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

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Michael McHugh
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Michael McHugh

Former Content Contributor

63 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 15U.S. States Visited: 32

Michael fell in love with points and miles back in 2014 and since then has built up a vast knowledge of award programs and has striven to show readers how to receive the maximum value when using their...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

106 Published Articles 738 Edited Articles

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
& Kellie Jez
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Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

6 Published Articles 1185 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Germany is an incredible country filled with history, beautiful architecture, unique food, and of course delicious beer! In Berlin you’ll see the Berlin Wall, Munich is known for Oktoberfest, Frankfurt is home to the European Central Bank, Cologne has the Cologne Cathedral, and the port city of Hamburg has canals and parks.

In this article, we’ll cover the best programs you can use to book award flights to Frankfurt, how to book the award flight itself, and how to earn enough miles for your next redemption.

Best Programs to Use to Book Flights

Frankfurt airport (FRA) is one of the largest airports in Europe. With that said, U.S. travelers will find it relatively easy to fly from the U.S to Frankfurt.

Below we’ll dive into the best programs to use and how you can leverage the 5 transferable point programs, American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank

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

The Japan Airlines Mileage Bank program provides value to many destinations in Europe — including Frankfurt — across all cabin classes.

Japan Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance, which is great because Oneworld member airlines offer a number of flights to Europe from the U.S., though American Airlines is the only Oneworld member offering nonstop flights from the U.S. to Frankfurt. Flying with British Airways, Finnair, or Iberia will require a connection.

Book Awards With Japan Airlines 

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 Total trip distance (miles)Economy ClassBusiness Class *1First Class
11 – 4,00025,00048,00072,000
24,001 – 8,00040,00080,000100,000
38,001 – 10,00050,00085,000110,000
410,001 – 12,00060,000110,000160,000
512,001 – 14,00070,000115,000165,000
614,001 – 20,00090,000120,000170,000
720,001 – 25,000120,000150,000230,000
825,001 – 29,000140,000190,000280,000
929,001 – 34,000150,000200,000300,000
1034,001 – 50,000160,000220,000330,000

Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart. The amount of miles you’ll pay is driven by the total distance of your itinerary and the cabin class. We recommend using Great Circle Mapper to calculate the total mileage of your itinerary and then refer back to the award chart to see how many miles you’ll need.

Search for Oneworld award flight availability on the British Airways/Qantas websites, confirm that same availability on the Japan Airlines website, and then book the flight. If you can’t confirm availability on the Japan Airlines website, call the airline at 800-525-3663 to search for and book the award ticket.

Hot Tip: We recommend using the Qantas website to search for Oneworld availability because it has a monthly calendar view. American Airlines business class flights will likely not show up on the Qantas website so we recommend using British Airways to search for business class availability. 

When you’re ready to book your flight, below are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Oneworld round-trip flights to Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Frankfurt — Round-Trip

Cabin ClassOneworldTaxes and Fees
Economy40,000-70,000$117+
Business80,000-115,000$117+

Need help booking an award flight? Here’s our step-by-step guide to booking American Airlines business class.

Earning Japan Airlines Miles

Japan Airlines miles are hard to earn due to two factors:

  1. Japan Airlines only partners with one transferable point program, which is Marriott Bonvoy
  2. Japan Airlines doesn’t offer a credit card with a meaningful sign-up bonus

The main way to earn Japan Airlines miles is by transferring points from Marriott Bonvoy. Before transferring your Marriott points, there are 3 things to keep in mind, 1) Marriott points transfer to Japan Airlines at a 3:1 ratio, 2) You’ll receive 5,000 bonus points when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to an airline partner, and 3) Marriott points take 7 days to transfer to Japan Airlines.

With that said, there are a number of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards that we cover in our guide.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 

British Airways First Class 787-9
Use Cathay Pacific miles to fly British Airway first class. Image Credit: Alex Miller

The Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program can provide value, particularly when flying its Oneworld partner airlines. The Asia Miles program uses a distance-based award chart when flying.

Cathay Pacific is a member of the Oneworld alliance, so you can use your miles for flights on Cathay Pacific or its partner airlines. American Airlines will offer the quickest travel time to Europe because of its nonstop flights, however, British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia are other Oneworld partners that you can fly.

Book Awards With Cathay Pacific 

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Award zoneDistance in actual milesRequired miles
Economy ClassBusiness ClassFirst Class
010 – 1,00030,00055,00070,000
021,001 – 1,50030,00060,00080,000
031,501 – 2,00035,00065,00090,000
042,001 – 4,00035,00070,00095,000
054,001 – 7,50060,00090,000140,000
067,501 – 9,00065,000100,000150,000
079,001 – 10,00070,000110,000160,000
0810,001 – 14,00090,000135,000220,000
0914,001 – 18,000100,000155,000250,000
1018,001 – 20,000105,000165,000260,000
1120,001 – 25,000115,000185,000280,000
1225,001 – 35,000130,000210,000300,000
1335,001 – 50,000150,000240,000345,000

Cathay Pacific has a number of award charts. For flights to Frankfurt, you’ll use the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart. We recommend using Great Circle Mapper to calculate the distance of your flights.

Search for British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia flight availability on the British Airways/Qantas websites, confirm that same availability on the Cathay Pacific website, and then book the flight.

Search for American Airlines availability on the British Airways/Qantas websites, and then call Cathay Pacific at 866-892-2598 to search for and book the award ticket.

Hot Tip: The Cathay Pacific Asia Miles website doesn’t show all Oneworld availability. For American Airlines flights, you’ll need to find award availability on British Airways/Qantas, and then call Cathay Pacific to book the award flight. 

When you’ve located a flight that works for you, here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Oneworld round-trip flights to Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Frankfurt (FRA) — Round-Trip

Cabin ClassOneworldTaxes and Fees
Economy50,000-80000$158+
Business100,000-150000$158+

Earning Cathay Pacific Miles

Cathay Pacific makes it easy to earn enough airline miles for your next award flight to Frankfurt. The airline partners with 4 of the 5 transferable point programs in American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Marriott. Cathay Pacific also offers a co-branded credit card with a respectable sign-up bonus.

With Cathay Pacific’s transfer partners, it’s important to know the transfer times and ratios. American Express transfers take 7 days at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One transfers take up to 36 hours at a 1:1 ratio, Citi transfers take up to 24 hours at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott transfers take 10 days at a 3:1 ratio.

All of that to say we recommend transferring Citi ThankYou points to Cathay Pacific first.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Emirates First Class A380 - Seat with Amenities & Excitement
Use Alaska Airlines miles to fly Emirates! Image Credit: Alex Miller

Alaska Airlines provides value on a number of routes to Frankfurt. If you want to learn more about how valuable the Mileage Plan program is, check out our best ways to use Alaska Airlines miles.

Alaska Airlines is a member of Oneworld and also has individual partnerships with airlines that fly between the U.S. and Europe.

Book Awards With Alaska Airlines 

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American AirlinesEach Way
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe 
Business or first class57,500
First class85,000
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe May 16 – Oct. 14 
Coach30,000
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe Oct. 15 – May 15 
Coach22,500
 
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British AirwaysEach Way
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe 
Economy32,500
Premium coach42,500
Business60,000
First class70,000
 
 
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CondorEach Way
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe 
Economy low25,000
Economy medium30,000
Economy high40,000
Premium class45,000
Business55,000
 
 
 
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EmiratesEach Way
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe 
Economy47,500
Business105,000
First Class180,000
 
 
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FinnairEach Way
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe 
Economy30,000
Business70,000
 
 
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IcelandairEach Way
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe 
EconomyStarting at 35,000
Business55,000
Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Iceland 
EconomyStarting at 30,000
Business50,000
 
 
Alaska Airlines uses a zone-based award chart for each of its airline partners. This means that the number of miles required is driven by the zones of your travel and cabin class.

The airline partner that you fly will determine where you should search for an award flight. American Airlines, Condor, Emirates, and Icelandair award flights can be booked on the Alaska Airlines website. Search for Oneworld award flights on the British Airways/Qantas websites, confirm the same availability on the Alaska Airlines website, and book the flight.

Hot Tip: Alaska Airlines offers off-peak pricing for American Airlines economy flights from North America to Europe between October 15 and May 15. 

Below are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Alaska Airlines round-trip partner flights to Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Frankfurt (FRA) — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAlaska PartnersTaxes and Fees
Economy off-peak45,000-50,000$158+
Economy60,000-95,000$158+
Business110,000-210,000$158+
First140,000-360,000*$1,141+

*Emirates flies first class between New York (JFK) and Milan (MXP), and Newark (EWR) and Athens (ATH).

Earning Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines miles are much easier to earn than JAL miles. They can be earned by:

Before transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to Alaska Airlines, keep in mind the transfer ratio and transfer time. Marriott point transfers take 2 days at a 3:1 ratio.

Etihad Guest 

American Airlines Boeing 777 300 Flagship First seat 1A half reclined
Use Etihad miles to fly American Airlines first class. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Etihad Airways is similar to Alaska Airlines in that the program can be used in niche circumstances for flights to Europe. Etihad has partnerships with individual airlines, so the number of miles you’ll need will be driven by the partner award chart that you’re using.

Etihad is not a member of an airline alliance, however, the airline has a number of valuable airline partnerships. For example, using Etihad to fly American Airlines to Frankfurt can result in receiving a ton of value with your Etihad miles.

Book Awards With Etihad 

American Airlines

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RegionNorth America One-Way
EOEPB/FP
Europe20,00030,00050,00062,500

Brussels Airlines

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OriginDestinationEconomy One-WayBusiness One-Way
Brussels (BRU)New York (JFK)27,00044,000
Brussels (BRU)Toronto (YYZ)27,00044,000
Brussels (BRU)Washington (IAD)27,00044,000

Etihad uses a zone-based award chart for its airline partners with flights to Europe. American Airlines offers nonstop flights to Frankfurt. If you fly Brussels Airlines, you will need to book another flight to get to/from Frankfurt from Brussels.

Search for American Airlines award availability on the British Airways/Qantas websites. Brussels Airlines award flights can be found on United/Aeroplan. When you find an award flight on either airline that works for you, call Etihad Guest at 877-690-0767 to confirm award availability and book the flight.

Hot Tip: Etihad offers off-peak pricing for American Airlines economy flights from North America to Europe. Off-peak pricing is between October 15 and May 15.

Here are the redemption rates, taxes, and fees for American Airlines and Brussels Airlines round-trip partner flights to Europe/Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Europe/Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAmerican Airlines / Brussels AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy off-peak40,000$75+
Economy54,000-60,000$75+
Business88,000-100,000$75+

Earning Etihad Miles

Etihad has 4 transferable point program partners in American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Marriott. If you’re interested in earning points in these programs, check out our credit card recommendations below.

Before you transfer your points from these programs to Etihad, keep in mind that American Express transfers are instant at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One transfers take 36 hours at a 1:1 ratio, Citi transfers take 6 days at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott transfers take 5 days at a 3:1 ratio.

With that said, we recommend transferring Amex points to Etihad first for your next redemption.

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

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

 

LIMITED TIME OFFER
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 $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening - that’s equal to $1,000 in travel.
$250 Capital One Travel Credit + 75,000 miles
$1,600
$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 $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening – that’s equal to $1,000 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

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L rear view
Use American Airlines miles to fly American Airlines business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

American Airlines is one of the big 3 U.S. airlines (along with United Airlines and Delta Air Lines). Award flights offered by American won’t rank near the top in terms of value, so the key here is to use your miles when the cost of a flight is high.

American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance. This means that you can use American Airlines miles to fly American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia to Europe and/or Frankfurt.

Book Awards With American Airlines 

American Airlines Contiguous 48 U.S. States and Canada to Europe

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 MileSAAver Off PeakMileSAAverAAnytime Level 1AAnytime Level 2
Main Cabin22,50030,00047,50065,000
Business / First57,500110,000135,000
First85,000140,000175,000

Oneworld

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To:Main Cabin Off PeakMain CabinBusiness / FirstFirst
Europe22,50030,00057,50085,000

American Airlines uses zone-based award charts to determine the number of miles required. The award charts are driven by 3 factors: 1) zones you’re flying to and from, 2) cabin class, and 3) dates of travel. What’s unique about the American Airlines award charts is that you can fly to Europe in economy at off-peak prices.

American Airlines award flights can be booked on the American Airlines website. Search for Oneworld award flights on the British Airways/Qantas websites, confirm the same availability on the American Airlines website, and then book the award flight. Another option is to call American Airlines at 800-433-7300 to search for and book an award flight.

Hot Tip: When flying American Airlines’ own flights, its award program offers off-peak pricing in economy to Europe. The off-peak dates are January 10 to March 14 and November 1 to December 14. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for American Airlines and Oneworld round-trip flights to Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Europe/Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAmerican Airlines/OneworldTaxes and Fees
Economy off-peak45,000$193+
Economy60,000$193+
Business115,000$193+
First170,000$193+

Earning American Airlines Miles

American Airlines partners with 1 transferable point program in Marriott Bonvoy. In addition, the airline offers a number of ways to earn enough miles for your next trip to Frankfurt that include:

For those looking to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to American Airlines, point transfers take 2 days at a 3:1 ratio.

Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Bed
Use Asiana Miles to fly on Lufthansa First Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Asiana Airlines is an under-the-radar program that has valuable redemptions to Europe if you know where to look. The Asiana Airlines Asiana Club program uses a zone-based award chart when flying its airline partners.

Asiana Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can also use your miles for flights on partner airlines. Star Alliance airline partners that fly to Europe from the U.S. include Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Air Lines, TAP Portugal, and United Airlines.

For those looking to fly nonstop, Lufthansa and United are your 2 options.

Book Awards With Asiana Airlines 

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(Miles, Based on Round-Trip
OriginDestinationEconomyBusinessFirst
North AmericaEurope50,00080,000100,000

Asiana uses a zone-based award chart to determine the number of miles required. The zones you’re flying to and from and the cabin class will determine the number of Asiana miles that you’ll need.

Search for Star Alliance award availability on the Aeroplan/United websites, and then call Asiana Airlines at 800-227-4262 to confirm the award flight is available and book the flight.

Hot Tip: The Asiana Airlines website doesn’t allow you to search for Star Alliance award flight availability. Instead, use the Aeroplan/United websites.

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for both Star Alliance round-trip flights to Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassLufthansaTaxes and Fees
Economy50,000$497
Business80,000$1,183
First100,000$1,183*
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U.S. to Europe/Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassStar AllianceTaxes and Fees
Economy50,000$160+
Business80,000$160+
First100,000*$1,800*

*Singapore Airlines and Swiss Airlines first class can only be booked with each airline’s own miles respectively.

Earning Asiana Airlines Miles

Asiana Airlines offers a couple of ways to earn its miles for your next award flight to Frankfurt. The airline partners with 1 transferable point program in Marriott Bonvoy. Asiana also has co-branded credit cards that earn Asiana miles with your credit card spend.

If you decide to transfer Marriott points to Asiana, transfers take 10 days at a 3:1 ratio. Keep this in mind as you’ll need to be flexible on the dates of your travel as you wait for your points to transfer.

Air Canada Aeroplan

United Polaris Business Class
Use Aeroplan points to fly United business class. Image credit: Chris Hassan

Aeroplan lets you book award flights with all members of the Star Alliance for some excellent value. This means that you can book Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Air Lines, TAP Portugal, and United Airlines to Europe and/or Frankfurt.

Book Awards With Aeroplan 

Search for Star Alliance award flight availability on the Aeroplan website and then book the flight. Alternatively, you can search for award availability on the United website, confirm the same availability on the Aeroplan website, and then book the flight. You can also call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 to search for and book the flight.

Hot Tip:Aeroplan doesn’t show Singapore Airlines award availability. Instead, use the Singapore Airlines/United websites to find business class award space, and then call Aeroplan to book the ticket. Singapore Airlines first class flights can only be booked with Singapore Airlines miles. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Star Alliance round-trip flights to Europe and/or Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Europe/Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassStar Alliance
Economy80,000
Business140,000
First240,000*

*Singapore Airlines and Swiss Airlines first class can only be booked with their own airline miles respectively.

Earning Aeroplan Points

Aeroplan offers a couple of ways to earn airline points for your next award flight to Frankfurt. The airline partners with 4 transferable point programs in Amex, Chase, Capital One, and Marriott. In addition, Air Canada offers a co-branded credit card where you earn miles directly with your credit card spend.

Before transferring your points to Aeroplan, keep in mind the transfer times and ratios. American Express and Chase transfers are instant at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One transfers are instant at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott transfers take 5 days at a 3:1 ratio. With that said, we recommend transferring Amex and Capital One miles to Aeroplan first.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Suites First Class - Couples Dining
Use Singapore miles to fly Singapore Airlines first class! Image Credit: Alex Miller

The Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program receives its fair share of attention because of the premium product offered by Singapore Airlines. KrisFlyer uses a zone-based award chart when flying Singapore Airlines or its partner flights.

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance. So you can use Singapore Airlines miles for Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance partner flights to Europe and/or Frankfurt. Star Alliance airline partners with flights to Europe include Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Air Lines, TAP Portugal, and United Airlines.

Book Awards With Singapore Airlines 

Singapore Airlines

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 ZONE 11: Europe
ZONE 13: U.S. (East Coast and Houston) 
Economy45,000
Premium economy94,000
Business144,000
First172,000

Star Alliance

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 Origin
 Europe
DestinationEconomyBusinessFirst
North America90,000184,000281,000

Virgin Atlantic

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 Origin
 Europe
DestinationEconomyPremium EconomyUpper Class
North America50,000130,000170,000

The number of KrisFlyer miles you’ll need is based on the zones of your travel and your cabin class. Simply refer to the award charts above to see the number of miles required.

Search for and book Singapore Airlines award flights on the Singapore Airlines website. Use the United Airlines/Aeroplan websites to search for Star Alliance award flights, confirm the same availability on the Singapore Airlines website, and then book the flight.

Virgin Atlantic award flights can be found on the Aeroplan website. When you find a flight that works, call Virgin Atlantic at 800-742-3333 to confirm the award availability and book the flight.

Hot Tip: Singapore Airlines first class award availability departing from the U.S. will be difficult to find. If you’re looking to fly Singapore Airlines first class, consider flights arriving into the U.S. or other Singapore Airlines flights around the world. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Singapore Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

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New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) — Round-Trip*
Cabin ClassSingapore AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy45,000$160
Premium Economy94,000$160
Business144,000$160
First172,000$160

*Singapore Airlines also flies from Houston (IAH) to Manchester

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U.S. to Europe/Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassStar AllianceTaxes and Fees
Economy90,000$160+
Business184,000$160+
First281,000$1,183+

Earning Singapore Airlines Miles

Singapore Airlines makes it easy to earn its miles for an award flight redemption. The airline partners with all 5 transferable point programs: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, and Marriott. The airline doesn’t have a co-branded credit card but has quite a few travel partners that allow you to earn points when you spend with them.

(For more on this topic, see our guides on: Amex Transfer Partners, Capital One Transfer Partners, Citi Transfer Partners, Chase Transfer Partners and finally, Marriott’s Transfer Partners.)

With its 5 transferable point program partnerships, it’s helpful to know the transfer times and ratios. American Express transfers take 1-2 days at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One transfers take 36 hours at a 1:1 ratio, Chase transfers are instant at a 1:1 ratio, Citi transfers take 2 days at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott transfers take 6 days at a 3:1 ratio. In short, we recommend transferring Chase points to Singapore Airlines first.

ANA Mileage Club 

Lufthansa Business Class Seat
Use ANA miles to fly Lufthansa business class. Image Credit: Stoyan Yotov via Shutterstock

ANA is another Asian program that can provide value for flights to Europe and/or Frankfurt. The ANA Mileage Club program uses a zone-based award chart when flying ANA or its partner airline flights.

ANA is a member of the Star Alliance. As previously mentioned, the Star Alliance offers a number of flights to Europe. However, if you’re looking for the quickest route, Lufthansa and United Airlines are the 2 airline partner with nonstop flights.

Book Awards With ANA 

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 Class of ServiceDestination
Departure Point Europe (Zone 7)
North America (Zone 6)Economy55,000
 Business88,000
 First165,000

ANA uses a zone-based award chart for its partner airline flights. The number of miles that you’ll need is based on your zones of travel, cabin class, and travel dates.

Search for Star Alliance award flights on the United Airlines website, confirm the same availability on the ANA website, and then book the flight.

Hot Tip: ANA requires you to book round-trip partner award flights, so you’ll only be able to search that way on ANA’s website. The United Airlines website allows you to search for one-way flights making the award search process easier. 

When you’ve found a route that works for you, below are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for round-trip Star Alliance flights to Frankfurt: 

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U.S. to Europe/Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassStar AllianceTaxes and Fees
Economy55,000$160+
Business88,000$160+
First165,000$1,183+

Earning ANA Miles

ANA offers several ways to earn ANA miles for your next award flight to Frankfurt. The airline partners with 2 transferable point programs in American Express and Marriott. ANA also offers a co-branded credit card with a small sign-up bonus.

If you’re transferring points from one of these programs, know that American Express transfers take 3 days at a 1:1 ratio and Marriott transfers take 7 days at a 3:1 ratio. With that said, we recommend transferring Amex points to ANA first.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Delta One Suites A350-900 Sitting Photo
Use Virgin Points to fly Delta. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Virgin Atlantic is a niche award program that works great for nonstop Delta flights to Frankfurt. The Flying Club program uses a zone-based award chart when flying Delta to Europe/Frankfurt.

Virgin Atlantic isn’t a member of an airline alliance but instead has individual airline partnerships similar to Etihad. Delta is its airline partner with flights to Frankfurt from a select number of U.S. cities.

Book Awards With Virgin Atlantic 

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RouteDelta Main CabinBusiness / First
From U.S. to Europe60,000100,000

Virgin Atlantic and Delta have 1 award chart that you’ll use, but unfortunately, it’s no longer available on the Virgin Atlantic website. However, the award chart above shows the number of miles that you’ll need to pay.

You can typically search for Delta award flights on the Virgin Atlantic website. In this case, Frankfurt isn’t a city that you search flights to or from the U.S. Instead, search for Delta flights on the Delta/Flying Blue websites, and then call Virgin Atlantic at 800-365-9500 to confirm the flight availability and book the flight.

Hot Tip: Virgin Atlantic is an excellent program to use for those looking to fly Delta Air Lines for fewer miles than you’ll see on the Delta website. 

When you’ve found a Delta flight that works for you, below are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Delta round-trip flights to Frankfurt:

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U.S. to Frankfurt — Round-Trip
Cabin ClassDeltaTaxes and Fees
Economy60,000$51
Business1000,000$51

Earning Virgin Points

Virgin Atlantic is another program that makes it easy to earn its airline points for your next award flight to Frankfurt. The airline partners with American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Marriott. Virgin Atlantic also offers a co-branded credit card with a respectable sign-up bonus.

Before transferring points to Virgin Atlantic, it’s important to know the transfer times and ratios. American Express transfers take up to 2 days at a 1:1 ratio, Chase transfers are instant at a 1:1 ratio, Citi transfers take up to 2 days at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott transfers take 1 day at a 3:1 ratio. We recommend transferring Chase points to Virgin Atlantic first.

Final Thoughts

Flying to Frankfurt in a premium cabin can be a great way to start off your European vacation. The airport also offers long-haul flights across the world, making this city an ideal jumping off point to Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific.

With Lufthansa based in Germany, Singapore Airlines flying nonstop to Frankfurt from New York (even in their Suites class), and the major U.S. airlines flying nonstop to Frankfurt, you have plenty of ways to find an award flight to Frankfurt!

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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Lufthansa includes carrier-imposed surcharges on flights. You should see very small surcharges (if any) on American Airlines flights to Frankfurt.

What is the fewest number of miles you can use to book an economy class award flight to Frankfurt?

Etihad requires the fewest number of miles to fly American Airlines economy, at 40,000-miles round-trip to Frankfurt.

What is the fewest number of miles required to fly business class to Frankfurt?

Asiana requires the fewest number of miles to fly Lufthansa business class, at 80,000-miles round-trip to Frankfurt.

What is the fewest number miles required to fly first class to Frankfurt?

Asiana offers the fewest number of miles to fly Lufthansa first class, at 100,000 miles round-trip to Frankfurt.

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About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn’t travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since.

Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend’s phone about a mistake fare.  That’s where the love affair with points and miles began.

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