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The Best Ways To Fly to London With Points & Miles [Step-by-Step]

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There are tons of great ways to fly to Europe with miles and points, and any number of redemptions can help you get from the U.S. to London. However, many of these options require you to connect in another country in continental Europe.

There’s nothing wrong with a connection, and they can even be fun when you visit an amazing first class lounge — like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal (FCT) at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) when flying Lufthansa first class.

That being said, sometimes vacation time is limited, and cutting down on transit time to pack in more fun at our destination is the number 1 priority. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ways you can fly directly to London from the U.S.

Let’s dig into some great economy, business, and first class options so you can decide how you want to book your next trip across the Atlantic.

Best Programs To Book Award Flights to London

When looking for ways to book award flights to London, you will want to keep an eye on carrier-imposed surcharges, as well as the miles required by the frequent flyer program you are using.

If you do that, you can get some great value out of your miles and points and visit an amazing city.

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L
Doesn’t this American Airlines 787-9 Flagship business class seat look like a comfortable place to spend 12 hours? Image Credit: Stephen Au

The American Airlines AAdvantage program will probably be the easiest option for booking flights operated by American Airlines or its Oneworld partner British Airways. You can search for award space on American Airlines’ website and complete the entire booking process online.

Book Awards With American AAdvantage Miles (Online)

Since American AAdvantage uses dynamic award pricing for its own flights, the miles required to book an award ticket may depend on your city of origin in the U.S. If you’re booking on British Airways, you’ll pay a fixed price regardless of your city of origin.

Award space on both American Airlines and British Airways will show in an award search on American’s website. The search results will indicate which airline operates a given flight, so make sure you confirm you have selected flights on your desired airline.

Additionally, if you are booking a business or first class award, make sure the long-haul segment is in your desired cabin. If you have a connecting flight, American’s search results will often show a domestic first class segment paired with an economy class long-haul segment, which would be a nasty surprise.

To search for award flight space, follow these steps:

  1. Visit American Airlines’ website.
  2. On the homepage, you’ll see a search box. Check the box that says Redeem miles.
  3. Enter your flight information.
  4. Click Search.
  5. Choose the flight results that match your needs.
  6. Check out and pay for the ticket using miles and a credit card for any taxes and fees.

Hot Tip: Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking American Airlines first class and business class.

Here are the one-way mileage rates for flights on American Airlines and its partners. The taxes and fees on a one-way award will be determined by whether you are departing from the U.S. or the U.K.

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Class of ServiceAmerican FlightsAmerican Taxes & FeesBritish Airways FlightsBritish Airways Taxes & Fees
Economy (off-peak)VariableFrom $622,500 AAdvantage miles~$230
EconomyVariableFrom $630,000 AAdvantage miles~$230
BusinessVariableFrom $657,500 AAdvantage miles~$730
FirstVariableFrom $685,000 AAdvantage miles~$730

However, if you book an award ticket on British Airways with your American AAdvantage miles, you will incur significant carrier-imposed surcharges. While a round-trip economy class award on a flight operated by American Airlines will include about $184 in taxes and fees, an economy award on British Airways will require about $628 thanks to carrier-imposed surcharges.

This disparity is even worse when you book business or first class tickets. On an American Airlines flight, business class and first class award bookings will include about $301 in taxes and fees for a round-trip ticket. However, on British Airways, you will be responsible for roughly $1,745 when the carrier-imposed surcharges are added to the taxes and fees.

For context, consider the fact that you can find cash fares of around $560 for a nonstop economy ticket from New York (JFK) to London. This is barely more than the taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges that you would pay for an award ticket on British Airways.

When using American AAdvantage miles, you’ll want to make sure you are only booking flights operated by American Airlines. Business class and first class are where you’ll get the most value for your miles, but economy class bookings can be very useful when cash ticket prices are high.

If you don’t have the necessary American AAdvantage miles in your account, you can put your award ticket on hold for 5 days so you’ll have time to transfer points to your account. This process can also be taken care of online.

Nonstop Routes Bookable With American AAdvantage Miles

Ever since American Airlines AAdvantage moved to a variable award pricing scheme for AA flights, you’ll find terrible premium cabin prices, for the most part. However, there are a few dates where you can actually find cheaper prices than before this change was in effect.

American Airlines operates flights to London from several airports in the U.S.:

  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU)

AAdvantage also uses a region-based award chart, so you can add a connecting flight from smaller airports to any of these gateway airports without increasing the number of miles required.

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

American Airlines has partnered with both Citi and Barclays to offer co-branded cards that earn American AAdvantage miles directly. These cards often come with a very good sign-up bonus if you meet the minimum spending requirement in the requisite time frame.

Also, American Airlines’ 2 transfer partners are Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Bilt transfers at a 1:1 ratio in around 24 hours. You can transfer from Marriott Bonvoy to American Airlines at a 3:1 ratio. Generally, it’ll take around 2 business days for these transfers to process.

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

Hot Tip: Check out our picks for the best London hotels to book with points for maximum value!

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Upper Class Middle Seats
Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Upper Class middle seats. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Moving over to the SkyTeam alliance, we have the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program. With tons of Virgin Atlantic flights from the U.S. to London, this is a fantastic program to book award tickets.

You might think of using Virgin Atlantic’s program initially, but give Flying Blue a look before you decide as it may have better redemption rates to London.

Book Awards With Air France-KLM Flying Blue (Online/Phone Booking)

Air France-KLM Flying Blue has a dynamically-priced award chart. The chart below shows the one-way mileage costs plus the taxes and fees that are required when booking awards with Flying Blue miles.

The taxes and fees required will be different based on your origin. If your origin is London, the taxes and fees will be much higher, as we’ll explain later.

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Class of ServiceOne-way Cost on Delta FlightsVirgin Atlantic Taxes & Fees
EconomyFrom 21,500 Flying Blue milesFrom ~$60
BusinessFrom 66,000 Flying Blue milesFrom ~$187

Virgin Atlantic continues to grow its fleet of planes offering its flagship business class product with its new Upper Class product. It’s also a great way to redeem Flying Blue miles.

You will be able to search for award space on either Air France or KLM’s website and book right from there. If you need to transfer points to your Flying Blue account before booking, some friendly phone agents have been known to put award tickets on hold for a couple of days which leaves plenty of time for transfers to process.

Booking with Flying Blue is easy! Just follow these directions to get started:

  1. Visit Air France’s U.S. website.
  2. In the center search box, click the button that says Use Your Miles.
  3. Click Sign In.
  4. Log in using your Flying Blue account and password.
  5. You’ll be redirected to the flight search page. Enter your flight information.
  6. Select the number of passengers and the class of booking.
  7. Click Find a flight.
  8. Select the flight that you want to book.
  9. Pay using your Flying Blue miles and also a credit card for any miscellaneous taxes and fees.

Nonstop Routes Bookable With Air France-KLM Flying Blue Miles

JFK LHR Flying Blue Virgin Atlantic flight
For 66,000 Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles, you can book a one-way business class award ticket on Virgin Atlantic between the U.S. and London. Image Credit: Air France

You can use Flying Blue miles to book nonstop flights on Delta from several airports in the U.S:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Austin (AUS)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Tampa (TPA)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)

With its region-based award chart, you won’t need any additional miles if you are connecting from another airport.

Hot Tip: Air France-KLM runs regular award sales for specific routes called Promo Rewards and has some other great award booking options, so make sure you check out the best way to use Flying Blue miles.

Earning Air France-KLM Flying Blue Miles

A major advantage of the Flying Blue program is just how easy it is to earn miles with the program. While there aren’t any American credit cards that earn Flying Blue miles directly, Air France-KLM has partnered with all of the transferable points programs.

Flying Blue is an American Express transfer partner, Bilt Rewards transfer partner, Brex Rewards transfer partner, Capital One transfer partner, Chase transfer partner, Citi transfer partner, and Marriott transfer partner. Amex, Bilt, Brex, Capital One, Chase, and Citi transfer to the Flying Blue program at a solid 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.

Amex, Chase, Bilt, Brex, Citi, and Capital One all transfer almost instantly. Marriott Bonvoy transfers take around 1 business day.

Our favorite ways to earn Flying Blue miles are through credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards since both Chase and American Express provide cards with great bonus categories.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

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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
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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

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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

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Chase Ultimate Rewards

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

We generally suggest people start with Chase Ultimate Rewards because of the Chase 5/24 rule, but after that Amex Membership Rewards are a top priority.

Bottom Line: One clear benefit that booking through Flying Blue offers is significantly lower taxes and fees than Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for Virgin Atlantic-operated flights originating in the U.S. Expect to pay less than $200 per person compared to Virgin Atlantic’s ~$875 per person total taxes and fees!

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club

United Polaris Business Class
Traveling in United Polaris business class is one of the best ways to maximize your frequent flyer awards. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Next, we have our first option in the Star Alliance. All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club is a great frequent flyer program from one of the best airlines in the world. Sure, a Japanese carrier’s loyalty program probably isn’t what you’re used to for booking award tickets, but don’t overlook this one!

Book Awards With ANA Mileage Club (Online)

Your Star Alliance options for flights directly to London from the U.S. are Air New Zealand (fifth freedom route) and United Airlines. While United doesn’t have a glowing reputation for its inflight product or service, you won’t get hit with carrier-imposed surcharges even when booking through a partner airline such as ANA.

The mileage rates and taxes and fees in the chart below apply to round-trip award tickets as ANA Mileage Club does not allow one-way awards.

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Class of ServiceUnited FlightsUnited Taxes and Fees
Economy55,000 ANA Mileage Club miles~$220
Business88,000 ANA Mileage Club miles~$220

The miles required by ANA Mileage Club for economy class bookings are competitive but nothing special. However, the miles required for business class awards are very good at 88,000 miles for a round-trip ticket.

ANA provides an easy-to-use online search function. Just make sure you choose flights operated by United Airlines or Air New Zealand. Otherwise, you will have connections in Europe. With some of these other Star Alliance carriers, ANA will pass on carrier-imposed surcharges, which can be steep if you are flying on Austrian Airlines or Lufthansa.

The surcharges are particularly bad on these 2 Star Alliance partners when you book premium cabin awards. So, not only will your journey take longer, you’ll have to pay significantly more to take the trip.

As ANA only allows round-trip bookings, you’ll need to find availability on the outbound and inbound segments at the same time. If you’re ready to search, follow these steps:

  1. Visit ANA’s U.S. website.
  2. In the initial search box, click the button that says Award Booking.
  3. Log into your ANA Mileage Club account by entering your Mileage Club number and password.
  4. Enter your departure and destination cities, travel dates, number of passengers, and desired booking class.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Find available flights and confirm the tickets by redeeming ANA miles and paying for taxes and fees using a credit card.

Hot Tip: Don’t forget to check out some of the other amazing ways you can redeem ANA Mileage Club miles!

Nonstop Routes Bookable With ANA Mileage Club Miles

ANA London Redemption
It only takes 88,000 ANA Mileage Club miles to book a round-trip business class award ticket on United Airlines. Image Credit: ANA

ANA Mileage Club can help you book nonstop flights to London on United Airlines from 6 airports across the U.S.

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)

If you don’t live in one of United’s hub airports, you can connect from your home airport to one of these hubs and continue to London for no extra ANA Mileage Club miles.

Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles

While not as easy to earn as Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles, ANA Mileage Club miles are relatively easy to earn. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards to ANA Mileage Club at a 1:1 ratio and Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.

Amex transfers to ANA take around 3 business days, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers to ANA take around 7 business days to process.

We recommend looking into Amex Membership Rewards cards as there are many bonus categories you can take advantage of.

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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

If you’re a business owner, see our article on Amex business credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Upper Class Seat 9A from Aisle
Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 New Upper Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program is called Flying Club. One of the best ways to fly to London is to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. Specifically, its new Upper Class seats are flown regularly between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX). You can also book Delta One with Virgin Points, but you can access better award availability on Virgin Atlantic’s own flights.

Hot Tip: The difference between redeeming Flying Blue miles and Virgin Points is that Flying Blue’s fuel surcharges on flights departing from the U.S. to London are much less than Virgin Atlantic’s fuel surcharges!

Book Awards With Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (Online)

Virgin Atlantic uses a region-based award chart for its own flights. Also, it employs peak and standard pricing. Here’s the standard award chart for one-way flights:

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Route to/from U.K.Economy (Standard)Premium (Standard)Upper Class (Standard)
USA – Northeast (Boston, New York-JFK, Washington, D.C.)10,00017,50047,500
USA – Midwest and South (Atlanta, Miami, Orlando)12,50022,50047,500
USA – West (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle)15,00027,50067,500
Africa, China, and Hong Kong12,50022,50057,500
Caribbean10,00017,50057,500
India10,00017,50037,500
Tel Aviv9,00016,00028,000

Here’s the peak award chart:

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Route to/from U.K.Economy (Peak)Premium (Peak)Upper Class (Peak)
USA – Northeast (Boston, New York-JFK, Washington, D.C.)20,00027,50057,500
USA – Midwest and South (Atlanta, Miami, Orlando)22,50032,50057,500
USA – West (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle)25,00035,00077,500
Africa, China, and Hong Kong22,50032,50067,500
Caribbean20,00027,50067,500
India20,00027,50047,500
Tel Aviv11,00020,00033,000

Here are the peak dates:

  • December 10-31, 2022
  • January 1-4, 2023
  • March 24 to April 17, 2023
  • June 18 to September 4, 2023
  • October 20-31, 2023
  • December 9-31, 2023

Just remember that you’ll be responsible for fuel surcharges in all cases.

Nonstop Routes Bookable With Virgin Points (Online)

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
You can find availability for Virgin Atlantic flights on many nonstop routes to London. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic offers flights to several U.S. hubs and gateways. Some of them include:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Earning Virgin Points

Virgin Atlantic is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex, Bilt, Chase, and Citi and transfer at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.

Amex, Bilt, Chase, and Citi transfer almost instantly. Marriott Bonvoy will take around 1 business day to transfer points to Flying Club.

You can also earn Virgin Points directly from the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®.

Recommended Citi Card

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

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

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

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Financial Snapshot

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Hot Tip: From walking and bus tours to shows, check out the best tours and activities in London.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

Delta One Middle Seats
If you’re willing to fly on Delta’s non-Suite business class, you can access better availability by booking directly on Delta’s website. Image Credit: Stella Shon

Delta’s SkyMiles program is often derided for the unannounced devaluations that tend to happen quite regularly, but there is still some value to be found in its award chart — which it doesn’t publish.

Book Awards With Delta SkyMiles (Online)

Booking your award flights to London with Delta SkyMiles actually gives you an additional airline option as Delta has an individual partnership with Virgin Atlantic outside of the SkyTeam alliance. While Delta does have plenty of issues as a frequent flyer program, you can search for and book award flights on its website.

Once you’re ready to redeem your SkyMiles, you’ll want to follow these steps to make a booking:

  1. Visit Delta SkyMiles’ homepage.
  2. On the homepage, you’ll see a search banner at the top.
  3. Check off the box that says Shop with miles.
  4. Type in the departure and origin cities.
  5. Choose One Way, Round-Trip, or Multi-City.
  6. Enter your travel dates and number of passengers.
  7. Expand the search by clicking the button called Advanced search just underneath the passenger count dropdown box.
  8. If looking for business class, select Delta One under Best Fares For.
  9. Click the red arrow button to search.
  10. Find the flight details that work for you.
  11. Select the flight, redeem your miles, enter the travelers’ information, and pay for any taxes and fees using a credit card.

We’ve detailed the redemption rates you should look for when booking one-way awards to London (or anywhere in Europe, for that matter) on either Delta or Virgin Atlantic with SkyMiles. The round-trip mileage requirements are double what is listed below. As with all other award flights to London, the taxes and fees required on the return segment will be significantly more.

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Class of ServiceDelta FlightsDelta Taxes & FeesVirgin Atlantic FlightsVirgin Atlantic Taxes & Fees
Economy35,000 to 160,000~$635,000 ~$6
Business170,000 to 375,000~$6 120,000~$6

While the taxes and fees are the same between Delta and Virgin Atlantic award tickets, Delta One is significantly more expensive than a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class ticket with Delta SkyMiles. Unfortunately, it gets even worse if you want to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class within 21 days of departure. Once within this window, a one-way award booking will cost 195,000 SkyMiles.

The way Delta has set up its SkyMiles program leaves you with a couple of decisions to make if you want to fly in business class. You can spend the extra miles to try the fun environment of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class and its popular Clubhouse lounges, or save a big chunk of miles and fly Delta One.

To give you some context, the round-trip difference of 50,000 miles between booking Delta One and Upper Class is enough for a one-way economy class award to London or anywhere in Europe.

Hot Tip: For some other award booking options, check out our best ways to redeem Delta SkyMiles.

Nonstop Routes Bookable With Delta SkyMiles

Delta DTW LHR
If you want to privilege of flying on Delta’s nonstop flights in Delta One, you’ll pay a ton of miles to do so. Image Credit: Delta

While it’s tough to trust that Delta won’t devalue its unpublished award chart without warning, if you have a nice chunk of SkyMiles, you can easily book a nonstop flight to London. For those not living in one of Delta’s hub cities, you might even be able to connect for no extra miles.

These are the U.S. airports with nonstop Delta flights to London:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Seattle (SEA)

Virgin Atlantic also operates several nonstop routes from the U.S., mentioned previously, that can be booked with Delta SkyMiles.

Earning Delta SkyMiles

Like ANA Mileage Club, Delta has also partnered with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Amex transfers at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly, and Marriott Bonvoy transfers in 1 to 2 business days at a 3:1 ratio.

In addition to these options, you can earn SkyMiles directly with one of the co-branded Delta credit cards provided by American Express.

Because Delta tends to devalue its program without informing SkyMiles members first, you should only earn SkyMiles if you know what you want to do with them. This shouldn’t be an issue as you can earn Amex Membership Rewards faster thanks to numerous bonus categories, and they transfer to Delta SkyMiles almost instantly.

Hot Tip: Check out our favorite ways to earn tons of Delta SkyMiles for more ideas.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

American Airlines Flagship First Class
On international flights, American Airlines Flagship business class features spacious Zodiac seats, just like on its transcontinental Flagship first class flights. Image Credit: Stephen Au

If you’re looking for the cheapest mileage requirements, look no further than our second Oneworld alliance option, Japan Airlines. There’s only 1 exception to this: when American Airlines has off-peak economy award prices. Other than that, Japan Airlines is the best option if you want to use as few miles as possible.

Unfortunately, Japan Airlines miles are some of the hardest miles to earn, which is why they’re more valuable.

Booking Awards With Japan Airlines Mileage Bank (Online)

As with the American Airlines AAdvantage program, you can use Japan Airlines Mileage Bank to book flights on either American Airlines or British Airways. However, you should stick to flights operated by American Airlines so you can avoid the egregious carrier-imposed surcharges passed on by British Airways.

Japan Airlines doesn’t allow you to book or search all partner awards online. Still, you’ll be able to search for most airlines, and fortunately, you will be able to both search and book awards online when booking flights on American Airlines or British Airways.

Japan Airlines’ online website is a bit clunky, so you’ll want to follow these directions very carefully to search for award availability:

  1. Visit Japan Airlines’ partner award booking page.
  2. In the top-right corner, click Log in.
  3. Enter your JAL Membership Number and PIN.
  4. Select Round-trip or One-way.
  5. Select the Partner Airline.
  6. Enter your outbound and/or inbound travel information.
  7. Choose the booking class and number of passengers.
  8. Click Search.
  9. Select the flight you like, redeem your miles, and use a credit card for any miscellaneous taxes and fees.

Unlike the other programs we have looked at so far, Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart that is broken into tiers. The number of miles you fly (you have to add each segment of your journey) will determine the number of Mileage Bank miles that will be required for an award ticket.

Below are the round-trip requirements for both Mileage Bank miles and taxes and fees on flights from New York (JFK) to London:

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Class of ServiceAmerican FlightsAmerican Taxes & FeesBritish Airways FlightsBritish Airways Taxes & Fees
Economy45,000 Mileage Bank miles~$1145,000 Mileage Bank miles~$520
Business80,000 Mileage Bank miles~$1180,000 Mileage Bank miles~$520
First120,000 Mileage Bank miles~$11120,000 Mileage Bank miles~$1,375

You can refer to this chart for the one-way requirements on this flight:

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Class of ServiceAmerican FlightsAmerican Taxes & FeesBritish Airways FlightsBritish Airways Taxes & Fees
Economy23,000 Mileage Bank miles~$623,000 Mileage Bank miles~$260
Business42,000 Mileage Bank miles~$642,000 Mileage Bank miles~$260
First65,000 Mileage Bank miles~$665,000 Mileage Bank miles~$637

If you are traveling from the West Coast, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank will still have the best redemption rates, though they aren’t quite as good compared to award tickets from New York.

Additionally, because Japan Airlines Mileage Bank uses a distance-based award chart for partners, one-way redemption rates from the West Coast won’t be as good as booking with American AAdvantage miles.

With a distance-based award chart, you also need to remember that any connecting flights will add to the total flight distance used to calculate the number of miles required for your award ticket.

Hot Tip: Check out other awesome ways to redeem Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles for some inspiration!

Nonstop Routes Bookable With Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles

British Airways booking with Japan Airlines miles
For nonstop, round-trip award bookings, you won’t find a way to book for fewer miles and points than the Japan Airlines Mileage Bank program. Image Credit: Japan Airlines

Booking one of the numerous nonstop flights from the U.S. to London on British Airways with Mileage Bank miles is a great way to get to London. The 1 caveat to keep in mind is that Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart for partner bookings.

As a result, if you need to connect to one of American Airlines’ hub airports, your award ticket might require more mileage. Make sure you consider the impact of a connection on the total number of miles required for your award booking.

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Airports With Nonstop British Airways Flights to London
Atlanta (ATL)Denver (DEN)Newark (EWR)Pittsburgh (PIT)
Austin (AUS)Houston (IAH)New Orleans (MSY)San Diego (SAN)
Baltimore (BWI)Las Vegas (LAS)New York (JFK)San Jose (SJC)
Boston (BOS)Los Angeles (LAX)Orlando (MCO)Seattle (SEA)
Chicago (ORD)Miami (MIA)Philadelphia (PHL)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)Nashville (BNA)Phoenix (PHX) 

Earning Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles

While the redemption rates with Japan Airlines Mileage Bank are often quite good, these miles are some of the hardest to earn.

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to Japan Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 Japan Airlines miles.

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

Hot Tip: Take a look at our favorite ways to earn more Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles.

United Airlines MileagePlus

United Polaris cabin 787 9 dreamliner
You can transfer Ultimate Rewards to United to fly to London. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Our second Star Alliance option is United Airlines MileagePlus. While it doesn’t have as competitive redemption rates as ANA Mileage Club, particularly for business class award tickets, it does open up different points-earning options.

Although you’ll generally pay a premium with United MileagePlus on business class seats, you’ll get the added benefit of accessing enhanced award availability on United Polaris class.

Book Awards With United Airlines MileagePlus (Online)

As we mentioned earlier, United Airlines is the only Star Alliance option to fly directly from the U.S. to London. While not necessarily the best product on the market, the lack of carrier-imposed surcharges makes United a solid choice when booking to London, so you can save some serious cash. United also makes it easy to search for and book award tickets online so you won’t have to worry about making any phone calls.

United Airlines’ online search and booking portal is one of the easiest to use. Follow these simple directions to redeem United miles:

  1. Go to United’s homepage.
  2. On the homepage, you’ll see a search box.
  3. Check off the box that says Book with miles.
  4. Choose Roundtrip or One-way.
  5. Enter the origin and destination airports.
  6. Select the booking date(s), number of passengers, and cabin class.
  7. Click Find flights.
  8. Log in using your United MileagePlus number and password.
  9. Choose the flight you wish to book.
  10. Enter your traveler information and book the ticket with miles. Pay for taxes and fees using a credit card.

You can see the one-way redemption rates plus the taxes and fees in the chart below:

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Class of ServiceUnited FlightsUnited Taxes & Fees
EconomyFrom 30,000 MileagePlus miles~$6
BusinessFrom 60,000 MileagePlus miles~$6

The 60,000 MileagePlus miles required for a round-trip economy class award are not far from the 55,000 Mileage Club miles required by ANA, but ANA (at 88,000 points for round-trip business class) is a much better choice for business class if you have the necessary points.

Hot Tip: Check out some other great ways to book award flights with United MileagePlus miles.

Nonstop Routes Bookable With United MileagePlus Miles

United Saver-level redemption in Polaris Class
United MileagePlus is an easy program to use if you want to book an award flight to London. Image Credit: United

United Airlines’ MileagePlus program is a great way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book award flights to London. It doesn’t have the best redemption rates, but the program is easy to use and won’t require more miles if you need a connecting flight. As we mentioned earlier, many of United’s nonstop routes feature the newest Polaris class product.

Airports with nonstop United flights to London:

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Earning United MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus has a big advantage when it comes to earning miles for awards, though. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, and transfers process almost instantly. Additionally, United miles are easier to earn, thanks to co-branded cards provided by Chase.

These 2 methods provide you with easy ways to earn United miles directly in addition to the Ultimate Rewards points you earn and transfer.

You can also transfer Bilt Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to United MileagePlus almost instantly.

Lastly, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1.1 ratio. Also, for every 60,000 points you transfer from Marriott to United, you’ll earn a bonus of 5,000 United miles! Transfers take around 3 business days.

Hot Tip: We’ve written about many great ways to earn United MileagePlus miles!

Bonus Options (British Airways Executive Club/Korean Air SKYPASS)

The above carriers will generally be the go-to options when booking awards from the U.S. to London. However, there are a couple of other interesting ways to book business class awards.

If you were wondering when we would discuss using British Airways Executive Club Avios, we’re about to dive in. Additionally, we’ll show you another SkyTeam alternative with the Korean Air SKYPASS program.

British Airways Executive Club (Online)

British Airways First Class 787-9
To get the most out of your British Airways Avios when flying to London, use the British Airways Travel Together Ticket. Image Credit: Alex Miller

As we discussed above, booking round-trip British Airways awards to London from the U.S. will cost you a ton of cash. Unfortunately, that is also the case when booking with British Airways Avios, even if your flight is operated by American Airlines.

However, there is a special circumstance in which these high carrier-imposed surcharges might be worth it. To really make using Avios worth it for your trip to London, you’ll want to use the British Airways Travel Together Ticket.

This awesome perk is available to cardholders of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card who spend $30,000 on the card within a calendar year. Once you have earned the Travel Together Ticket, you have up to 2 years to use it for a round-trip award booking originating in the U.S.

With the Travel Together Ticket, you can book an award ticket and bring a companion along for the price of the taxes and fees. This means if you book a round-trip first class award ticket on British Airways from Los Angeles (LAX) for 200,000 Avios and just over $1,800 in taxes and fees, your companion can sit in first class with you for no extra miles — just the taxes and fees. That’s 2 first class tickets that would normally cost at least $14,000 for only about $3,600 in taxes and fees.

Hot Tip: For some more great ways to book, check out our best ways to redeem British Airways Avios for award travel.

From Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK), or Washington D.C. (IAD), you will need 136,000 Avios to book round-trip first class awards on British Airways; from many other U.S. cities, you’ll need 170,000 Avios.

If you prefer, you can book a business class award ticket for 100,000 Avios round-trip from Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK), or Washington D.C. (IAD). That price goes up to 125,000 Avios round-trip from anywhere else in the U.S., but the taxes and fees for each person will be the same as those on a first class award.

You can book your Travel Together ticket online unless you want to add a stopover or open-jaw to your itinerary. In that case, you will need to call British Airways to complete the booking.

With numerous nonstop British Airways flights from the U.S. to London, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a departure airport. Just remember that British Airways Avios utilize a distance-based award chart, so connecting flights could increase the number of Avios needed to book your award ticket.

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Airports With Nonstop British Airways Flights to London
Atlanta (ATL)Denver (DEN)Newark (EWR)Pittsburgh (PIT)
Austin (AUS)Houston (IAH)New Orleans (MSY)San Diego (SAN)
Baltimore (BWI)Las Vegas (LAS)New York (JFK)San Jose (SJC)
Boston (BOS)Los Angeles (LAX)Orlando (MCO)Seattle (SEA)
Chicago (ORD)Miami (MIA)Philadelphia (PHL)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)Nashville (BNA)Phoenix (PHX) 

Here’s how you can search for availability using British Airways’ search engine:

  1. Visit the British Airways website.
  2. In the top-right corner, log in using your British Airways Executive Club ID and password.
  3. On the top ribbon, hover over Book and click Book a flight with Avios.
  4. Enter your trip date(s), cities, number of passengers, and class of service.
  5. If applicable, check off the box that says One way only.
  6. Click Get flights.
  7. Select the flight you’d like to book.
  8. Confirm the ticket, enter the traveler information, and pay for the tickets using Avios while using a credit card for taxes and fees.

Don’t forget that British Airways is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards — so you’ll have plenty of ways to earn the necessary Avios to ensure you have enough for an awesome award booking.

Hot Tip: Check out some of the best ways to earn tons of British Airways Avios so you’re ready to book your Travel Together Ticket!

Earning British Airways Avios

Earning British Airways Avios is easy, especially when you consider that it is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex, Bilt, Capital One, and Chase transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers in around 1 business day at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to British Airways.

You can also earn British Airways Avios directly through the co-branded British Airways Visa card:

LIMITED TIME OFFER!
British Airways Visa Signature® Card

British Airways Visa Signature® 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 card is great for British Airways frequent flyers, and traveling couples will find great value in the Travel Together Ticket.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

This card is great for British Airways frequent flyers, and traveling couples will find great value in the Travel Together Ticket.
Limited time offer! Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, 5x Avios on up to $10k in gas, grocery stores, and dining purchases for first 12 months!
75,000 Avios
$937
$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 British Airways Visa Signature® Card is a stellar option for travelers who regularly travel with the airline. From all of the Avios the card helps you earn, to a 10% discount off cash tickets, and the award flight statement credits, you can get tons of value out of the card each year.

Pros

  • 3x Avios per $1 on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL purchases
  • 2x Avios per $1 on hotel accommodations purchased directly through hotels
  • 1x Avios per $1 on all other purchases
  • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the U.S. (when booking through the designated website)
  • Travel Together Ticket after $30,000 in card spend in a calendar year
  • Up to $600 in award flight statement credits each year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited time offer! Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, 5x Avios on up to $10k in gas, grocery stores, and dining purchases for first 12 months!
  • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL.
  • Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel.
  • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It’s fast, easy and secure!
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

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

Card Categories

Rewards Center

British Airways Executive Club

Korean Air SKYPASS (Online/Phone Booking)

Korean Air SKYPASS is an interesting SkyTeam option for booking awards to London. It has solid redemption rates, but the surcharges on tickets are particularly steep (especially with economy class bookings). For that reason, we don’t recommend using Korean Air SKYPASS if you are flying economy class.

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Class of ServiceDelta FlightsDelta Taxes & Fees
Economy50,000 Korean Air miles~$520
Business80,000 Korean Air miles~$618

You’ll notice in the chart above that there isn’t a big difference in the taxes and fees on a round-trip business class award and an economy class award. While the taxes and fees for business class aren’t cheap, it’s not such a bad deal when you consider that the same seat with cash on Delta could cost over $4,000.

Delta operates nonstop flights from the hub airports discussed above. You can book nonstop award flights from any of these airports or connect from other airports for no extra miles.

Hot Tip: Take a look at some other awesome ways to redeem Korean Air SKYPASS miles for a little travel inspiration!

You can search for award space on Korean Air’s website, but make sure you select that you are searching for a SkyTeam award (otherwise the search will only look for Korean Air flights). In fact, it won’t even let you choose the airports you need since Korean Air doesn’t fly between U.S. airports and London.

Once you find the space online, it’s easy to book. To get started doing online searches, follow this process:

  1. Visit Korean Air’s website.
  2. On the homepage, you’ll see a search box. Click the button that says SkyTeam Award to the right of Award booking.
  3. You’ll be prompted to log in. Enter your Korean Air SKYPASS information and click Log in.
  4. Select either Multi-City or Round Trip.
  5. Enter the appropriate airport codes, travel dates, and cabin class.
  6. Select the Passenger names and click USD in the Payment Currency section.
  7. Click Find Flights.
  8. After your search is done, click the flights you’d like to book. Pay with Korean Air miles and use a credit card for any taxes and fees.

Earning Korean Air SKYPASS Miles

Korean Air miles aren’t exactly the easiest out there to earn. Still, Korean Air is transfer partners with 1 major rewards currency: Marriott Bonvoy. You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio and unfortunately, it may take a while for the points to transfer. Sometimes, it can take up to 19 days to transfer the points!

What You Need To Know About the Air Passenger Duty (APD) Fee

London Heathrow Terminal 5
Flying out of London means paying the Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee. It’s particularly expensive for long-haul business class and first class bookings. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Now that we have taken a look at some of the best ways to book award flights, we need to discuss an important aspect of booking trips to London: the Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee that applies to flights departing from the U.K.

The cost of this fee is determined by both your class of service and the distance of your flight. Currently, the APD fees are as follows:

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Flight DistanceClass of ServiceAPD Fee
Short-haul (0 to 2,000 miles)Business£26 (~$28)
Short-haul (0 to 2,000 miles)Economy£13 (~$14)
Long-haul (over 2,000 miles)Premium Economy, Business, First£185 (~$200)
Long-haul (over 2,000 miles)Economy£84 (~$91)

Another increase to the APD is coming on April 1, 2023, for premium cabin long-haul flights:

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Flight DistanceClass of ServiceAPD Fee
Short-haul (0 to 2,000 miles)Business£26 (~$28)
Short-haul (0 to 2,000 miles)Economy£13 (~$14)
Long-haul (2,001 miles to 5,500 miles)Premium Economy, Business, First£191 (~$207)
Long-haul (2,001 miles to 5,500 miles)Economy£87 (~$94)
Long-haul (over 5,500 miles)Premium Economy, Business, First£200 (~$217)
Long-haul (over 5,500 miles)Economy£91 (~$99)

Fortunately, these fees are not imposed on flights landing or connecting in the U.K. If you want to avoid these large fees, you can take a short flight to another country within Europe and book your return from there. Since the APD fee is much more manageable on short-haul routes, you can pay that instead of the long-haul APD fee.

Keep in mind that these will have to be separate bookings. If you book a flight back to the U.S. that connects in another European country, you will still get hit with the long-haul APD fee.

Final Thoughts

It’s no surprise that London is a popular destination for many Americans, with its rich history and ease of travel thanks to our common language. For those on the East Coast, it’s also one of the closest international destinations available.

London also has the benefit of being one of the easier destinations to reach with an award ticket. With tons of airlines flying nonstop routes from the U.S., you’ll be able to avoid connections in Europe so you can have more time in London and less time in airports if you so choose.

Even better, 7 major transferable points programs — American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy — can help you get there thanks to their airline partnerships.

If you are booking an economy class award from the West Coast, we suggest you consider using 45,000 American AAdvantage miles to fly American Airlines during its off-peak season as you can easily earn the necessary miles through its co-branded Citi and Barclays offerings.

From the East Coast, using American AAdvantage miles during its off-peak time frame is still a solid redemption, but JAL Mileage Bank can book the same flight on American Airlines for 45,000 miles.

For those who want to book a business class award, ANA Mileage Club offers the best rate at 88,000 miles round-trip (one-way award bookings are not permitted) on United Airlines. As a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, it won’t be too difficult to earn the necessary miles.

Now, as we discussed, taxes and fees for round-trip bookings are steep because of the Air Passenger Duty fees. This is especially frustrating for business class and first class award tickets, and even worse if you book on an airline that hits you with steep carrier-imposed surcharges (such as British Airways).

Even with these concerns, though, you can see that there are plenty of ways to book award tickets and save a ton of cash on your flights to London. Using the information above, you’ll have no trouble figuring out which option is best for you.

The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the United Club℠ Business 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 Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express 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 airlines include carrier-imposed surcharges on award flights to London?

If you book a flight on British Airways, you will be required to pay carrier-imposed surcharges, regardless of what frequent flyer program you use. Additionally, if you book a flight on American Airlines with British Airways Avios, you will be required to pay carrier-imposed surcharges.

Korean Air requires you to pay the surcharges on Delta flights to London. It’s not a bad way to book business class award tickets, but you shouldn’t book economy class with the Korean Air SKYPASS program.

ANA Mileage Club passes on carrier-imposed surcharges when booking award tickets with many partners, but not on flights with United Airlines, so you won’t have to worry about that when flying to London.

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

Virgin Atlantic will usually require the fewest miles from the East Coast for an economy class award ticket, at as low as 20,000 points round-trip. That said, the taxes and fees on these awards are often quite a bit higher than other airlines.

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

From the East Coast, Japan Airlines requires 80,000 Mileage Bank miles to book a round-trip business class ticket on either British Airways or American Airlines.

To fly United Airlines, you can use 88,000 ANA Mileage Club miles for a round-trip award.

You can book an award seat in Delta One (business class) with 80,000 Korean Air SKYPASS miles.

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

If you want to fly first class to London, you will need to fly either American Airlines or British Airways — they’re the only carriers to offer a first class product between the U.S. and London.

When booking with American AAdvantage miles or Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles, you will want to make sure your flights are operated by American Airlines to keep your cash cost low.

Generally, the only time it makes sense to book a British Airways first class award is by using the British Airways Travel Together Ticket so you can get 2 first class seats for the miles of 1. You will have to pay very steep taxes and fees for each ticket, which will come out to around $3,600 total.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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