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Getting to Australia requires more planning due to the extensive flight distance, as well as using rewards for flights to New Zealand. While these flights can cost more than a short-haul flight, it may not take as many airline miles to fly to Australia as you think. There are several airline options to choose from to help you get competitive pricing, so here are a few options on how to fly to Australia with miles.
Fly to Australia With Miles and Points: Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is an Oneworld alliance member meaning you can use your Alaska miles to fly on American Airlines or Qantas. One-way economy flights cost 40,000 miles plus $39 in fees and taxes. Business class flights start at 55,000 miles plus taxes and fees although availability can be harder to come by.
Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines doesn’t have credit card transfer partnerships like many popular international carriers. Instead, you will need to transfer hotel points with the Marriot Bonvoy airline transfer bonus being the most lucrative as you receive 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points. The transfer ratio is 3 Bonvoy Points become one airline mile.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) can be another enticing program although booking award space requires a bit more work than most loyalty clubs. First, you will need to find a round-trip itinerary with United Airlines and Air Canada being your best options for nonstop service.
After finding your desired flights, you will need to call ANA and request to redeem miles.
A round-trip itinerary can cost the following:
- Economy: 75,000 miles
- Business: 120,000 miles
- First Class: 225,000 miles
You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards® to ANA at a 1:1 ratio. While this redemption strategy requires extra effort, it’s one of the lower award flight prices.
You can also fly to Australia with miles and points with American Airlines. While the airline uses variable pricing for many itineraries, there are several exciting options with as few as 28,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. There are offers for one-way flights in the main cabin on either an AA-operated or Qantas-operated jet plane.
Business class flights can be found for as low as 80,000 miles, but most travel dates require 223,000 miles one-way. First-class cabins generally require 233,000 miles but can require as much as 490,000 miles on the priciest travel dates.
Delta Air Lines
For most travelers, Delta Air Lines won’t be the most affordable option as their flight options are notably more expensive than most of the competition and as much as a round-trip with other carriers. The airline uses dynamic pricing. You will need to scour several monthly calendars to find lower prices.
Main cabin award flights are available for as little as 82,000 Delta SkyMiles, although it’s common to need 90,000 or even more than 100,000 miles per direction. A first-class award flight can require 410,000 miles one-way.
Delta SkyMiles credit card holders can be eligible for an award travel discount that makes this international route more budget-friendly. The airline is a 1:1 transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards too.
A better option is to book Delta partner flights through Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Red to potentially get the same flights for a fraction of the price.
Related: The Best Delta Credit Cards Review
Virgin may not be on the top of your radar when you think about how you can fly to Australia with miles and points. Virgin Red can help you book Delta-operated partner flights for 45,000 miles one-way from the United States to Australia. The same main cabin flights can require at least 100,000 SkyMiles when booked directly through Delta.
“Upper Class” business class flights require 165,000 miles one way, which is also cheaper than booking directly through Delta. You can book these flights online although your dates will need to be flexible for a premium cabin fair as inventory is tight.
It’s also relatively easy to transfer credit card points to Virgin Atlantic with the best travel credit cards. The transfer partners include American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou.
United Airlines has variable pricing for the flights it operates and partner flights. One-way pricing typically goes from 55,000 to 70,000 miles in the main cabin and from 200,000 miles to 250,000 miles in business or first class.
Marriot Bonvoy offers 10,000 bonus miles on transfers of 60,000 Bonvoy points which is double the transfer bonus to the hotel’s other airline transfer partners. Of course, the co-brand United Airlines credit cards are a great option for additional MileagePlus benefits.
Summary of How to Fly to Australia With Miles and Points
It’s worth your time exploring alliance partner availability to fly to Australia with miles and points as you are more likely to get a cheaper rate. The savings can add up if you are short on miles or planning a family vacation and need to book several seats. Using the best credit cards for airline miles can help you meet the mileage requirements.