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

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Temples, palaces, bullet trains, skiing, and gourmet restaurants are just a slice of what awaits you in Japan. From its capital in Tokyo to Okinawa, Kyoto, Osaka, and Sapporo, Japan offers several cities worth visiting — especially if you can pay for your flight with points or miles.

From the U.S., travelers can fly nonstop to 2 major airports: Haneda (HND) and Narita (NRT). HND is south of Tokyo, with fewer nonstop options from the U.S., while NRT is a bit farther east of Tokyo, with a few more nonstop options from the U.S.

Best Rewards Programs for Booking Flights to Japan

U.S. travelers have no problem booking flights to Japan, with several flight options no matter where you live in the U.S.

Airlines in Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance all offer flights between the U.S. and Japan — great news, as members in any of these have several ways to use their points and miles.

Flights booked through All Nippon Airways’ MileageClub program must be booked round-trip. All other programs listed allow flights to be booked one-way.

With that said, let’s dive into the award options to book your next flight to Japan!

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

ANA First Class Cabin, Boeing 777,
Use Virgin Points to fly ANA first class to Japan. Image Credit: Alex Miller

In early 2023, Virgin Atlantic joined the SkyTeam alliance, which ANA is not a part of. However, Virgin Atlantic has a partnership with ANA that’s not part of any alliance.

The Flying Club program offers insane value when booking partner ANA-operated flights to Japan. Although there was a major devaluation of the program earlier this year, it remains a viable option to fly between the U.S. and Japan.

Here’s the updated award chart for ANA flights booked through Virgin Atlantic:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Cabin ClassANA Miles Cost Taxes and Fees
Economy60,000 to 65,000$272+
Business90,000 to 95,000$272+
First145,000 to 170,000$272+

A major downside to this redemption is that ANA award flights can’t be booked on the Virgin Atlantic website.

Hot Tip:

Look for frequent transfer bonuses from bank programs such as Chase and American Express to Virgin Atlantic.

Here are a couple of ANA award flight options, among many, that you can use Virgin Points to book:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) — Narita (NRT) for 90,000 Virgin Points in ANA business class
  • New York (JFK) — Haneda (HND) for 170,000 Virgin Points in ANA first class

With the Virgin Points in your account, use these steps to book the flight:

  1. Search for saver award space for ANA-operated flights on United Airlines.
  2. Write down the flight details, including time, date, and flight number.
  3. Call Virgin Atlantic at 800-365-9500 to book the flight.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning Virgin Points

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

If you want to use transferable points, keep these transfer ratios and transfer times in mind:

  • Amex Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio and take 1 to 2 days.
  • Capital One Miles transfers transfer at a 1:1 ratio and transfer instantly (via Virgin Red).
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio and transfer instantly.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio and take 2 days.
  • Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio. With every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you receive 5,000 bonus miles. Transfers take 1 day.

Virgin Atlantic also has co-branded credit cards that earn miles directly with your everyday spending.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

POPULAR FIRST CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
60,000 points
$1,200
$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)
  • 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel worldwide
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024), plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
  • Excellent travel and car rental insurance
  • 10% annual bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 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 Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel.
60,000 points
$1,200
$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
  • 5x points on airfare booked through Chase TravelSM
  • 3x points on all other travel and dining purchases; 1x point on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS credit
  • Access to Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
  • Rental car elite status with National and Avis

Cons

  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $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 Travel℠ 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 Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 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 Pass™ 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: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Bottom Line:

Booking ANA award flights with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a great way to fly between the U.S. and Japan. Look out for frequent transfer bonuses from programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Greg Stone - Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Business Class
Use Alaska Airlines miles to fly Cathay Pacific business class to Japan. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is an incredible award program that you should consider when booking award flights to Japan. Alaska Airlines is in the Oneworld Alliance with other partners such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways, among others.

Alaska has one major perk with its loyalty program: the ability to book stopovers.

In late 2022, Alaska revamped its award charts, including those for partner airlines. Let’s take a look at the current international award rates for flights to Japan:

SCROLL FOR MORE
InternationalEconomy starting from:Premium starting from:Business starting from:First starting from:
Asia30,00040,00050,00070,000
Hot Tip:

Check out our guide on the best ways to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for maximum value.

With enough Alaska Airlines miles in your Mileage Plan account, here are a couple of flights to consider booking:

  • New York (JFK) – Haneda (HND) from 100,000 Alaska miles in Japan Airlines business class round-trip
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Narita (NRT) from 140,000 Alaska miles in Japan Airlines first class round-trip
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Haneda (HND) from 140,000 Alaska miles in Cathay Pacific first class round-trip

When you’re ready to book your flight, follow the steps below for the booking process on partner flights with airlines such as American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines.

  1. Search for award flights on Alaska Airlines.
  2. Book the flight online.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees that include a $12.50 partner award flight booking fee.
Hot Tip:

Cathay Pacific first class is considered one of the best first class products in the world. Check out our guide on the best ways to book Cathay Pacific First Class using points and miles.

Earning Alaska Airlines Miles

Earning Alaska Airlines miles can be difficult as they only have one major transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, and with every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you receive 5,000 bonus miles.

With that said, these are the Marriott cards we recommend:

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

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

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

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

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

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

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

Pros

  • Up to 14x points per $1 on Marriott purchases
  • 2x points per $1 on travel purchases
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each year (automatically gives you Silver Elite status)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Lower point earn rate than other Marriott Bonvoy cards
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status is the lowest status tier
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.49%–28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

LIMITED TIME OFFER
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

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

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

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
Earn 5 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
Earn 5 Free Night Awards
$1,750
$95
21.49%–28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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

Pros

  • Earn big when you use your card at thousands of participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Earn big at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
  • 1 Free Night Award each cardmember anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points)
  • One year complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Marriott Silver status is the lowest status tier
  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite status, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.49%–28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

NEW 155K OFFER
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

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

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

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

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

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
Earn 155,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
155,000 points
$1,085
$250
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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

Pros

  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • 15 Elite Night Credits per year
  • 1,000 bonus points per paid stay
  • 1 Free Night Award (up to 50,000 points) when you spend $15,000 on the card in a year
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $250 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
  • Earn 155,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit, available for Qualifying Rates.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

NEW 185K WELCOME OFFER
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

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

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

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

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
185,000 bonus points
$1,295
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros

  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • 25 Elite Night Credits each year
  • Priority Pass Select membership upon enrollment
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit
  • Annual Free Night Award after card renewal
  • Complimentary Platinum Elite status

Cons

  • Earn 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

There are 2 co-branded Alaska Airlines credit cards offered by Bank of America: a personal and business version.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

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

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!
Get 70,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
70,000 bonus + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™
$1,260
$95
18.24% - 26.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card in your wallet, you could get great perks and earn miles at the same time. This is a win-win if Alaska is the airline you prefer to fly with! Plus, its annual companion fare is a great benefit for traveling couples.

Pros

  • 3x miles per $1 spent on Alaska purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on eligible gas, local transit (including rideshare), cable, and select streaming services
  • 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual companion fare
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 traveling companions
  • 20% back on Alaska inflight purchase

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • LIMITED TIME ONLINE OFFER — 70,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™!
  • Get 70,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™. Every year on your credit card account anniversary you’ll receive a companion fare which allows you to book a companion flight from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23). Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation – that’s a savings of $60 per person roundtrip!
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, local transit (including rideshare), cable, and select streaming services, and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • 10% reward bonus on all miles earned on card with an eligible Bank of America checking, savings, or investment account.
  • Priority boarding on Alaska Airlines when tickets are purchased with card.
  • With oneworld® Alliance member airlines and Alaska’s Global Partners, Alaska has expanded their global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide bringing more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Flexibility with no blackout dates on Alaska Airlines flights when booking with miles or a companion fare.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 18.24% - 26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Frequent Flyer Program

Bottom Line:

Alaska Airlines offers competitive pricing for American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines economy, business, and first class flights to Japan. When you factor in the ability to book a stopover, you can get plenty of value out of your Alaska Airlines miles. 

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines 777 Flagship Business Class middle seat
Use American Airlines miles to fly American Airlines to Japan. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Another great option for award flights between the U.S. and Japan is with another Oneworld alliance partner: American Airlines. You can use American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly both American Airlines and Oneworld airline flights from the U.S. to Japan.

Although American Airlines has gone through some major devaluations over the years, there’s still plenty of value in the program. Partner awards with American AAdvantage are not subject to dynamic pricing, unlike American’s own flights.

On AA’s partner award chart, Asia is divided into 4 regions, and Japan is considered to be part of Asia Region 1.

Here is a look at what it costs for one-way flights on Oneworld partner airlines:

SCROLL FOR MORE
From Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada: Main CabinPremium EconomyBusiness/FirstFirst
To: Asia 135,50050,00060,00080,000

One of the best ways to redeem American AAdvantage miles is for a business class flight to Japan for 60,000 miles one-way. It costs 20,000 additional miles to fly in first class.

Booking through AAdvantage provides an alternative way to fly on Japan Airlines, as Alaska miles are more difficult to earn.

Hot Tip:

American Airlines can be a great place to look for Oneworld alliance partner award space.

Here are 2 flights to consider when you have the required number of AAdvantage miles in your account:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Haneda (HND) for 80,000 American miles one-way in Japan Airlines first class
  • Chicago (ORD) – Narita (NRT) for 60,000 American miles one-way in Japan Airlines business class

You’ll want to follow these steps when you’re ready to book a flight:

  1. Search for award space on American Airlines.
  2. Book the flight online.
  3. Pay the taxes and fees.

Earning American Airlines Miles

You’ll have no problem earning American Airlines miles, as the airline offers several co-branded credit cards and partners with both Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards.

Transfers from Marriott Bonvoy occur at a 3:1 ratio. There is no 5,000-mile bonus if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points, as with other programs. Bilt Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

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

Learn More(at Bilt's secure site)

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.

$0

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

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

Pros

  • 3x points per $1 at restaurants including eligible delivery
  • 2x points per $1 on travel booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies
  • 1x point per $1 on rent payments, without a transaction fee, up to 100,000 points each calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Access to airline transfer partners

Cons

  • Does not offer a welcome bonus
  • Must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • $0 annual card fee
  • 1X points on rent payments with no transaction fee (up to $100,000 in rent payments every calendar year) and non-bonus purchases
  • 2X points on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X points on dining
  • Use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

Card Categories

Bottom Line:

Redeeming American AAdvantage miles to fly to Japan is an excellent option. Check out our guide on the best ways to redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles for maximum value.

ANA Mileage Club

ANA The Room Seat 2
ANA’s updated business class is a great way to fly between the U.S. and Japan. Image Credit: Stella Shon

The first Star Alliance program we will look at is ANA Mileage Club.

ANA still uses award charts, so you can book award flights at published rates as long as there’s award space.

One of the main drawbacks of booking an ANA partner flight is that the flight must be booked round-trip. However, the program also allows for stopovers and open jaws on most award tickets, which can allow for a lot of creative itineraries.

ANA has 3 main awards: ANA domestic flight awards, ANA international flight awards, and partner flight awards. ANA prices its flights based on the season: low, regular, and high.

To confirm mileage, you will need to do a few things:

  1. Confirm the zones for the departure and destination points.
  2. Confirm departure date seasonalities.
  3. Confirm the required mileage for the class of service.

ANA places Japan in Zone 1 and North America in Zone 6.

Let’s first take a look at the ANA international flight award chart for round-trip award flights between North America and Japan:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Eligible classLRH
Y (Economy)40,00050,00055,000
PY (Premium Economy) 62,00072,00077,000
C (Business Class)75,00085,00090,000
F (First Class)150,000150,000165,000

ANA is notorious for offering very few premium-cabin award seats. However, if you can find award space, you can book round-trip flights between the U.S. and Japan for 75,000 to 90,000 miles in business class or 150,000 to 165,000 miles in first class, depending on seasonality.

ANA charges fuel surcharges on its own flights, which can be upwards of $500. Currently, fuel surcharges come out to $270. You can find more information on ANA’s site.

Here are a couple of options to consider when you have Mileage Club miles in your ANA account:

  • Houston (IAH) – Narita (NRT) for 40,000 ANA miles in ANA economy during the low season
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Haneda (HND) for 75,000 ANA miles in ANA business class during the low season
Hot Tip:

Booking ANA awards during off-peak dates is the best way to receive maximum value out of your ANA Mileage Club miles. You can check on ANA’s website for seasonality changes.

With the required number of ANA miles in your account, follow these steps to book your next award flight:

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

Earning ANA Miles

It’s relatively easy to earn ANA miles because ANA is a transfer partner of American Express and Marriott Bonvoy. Unfortunately, ANA doesn’t offer a co-branded credit card for the U.S. market.

American Express Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio and take 2 to 3 days for transfers. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio and with every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles. Transfers can take up to 7 days.

If you’re looking to earn Amex points, here are the Amex credit cards that we recommend:

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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 Platinum Card® from American Express

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 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
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

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 purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, 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.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $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.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: 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 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, 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.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. 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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

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

This 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.

American Express® Gold Card

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 Amex Travel
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit: up to $10 monthly statement credit when you pay with the Amex Gold card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: get $10 monthly in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
  • Access to American Express transfer partners

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Bottom Line:

Etihad Guest

American Airlines 777 Flagship Business Class rear facing seat
Use American Airlines miles to fly American Airlines to Japan. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Next, we’ll take a look at Etihad Airways and its Etihad Guest program. Etihad is not a part of many major airline alliances but does partner with quite a few airlines around the world, including American Airlines and ANA.

Earlier this year, Etihad Guest completely overhauled its award chart with standard pricing for all its partner airlines. If you want to fly partners like American Airlines or ANA to Japan, this is the updated award chart:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Distance (in miles)EconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
0 to 5006,0007,50010,00014,000
501 to 1,00012,00013,00020,00027,000
1,001 to 1,50015,00019,00030,00040,000
1,501 to 2,00023,00025,00040,00054,000
2,001 to 2,50028,00031,00050,00067,000
2,501 to 3,00034,00037,00060,00080,000
3,001 to 4,00045,00049,00080,000107,000
4,001 to 5,00060,00062,000100,000134,000
5,001 to 6,00067,00074,000120,000160,000
6,001+75,00090,000140,000200,000

When you’re ready to book an American Airlines award flight, here are the booking steps:

  1. Search for American Airlines flights on British Airways.
  2. Write down all of the flight details.
  3. Book the flight.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.

it is worth noting that you can book American Airlines redemptions online now. For other partner award bookings, you need to call Etihad at 877-690-0767 to confirm award availability.

Earning Etihad Guest Miles

Etihad Guest is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

If you want to use transferable points, keep these transfer ratios and transfer times in mind:

  • Amex Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio and transfer immediately.
  • Capital One Miles transfer at a 1:1 ratio and transfer within 36 hours.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio and take up to 6 days.
  • Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio. With every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles. Transfers take 5 days.

With that said, below are some of the Capital One and Citi credit cards we recommend:

Recommended Capital One Cards (Personal)

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

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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

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

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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

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

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

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

 

Pros

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

 

Cons

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

 

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

Financial Snapshot

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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

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

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Financial Snapshot

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

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

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

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
20,000 miles
$360
$0
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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

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

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

Pros

Cons

  • Weak earn rate at 1.25x miles per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No luxury travel or elite benefits
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

If you’re a business owner, see our recommended Capital One business credit cards.

Recommended Citi Cards

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

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

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

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Financial Snapshot

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi Rewards+® Card

Citi Rewards+® Card

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

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

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Rewards+® Card

This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.
Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
20,000 points
$320
$0
0% intro APR on balance transfers and on purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • Plus, as a special offer, earn a total of 5 Thank You® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com through December 31, 2025.*
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.74% – 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.
  • No Annual Fee

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers and on purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars

Card Categories

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

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

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

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

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

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

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

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

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

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

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

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

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

Pros

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
  • No redemption minimums

Cons

  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked via the Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

Hot Tip:

If you’re interested in redeeming Etihad miles to fly to Japan, check out our guide for the Best Ways To Earn Lots of Etihad Airways Guest Miles.

Korean Air SKYPASS

Korean Air first class
Use Korean Air miles to fly Korean Air first class to Japan. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Lastly, we’ll take a look at another SkyTeam partner program: Korean Air SKYPASS.

Korean Air is known for a couple of things: the quality of its business and first-class cabins and its competitive award pricing on select routes, including round-trip flights in Korean Air business class to Japan from the U.S.

Korean Air Skypass uses a standard award chart instead of dynamic pricing for its flights, unlike other Skyteam alliance partners like Delta and Air France-KLM.

Hot Tip:

Korean Air uses region-based award charts that are based on peak and off-peak seasons.

Here is the award chart for one-way flights between North America and Japan:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Arrival region: Japan/China/Northeast AsiaSeasonEconomy ClassPrestige ClassFirst Class
 Off-Peak Season35,00062,50080,000
 Peak Season52,50092,500120,000

For flights to Japan, you fly Korean Air with a stop in Seoul, South Korea, before connecting onward to Japan:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Seoul (ICN) – Narita (NRT) for 35,000 Korean Air miles in Korean Air economy during off-peak season
  • Dallas (DFW) – Seoul – Haneda (HND) for 80,000 Korean Air miles in Korean Air first class during off-peak season

Here are the steps to book an award flight with Korean Air:

  1. Search for flights on Air France/KLM or Delta.
  2. Confirm the same award availability on Korean Air.
  3. Book the award flight online.
  4. Pay the taxes and fees.
Hot Tip:

Earning Korean Air Miles

Earning Korean Air miles has gotten much harder, as they are no longer a Chase Ultimate Rewards partner. Currently, the only way to earn Korean Air miles is flying Korean or partner airlines, spending on SKYPASS-branded credit cards (such as the SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card), or by transferring points to Korean Air from Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio and take 2 days to transfer.

Final Thoughts

As demand for travel to Japan has increased significantly, cash fares remain quite high. However, you may be able to save quite a bit by using your points and miles. As we’ve covered in this article, there are several excellent programs to use to book an award flight to Japan.

To give you the most award flight flexibility, we recommend earning transferable points from American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Marriott Bonvoy. These points will help you to unlock value in any of the programs that we discussed.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® 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

Can I use American Airlines miles to fly on Japan Airlines?

Yes, you can! American Airlines and Japan Airlines are members of the Oneworld airline alliance. You can redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly not only Japan Airlines but other Oneworld airline members such as British Airways and Qatar Airways.

Is it better to fly to Haneda (HND) or Narita (NRT) in Tokyo?

Tokyo’s Haneda airport is much closer to the Tokyo city center, making it a shorter commute than from Narita. However, Narita offers more nonstop international flights from the U.S.

What is the best airline to fly to Japan?

It’s hard to beat the experience you find when flying Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, or Korean Air. Although not listed in this article, Asiana Airlines and Singapore Airlines are additional airlines that would be fantastic to fly to Japan.

Can you use Virgin Atlantic miles to fly to Japan?

Yes, you can! Thanks to Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with ANA, you can use Flying Club points to fly to Japan on ANA.

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About Ehsan Haque

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

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