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The Best Ways To Fly to Australia With Points and Miles [Step-by-Step]

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Stephen Au

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For Americans, Australia is undeniably a far-flung destination. The continent is at least 14 hours by nonstop flight from the contiguous U.S. But its remoteness is no doubt part of what compels many travelers to head there in the first place.

Known for its awe-inspiring nature and rich indigenous culture, Australia is one of the top tourist destinations on the planet. However, flying to Australia can be a huge logistical undertaking, especially if you don’t know where to start planning your trip.

Although using points and miles can reduce the cost of flights, you definitely want to save up for business or first class if you can, and be prepared for the grueling nature of these ultra-long-haul flights.

Today, we’ll look at some of the best ways to fly to Australia using points and miles, particularly in a premium cabin. It’s important to know that some airlines are notorious for extremely limited award availability.

Nonstop Routes Between North America and Australia

Since Australia is one of the more difficult destinations to reach, particularly from the U.S. and Europe, there will be fewer routes you can take.

There are a total of 7 airlines that operate nonstop flights between the U.S. (including Hawaii) and Australia. These are:

  • Air Canada
    • Vancouver (YVR) – Brisbane (BNE)
    • Vancouver (YVR) – Sydney (SYD)
  • American Airlines
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Delta Air Lines
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
    • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Jetstar Airways
    • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Qantas
    • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)
    • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)
    • Vancouver (YVR) – Sydney (SYD)
  • United Airlines
    • Houston (IAH) – Sydney (SYD)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Brisbane (BNE)
Hot Tip:

Australia has some of the world’s most fabulous beaches. Check out our guide on The 15 Best Beaches in Australia in 2023.

Best Programs for Booking Flights

Let’s take a look at the best programs to use to book award tickets to Australia. Generally speaking, award availability, especially in business or first-class, is extremely difficult to find. Flexibility and a willingness to book a positioning flight will help immensely when searching for award space.

All Nippon Airways Mileage Club

ANA The Room Seat 2
ANA offers an excellent long-haul business-class product. Image Credit: Stella Shon

The first program we will look at for award flights to Australia is ANA Mileage Club. The program offers an award chart and has some of the best pricing of any program. You can fly round-trip between the U.S. and Australia for less than what some programs charge one-way.

Although the program is a bit complex, there is plenty of value when redeeming ANA miles. ANA offers excellent redemption rates, tons of sweet spots, and a fantastic stopover and open-jaw policy. ANA is also a member of the Star Alliance, which opens many partner award options.

However, there are two main drawbacks with ANA. First, ANA only allows for round-trip award bookings. Second, ANA passes on fuel surcharges, which can be quite high on some partners.

ANA has 2 unique award charts:

We will take a look at both options here. If you want to fly ANA and have a stopover in Tokyo, you need to look at ANA’s international award chart. Of course, this routing becomes significantly longer, but it provides the opportunity to fly ANA’s fantastic long-haul products twice in each direction.

Regarding ANA-operated flights, you will need to look out for 2 main things: The zones for the departure and destination points and the season for the award flight. ANA places North America in Zone 6 and Oceania in Zone 10.

Here is the round-trip award pricing (based on seasonality) for flights between the U.S and Australia (Zones 6 and 10, respectively) when flying on ANA itself:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Eligible classLow SeasonRegular SeasonHigh Season
Y60,00070,00075,000
PY88,00098,000103,000
C105,000115,000120,000
F210,000210,000225,000

With ANA being part of the Star Alliance, you can also use your ANA miles to fly on a few partner airlines. Seasonality does not apply to partner awards, and award space tends to be quite good for partners. Here is the ANA award chart for Star Alliance partners:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Class of ServiceANA Mileage Cost
Economy75,000
Business120,000
First225,000

If you are looking for nonstop flights to Australia, you will want to look at 2 main partner airlines: Air Canada and United Airlines.

Both airlines provide an excellent premium cabin product. United offers their highly regarded Polaris business class product on most nonstop routes between the U.S. and Australia.

Air Canada’s product includes reverse-herringbone seats in a clean, airy cabin. If possible, we’d recommend you book Air Canada’s business class product over United’s in this scenario.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Houston (IAH) – Sydney (SYD)
    • Round-trip in United Airlines Polaris business class for 120,000 ANA miles plus about $40 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • Round-trip in United Airlines economy for 75,000 ANA miles plus about $40 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Melbourne (MEL) or Sydney (SYD) – San Francisco (SFO)
    • With an open jaw in Melbourne in United Airlines Polaris business class for 120,000 ANA miles plus about $40 in taxes and fees
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Melbourne (MEL) or Brisbane (BNE) – Vancouver (YVR)
    • With an open jaw in Melbourne in Air Canada business class for 120,000 ANA miles plus about $40 in taxes and fees

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 in to 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 American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Amex Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio.

It takes around 3 business days for Amex points to transfer to ANA and about 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 simultaneously, meaning you’d end up with 25,000 ANA miles overall.

Recommended Amex 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

Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards.

Bottom Line:

ANA has separate award charts for its own flights and partner award flights. The program has some of the best award pricing on most routes.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Qantas Airbus A330 Business Class Middle Seats
Qantas offers an excellent business class cabin. Image Credit: Greg Stone

One of the best ways to book nonstop flights to Australia is by redeeming Alaska Airlines miles. Although Alaska doesn’t operate flights to Australia, it has some great partnerships thanks to its membership in the Oneworld Alliance. Their partner airlines, American Airlines and Qantas, offer nonstop flights between the U.S. and Australia.

Currently, Alaska has a consolidated award chart for flights between regions. However, the loyalty program is slated to significantly change in March 2024.

Alaska has announced that there will be a new distance-based award chart. This will be detrimental for flights between the U.S. and Australia, as the distances are already quite long between the continents.

Until the new award chart is in effect, here are the current award rates for flights between the U.S. and Australia using Alaska miles:

SCROLL FOR MORE
From Contiguous U.S. Including Alaska and Canada to:Economy Starting From:Premium Starting From:Business Starting From:First Starting From:
South Pacific30,00045,00055,00070,000

In addition to some great redemption rates, Alaska allows you to book stopovers, including when booking one-way awards. This provides an excellent option to connect from your entry point in Australia.

Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, offers one of the best products in all of points and miles: Qantas first class. However, as mentioned above, award availability is quite challenging to find.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Sydney (SYD) – Perth (PER)
    • One-way in Qantas first class for 70,000 Alaska miles plus about $26 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE) – Darwin (DRW)
    • One-way in Qantas business class for 55,000 Alaska miles plus about $26 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) – Alice Springs (ASP)
    • One-way in Qantas first class for 70,000 Alaska miles plus $26 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD) – Cairns (CNS)
    • One-way in Qantas business class for 55,000 Alaska miles plus about $26 in taxes and fees

The process for booking Qantas and American Airlines flights using Alaska miles is easy:

  1. Go to Alaska Airlines’ website.
  2. Sign in using your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Number and password.
  3. Search for your route pairing, dates, and number of passengers on the homepage (check off the box that says Use Miles).
  4. Select your flight and click Add To Cart.
  5. Complete your booking by paying with miles and for any taxes and fees using a credit card.

Earning Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines miles are relatively tricky to earn, as their only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, and with every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you receive 5,000 bonus miles.

There are also several ways to earn Alaska miles, including opening the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card or buying Alaska Airlines miles when there’s a big sale.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriott Bonvoy

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

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

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

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

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

Marriott Bonvoy

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

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

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

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

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

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

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

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

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

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

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

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

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

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

Marriott Bonvoy

Bottom Line: Redeeming Alaska Airlines miles for Qantas or American Airlines flights is a great way to fly to Australia, as long as you can find award availability. 

Avianca LifeMiles

Air Canada Business Class
Air Canada Signature Class. Image credit: Air Canada

Avianca LifeMiles is another program that offers excellent redemption rates for flights to Australia. The airline is part of the Star Alliance and has plenty of transfer partners and no fuel surcharges on awards. It makes it incredibly easy to earn Avianca LifeMiles.

There are several great ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles for maximum value, and award flights between the U.S. and Australia are 1 option. Here’s the award pricing for one-way flights between North America and Australia:

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Class of ServiceAvianca LifeMiles Cost Fees
Economy40,000~$61
Business80,000~$61

When you redeem LifeMiles for flights to Australia, you’ll fly on United Airlines or Air Canada.

Here are some great examples of redemptions:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • One-way in United business class for 80,000 LifeMiles plus $31 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in United economy for 40,000 LifeMiles plus $31 in taxes and fees
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Melbourne (MEL), Sydney (SYD), or Brisbane (BNE)
    • One-way in Air Canada business class for 80,000 LifeMiles plus $31 in taxes and fees

Once you’ve solidified your travel plans, here’s how you can book your flight using Avianca LifeMiles:

  1. Go to the LifeMiles website.
  2. Click the flag icon in the top-right corner and choose English, if necessary.
  3. Click login and enter your LifeMiles number and password.
  4. Click Fly at the top banner to search flights.
  5. Enter your route pairing, number of passengers, and cabin class. Click Find Flights.
  6. Add your flight dates.
  7. Find your flights and pay with LifeMiles and for any taxes and fees using a credit card.

Earning Avianca LifeMiles

Earning LifeMiles is relatively easy, as the program is a transfer partner with several transferrable currencies. These include American Express Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex, Brex, Capital One, and Citi points instantly transfer at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy points transfer in around 1 to 2 business days at a 3:1 ratio.

It is worth mentioning that there are frequent transfer bonuses to Avianca, often around 30%. These transfer bonuses allow for redemptions to require even fewer points.

You can also buy LifeMiles — Avianca is known to offer giant sales with up to a 200% bonus on purchased miles. While purchasing miles is almost never the best idea, it definitely can be for Avianca redemptions.

Recommended Capital One Cards

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

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

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
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
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
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit 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.

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

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
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
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
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

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

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
20,000 miles
$360
$0
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
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)

Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.

But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?

Pros
Cons
  • Weak earn rate at 1.25x miles per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No luxury travel or elite benefits
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • 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
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas Airbus A330 Business Class Window Seat 4K
Qantas Airbus A330 Business Class Window Seat 4K. Image Credit: Greg Stone

If you’re looking to fly between the U.S. and Australia in Qantas’ first or business class, the best way is with Qantas’ frequent flyer program: Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Qantas first class is considered one of the best first class products in the world. However, award space is incredibly limited. Our guide covering when airlines release award seats outlines why booking Qantas first class is easier using Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Chiefly, Qantas first and business class are easier to book for 2 reasons:

  • Qantas releases award seats exclusive to Qantas Frequent Flyer members, redeeming Qantas Frequent Flyer points
  • Qantas’ schedule opens up 353 days in advance, a few weeks earlier than most other programs

For award redemptions, Qantas uses a distance-based award chart. However, multiple award charts are based on the airline you are flying.

Here is the award pricing for classic Flight Rewards with QantasJetstar, and American Airlines:

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Qantas Classic Flight Reward Table (Applicable for QantasJetstarFiji AirwaysAir Vanuatu, and American Airlines)
ZoneOne-Way Distance (in Miles)EconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
10 to 6008,00013,80018,40027,600
2601 to 1,20012,00020,60027,60041,500
31,201 to 2,40018,00031,00041,50062,200
42,401 to 3,60020,30042,20057,00085,500
53,601 to 4,80025,20051,30068,400102,600
64,801 to 5,80031,50061,50082,000123,100
75,801 to 7,00037,60071,10094,900142,300
87,001 to 8,40041,90081,300108,400162,800
98,401 to 9,60051,20094,900126,500189,800
109,601 to 15,00055,200108,400144,600216,900

Here’s the award chart for flights on Jetstar:

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Jetstar Classic Flight Reward Table (Applicable for Jetstar, Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Japan, and Jetstar Pacific only)
ZoneOne-Way distance (in Miles)EconomyBusiness
10 to 6006,40013,800
2601 to 1,2009,60020,600
31,201 to 2,40014,40031,000
42,401 to 3,60018,00042,200
53,601 to 4,80021,50051,300
64,801 to 5,80026,00061,500
75,801 to 7,00032,00071,100
87,001 to 8,40035,60081,300
98,401 to 9,60043,50094,900
109,601 to 15,00046,900108,400

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Qantas business class for 82,000 Qantas points plus about $60 in taxes and fees
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Jetstar economy for 26,000 Qantas points plus about $60 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)
    • One-way in Qantas first class for 162,800 Qantas points plus about $60 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Qantas first class for 162,800 Qantas points plus about $60 in taxes and fees

Although award rates are typically higher, it may be worth using Qantas Frequent Flyer, as award space may be easier to find.

To book Qantas Frequent Flyer awards, here is what you need to do:

  1. Visit Qantas’ website.
  2. In the top-right corner, log into your account using your Qantas Frequent Flyer number, last name, and PIN.
  3. In the flight search box, enter your city and date pairings and number of passengers, and click the button that says Use points.
  4. Click Search flights.
  5. Click the dates that works for you.
  6. Select your flights and click Continue.
  7. Pay using points and for any taxes and fees using a credit card.

Earning Qantas Frequent Flyer Points

There are numerous ways to earn Qantas points. Qantas Frequent Flyer is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex, Brex, Capital One, and Citi points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.

Amex transfers almost instantly to Qantas, Brex takes up to 1 business day, Capital One takes around 36 hours, and Citi takes around 2 business days. Marriott Bonvoy takes the longest, at around 6 business days.

Recommended Citi Cards

NEW CARD LAUNCH
Citi Strata 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.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
70,000 points
$1,120
$95
21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is a great all-around travel rewards card that allows you to earn big rewards on a variety of purchases like air travel, at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and more, along with flexible redemption options, all for a modest annual fee.

Pros
  • 10x points on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked through CitiTravel.com
  • 3x points on air travel, other hotel purchases, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and EV charging stations
  • $100 annual hotel benefit
Cons
    • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked on CitiTravel.com.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases, at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas and EV Charging Stations.
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $100 Annual Hotel Benefit: Once per calendar year, enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when booked through CitiTravel.com. Benefit applied instantly at time of booking.
  • 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
Citi Rewards+® 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.

This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.
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.
20,000 points
$320
$0
0% intro APR on balance transfers and on purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
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 Recommended (670-840)
  • 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
  • Plus, as a special offer, earn a total of 5 Thank You® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com through December 31, 2025.*
  • 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 18.74% – 28.74%, 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).
  • 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 Citi Rewards+® Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.
  • No Annual Fee
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers and on purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars
Citi Double Cash® 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.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 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.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros
  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Bonus Offer: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 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).
  • Citi Double Cash® Card Travel Portal Limited Time Offer: Earn a total of 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rental, and attractions, excluding air travel, when booked through the Citi TravelSM portal on ThankYou.com or by calling 1-800-Thankyou and saying “Travel.” Offer is valid through 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) 12/31/2024.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase
Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi Custom Cash® 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.

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 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.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.

Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.

Pros
  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
Cons
  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked via the Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%
Bottom Line:

Qantas Frequent Flyer offers better award availability than partner airline programs. This is extremely important for those looking for Qantas first and business class award flights.

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class cabin
American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class cabin. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Another great Oneworld program to utilize for award flights to Australia is American Airlines AAdvantage. With AAdvantage, you can fly on partner airline Qantas or American Airlines itself.

American AAdvantage has undergone significant devaluations over the years, but the program still has a great deal of value. For its flights, American Airlines has a dynamic pricing method. However, partner awards with American AAdvantage are not subject to dynamic pricing. They follow a simple award chart.

American Airlines places Australia in the South Pacific region on its award chart. Here is the partner award chart for American Airlines partners for flights between the U.S. and Australia:

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From the 48 Contiguous U.S. States and Canada: Main CabinPremium EconomyBusiness/FirstFirst
To: South Pacific40,00065,00080,000110,000

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Qantas business class for 80,000 AAdvantage miles plus about $40 in taxes and fees
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Hawaiian Airlines business or first class for 65,000 AAdvantage miles plus around $20 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE)
    • One-way in Qantas business class for 80,000 AAdvantage miles plus around $40 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in American Airlines Flagship First Class from 110,000 AAdvantage miles plus $11 in taxes and fees

To book your AAdvantage award, follow these steps:

  1. Search for award space on American Airlines.
  2. Book the flight online using AAdvantage miles.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees.
  4. Perform an award search using Alaska Airlines’ search engine (method outlined in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan section). You may need a search tool such as ExpertFlyer for Hawaiian Airlines.
  5. Call AAdvantage at 800-433-7300 and tell them your flight numbers, dates, number of passengers, and class of service.
  6. Pay using AAdvantage miles and a credit card for the taxes and fees to ticket your reservation.

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage miles is easy. Whether you’re using the Citi or Barclays co-branded AAdvantage credit cards or transferring from Marriott Bonvoy or Bilt Rewards, there are plenty of ways to earn AA miles quickly.

Marriott Bonvoy is a 3:1 transfer partner, and transfers from Marriott Bonvoy take around 2 business days to complete. Bilt Rewards is a 1:1 transfer partner, and transfers from Bilt take around 1 business day.

Bottom Line:

Partner awards are typically the best way to use American AAdvantage miles.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Delta One Suites
Delta One Suites on the Airbus A350. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Lastly, we will look at one program in the SkyTeam Alliance, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Although Virgin Atlantic does not fly to Australia, its partner Delta Air Lines does.

Although Virgin has significantly devalued Delta awards over the years, some good award redemption options remain.

Virgin Atlantic utilizes a distance-based award chart for its SkyTeam partner awards. It has a particular award chart for travel on Delta and another one for Delta flights in regions outside of Europe.

Here is the award chart for Delta-operated flights based on distance:

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Route based on miles flownDelta Main CabinDelta One/First
0-5007,500 points21,000 points
501-1,00011,000 points41,500 points
1,001-1,500 16,500 points59,500 points
1,501-2,00018,500 points66,500 points
2,001-3,00022,000 points70,000 points
3,001-4,00035,000 points80,000 points
4,001-5,00044,000 points105,000 points
5,001-6,00049,500 points130,000 points
6,001 or more65,500 points165,000 points

Currently, Delta only offers one nonstop flight between the U.S. and Australia. This route can be booked for 65,500 points in economy and 165,000 points in business class.

With how far the U.S. and Australia are from each other, all flights between the continents are in the 6,001+ distance band. As a reference, the distance between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD) is 7,488 miles.

Fortunately, Delta’s sole Australia route features Delta One Suites, the airline’s best business-class product. Delta One Suites is considered one of the best international business class products in the world. Award availability can sometimes be hard to find, especially in premium cabins.

Finally, Virgin Atlantic also partners with Hawaiian Airlines, which can be useful for those in the Hawaiian Islands. Here’s the award chart for one-way Hawaiian Airlines flights between Hawaii and Australia:

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Cabin ClassVirgin Points CostTaxes and Fees
Economy80,000Around $65
First/Business130,000Around $65

This pricing is decent, especially if you plan to fly out of Hawaii. All the seats are lie-flat, though not all have direct aisle access. Nevertheless, for a flight of around 10 hours, 130,000 miles in business is a solid option.

Let’s put all of this together and show you some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Hawaiian Airlines business/first class for 130,000 Virgin Points plus around $65 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)
    • One-way in Delta One Suites for 165,000 Virgin Points plus $5.60 in taxes and fees

Once you’ve decided on which flight you want to take, follow these steps to book your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club award flight online:

  1. Visit Virgin Atlantic’s homepage.
  2. Change the region by scrolling to the bottom of the page. Click the globe icon at the bottom of the page that says United States – English.
  3. Once redirected to the new page, type in your flight details in the top banner of the homepage. Enter your departure and destination cities, flight type, number of passengers, and travel dates.
  4. Click the button that says Advanced Search towards the bottom-right of the banner. Click Miles and select Upper Class to search for business class award space.
  5. Click the arrow to perform the search. If there’s no award availability, scroll down and select Show Flights for Within 5 weeks. Redo the search.
  6. You may need to play around with dates to find availability. Once located, click Next Step.
    • Although transferring points to Virgin Atlantic is normally instant, you can also request 5-day award holds by calling Virgin Atlantic at 800-365-9500.
  7. Log in to your Flying Club account.
  8. Complete your booking by paying the miles, taxes, and fees.

Booking Delta awards is completely doable online. However, you may need to call to book Hawaiian Airlines flights if no online award availability shows up.

Hot Tip:

Want to monitor flight award availability without checking every day? Check out our guide on ExpertFlyer to learn how to set up automatic flight alerts.

Earning Virgin Atlantic Points

Earning Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points is easy, as the program is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate RewardsCapital One Miles, American Express Membership RewardsMarriott Bonvoy, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards instantly transfer at 1:1.

Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, usually within 1 business day. Additionally, when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you earn a 5,000-mile bonus.

It is worth noting that there are frequent transfer bonuses to Flying Club from Chase and American Express.

Final Thoughts

It can be quite difficult to redeem award tickets to Australia. Fortunately, numerous points programs from all 3 major airline alliances can help get you there. However, award availability can be hit or miss at times.

Some programs like Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Avianca LifeMiles may charge a bit more for redemptions; however, earning their points and miles is easy, thanks to the numerous transfer partners of each program.

Other programs, such as ANA Mileage Club, provide some of the best rates but have limited transfer partners.

As always, it’s important to do your research and find out what program is best for you.

The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Premier® Card has expired and the card is no longer open to applicants.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Virgin Atlantic points for flights to Australia? How can I earn more miles?

Yes, you can use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for award flights to Australia. From the U.S., flights are operated by Delta Air Lines or Hawaiian Airlines.

Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate RewardsCapital One Miles, American Express Membership RewardsMarriott Bonvoy, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Can I use American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly to Australia?

Yes, you can use American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly to Australia. You can redeem AAdvantage miles for flights on American Airlines or its Oneworld and non-alliance partners.

Which airlines include carrier-imposed surcharges on award flights to Australia?

Australia is one of the few countries that restricts fuel surcharges.

What is the best airline to fly to Australia?

If you’re considering booking business or first class flights, the best way to fly in first class is with Qantas. However, the flights are notoriously difficult to book with points, so it might not be realistic.

That being said, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines offer solid long-haul business class products.

Stephen Au's image

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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