Airlines business class for 12,500 miles plus taxes and fees
  • North America to Europe in United Polaris business class one-way for 45,000 miles plus taxes and fees
  • Transcontinental United Polaris business class for 12,500 miles one-way

Turkish Airlines passes on carrier-imposed surcharges on award redemptions, meaning that you may want to look at what partners you are booking. There are minimal fuel surcharges on Air Canada, Avianca, SAS, and United. Fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish are usually reasonable. Fuel surcharges on long-haul Lufthansa Group airlines, however, often surpass $1,000. It may be worth avoiding these airlines, as the exorbitant taxes and fees make your award redemptions less valuable.

Hot Tip:

Booking Online

This is where things can get tricky. Although Miles&Smiles is one of the best programs to book Star Alliance flights with, it’s also one of the most frustrating. That’s because of the numerous problems you may face when it comes time to book the itinerary you want.

Turkish Airlines is sometimes unable to show you availability on Star Alliance carriers for no logical reason. To look for Star Alliance award space, we recommend starting your search on united.com instead. Look for flights that are marked as Saver awards.

To find Saver awards, look for these fare codes: economy (X), business (I), and first (O).

United provides an easy-to-follow, monthlong calendar for availability, which can significantly reduce the time you need to search for awards.

When it comes to redeeming Turkish miles on the United site, you can’t book award seats that are set aside for United elite members and United credit cardholders. Therefore, it’s best to do the award search when you’re logged out of your United account. That way you avoid seeing expanded availability that you can’t actually book with Turkish miles.

It’s also a good idea to cross-reference award availability with another Star Alliance partner, like Air Canada, to ensure that you can book the seat you’re looking at.

In some cases, Miles&Smiles may also be having IT issues where some itineraries cannot be booked online. If this problem arises, email a Turkish Airlines ticket office or call Turkish to book over the phone. Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles can be reached at 800-874-8875.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I earn Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles miles?

Turkish Miles&Smiles is a transfer partner of numerous points programs, including Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

What Alliance is Turkish Airlines part of?

Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance.

Can I transfer my Turkish miles to United Airlines?

No, you cannot transfer miles from Turkish Airlines to United Airlines. However, since Turkish and United are partners, you can use your Turkish miles to fly on United Airlines.

Can I earn Turkish miles when flying on United?

Yes, you can. The amount of Turkish miles earned from flights operated by partner airlines will vary according to the cabin and booking class. Miles earnings are calculated by class specified by the operating airline.

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About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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