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The Best Ways to Fly to Ireland with Points and Miles

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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

92 Published Articles 660 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

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

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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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Situated west of Great Britain, Ireland is an island in western Europe with its capital located in Dublin. The country is home to delicious Guinness beer and incredible medieval castles. Ireland is nicknamed “Emerald Isle” due to its green landscape that’s evident in any picture you see of the country.

Ireland has 2 major airports that you can fly into from the U.S.: Dublin Airport (DUB) in northwest Ireland and Shannon Airport (SNN) in southwest Ireland. You also have the option to connect at these airports and then onto one of the regional airports in the country.

Best Programs to Use to Book Flights

What makes booking award flights to Ireland great is that you have tons of options. Not only can you fly nonstop from the U.S., but you also have the option to connect through Europe.

Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance partner airlines all fly to Ireland from the U.S. In addition, you have airlines outside of the major alliances that will help you get there.

As you review each flight option, note that the award pricing shown is for round-trip flights. Some award programs allow you to book one-way flights, which will provide even more flexibility. With that said, let’s dive in!

Air Canada Aeroplan

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Cabin ClassStar Alliance Airlines Miles CostTaxes & Fees
Economy80,000$39+
Business140,000$39+

Aeroplan offers solid redemption pricing on both Economy and Business class flights to Europe. Better yet, you can add stopovers in other European cities for no extra mileage cost.

Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Air Lines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines offer flights between the U.S. and Europe. When you’re ready to book a flight, here are a couple of examples of flights that you can book to Dublin (DUB):

  • Newark (EWR) – Dublin (DUB) for 140,000 Aeroplan points round-trip in United Airlines business class
  • Chicago (ORD) – Lisbon (LIS) – Dublin (DUB) for 80,000 Aeroplan points round-trip in TAP Portugal economy
  • Washington (IAD) – Dublin (DUB) for 140,000 Aeroplan points round-trip in United Airlines business class

With enough Aeroplan points in your account, you’ll want to follow these steps to book your flight:

  1. Search for flights on United Airlines.
  2. Confirm the same availability on Aeroplan.
  3. Book the award flight online.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning Aeroplan Points

It’s relatively easy to earn Aeroplan points since the program is an Amex airline partner, along with Chase Ultimate RewardsCapital One, and Marriott Bonvoy. Aeroplan also has a co-branded credit card that allows you to earn Aeroplan points with your spend.

If you’re looking to transfer points from American Express, Capital One, and/or Marriott, the transfer times and transfer ratios will be different. Amex, Capital One, and Chase points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio and Marriott point transfers take 7 days at a 3:1 ratio.

With Marriott, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus with every 60,000 points that you transfer.

You can also opt to acquire the co-branded Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card, which earns 3x points per dollar spent on dining, groceries, and Air Canada, as well as 1x point per $1 spent everywhere else.

Aer Lingus AerClub

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Cabin ClassANA Miles CostTaxes & Fees
Economy Off-Peak26,000$266+
Business100,000$266+

Aer Lingus is likely the first program many travelers think to use to book flights to Ireland. The good news is that during off-peak dates, the AerClub program offers competitive award prices, particularly for those who want to fly economy.

The Aer Lingus airline currency Avios is the same currency used by British Airways, Qatar Airways, and Iberia. For flights between the U.S. and Ireland, you’ll want to book Aer Lingus flights on the Avios website.

Hot Tip: Book award flights during off-peak dates in the Aer Lingus award calendar, occurring during most of January, February, March, May, September, October, and November. 

With your travel dates picked out, consider booking these Aer Lingus flights:

  • Boston (BOS) – Dublin (DUB) for 26,000 Avios on Aer Lingus economy
  • New York (JFK) – Shannon (SNN) for 100,000 Avios on Aer Lingus business class
  • Chicago (ORD) – Dublin (DUB) for 100,000 Avios on Aer Lingus business class

The process to book Aer Lingus is straightforward:

  1. Search for flights on the Avios website.
  2. Book the award flight online.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning Aer Lingus Avios (Miles)

Aer Lingus makes it easy to earn Avios because the airline partners with American Express and Chase where points both transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio. You can also earn Avios by putting your spend on an Aer Lingus credit card or you can even combine your Avios from your British Airways, Qatar Airways, and Iberia loyalty accounts.

Bottom Line: Aer Lingus offers one of the cheapest ways to fly between the U.S. and Ireland in economy. 

ANA Mileage Club

United Polaris Business Class
Traveling in business class is one of the best ways to maximize your frequent flyer awards. Image credit: Chris Hassan
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Cabin ClassANA Miles CostTaxes & Fees
Economy55,000$87+
Business88,000$87+

Another Star Alliance program to keep your eye on is ANA Mileage Club. ANA has several high-value award flights that you can book including flights between the U.S. and Europe.

The 2 main drawbacks when using ANA miles is that ANA partner flights must be booked round-trip and fuel surcharges are passed on. With that said, there’s plenty of upside if you know which airline partner flights to book.

Hot Tip: It’s best to use United to search for Star Alliance award flights first. From there, it’ll be easier to search the ANA website with the award flights that you found on United. 

Below are a couple of options to consider when you have the required number of Mileage Club miles in your ANA account:

  • Washington (IAD) – Dublin (DUB) for 55,000 ANA miles in United business class
  • Houston (IAH) – Manchester (MAN) for 55,000 ANA miles in Singapore Airlines economy
  • Denver (DEN) – Newark (EWR) – Shannon (SNN) for 88,000 ANA in United business class

With the Singapore Airlines flight to Manchester, we recommend a couple of options to get all the way to Ireland. You can book a cheap cash flight between Manchester and Dublin or use 4,000 Avios to fly one-way during off-peak dates in Aer Lingus or British Airways economy.

For those of you with enough ANA miles, follow these steps to book your next award flight:

  1. Search for flights on United.
  2. Confirm the same availability on ANA.
  3. Book the flight online.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning ANA Miles

ANA partners with American Express and Marriott Bonvoy, so the easiest way to earn ANA miles is to transfer your points from these programs to ANA. Unlike many airline programs, ANA doesn’t offer co-branded credit cards for the U.S. market.

If you have enough American Express and/or Marriott points to book a flight, the Amex point transfers take 2-3 days at a 1:1 ratio and Marriott point transfers take 7 days at a 3:1 ratio. With that said, below are the American Express credit cards that we recommend considering:

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? See our list of the best Amex business credit cards.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking to book one-way Star Alliance award flights, Aeroplan and United Airlines will provide you with this option. 

Asiana Airlines Asiana Club

Asiana Airlines A380 First Class Seat 2A - Cherag Dubash
Asiana A380 First Class Suites. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
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Cabin ClassAsiana Miles CostTaxes & Fees 
Economy50,000$87+
Business80,000$87+

Our third Star Alliance program to cover is Asiana Airlines Asiana Club. Asiana Airlines is based in South Korea and has an award program that typically doesn’t receive much coverage. That’s unfortunate because the program has a ton of value.

It’s important to note that a phone call is required to book Star Alliance partner airline flights. In addition, you’ll need to use the United website to search for flights as the Asiana website doesn’t allow you to search for Star Alliance flights.

Hot Tip: Asiana Airlines flights can be booked online but all Star Alliance partner flights require that you call Asiana to book the flight. 

If using Asiana miles makes sense for you, here’s a couple of Star Alliance flight options:

  • Newark (EWR) – Lisbon (LIS) – Dublin (DUB) for 50,000 Asiana miles in TAP Portugal business class
  • Chicago (ORD) – Dublin (DUB) for 80,000 Asiana miles in United business class
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Zurich (ZRH) – Shannon (SNN) in Swiss business class

Booking flights with Asiana isn’t the easiest, so use the steps below to help in the process:

  1. Search for flight award availability on United.
  2. Write down all the flight information.
  3. Call Asiana Airlines at 800-227-4262 between 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST on Monday-Friday.
  4. Book the flight over the phone.
  5. Pay the taxes and fees over the phone.

Earning Asiana Miles

Asiana Airlines only partners with Marriott Bonvoy so it can be challenging to earn Asiana Airlines miles. Point transfers take 10 days at a ratio of 3:1. Separately, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus when transferring 60,000 Marriott points.

We cover the large number of Marriott credit cards available in our detailed guide.

British Airways Executive Club

Burren Way Clare Ireland
Image Credit: Pioneermedia via Unsplash
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Cabin ClassBritish Airways Oneworld Cost Taxes and Fees
Economy41,500$88+
Business124,000$88+
First165,000$88+

British Airways Executive Club is a program many U.S. travelers are familiar with due to the ability to book American Airlines flights. British Airways uses a distance-based award chart and prices award flights on a segment basis. This means that connecting flights require additional miles. For flights between the U.S. and Ireland, you’ll want to fly American and Iberia due to the fuel surcharges when flying British Airways.

One of the main drawbacks of using the British Airways website is that it shows phantom American Airlines award space. Based on a recent experience, 15 American Airlines seats were shown on the British Airways website yet only 1 seat was available to be booked.

Hot Tip: British Airways is one of the best search engines to use for Oneworld award flights. Another option is to use the Qantas website. 

When you’re ready to make a trip to Ireland, consider flying one of these routes:

  • Charlotte (CLT) – Dublin (DUB) for 41,500 British Airways Avios in American Airlines economy
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Shannon (SNN) for 41,500 British Airways Avios in American Airlines economy
  • Chicago (ORD) – Dublin (DUB) for 41,500 British Airways Avios in American Airlines economy

Booking flights with British Airways is pretty simple:

  1. Search for award availability on British Airways.
  2. Book the flight online.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning British Airways Avios

It’s easy to earn British Airways Avios because the airline has partnerships with American Express, Chase, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy. In addition, British Airways has a co-branded credit card that earns Avios (miles) directly with your spend.

For those looking to transfer Amex, Capital One, or Chase points, the points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott point transfers take 24 hours at a 3:1 ratio. With every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus.

If you’re looking to earn Chase points, consider applying for these credit cards that we recommend:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® 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 fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$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)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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 top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$550
22.49%-29.49% 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.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Business owner? See our list of the best Chase business cards.

Bottom Line: We recommend calling British Airways before transferring points to book an American Airlines flight. It’s widely known that the award flights shown on British Airways do not match what is available to be booked. 

Etihad Guest

American Airlines 777 Flagship Business Class GIG MIA
Use Etihad miles to fly American Airlines business class.  Image Credit: Chris Hassan
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Cabin ClassEtihad Miles (American) Cost Taxes & Fees
Economy Off-Peak40,000$88+
Economy60,000$88+
Business100,000$88+
First125,000$338+
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Cabin ClassEtihad Miles (Brussels) Cost Taxes & Fees
Economy44,000$522
Business88,000$522

Etihad is our first award program that’s not in a major airline alliance. With Etihad, you’re booking flights on its partner airlines that span the major airline alliances.

One of the main drawbacks of Etihad is that partner airline flights can’t be booked online. Fortunately, the Etihad agents are competent and will help you book flights over the phone.

Hot Tip: Etihad doesn’t allow you to book partner airline flights on its website. You’ll need to call Etihad Guest to book these flights. 

Note in the first example below you’ll need to book another flight between Brussels and Dublin as Brussels Airlines doesn’t fly between the 2 cities. The taxes and fees to fly Brussels Airlines are also substantially more expensive.

  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Brussels (BRU) for 88,000 Etihad miles in Brussels business class
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Dublin (DUB) for 40,000 Etihad miles in American Airlines economy
  • Charlotte (CLT) – Dublin (DUB) for 100,000 Etihad miles in American Airlines business class

With the Brussels Airlines flight to Brussels, we recommend a cheap miles or points flight continuing on to Ireland.

Depending on the partner that you fly, the process to book flights will differ. Below are the steps we recommend:

  1. Search for American Airlines flights on British Airways.
  2. Search for Brussels Airlines flights on United.
  3. Write down all of the flight details.
  4. Call Etihad at 877-690-0767 to confirm award availability.
  5. Book the flight over the phone.
  6. Pay the taxes and fees over the phone.

Earning Etihad Guest Miles

Earning Etihad Guest miles is easy because the airline partners with American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Marriott Bonvoy. When points are earned in these programs, you can transfer them directly to Etihad to book an award flight.

If you decide to transfer points, keep these transfer ratios and transfer times in mind: American Express points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One point transfers take 36 hours at 1:1 ratio, Citi point transfers take 6 days at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott point transfers take 5 days at a 3:1 ratio.

Unfortunately, Etihad doesn’t have credit cards for the U.S. market, so earning points in these programs will be one of the easiest ways to obtain Etihad Guest miles.

For those of you wanting to earn Capital One Miles, here are the credit cards that we like:

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 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

 

Bottom Line: Using Etihad miles allows you to fly American Airlines at cheaper rates than you’d otherwise pay using your American Airlines miles. 

Iberia Avios

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Cabin ClassIberia Avios Cost (Iberia)Taxes and Fees
Economy Off-Peak42,500$121+
Business Off-Peak85,000$121+

Iberia is our second Oneworld airline member that you can use for flights to Europe. U.S. travelers are likely familiar with Iberia because you can use Iberia Avios (miles) to book American Airlines award flights.

One of the main drawbacks with Iberia is that American Airlines flights must be booked round-trip. However, for this redemption you’re flying Iberia so you have the option to book one-way flights if needed.

Hot Tip: British Airways and Iberia offer ways for you to book American Airlines award flights. With British Airways, you have more flexibility because you can book a one-way American Airlines flight. 

When weighing the fuel surcharges, award pricing, and routing, we recommend flying Iberia during its off-peak award dates.

  • Boston (BOS) – Madrid (MAD) – Dublin (DUB) for 42,500 Iberia Avios in Iberia economy
  • Chicago (ORD) – Madrid (MAD) – Dublin (DUB) for 85,000 Iberia Avios in Iberia business class
  • Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD) – Dublin (DUB) for 85,000 Iberia Avios in Iberia business class

If you’re ready to book a flight, these steps will help make the process easier:

  1. Search for Iberia flights on Iberia.
  2. Book the award flight online.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning Iberia Avios (Miles)

You’ll have no problem earning Iberia Avios because the airline has partnerships with American Express, Chase, and Marriott Bonvoy. The points earned in these programs can be transferred directly to Iberia.

Transfer times and transfer ratios are always important to keep in mind as they will be different depending on the program that you use: American Express point transfers take 2 days at a 1:1 ratio, Chase points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott point transfers take 24-36 hours at a 3:1 ratio. With every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus.

Another way to earn Iberia Avios is by putting your spend on its co-branded Chase credit card. By combining the Avios earned from its credit card with the transferable points from Amex, Chase, and Marriott, you’ll be well on your way to your next award flight.

Bottom Line: U.S. travelers should always consider flying Iberia to Europe during off-peak dates. Iberia offers one of the cheapest options for both economy and business class. 

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Cliffs of Moher Ireland
Image Credit: Hocraveiro via Unsplash
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Cabin ClassJapan Airlines Cost (American)Taxes and Fees
Economy40,000$45+
Business80,000$45+
First100,000$45+

Yet another Oneworld member with award flight options to Ireland is Japan Airlines. What’s great about Japan Airlines is that you can fly to Ireland at competitive rates with low taxes and fees.

The main downside of using Japan Airlines miles to book these flights is that the miles are hard to earn. However, if you can find an avenue to earn them, you will unlock serious value.

Hot Tip: Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart. We recommend using Great Circle Mapper to calculate and confirm the distance of your flight before searching for award flights. 

American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia are the airline partners with flights that you can book. We recommend flights like the ones below to reduce the taxes and fees you’ll see when flying British Airways:

  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Shannon (SNN) for 80,000 Japan Airlines miles in American Airlines business class
  • New York (JFK) – Madrid (MAD) – Dublin (DUB) for 50,000 Japan Airlines miles in Iberia economy
  • Dallas (DFW) – Charlotte (CLT) – Dublin (DUB) for 85,000 Japan Airlines miles in American Airlines business class

The steps below will likely be helpful when you’re ready to book an award flight:

  1. Search for flights on British Airways.
  2. Confirm the same award availability on Japan Airlines.
  3. Book the award flight online.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning Japan Airlines Miles

Earning Japan Airlines miles is tough because the airline only has 1 partnership with Marriott Bonvoy. In addition, the U.S. market does not have access to co-branded Japan Airlines credit cards.

If you do have Marriott points and want to transfer them to Japan Airlines, the transfer time takes 2 days at a 3:1 ratio. Also, with every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile transfer bonus.

Bottom Line: Japan Airlines offers a great option to book Oneworld flights to Europe. The issue many have is earning enough Japan Airlines miles to book an award flight. 

Korean Air SKYPASS

Delta One Suites A350-900 seat 8B
Use Korean Air miles to fly  Delta One. Image Credit: Stephen Au
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Cabin ClassKorean Air Cost Taxes and Fees
Economy50,000$232+
Business80,000$232+

For those of you looking to leverage the SkyTeam alliance, Korean Air is an interesting option. The South Korea-based airline has competitive rates to fly in both economy and business class to Ireland.

You’ll be using a zone-based award chart when flying SkyTeam airline partners. This means that it’ll cost the same number of miles to fly between the U.S. and Ireland, no matter the departing U.S. city.

Hot Tip: We recommend starting your award search on Air France, Delta, and KLM for SkyTeam award flights. 

Below are a couple of SkyTeam options when you have enough miles in your SKYPASS account:

  • New York (JFK) – Shannon (SNN) for 50,000 Korean Air miles in Delta economy
  • Detroit (DTW) – Paris (CDG) – Dublin (DUB) for 80,000 Korean Air miles in Air France business class
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Dublin (DUB) for 80,000 Korean Air miles in Delta business class

With Korean Air, the process to book award flights is as follows:

  1. Search for SkyTeam flights on Air France, Delta, or KLM.
  2. Write down all of your flight information.
  3. Confirm the same availability on Korean Air’s website or call Korean Air 800-438-5000 to confirm availability.
  4. Book the flight online or over the phone.
  5. Pay for taxes and fees.

Earning Korean Air SKYPASS Miles

Like Japan Airlines, Korean Air has only 1 transferable partner and that’s Marriott Bonvoy. What’s different about Korean Air is that U.S. residents can earn Korean Air miles from a co-branded Korean Air credit card.

For those of you looking to transfer Marriott points, the transfer ratio is 3:1 and points take 7 days to transfer.

Bottom Line: Korean Air will be one of your best SkyTeam options. We also recommend checking Air France, Delta, and KLM to see how many miles each airline program requires for your flight. 

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Temple Bar in Dublin Ireland
Image Credit: Diogopalhais via Unsplash
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Cabin ClassVirgin Atlantic Cost Taxes & Fees
Economy60,000$47+
Business100,000$47+

Our last non-alliance airline to mention is Virgin Atlantic. Like Etihad, Virgin Atlantic has partnerships with individual airlines. Not all of the award rates are competitive, but flights to Europe are ones that you should consider.

For flights to Ireland, the airline partner you’ll fly is Delta. You’ll want to focus on the nonstop Delta flights as any connections require additional Virgin Points.

Hot Tip: You may not be able to book all Delta flights on Virgin Atlantic. If you’re not able to book the flight, the process to book over the phone is easy. 

With Delta flights to Ireland, here are a couple of interesting flights to book:

  • Boston (BOS) – Dublin (DUB) for 100,000 Virgin Points in Delta business class
  • New York (JFK) – Shannon (SNN) for 60,000 Virgin Points in Delta economy
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Dublin (DUB) for 100,000 Virgin Points in Delta business class

If your Delta destination shows up on Virgin Atlantic:

  1. Search for Delta on Virgin Atlantic.
  2. Book the flight online.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees.

If your destination doesn’t show up on Virgin Atlantic:

  1. Search for Delta on Air France, Delta, or KLM.
  2. Write down your flight information.
  3. Call Virgin Atlantic at 800-365-9500 to book the flight.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning Virgin Points

You’ll have no problem earning Virgin Points because the airline partners with American Express, Chase, Citi, and Marriott Bonvoy. You can transfer points in these programs directly to Virgin Atlantic.

If you do have transferable points, here are the transfer ratios and transfer times: Amex point transfers take 1-2 days at a 1:1 ratio, Chase points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio, Citi point transfers take 2 days at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott point transfers take 1 day at a 3:1 ratio. You’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles when transferring 60,000 Marriott points.

Another way to earn Virgin Points is by spending on its co-branded credit cards. A combination of its credit cards and transferable points will ensure you have plenty of miles for your next flight to Ireland.

See our article on the best Citi credit cards if you’re looking to earn Citi ThankYou Points.

Bottom Line: Air New Zealand, ANA, and Delta are some of the top Virgin Atlantic airline partners that will help you to receive value with your Virgin Points. 

Final Thoughts

Ireland is a great place to visit, particularly during the U.S. summer months. Not only is the country beautiful, but its location makes it easy to travel to Europe via a quick flight.

To ensure you have plenty of miles for your next trip to Ireland, check out the transferable point programs in American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Marriott Bonvoy. The points earned in these programs will help you to continually unlock value.

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 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

Which Oneworld airline program offers the cheapest economy and business class to Ireland?

Japan Airlines is the program to use to book the cheapest Oneworld economy flights to Ireland.

For business class, you’ll want to also look at Japan Airlines to book the cheapest Oneworld flight to Ireland.

Which Star Alliance airline program offers the cheapest economy and business class to Ireland?

Asiana Airlines will be your cheapest option if you’re looking to fly a Star Alliance economy or business class flight.

Which SkyTeam airline program offers the cheapest economy and business class to Ireland?

Korean Air offers the cheapest SkyTeam economy and business class flights in this article. We also recommend checking the award pricing shown on Air France, Delta, and KLM.

Which non-alliance airline program offers the cheapest economy and business class to Ireland?

Aer Lingus is your cheapest economy flight option out of the airlines not in a major alliance.

Aer Lingus, Etihad, and Virgin Atlantic all have the cheapest business class option for nonstop flights to Ireland.

Michael McHugh's image

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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