16 Best Ways To Redeem Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Miles for Maximum Value

Turkish Airlines Boeing 787 9 Business Class Seat 8A

We may be compensated when you click on links from one or more of our advertising partners. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone. Terms apply to offers below. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details.

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles miles have historically been difficult to earn due to the lack of transfer partners available, which made it increasingly difficult to earn enough points without flying a ton and crediting your flights to earn Turkish Airlines miles. However, Turkish Airlines is now transfer partners with Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Miles&Smiles has a lot of excellent award sweet spots — and because it hasn’t received a lot of coverage in the frequent flyer world, these sweet spots have stayed below the radar for the most part. For example, one-way flights are allowed (but you cannot fly more than 1 carrier on inbound or outbound flights), you can have up to 4 segments on one-way awards, and you can have up to 8 segments on round-trip awards. It also uses a region-based award chart, so there are definitely lots of opportunities for optimization and award sweet spots!

Let’s get started!

The Pros and Cons of Turkish Miles&Smiles (Quick Overview)

Although there are lots of opportunities to optimize Turkish Airlines miles, we’ll first go over some of the pros and cons before deep-diving into all the sweet spots.

To begin with, fuel surcharges are always passed on, so be aware of that when booking award flights.

If you are booking Turkish Airlines flights only, you can reserve your flights completely online. Otherwise, you’ll need to call the sales office at 800-874-8875.

Turkish Airlines has an online search engine that could potentially allow you to book partner flights online. The major downside to this is that the search engine is very buggy and often doesn’t show all possible availability.

There are a few fees Turkish Airlines charges as well:

  1. Redeposit fees: $25 for international or ₺100 for domestic flights
  2. No-show redeposit fees: $50
  3. Any changes (time/date/routing) on Turkish flights: $25
    • Note that you may not change Star Alliance partner flights

On all award tickets, 1 stopover is allowed. You are allowed 1 open-jaw (instead of a stopover) for round-trip awards, and one-way awards are exactly half the cost of round-trip awards.

Miles&Smiles miles expire 3 years after they are earned, but you can pay $10 per 1,000 miles and extend them for 3 years.

On Star Alliance awards, there is mileage criteria for your stopover allowance. In order to add a stopover, you must book an award with a minimum cost of:

  • 60,000 miles in economy
  • 90,000 miles in business
  • 135,000 miles in first

For example, if your award costs 55,000 miles in economy, you cannot use a stopover.

Mixed cabin awards are never allowed. You also can’t mix carriers for 1 direction of the flight.

For example, if you’re flying from the U.S. to the Middle East, you cannot fly to Turkey on Turkish Airlines and to Cairo on Egyptair; you must fly on Turkish Airlines the whole way.

Your entire itinerary may have up to 8 segments if it is round-trip and 4 if it is one-way.

You can backtrack, but the same airport can’t be in your itinerary more than once in the inbound and outbound legs. This would normally be a great opportunity for optimization, but it’s pretty much nullified because of the restriction on mixed carriers.

If you’re short on Turkish Airlines miles and need 10,000 miles or less, you can pay €25 per 1,000 miles to top off your balance.

You can’t transfer or combine miles at all, and if you want to redeem miles for someone else, including a spouse, you must follow a relatively tedious process in writing:

  • You have to submit a signed written request that includes the full name, birth date, and relationship to the member of the person the award will be issued to
  • You’ll also have to notify them of the departure/arrival points, travel dates, a picture of your Miles&Smiles membership card, valid ID, and a signature

Update: Some travelers are having luck redeeming awards over the phone for other people without requiring the huge legwork we just mentioned. Of course, the competency of your representative comes into play here. If the rep is unwilling to help, try hanging up and calling again (HUCA).

Whew! Now that we have that business out of the way, let’s dive into this guide!

How To Boost Your Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

As we stated above, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards.

There is no shortage of ways to earn lots of Citi ThankYou Points, so give this method a lot of thought if you want to earn Turkish Airlines miles!

Recommended Citi Cards

Citi Premier® Card - This is a great card for those frequent travelers looking for a Citi card to maximize their travel purchases. Cardholders earn 3x at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels; plus, 1x on all other purchases.

Currently, you can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi Rewards+® Card - If you're looking for a no-annual-fee card that earns bonus points on everyday spending, you may consider this card being in your wallet. The card earns 2X ThankYou Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Earn 1X ThankYou Points on all other purchases. Don't forget that this card automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.

Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
Citi® Double Cash Card - One of the top cash-back credit cards on the market that earns 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay giving you the ability to earn an uncapped 2% in cash-back; all without an annual fee.

Capital One Miles Credit Cards

Capital One miles transfer to Turkish at a 2:1.5 ratio and are easy to earn!

Recommended Capital One Cards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with lots of benefits and perks. Earn 60,000 mile sign up bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi-regularly stay at hotels since this card earns unlimited 2x miles on every purchase.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200 toward travel) after spending $500 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

Another great way to earn a lot of Turkish Airlines miles is with Marriott Bonvoy.

Marriott is an invaluable transfer partner for so many airlines, and there are many ways to maximize Marriott Bonvoy points for flights and hotel stays.

Although the time to transfer Turkish Airlines points is unknown, it will probably take anywhere from 7 to 10 business days for transfers to complete.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card - Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn up to 17x total Bovoy points per $1 when using your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card at at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, and 2x Bonvoy points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card - Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn up to 14x total Bonvoy points per $1 when using your Marriott Bonvoy Bold card at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Earn 6x per $1 at hotels participants in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x on all other eligible purchases. Annual Fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

This is a solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Hot Tip: Don’t miss our dedicated piece on the best ways to earn lots of Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.

The 16 Best Ways To Use Your Turkish Airlines Miles

Let’s discover the best ways to redeem your Turkish miles!

1. Fly From Asia to the Maldives (7,500 Miles)

Singapore Airlines Economy Class
Singapore Airlines economy class. Image Credit: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is a Star Alliance partner and thus eligible for use with your Turkish Airlines miles, and one of the best ways to do so might be the trip from Asia to the Maldives.

As a highly popular tourist destination, flights to the Maldives can be overpriced, and finding award availability can be difficult.

However, if you’re able to find a flight, you can take off from anywhere within Asia, including Tokyo (HND/NRT), Hong Kong (HKG), and Singapore (SIN), and get all the way to the Maldives from just 7,500 miles one way in economy. You can’t get much cheaper than that!

2. Fly SWISS Air Business Class to Switzerland (45,000 Miles)

Swiss Air business class
SWISS Air business class feautres a lie-flat bed. Image Credit: SWISS Air

SWISS Air has an excellent route network, a great business class product, and flies to a huge tourist destination: Switzerland.

It, unfortunately, does levy fuel surcharges. Nevertheless, if you’re able to pony up $600 to Europe or $350 from Europe each way, it’ll be worth it to use Turkish Airlines miles here.

SWISS flies to Geneva (GVA) from New York (JFK) and Zurich (ZRH) to these 7 cities:

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • San Francisco (SFO)

3. Fly SAS Business Class to Scandinavia (45,000 Miles)

SAS A350 business
Flying on SAS business class is an excellent way to get to Scandinavia with 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles! Image Credit: SAS

SAS is the main flag carrier for 3 countries: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

It flies the A330 with a great staggered 1-2-1 configuration. You’ll have plenty of room to stretch out, a comfortable bed to rest in, and great food en route to Scandinavia!

For each of the 3 countries mentioned above, SAS flies to the respective country’s largest hub airport: Stockholm (ARN) in Sweden, Copenhagen (CPH) in Denmark, and Oslo (OSL) in Norway.

The route network is as follows:

Nonstop Flights on SAS to Copenhagen (CPH)
Boston (BOS)Newark (EWR)
Chicago (ORD)San Francisco (SFO)
Miami (MIA)Washington, D.C. (IAD)


Nonstop Flights on SAS to Stockholm (ARN)
Boston (BOS)Newark (EWR)
Chicago (ORD)San Francisco (SFO)
Los Angeles (LAX)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
Miami (MIA)


Nonstop Flights on SAS to Oslo (OSL)
Miami (MIA)Newark (EWR)

Bottom Line: If flying out of the U.S., expect your costs to be 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles plus ~$580 to $600 in taxes and fees. If returning to the U.S., expect around $350 to $400 in taxes and fees.

4. Fly Austrian Airlines Business Class to Austria (45,000 Miles)

Austrian Airlines business class
Use Turkish Airlines miles to fly Austrian Airlines business class. Image Credit: Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines generally operates 2 aircraft on flights from the U.S. to Austria: the 767 and 777.

Oddly enough, the 767 has a better business class product, with a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. The 777 alternates rows with a 1-2-1 and 2-2-2 configuration, so direct aisle access is a luxury you’ll have to hope for. When possible, you should choose the 767 over the 777 flying Austrian Airlines! 

You’ll be able to fly one-way for 45,000 miles plus $600 in taxes and fees to Austria and return to the U.S. for 45,000 miles plus $400 in taxes and fees.

Here are the routes that fly the 767:

Cities in North America That Fly the 777 to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
Los Angeles (LAX)Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Cities in North America That Fly the 767 to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
Chicago (ORD)Newark (EWR)
Miami (MIA)Toronto (YYZ)
New York City (JFK)Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Bottom Line: Overall, this is an excellent way to get to Austria comfortably in business class for low miles costs if you can pay for the fuel surcharges.

5. Fly South African Airways Business Class to Johannesburg (67,500 Miles)

South African Airways
South African Airways A330-300 business class. Image Credit: South African Airways

If you want to visit South Africa, the only airport you can fly nonstop to is Johannesburg (JNB).

There are 2 routes you can fly:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Johannesburg (JNB) on Delta Air Lines
  • New York (JFK) – Johannesburg (JNB) on South African Airways

Delta is a SkyTeam partner, so we won’t be looking at that method in this guide — the route we’ll focus on is from JFK.

Hot Tip: Although South African Airways isn’t currently flying international routes due to COVID-19, the odds look good that flights will resume in the future.

Since we’re not flying to Europe, the fuel surcharges are slightly lower; you’ll be paying around $290 each way in total taxes and fees. You’ll pay 67,500 miles + ~$290 in taxes and fees each way to fly business class on this route.

6. Fly Transcontinental in the U.S. (From 10,000 Miles)

United Polaris 787-10
Flying on United Polaris is a great way to get across the country. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Flying across the country in America can be exceedingly expensive. With economy flights in excess of $500 to $1,000 at times and business and first class in excess of $2,000, you definitely want to save money where you can.

If you are planning a transcontinental flight involving Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), or San Francisco (SFO), you might want to read this section!

United Airlines is going to be your best bet here since Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance partner. Its premium transcontinental routing includes United’s fabulous Polaris business class product. Even better, flying this product will only cost 15,000 miles each way and 30,000 miles round-trip. This is probably the best deal you’re ever going to get on United Polaris class across the U.S.! 

Here’s the breakdown for the other cabin classes:

Cabin ClassTurkish Airlines Miles Cost
(Transcontinental Flights)

Taxes and fees will generally be minimal, with a maximum of $50 levied each way.

Hot Tip: Flying across the U.S. in Polaris business class is one of the best ways to get maximum value on domestic award redemptions.

7. Fly Air Canada Business Class to India (52,500 Miles)

Air Canada Business Class
Air Canada Signature Class on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image Credit: Air Canada

Flying to India is often excruciatingly expensive and a distant journey, but Star Alliance partner Air Canada operates some fantastic business class flights to India.

With an average flight time of 14 hours from Canada, your trip to India would definitely be more comfortable in business class.

Unfortunately, Air Canada levies fuel surcharges of $400 each way, so your total taxes and fees will be approximately $450 each way.

However, spending the few hundred dollars extra might be worth it because it only costs 52,500 miles each way to fly to India in business class from Canada. 

Air Canada operates 2 nonstop routes to India as follows:

  • Toronto (YYZ) – Delhi (DEL)
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Delhi (DEL)

On these routes, Air Canada utilizes the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an excellent business class product. This is a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration with direct aisle access, loads of privacy, and solid catering.

Bottom Line: Overall, if you want to fly business class to India from Canada, definitely consider using Turkish Airlines miles to do it, with a one-way cost of 52,500 miles + $450 in taxes and fees.

8. Utilize the Generous Oceania Zone Definition (From 15,000 Miles)

Air New Zealand Business Class
If you have a chance, you can also try the Air New Zealand business class product! Regardless of what plane you fly, Air New Zealand business class is one of the best in the world. Image Credit: Air New Zealand

Turkish Airlines has an extremely generous definition of Oceania, and we can use it to our advantage. Specifically, the region includes these islands, countries, and territories:

  • Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu

Notice that Guam and Tahiti are included with Australia, New Zealand, and the like. This is an astonishing observation because flights from Oceania to Australia can be more than 7 hours long!

You will mainly be searching for Air New Zealand flights here, since Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Hawaiian Airlines are not Star Alliance partners.

“Intra-Oceania” Flights in Each Cabin Class

And here is an example route you can take:

  • Rarotonga (RAR) to Sydney (SYD) one-way for 25,000 miles + ~$100 in taxes and fees in Air New Zealand’s 787 business class (7 hours each way!)

9. Fly Within the “Far East” in Business Class (35,000 Miles)

ANA Business Class
This lie-flat ANA business class seat can be yours with some planning! Image Credit: Stephen Au

The Far East, as defined by Turkish Airlines, contains the following:

  • Brunei, Cambodia, China (except Hong Kong and Macao), China Taipei, Hong Kong – SAR of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam

Basically, the Far East includes all of Asia with the exception of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, and Central Asia.

Since this is such a huge region, you can get tons of value from flying business class within the Far East for only 35,000 miles each way.

Of course, you’re still limited to 1 carrier, but there’s still some room for optimization. As always, you’ll be on the hook for all fuel surcharges.

Here are some example routes:

  • Seoul (ICN) – Singapore (SIN) one-way for 35,000 miles + ~$62 in taxes and fees in Asiana’s A330 regional business class
  • Taipei (TPE) – Bali (DPS) one-way for 35,000 miles + $37 in taxes and fees in EVA Air’s amazing A330 regional business class
  • Tokyo (HND) – Jakarta (CGK) one-way for 35,000 miles + ~$100 in taxes and fees in ANA 787 Dreamliner business class (Note: ANA’s flight out of Narita uses an inferior 767!)

10. Fly Between Europe 2 and the Far East in Business Class (45,000 Miles)

Eva Air Business Class cuisine
A comfortable lie-flat seat, fantastic food and beverage offerings, and even pajamas are what you can expect in EVA Air business class. Image Credit: EVA Air

Another sweet spot is flying from Europe 2 to the Far East or vice-versa in business class.

With flights up to 12 hours long, paying only 45,000 miles is a great deal. Your fuel surcharges will be at their lowest when originating from the Far East as opposed to Europe 2.

Here are some example routes from Europe 2 to the Far East:

  • Brussels (BRU) – Tokyo (NRT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$150 in taxes and fees in ANA business class
  • Copenhagen (CPH) – Tokyo (NRT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$210 in taxes and fees in SAS business class
  • London (LHR) – Tokyo (HND) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$377 in taxes and fees in ANA business class
  • Munich (MUC) – Beijing (PEK) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$345 in taxes and fees in Air China business class
  • Paris (CDG) – Taipei (TPE) one-way for 45,000 miles + $159 in taxes and fees in EVA Air business class
  • Warsaw (WAW) – Tokyo (NRT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$216 in taxes and fees in LOT Polish business class

And here are some examples you can take from the Far East to Europe 2:

  • Bangkok (BKK) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$143 in taxes and fees in THAI Air business class
  • Beijing (PEK) – Rome (FCO) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$290 in taxes and fees in Air China business class
  • Hong Kong (HKG) – Munich (MUC) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$45 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Seoul (ICN) – London (LHR) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$88 in taxes and fees in Asiana Airlines business class
  • Singapore (SIN) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$328 in taxes and fees in Swiss Air business class
  • Vienna (VIE) – Shanghai (PVG) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$291 in taxes and fees in Austrian Airlines business class

Bottom Line: As you can see, there are tons of routes you can fly between Europe 2 and the Far East! This is just a taste of the possibilities. You can expect to pay 45,000 miles for one-way flights and 90,000 miles for round-trip flights.

11. Fly to the Middle East via Europe in Business Class (47,000 Miles)

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

If you are interested in visiting the Middle East, you can transit through Europe to fly to the Middle East for only 47,000 miles each way!

Here are the countries included in the Middle East:

  • Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Remember that you may not fly across the Pacific, as you would be transiting through a more expensive region (Far East) and would therefore be subject to the award prices for the Far East.

You must fly transatlantic to qualify for this award price. Not a problem, though, because you’ve got tons of options!

Here are some example routes:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Zurich (ZRH) – Dubai (DXB) one-way for 47,000 miles + ~$636 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST) – Muscat (MCT) one-way for 47,000 miles + ~$324 in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Tehran (THR) one-way for 47,000 miles + ~$674 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa Airlines business class

Your taxes and fees will be pretty high, but it might be worth it — you’re basically getting another 5- to 6-hour flight from Europe to the Middle East for only 2,000 miles more!

12. Fly From Europe to Southern Africa in Business Class (45,000 Miles)

South African Airways Business Class
South African Airways has a stunning business class product on the A330-300. Image Credit: South African Airways

Flying to Southern Africa from Europe presents a great opportunity to fly in business class: you can fly for 10 to 12 hours for only 45,000 miles! Of course, you’ll still be responsible for fuel surcharges.

Seeing as how this is a pretty niche redemption, it can be overlooked at times — but it’s definitely worth considering!

Here are the countries included in the Southern Africa region:

  • Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

With South African Airways as a Star Alliance partner and several other partners positioned in Europe, there’s plenty of variety to be had with these redemptions.

Here are some example routes you can take:

  • Istanbul (IST) – Mauritius (MRU) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$182 in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class
  • London (LHR) – Johannesburg (JNB) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$500 in taxes and fees in South African Airways business class
  • Munich (MUC) – Cape Town (CPT) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$363 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Zurich (ZRH) – Johannesburg (JNB) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$337 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class

Here are some great example routes in the opposite direction:

  • Cape Town (CPT) – Munich (MUC) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$262 in taxes and fees in South African Airways business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$262 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – London (LHR) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$273 in taxes and fees in South African Airways business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way for 45,000 miles + ~$262 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class

Hot Tip: If you’re traveling to Southern Africa, you will most likely be traveling to Johannesburg or Cape Town, as those are the biggest airports in the region.

13. Fly From Europe 2 to the Middle East in Business Class (24,500 Miles)

Turkish Airlines Boeing 787 9 Business Class Middle Aisle Seats
Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 business class middle aisle seats. Image Credit: Greg Stone

If you want to fly on a short-haul, international flight from Europe 2 to the Middle East in business class, it won’t cost you very much at all!

With business class flights priced at 24,500 miles, there’s some solid value to be had with this redemption.

Here are some unique and awesome redemptions you can make with only 24,500 miles:

  • Frankfurt (FRA) – Kuwait City (KWI) one-way for 24,500 miles + ~$276 in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Istanbul (IST) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 24,500 miles + ~$94 in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class
  • Zurich (ZRH) – Dubai (DXB) one-way for 24,500 miles + ~$253 in taxes and fees in SWISS Air business class

14. Fly From South America to Europe 2 in Business Class (52,500 Miles)

Lufthansa Business Class
Fly Lufthansa business class to South America! Image Credit: Stoyan Yotov via Shutterstock

Turkish Airlines also has a very inclusive definition of South America, so we can use this to our advantage — especially when flying between Europe 2 and South America.

Here are the countries and territories that make up South America:

  • Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia

The list of areas governed by the South America award chart is huge!

We won’t be able to look at all the routes to Europe 2, but here are several great options you can book with 52,500 miles each way:

  • Bogotá (BOG) – Barcelona (BCN) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$414 ($39 in reverse) in taxes and fees in Avianca Vuela business class
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$600 ($400 in reverse) in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • Panama City (PTY) – Istanbul (IST) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$387 (no reverse route) in taxes and fees in Turkish Airlines business class
  • Rio de Janeiro (GIG) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$48 ($400 in reverse) in taxes and fees in Lufthansa business class
  • São Paolo (GRU) – Porto (OPO) or Lisbon (LIS) one-way for 52,500 miles + ~$30 ($303 in reverse) in taxes and fees in TAP Portugal business class

Bottom Line: There are plenty of ways you can fly from South America to Europe 2 in business class. These routes range anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, so you’ll definitely be able to fly on these long-haul routes in comfort!

15. Fly ANA’s “The Room” Business Class to Japan (67,500 Miles)

ANA B777 300ER The Room
ANA’s new business class seating is unparalleled. Image Credit: ANA

ANA is one of the world’s few 5-star airlines as voted by Skytrax. This is thanks, in part, due to its wonderful service — the airline is renowned for the way it treats its passengers.

Fortunately for us, you can experience ANA’s business class all the way to Japan for just 67,500 Turkish miles.

Even better, ANA launched a new seating configuration that one-ups every other business class seating out there. Although its old business class seats are still excellent, “The Room,” which can be found on select B777-300ERs, features alternating seats and sliding doors that guarantee the ultimate in privacy.

Not every route features “The Room,” but here are some routes that do:

  • New York (EWR) – Tokyo (NRT) one-way for 67,500 miles + ~$124 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo (HND) one-way for 67,500 miles + ~$124 in taxes and fees

16. Fly Star Alliance From the Continental U.S. to Hawaii (From 7,500 Miles)

United Polaris 787-10
United Polaris 787-10. Image Credit: Stephen Au

The very last redemption here is on United Airlines. You can fly domestically to Hawaii for 7,500 miles one-way or 15,000 miles round-trip. This is an excellent deal, and one of the best, if not the single best way to fly to Hawaii from the mainland U.S. Also, it includes any East Coast flights as well. The same flight in business class costs 25,000 miles round-trip or 12,500 miles one-way.

Considering that some of these flights contain lie-flat seats in business class, it could potentially be a huge sweet spot for travelers headed to Hawaii.

Final Thoughts

Although Turkish Airlines is a relatively unknown frequent flyer program, as a transfer partner of Citi, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the Miles&Smiles program.

There are a few booking quirks, and it is generally not a “beginner-friendly” award program — but if you’re willing to stick it out, you can book some awesome sweet spots!

The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.

Frequently asked questions

How do I join Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles?

Do I need to be an Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles member to search for awards?

Yes, you must be a member to search for award availability.

How many Turkish Airlines miles do I have?

You may check your miles balance by signing in on the top right corner of the Miles&Smiles homepage.

When do Turkish Airlines Miles expire?

Turkish Airlines miles expire 3 years after they are earned. You can extend miles for another 3 years at a rate of $10 per 1,000 miles.

Can I transfer miles to Turkish Airlines from other loyalty programs?

Yes! You can transfer from Citi, Capital One, or Marriott Bonvoy!

How many Turkish Airlines miles are required for a trip reward?

You can see the award chart by following these steps:

  1. Visit Miles&Smiles
  2. Scroll down to the Miles&Smiles Award Tables section
  3. Click Award Ticket Table for the complete award chart

Which credit cards can I use to earn Turkish Airlines miles?

You can earn Turkish Airlines miles from any Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, or Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

How can I contact Turkish Airlines?

You can contact Turkish Airlines 24 hours a day at 800-874-8875.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

Urgent Report:

How to Beat the Crowds & Lock In Affordable Travel While You Still Can...

With lockdowns ending, the demand for travel is surging to record levels - and so are prices.

We’ll show you the strategies and tools to unlock huge savings, but that window is closing fast - so you need to get on this right now.

Download our last-chance playbook here:

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Does the traveler have to be the person to appear at the sales office? Or could I delegate it to friends/family who live in those cities?


  2. Thank you for the very comprehensive write up.

    I just want to point out that: (1) You can actually book a ticket for anyone, you only have to provide their exact name and some basic info over to the call center. (2) Some offices, including LA, is willing to issue tickets via email. They are also now implementing online booking for star alliance award tickets, but it’s still very buggy.


    • Hey Kaew!

      Thanks for reading!

      You bring up several good points which we will use to update this post.

      Keep in mind that a lot of these situations is dependent on the competency/knowledge of the representative.

      But, we will absolutely include caveats! Thanks a lot for reading. We tremendously value your feedback.


  3. Great insight Stephen. I’m thinking on transferring 50k ThankYou points. into Turkish Air and then find a round-trip business class award flight Honolulu (HNL) to Auckland (AKL). Where would I look? Air New Zealand doesn’t show award availability without having their Air Points in your account. Any advice on making this trip happen?

    Thank you,



    • Hey Gary,

      Do not use Air New Zealand to search for award availability on their flights because their award availability might not reflect what is provided to partners like Turkish Airlines. Search on United.com or Aeroplan.com for the routes you want. Write down the flight numbers, dates, class of service, etc when you find availability. Call Turkish Airlines and follow the directions there. Thanks for reading.


  4. Hi Stephen,

    I believe the answer is no, but is there any way to transfer my Turkish miles & smiles miles to Singapore Airlines? I have 27,000 miles that I don’t see myself using but I’m flying Singapore to Bali in 2020.


    • Kurt,

      Unfortunately, you can’t transfer. However, check out your upgrade options on SQ aiding Turkish Airlines miles! Maybe you can get some value there.

      Thanks for reading.


      • Kurt,
        Can you use your TK miles to get your free flight tickets from SIN to DPS on SQ?


        • Hey Ash,

          If you only hold Turkish Airlines miles, you can book travel solely within Asia on Singapore Airlines up to business class.


  5. Hi, I am based in Belgium and I am thinking between Miles&Smiles and Asiana Club. What do you think? Which one is better? Thanks


    • Than,

      It’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations as it all depends on what your own travel goals are. However, Asiana Club is very useful for U.S.-based travelers due to the sweet spots to Europe and the Middle East. Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is also very useful for the redemptions in this post. Thanks for reading.


      • Hello!
        I was trying to use Aeroplan or United’s Mileageplan to find availability for ANA or EVA from Asia to Europe but i can’t seem to find any! Anyone having similar issues?


        • Hey Louis,

          Airline award availability is subject to inventory release from each individual airline. Keep playing with your dates and being flexible! Thanks for reading.


          • Anthony Anderson August 1, 2019

            Hey, I’m trying to figure out how to book an award flight from mainland U.S. to Hawaii. I live close to CMH. I can’t figure out if I need to find direct flights or can I have multiple stops. For example, can I fly CMH to ORD to HNL?


          • Hey Anthony, great question! Turkish Airlines does allow you to include layovers on mainland U.S. to Hawaii award tickets on United Airlines. However, note that the airline imposes a max connection time of 4 hours. Additionally, all legs must have saver availability in order to be booked.

  6. Hi Stephen,
    Great article.
    I think TK increased the award ticket miles since this post.
    I’m looking to fly SFO-RUH (one way or return) and it’s costing 240,000 + $656 tax.
    is there is a better way to do this ?


    • Siddig,

      This isn’t correct. Turkish Airlines has “guaranteed award space”, which is significantly more expensive than the saver award space. This space is available when airlines don’t release any saver space. Keep playing around with dates until you see dates that have availability.


  7. Hi Stephen,
    Great insight.
    I have 120,000+ miles on Turkish Airlines and I’m trying to book a trip to Riyadh (RUH) in Dec, but the one way business is coming to 120K. In your piece here you mention 47K one way. Can you help me figure it out What is the best option for me ?



    • Siddig,

      I’m not sure which routes you’re thinking about, but Turkish Airlines controls availability. I would recommend calling them to see if they can help you out.


  8. Nilesh Bhimani August 24, 2019

    I have 50k + miles in my Miles and Smiles account of Turkish. I am living in India/Mumbai.
    1. How can I consume these miles for any of the domestic trip in India?
    2. Can I spend mile to buy any product (Other then air ticket or any service)?

    Waiting for your response,
    -Nilesh Bhimani


    • Nilesh,

      If you’re making redemptions on Air India, we would suggest you call Turkish Airlines directly at their 24 hour booking and customer services hotline:


      Also, please visit their website and contact them regarding other uses of Turkish Airlines miles.


  9. Hi there,

    I’m a Miles And Smiles (TK) member and am flying from Istanbul to Hong Kong on Singapore Airlines. Can I earn miles from this flight? If yes, would that be status miles or just bonus miles?



    • Hey Memin, good question! You can earn both elite and redeemable miles on Miles & Smiles when flying on most Singapore Airlines tickets. How many miles you’ll earn depends on the length of your flight and the fare class you’re booked in. You can check how many miles your fare class earns on Turkish Airlines’ partner earning page for Singapore Airlines.


  10. My husband and I are were able to make a booking using miles and smiles over the phone for an Air Canada flight. Everything was done over a 10 minute phone call including providing credit card. We did not have to go to a sales/ticketing office and our tickets were issued immediately by email.


  11. Isaac Thobela October 7, 2019

    HI Stephen,
    1. I have my daughter who joined Miles&Smiles last year in December, she will not be traveling anymore, so can she transfer the miles to me?

    2. What is the difference in terms of status and bonus miles, with more emphasis on how to use them.


    • Hi Isaac,

      You can transfer miles at a $10 per 1,000 miles.

      Status miles are used to achieve elite status, which grants benefits like extra baggage allowance and lounge access. On the other hand, Miles&Smiles miles are used for award flights.


  12. Hi,
    I’m based in Mumbai. I’ll be travelling on a round trip to Auckland via Singapore on Air New Zealand in their premium economy class. Also I’ll be traveling from BOM-IST-ORD-OSL-IST-BOM economy on class E. All these travels would be done in the next 4 months. My question here is where do I collect miles which give me more benefit to reach star Alliance gold. I don’t understand whether to go for an airline program that gives me more miles for my travel or an airline program like Asiana that gets me a faster to star Alliance gold (which even lasts longer). And I would probably not travel for 8 months after these trips. What should I do?
    Thank you. I’ve read a lot on your website and it has been very helpful. Never found information like this anywhere else.


    • Hi Harshil,

      It all depends on whether or not you value redeemable miles more than benefits like extra baggage allowance and lounge access. Unfortunately, there’s no one-stop shop answer for your situation. Since you wouldn’t be traveling for another 8 months, the amount of utility you’ll get from elite status isn’t as high. Therefore, it might be best to earn redeemable miles in this case. It might be good to credit your flights to Air Canada Aeroplan or Asiana Club.


  13. Hi Stephen,
    I need to buy 4 round trip tickets ( international) for next summer via Turkish airlines. I am hoping to book them via miles that I can earn on credit card. Would you recommend citi thank you card over United explore card? What would be your recommended route I should follow to get much needed 4 tickets on Turkish airlines?


  14. What about upgrading with miles from economy to business class? You didn’t touch on it.


    • Hey Abe, you can find the mile upgrade requirements and upgrade costs on Turkish Airlines’ website. However, we highly recommend using your points for award tickets — this is almost always a better value than a mileage upgrade.


      • I can’t manage to upgrade with Miles&Smiles on Lufthansa. Do you happen to know about it?


        • Sagi,

          You can’t just upgrade any ticket. It must fall under the correct, upgrade-able fare class. You must then find upgrade availability. Then and only then can you upgrade your tickets.


  15. I don’t know about all the other options, but that 47K business class from US to the middle east (which i used before), doesn’t exist anymore. They show it as an award option, however, they never assign any Business award seats to this 47K level. I argued with them on the phone and I proved it when the agent couldn’t find a seat for up to 12 months in advance. You will never be able to get it.


    • Hi Ana,

      Thanks for sharing. We have some credible data points recently that demonstrate this booking is possible. If you were on the phone with an agent, we would recommend hanging up and calling again to be connected to someone else who can do it. Also, it depends on the airline you’re looking to book, as some airlines don’t release availability to Turkish Airlines.


  16. Honolulu (HNL) to Auckland (AKL) cost 52,500 Turkish Airlines miles in economy class, not 15,000 miles.


    • Hey Bryan,

      Thanks for bringing this stealth devaluation to us. We’ll be updating our guide accordingly.


      • Is this correct, Hawaii to Oceania went up in price or was this just the user finding availability that wasn’t saver? I live in HNL and am looking to go to other Oceania so wondering.


        • Sho’nuff,

          The price is 52,500 miles one-way in economy, 75,000 miles in business, and 115,000 miles in first. Thanks for reading!


  17. Hi Stephen,
    I’m based in Singapore and on Krisflyer (no status currently) and flying soon on Turkish for the first time on a J ticket to Buenos Aires return. I read about what you wrote on the merits of miles & smiles and have a few questions:
    1. what is the best FFP to credit the miles for this upcoming flight on TK. Krisflyer or miles & smiles?
    2. If I credit to miles & smiles, while my first 2 sectors (SIN-IST and IST-EZE) will not earn sufficient miles to give me the equivalent of Star silver status, if I reach this status after my third sector (EZE-IST), will I get the Star Silver status bonus credit for the 4th sector of my flight (IST-SIN)?
    3. Are there sweet spots for redemption of miles & smiles for travelers based in Singapore and Far East?


    • Hi Mark,

      1. There’s no definitive answer. In general, you’ll get more value out of Miles&Smiles miles with the exception of booking Singapore Airlines flights. The only way (for the most part) to book J or F for long-haul flights on Singapore Airlines is by using Singapore Airlines miles.

      2. It depends on if the tickets are booked on a single reservation. If they are, you won’t get bonus credit. If they aren’t and the time difference between the 2 flights is large, then yes.

      3. As far as sweet spots go from Singapore, there may be, but it all depends on how you value your miles. The challenge will be actually getting Turkish Airlines to ticket the award to you.

      If you feel like you’d get value from an ultra-personalized points wealth management and travel concierge to to truly optimize your points and miles, please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] to inquire about a monthly subscription service.


  18. Very nicely written.
    What is their policy on lap infants on their own airline as well as partners?


  19. Hello,
    I saw that the value of miles needed for an award ticket from Europe to almost anywhere had doubled since end of December, which was terribly disappointing for me. Turkish Airlines gave no notice of this. Any idea why this happened and why now?


    • Hi Maria,

      Unfortunately, Airlines occasionally devalue their miles and award charts and seldom give a reason as to why they are doing so. It is a very unfortunate part of the hobby, which is all the more reason to spend your miles while you have them!


  20. Adam Garrett January 27, 2020

    Any idea why it takes more miles (10k) to get from East Coast to West Coast than it does to get from East Coast to Hawaii (7500)?


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.