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The Best Ways To Fly to the Middle East and North Africa With Points and Miles

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

Senior Content Contributor

486 Published Articles

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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...
Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

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Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the world’s most interesting places. And while there are a few countries ridden with internal strife there, this area is truly one of the most culturally significant and historic in the world.

Known for expansive deserts and ancient Arabian history, the Middle East and North Africa comprise of unique countries that should definitely be on your radar.

What’s more, plane tickets from the U.S. to the Middle East or North Africa are often incredibly expensive.

So that’s why we’ll be showing you the best ways to use your points and miles to fly to the Middle East and North Africa! We’ll highlight the best ways to fly here with all 3 alliances, as well as some of the best non-alliance options.

Let’s get started!

Nonstop Flights Between the U.S. and the Middle East and North Africa

Numerous airlines offer nonstop flights to the Middle East and North Africa. We’ve broken them down by airline; in total, 12 airlines offer nonstop flights to MENA.

Here are the foreign airlines operating nonstop flights to the Middle East:

  • EL AL

  • Boston (BOS) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
  • Miami (MIA) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
  • New York (JFK) – Tel Aviv (TLV)

  • Emirates 
    • Boston (BOS) – Dubai (DXB)
    • Chicago (ORD) – Dubai (DXB)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Dubai (DXB)
    • Miami (MIA) – Dubai (DXB)
    • New York (JFK) – Dubai (DXB)
    • Orlando (MCO) – Dubai (DXB)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Dubai (DXB)
    • Seattle (SEA) – Dubai (DXB)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Dubai (DXB)

  • Etihad Airways
    • Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
    • New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)

  • Kuwait Airways
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Kuwait City (KWI)
    • New York (JFK) – Kuwait City (KWI)

  • Qatar Airways
    • Atlanta (ATL) – Doha (DOH)
    • Boston (BOS) – Doha (DOH)
    • Chicago (ORD) – Doha (DOH)
    • Dallas (DFW) – Doha (DOH)
    • Houston (IAH) – Doha (DOH)
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH)
    • New York (JFK) – Doha (DOH)
    • Miami (MIA) – Doha (DOH)
    • Philadelphia (PHL) – Doha (DOH)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Doha (DOH)
    • Seattle (SEA) – Doha (DOH)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Doha (DOH)

  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
    • Chicago (ORD) – Amman (AMM)
    • Detroit (DTW) – Amman (AMM)
    • New York (JFK) – Amman (AMM)

  • Saudia
    • Los Angeles – Jeddah (JED)
    • New York (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH)
    • New York (JFK) – Jeddah (JED)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Riyadh (RUH)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Jeddah (JED)

    Here are the U.S. airlines operating nonstop flights to the Middle East:

    • Miami (MIA) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • New York (JFK) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • New York (JFK) – Doha (DOH)

  • Delta Air Lines
    • Atlanta (ATL) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • Boston (BOS) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • New York (JFK) – Tel Aviv (TLV)

  • United Airlines
    • Chicago (ORD) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • Newark (EWR) – Amman (AMM)
    • Newark (EWR) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • Newark (EWR) – Dubai (DXB)
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Tel Aviv (TLV)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Amman (AMM)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Tel Aviv (TLV)

    Here are the airlines operating nonstop flights to North Africa:

    • EGYPTAIR

    • New York (JFK) – Cairo (CAI)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Cairo (CAI)

  • Royal Air Maroc
    • New York (JFK) – Casablanca (CMN)
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Casablanca (CMN)

    As you can see, there are plenty of options you can book. The general rule of thumb should be to fly on the most direct route to the final destination. So for example, if you want to fly to Morocco, it’s probably a good idea to figure out the best ways to redeem points on Royal Air Maroc.

    If there are no nonstop flights to your final destination from the U.S., there are plenty of connecting flight options, including on airlines like Air France, KLM, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, and much more.

    There are many nonstop routes you can book from the U.S. to the Middle East or North Africa, but the number of 1-stop connecting flights is almost uncountable.

    Best Programs To Use To Book Flights to the Middle East and North Africa

    Let’s go through all of our favorite ways to use points and miles for flights to the Middle East and North Africa, starting with Aeroplan!

    Air Canada Aeroplan

    United Polaris Boeing 767-300
    You can book award flights to the Middle East and North Africa with Aeroplan points. Image Credit: Victoria M. Walker

    Aeroplan is a great option for those looking to fly to the Middle East or North Africa. As a Star Alliance partner, you’ll be flying with the likes of United, Turkish, EGYPTAIR, Lufthansa, and Swiss.

    Air Canada operates on a distance-based award chart, which means you’ll pay a fixed price based on how far you’re flying. If your routing is under 4,000 miles in distance, here’s how much it’ll cost you in points to fly to either the Middle East or Africa:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassAeroplan Points Cost (One-way)
    Economy40,000
    Premium Economy (Air Canada flights only)60,000
    Business70,000
    First100,000

    Here are a few example redemptions you can make:

    • Boston (BOS) – Munich (MUC) – Dubai (DXB) one-way in business with Lufthansa and Emirates for 70,000 points + ~$73 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Cairo (CAI) one-way in EGYPTAIR economy for 40,000 points + ~$85 in taxes and fees
    • New York (EWR) – Tel Aviv (TLV) one-way in United Polaris for 70,000 points + ~$95 in taxes and fees
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Tel Aviv one-way in United Polaris for 70,000 points + ~$98 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Istanbul (IST) – Amman (AMM) one-way in Turkish Airlines business for 70,000 points + ~$62 in taxes and fees

    Here are the steps to book:

    1. Navigate to aircanada.com.
    2. Enter your city pairs — be sure to check that you’re using points!
    3. Find availability for your dates.
    4. Select the flights you’d like to book.
    5. Pay!

    Earning Aeroplan Points

    Aeroplan points are some of the easiest to earn thanks to the program’s strong partnerships with card issuers. You can transfer over from Amex Membership RewardsBilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy points also transfer over, but at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer.

    All Nippon Airways Mileage Club

    Turkish Airlines Boeing 787 9 Business Class Seat 8A
    Turkish Airlines business class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

    ANA Mileage Club is an incredible frequent flyer program that offers amazing round-trip pricing on Star Alliance flights, particularly in business class.

    This means that you’ll probably redeem the fewest points to fly to MENA with ANA Mileage Club, though there are 2 caveats:

    • You must book a round-trip flight (no one-ways)
    • Almost all fuel surcharges are passed on

    You should avoid all of the European airline partners, including Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines — otherwise, you’ll need to spend an additional $800+ each way out-of-pocket!

    Not to worry, as both Turkish Airlines and LOT Polish boast lower fuel surcharges than their partners. Follow this award chart to book your round-trip flights from North America:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassANA Miles Cost (Round-trip)Turkish Airlines Taxes and FeesLOT Polish Taxes and FeesEGYPTAIR Taxes and Fees
    Economy65,000~$571~$488~$563
    Business104,000~$747~$713~$581

    ANA also categorizes Morocco as part of Europe and Russia 2 (Zone 7), which means you can follow this award chart:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassANA Miles Cost (Round-trip)Turkish Airlines Taxes and FeesLOT Polish Taxes and FeesEGYPTAIR Taxes and Fees
    Economy55,000~$571~$488~$563
    Business88,000~$747~$713~$581

    As you can tell, it’s pretty difficult to avoid fuel surcharges entirely — and even the taxes and fees in economy are egregious, which is why you’d want to leverage ANA Mileage Club for business class only.

    Here are a few example redemptions you can make:

    • Atlanta (ATL) – Istanbul (IST) – Marrakesh (RAK) round-trip in Turkish Airlines business class for 88,000 ANA miles + ~$747 in taxes and fees
    • Chicago (ORD) – Warsaw (WAW) – Tel Aviv (TLV) round-trip in LOT Polish business class for 104,000 ANA miles + ~$713 in taxes and fees
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Warsaw (WAW) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in LOT Polish business class for 104,000 ANA miles + ~$713 in taxes and fees
    • Miami (MIA) – Istanbul (IST) – Muscat (MCT) round-trip in Turkish Airlines business class for 88,000 ANA miles + ~$747 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Cairo (CAI) round-trip in EGYPTAIR business class for 104,000 ANA miles + ~$581 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Cairo (CAI) round-trip in EGYPTAIR business class for 104,000 ANA miles + ~$581 in taxes and fees

    You can book all of these flights directly online; while we wouldn’t recommend searching for availability on ANA’s website, you can perform the search on a partner site like united.com and then navigate to ANA’s website when you’ve located availability.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Find availability on united.com.
    2. Write down the flight information you’d like to book.
    3. Visit ANA’s website.
    4. Click on ANA Mileage Club on the top-right side of the website.
    5. Under the Flight Awards section on the left-hand side, click International, followed by Award Reservation.
    6. Enter your ANA Mileage Club login information.
    7. Enter the flight information and click Search.
    8. Transfer your points to ANA Mileage Club after confirming availability.
    9. After receiving the transferred points, complete the reservation by paying for taxes and fees using a credit card.

    Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles

    ANA Mileage Club is transfer partners with 2 transferrable rewards programs: Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

    Amex transfers at a 1:1 ratio and takes around 3 business days, while Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 points and takes around 7 business days.

    Hot Tip: Your mileage may vary, but you may be able to hold an award reservation while your points are being transferred by calling 800-235-9262.

    Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

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

    The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

    Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

    Apply With Confidence

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

    The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
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    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.
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    When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

    Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

    Pros
    • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
    • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
    • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
    Cons
    • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
    • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
    • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
    • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
    • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
    • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
    • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
    • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
    • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
    • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
    • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
    • $695 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
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    American Express Membership Rewards

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

    This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

    Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

    Apply With Confidence

    Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

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

    This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
    60,000 points
    $1,320
    $250
    See Pay Over Time APR
    Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
    Good to Excellent (670-850)

    The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

    With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

    There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

    Pros
    • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
    • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
    • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
    Cons
    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
    • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
    • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
    • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Annual Fee is $250.
    • Terms Apply.
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    • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
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    American Express Membership Rewards

    Qatar Airways Privilege Club

    Qatar, QSuites, 11F & 11E, Boeing 777
    Everyone wants to try out Qsuites! Image Credit: Alex Miller

    Qatar Airways switched its Privilege Club currency over to the Avios program in 2022, making a huge splash as its award seats became suddenly much more available. This was amazing news for travelers, as its Qsuites business class product is one of the best around. Even better, it’ll cost you just 70,000 Avios one-way to fly from the U.S. to Doha (DOH), its hub.

    • Boston (BOS) – Doha (DOH) one-way in Qsuites for 70,000 Avios + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH) one-way in Qsuites for 70,000 Avios + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Miami (MIA) – Doha (DOH) one-way in Qsuites for 70,000 Avios + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Seattle (SEA) – Doha (DOH) one-way in Qsuites for 70,000 Avios + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Doha (DOH) one-way in Qsuites for 70,000 Avios + ~$8 in taxes and fees

    Booking Qatar Airways business class is super easy; follow these steps to get this dream ticket reserved!

    1. Visit Qatar Airway’s website.
    2. Log in to your account (you may need to have some Avios in your account to complete a search).
    3. Enter your route information.
    4. Select your desired flights.
    5. Book your award.

    Earning Qatar Airways Avios

    Avios are some of the easiest currencies to earn since the currency is interchangeable between British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Qatar Airways. This means you’ll find transfers from all the main transferable currencies, including Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy!

    Amex, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, and Citi all transfer almost instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio.

    Lastly, Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for transferring 60,000 points. Transfers from Marriott usually take around 3 business days.

    Hot Tip: British Airways has also dropped its pricing to match Qatar Airways’ flights, which means these can be booked via the British Airways site just as easily!

    Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

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

    A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

    A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
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    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

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

    Pros
    • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
    • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
    • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
    Cons
    • $95 annual fee
    • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
    • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
    • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
    • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
    • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
    • Member FDIC
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    Chase Ultimate Rewards

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

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

    A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
    75,000 points
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    22.49%-29.49% Variable
    Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
    Excellent (740-850)

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

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

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

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

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    American Airlines AAdvantage

    Qatar QSuites A350 Seat View
    Qatar Airways Qsuites is possibly the best business class in the world. Image Credit: Alex Miller

    We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention American Airlines AAdvantage for 1 reason — those aforementioned Qatar Airways Qsuites. Before Qatar switched over to Avios, American Airlines was the absolute best way to book these flights. If you’re looking for an alternative to booking with Avios, American Airlines miles are still an excellent way to book these fabulous business class seats.

    Here’s how much it’ll cost for one-way flights between the U.S. and the Middle East:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassAAdvantage Miles Cost (One-Way)Qatar Airways Taxes and Fees
    Economy40,000~$8
    Business70,000~$8

    And here’s how much it’ll cost for one-way flights between the U.S. and Africa:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassAAdvantage Miles Cost (One-Way)Qatar Airways Taxes and Fees
    Economy40,000~$8
    Business75,000~$8

    Here are the countries that fall into each region:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Middle EastAfrica
    Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab EmiratesAlgeria, Angola, Botswana, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Melilla, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Given all of this information, here are a few fantastic redemptions you can make:

    • Boston (BOS) – Doha (DOH) – Alexandria (HBE) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH) – Khartoum (KRT) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 75,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Miami (MIA) – Doha (DOH) – Cairo (CAI) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Doha (DOH) – Tunis (TUN) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 75,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Seattle (SEA) – Doha (DOH) – Salalah (SLL) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$8 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Doha (DOH) – Casablanca (CMN) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 75,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$8 in taxes and fees

    And if you are considering different partner airlines like Royal Jordanian or Iberia, here are a few options you can book:

    • Chicago (ORD) – Amman (AMM) one-way in Royal Jordanian business class for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
    • Detroit (DTW) – Amman (AMM) – Cairo (CAI) one-way in Royal Jordanian business class for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
    • Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD) – Algiers (ALG) one-way in British Airways business class for 75,000 AAdvantage miles + ~$487 in taxes and fees

    These bookings can be made directly on American Airlines’s website:

    1. Visit American Airlines’s homepage.
    2. You’ll see a search box in the middle of the screen.
    3. Check off the box that says Redeem miles.
    4. Toggle One way or Round trip.
    5. Enter your city pairs, number of passengers, and travel dates. Click Search.
    6. Select the flight that matches your needs, redeem your AAdvantage miles, and use a credit card for taxes and fees.

    Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

    American Airlines AAdvantage miles can be earned from credit cards in 3 main ways:

    Bilt Rewards transfer to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. American Airlines also transfers from Marriott Bonvoy, which transfers at a 3:1 ratio with an additional 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 points.

    Transfers from Marriott to American Airlines take around 2 business days to complete.

    Etihad Guest

    Royal Air Maroc B787 business class cabin
    Royal Air Maroc’s business class. Image Credit: Ryan Smith

    One of the sweet spots of North African travel is aboard Royal Air Maroc, which is the flag carrier of Morocco.

    Specifically, Etihad Guest offers some astonishing award redemption prices for nonstop flights between the U.S. and Morocco!

    On any nonstop flight aboard Royal Air Maroc that’s longer than 2,000 miles in distance, you’ll redeem just 44,000 Etihad Guest miles in business and 22,000 miles in economy!

    These are for one-way flights, and Etihad Guest prices these flights on a per-segment basis. Here are a couple of fantastic example routes you can book:

    • New York (JFK) – Casablanca (CMN) one-way in Royal Air Maroc business class for 44,000 Etihad Guest miles + ~$201 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Casablanca (CMN) one-way in Royal Air Maroc business class for 44,000 Etihad Guest miles + ~$201 in taxes and fees

    To book these tickets, you’ll want to find award space on American Airlines’s website, then call Etihad Guest to confirm the ticket.

    1. Visit American Airlines’s homepage.
    2. On the homepage’s search box, toggle the checkbox that says Redeem miles.
    3. Enter your travel information and click Search.
    4. Then, a series of flight options should appear. Sort the options to look for nonstop flights only (Royal Air Maroc is the only airline operating these nonstop routes) and write down the flight you’d like to book.
    5. Call Etihad Guest at 877-690-0767 to confirm the reservation and pay for taxes and fees with a credit card.

    Earning Etihad Guest Miles

    Etihad Guest miles are surprisingly easy to earn — this frequent flyer program is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

    Amex and Citi transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly. Capital One transfers at a 1:1 ratio but may take up to 36 hours to process.

    Lastly, Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 points. Additionally, Marriott takes around 3 business days to transfer to Etihad Guest.

    Hot Tip: While we do not profile Etihad first or business class or Emirates first or business class in-depth here, check out our detailed guides for the best ways to book these classes with points and miles!

    Avianca LifeMiles

    Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin - Cherag Dubash
    Lufthansa first class is a glorious way to fly in style to your destination. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

    One of our favorite airline loyalty programs of all time is Avianca LifeMiles.

    Sure, its online award booking capabilities are incredibly inconsistent, but it is actually one of the most underrated programs and serves a critical purpose: booking Star Alliance premium cabin flights without fuel surcharges.

    Avianca LifeMiles has a few things going for it:

    • LifeMiles are incredibly easy to earn
    • The redemption chart is reasonable
    • There are absolutely no fuel surcharges that get passed on

    If we put all of these factors together, LifeMiles is one of the best ways you can book Lufthansa first class, SWISS business class, and other premium cabin products on European airlines.

    Hot Tip: Keep in mind that Lufthansa first class is usually only bookable up to 15 days before departure, so you’ll likely need to be a last-minute traveler to book this coveted first class product.

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassAvianca LifeMiles Cost (One-Way)Taxes and Fees (One-Way)
    Economy42,500~$38
    Business78,000~$38
    First105,000~$38

    If you happen to be booking a mixed-cabin itinerary, your mileage price will actually be a bit cheaper, due to the fact that the pricing is based on the percentage of the whole itinerary you’re flying in each cabin.

    As you can also tell, there are no fuel surcharges passed on — there’s usually a small award booking fee, but this is included in the $38 amount above.

    Here are a few example bookings you can make:

    • Chicago (ORD) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Djerba (DJE) one-way in Lufthansa first class and business class for 99,500 LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
    • Denver (DEN) – Munich (MUC) – Marrakesh (RAK) one-way in Lufthansa business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Copenhagen (CPH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in SAS business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
    • Miami (MIA) – Zurich (ZRH) – Cairo (CAI) one-way in SWISS business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Vienna (VIE) – Tel Aviv (TLV) one-way in Austrian Airlines business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Hurghada (HRG) one-way in Lufthansa first class and business class for 97,800 LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees

    Hot Tip: One of the biggest complaints about LifeMiles is that the search engine doesn’t always display all the bookable options that another website like united.com might. Unfortunately, the customer service hotline isn’t very helpful, either.

    Here’s how you can book your ticket on LifeMiles:

    1. Visit LifeMiles’s website.
    2. In the top-right corner, click the flag icon to change the site language to English.
    3. On the English homepage, click Log in in the top-right corner.
    4. Enter your login details.
    5. On the redirected page, you’ll see a ribbon at the top of the page. Click the button that says Travel.
    6. You’ll see a search box. Enter your trip details, and click Find Flights.
    7. After searching, click on the travel dates you’d like to search.
    8. After completing the search, choose the flight options you’d like to book.
    9. Complete the booking and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.

    Earning Avianca LifeMiles

    Avianca LifeMiles, as we mentioned earlier, are very easy to earn.

    Currently, LifeMiles has transfer partnerships with Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

    Amex, Brex, Capital One, and Citi transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly. Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred and takes around 1 business day to complete.

    You can also often purchase LifeMiles with huge bonuses, making your cost per purchased mile around 1.0 to 1.4 cents each!

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

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

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

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

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

    Pros
    • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
    • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
    • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
    Cons
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
    • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
    • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
    • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
    • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
    • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
    Financial Snapshot
    • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
    • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
    Rewards Center

    Capital One Miles

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Pros
    • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
    • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
    • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
    Cons
    • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
    • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
    • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
    • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
    • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
    • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
    • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
    • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
    • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
    • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
    Financial Snapshot
    • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
    • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
    Rewards Center

    Capital One Miles

     

    United Airlines MileagePlus

    SWISS Air business throne seat
    SWISS offers lavish throne seats in business class. Image Credit: SWISS

    United Airlines’s MileagePlus program has been devalued many times over the years. However, in spite of all these devaluations, it’s still an attractive program to keep in the back of your pocket.

    That’s because United Airlines offers an easy booking process, no fuel surcharges on almost all flights, ease of accruing points, and access to Star Alliance’s vast route network.

    Although we touched on a few ways to redeem points for Star Alliance flights above (i.e. ANA Mileage Club and Avianca LifeMiles), there are quirks with these programs, namely the passage of fuel surcharges and absence of all possible flights during the search process.

    So if you’re willing to spend more points and are looking for a seamless, headache-free frequent flyer program, United MileagePlus will be your best bet. This is particularly true for Chase credit cardholders.

    United uses a dynamic award pricing scheme, which means that your plane ticket will be priced according to a range of numbers, not a set value.

    Specifically, United’s lowest-priced awards are called Saver awards, and they’re priced as follows on flights between the U.S. and the Middle East:

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    Cabin ClassUnited Miles Cost for United FlightsUnited Miles Cost for Partner Flights
    Economy42,500 to 100,00046,750
    Business75,000 to 180,00093,500
    FirstN/AN/A

    Here’s what MileagePlus award tickets look like on flights between the U.S. and North Africa:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Cabin ClassUnited Miles Cost for United FlightsUnited Miles Cost for Partner Flights
    Economy40,000 to 100,00040,000
    Business80,000 to 200,00080,000
    FirstN/A143,000

    Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

    • Miami (MIA) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Dammam (DMM) one-way in Lufthansa first class and business class for 143,000 United miles + ~$5.60 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Brussels (BRU) – Nador (NDR) one-way in Brussels Airlines business class and EGYPTAIR business class for 93,500 United miles + ~$5.60 in taxes and fees
    • Newark (EWR) – Tel Aviv (TLV) one-way in United Polaris from 75,000 United miles + ~$5.60 in taxes and fees
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Tel Aviv (TLV) one-way in United Polaris from 75,000 United miles + ~$5.60 in taxes and fees

    To book your flight using United MileagePlus miles, simply follow these steps:

    1. Go to United Airlines’ homepage.
    2. In the search box, check off the box that says Book with miles.
    3. Enter your flight details.
    4. Click Find flights.
    5. Choose the flight you wish to book.
    6. Enter the traveler information, redeem your miles, and pay for any taxes and fees.

    Earning United MileagePlus Miles

    United miles are some of the most popular in the U.S. and Chase and United’s co-branded credit card offerings allow you to earn United miles directly.

    However, perhaps a better way to earn United miles is through Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, which you can transfer at a 1:1 ratio to United.

    Simply put, Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards offer better bonus categories like dining and travel, which you can maximize and then transfer to United MileagePlus.

    United is one of Chase’s airline transfer partners, which transfers instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio. Another transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, which transfers at a 3:1.1 ratio with a 5,500-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.

    Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

    British Airways Boeing 747 Club World Business Class Main Deck Middle
    British Airways business class comes with great award availability but high taxes and fees. Image Credit: Greg Stone

    One of the most valuable Oneworld frequent flyer programs is Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles. With decent award redemptions and clutch transfer partnerships, we’ll show you why you should never disregard Asia Miles.

    Cathay Pacific is a Oneworld partner, which means your redemptions will be limited to Oneworld airlines for the most part, unless there’s a specific non-alliance partner airline that Asia Miles works with.

    The main partner airlines that are relevant to the Middle East and North Africa are Qatar Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, and Royal Jordanian.

    Asia Miles passes on fuel surcharges, which isn’t pleasant, particularly for British Airways and American Airlines flights.

    Still, if you’re looking to book Qatar Airways Qsuites and don’t have hundreds of thousands of American Airlines miles, Avios, or Marriott Bonvoy points sitting around, Asia Miles will be your best bet.

    Best of all, Asia Miles provides access to up to 360 days of advance award availability, compared to 330 and 331 days from some other airlines offering award seats to MENA. In other words, utilizing Asia Miles gives you up to 1 extra month to look for award availability.

    Since Asia Miles uses a distance-based award chart and doesn’t readily publish it, your best bet to figure out how much your trip will cost in miles is to visit the Asia Miles flight awards site and price it out from there.

    It can cost anywhere from 61,000 to 90,000 miles in business class, depending on what flight you book. Here are a few example redemptions you can make:

    • Boston (BOS) – London-Heathrow (LHR) – Marrakesh (RAK) one-way in British Airways business class for 61,000 Asia Miles + ~$760 in taxes and fees
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Madrid (MAD) – Casablanca (CMN) round-trip in Iberia business class for 150,000 Asia Miles + ~$974 in taxes and fees (Asia Miles doesn’t permit one-way award bookings on Iberia)
    • New York (JFK) – Amman (AMM) one-way in Royal Jordanian business class for 75,000 Asia Miles + ~$212 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Amman (AMM) – Kuwait City (KWI) one-way in Royal Jordanian business class for 75,000 Asia Miles + ~$284 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Tel Aviv (TLV) one-way in American Airlines business class for 75,000 Asia Miles + ~$680 in taxes and fees
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Doha (DOH) – Jeddah (JED) one-way in Qatar Airways Qsuites for 90,000 Asia Miles + ~$513 in taxes and fees

    To book Asia Miles awards, you’ll want to first search for award space on a partner airline’s website, such as American Airlines or British Airways.

    1. Visit American Airlines’s website.
    2. On the homepage, check off the box that says Redeem miles within the search box in the middle of the screen.
    3. Choose One way or Round trip.
    4. Enter your city pairs, number of passengers, and travel dates. Click Search.
    5. Find a flight itinerary with availability that you’d like to book. Write down the flight details.
    6. Visit Asia Miles’s flight redemption website.
    7. You’ll see a search box. Fill in the search box. Click Search.
    8. Enter the travel dates and number of passengers.
    9. Complete the booking, redeem your Asia Miles, and pay for taxes and fees.

    Earning Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

    Earning Asia Miles is easy — this frequent flyer program has transfer partners in Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

    Amex, Brex, Capital One, and Citi all transfer to Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy transfers to Asia Miles at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 points.

    Amex is generally the fastest, with transfers processing within a few hours most of the time. Brex and Citi take around 1 business day, Capital Ones take around 36 hours, and Marriott Bonvoy takes the longest at 5 business days.

    Air France-KLM Flying Blue

    Air France 777 Business Class Pair Seats
    Air France business class is chic and luxurious. Image Credit: Nick Ellis

    The very last loyalty program we’ll talk about is Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

    As the sole SkyTeam program in this guide, we’ll be leaning on this program heavily to book business class awards to little-known cities and countries, particularly in Northern Africa.

    Flying Blue generally follows a region-based award chart for partner flights, passes on all fuel surcharges, and has access to SkyTeam airline partners like Air France, KLM, Saudia, and more. For flights on Air France or KLM, you’ll notice a dynamic award pricing scheme.

    You can price out an award ticket by scrolling down to the Miles Price Estimator, and filling out the calculator.

    Here are a few example redemptions you can make:

    • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) – Bahrain (BAH) one-way in KLM business class for 95,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$418 in taxes and fees
    • Las Vegas (LAS) – Amsterdam (AMS) –  Cairo (CAI) one-way in KLM business class for 95,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$418 in taxes and fees
    • Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS) – Dubai (DXB) one-way in KLM business class for 95,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$418 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG) – Agadir (AGA) one-way in Air France business class for 55,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$252 in taxes and fees
    • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – Tangier (TNG) one-way in Air France business class for 65,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$252 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Paris (CDG) – Oran (ORN) one-way in Air France business class for 56,500 Flying Blue miles + ~$252 in taxes and fees

    Here are a few nonstop flight redemptions you can book aboard Saudia:

    • New York (JFK) – Jeddah (JED) one-way in Saudia business class for 115,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$41 in taxes and fees
    • New York (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH) one-way in Saudia business class for 115,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$41 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Jeddah (JED) one-way in Saudia business class for 115,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$41 in taxes and fees
    • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Riyadh (RUH) one-way in Saudia business class for 115,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$41 in taxes and fees

    Once you’re ready to book your Flying Blue ticket, follow these instructions:

    1. Visit Air France’s U.S. site.
    2. In the top-right corner, click Log in and enter your account credentials.
    3. You’ll be redirected back to the homepage. Click the Book with Miles button at the top left of the search box.
    4. Choose Round trip or One-way from the dropdown box.
    5. Enter your departure and arrival airports.
      • For certain minor cities like Agadir, you may need to call Flying Blue to book your award ticket at 800-375-8723.
    6. Choose your travel dates, number of passengers, and cabin class.
    7. Click Search flights.
    8. Find the flight option you like, redeem your miles, enter your traveler information, and book the ticket.

    Earning Air France-KLM Flying Blue Miles

    Flying Blue miles are among the easiest to accumulate.

    This frequent flyer program is transfer partners with every major transferable currency, including Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

    Amex, Brex, Capital One, Chase, and Citi transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

    Final Thoughts

    Whew! There’s a lot to take away from this guide, but the biggest takeaway is that there’s no “one size fits all” frequent flyer program to help you fly to the Middle East or North Africa using points.

    Ultimately, it’ll depend on which airline you prefer to fly, what route you’re taking, what type of flexible points you earn, and what level of luxury you’d prefer to take.

    ANA Mileage Club has best-in-class business class tickets when booking round-trip, as long as you can avoid fuel surcharges.

    We hope that you’ve found this complete guide useful in helping you plan your next trip to MENA!

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

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

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the best airline to fly to Africa?

    Our favorite luxury airline to fly to Africa if cost and price aren’t prohibitive is Qatar Airways! It has tons of routes from the United States to its hub in Doha. From there you can make a simple hop all over the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.

    Are there any direct flights to the Middle East or North Africa?

    Yes, there are plenty!

    Currently, these carriers offer nonstop routes:

    • American
    • Delta
    • Egyptair
    • EL AL
    • Emirates
    • Etihad Airways
    • Kuwait Airways
    • Royal Air Maroc
    • Qatar Airways
    • Royal Jordanian Airlines
    • Saudia
    • United

    How do you get to the Middle East or North Africa from the U.S.?

    You can either fly nonstop or book a connecting flight. Either way, you have tons of options.

    You can fly nonstop on Emirates to Dubai, on Etihad to Abu Dhabi, on Qatar Airways to Doha, on Kuwait Airways to Kuwait City, on Saudia to Saudi Arabia, on Royal Jordanian Airlines to Amman, on EL AL to Tel Aviv, or on any of the Big 3 U.S. carriers to Tel Aviv. United also flies to Dubai and Amman.

    You can also fly nonstop on Egyptair and Royal Air Maroc to Cairo and Casablanca, respectively.

    And if you’re booking a connecting flight, you can fly on Air France, Lufthansa, SWISS, British Airways, and many more via their respective hubs.

    How long is a flight to the Middle East?

    A flight from the U.S. West Coast to the Middle East can be as long as 16.5 hours in length. A flight from the U.S. East Coast to the Middle East is usually around 12 to 14 hours long, depending on where you’re exactly you’re flying to.

    What are the best ways to fly to the Middle East or North Africa with points and miles?

    The best ways to fly to the Middle East are aboard QSuites with Qatar Airways Avios or American Airlines AAdvantage miles, using Aeroplan points for Star Alliance, Turkish Airlines business class booked with ANA miles, Lufthansa first and business class booked with Avianca LifeMiles, Royal Air Maroc business class booked with Etihad Guest miles, British Airways business class booked with Asia Miles, or Air France-KLM business class booked with Flying Blue miles.

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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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