Sweet Spot Sunday is a weekly series highlighting the best-value award redemptions across loyalty programs.
It’s no secret that ANA Mileage Club is one of my favorite loyalty programs. The program offers some of the best redemption sweet spots out there for international business class and includes free stopovers on most international awards.
One of the best ANA deals is off-peak flights to Japan and the rest of Asia. In fact, it’s cheaper than what most airlines charge for one-way in business class. Here, I’ll show you why this deal is special and how to book it with American Express Membership Rewards points.
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Why it’s special
You can book ANA business class from the U.S. to Asia for as little as 75,000 miles. This is less than what many airlines — like United — charge for a one-way business class ticket from the U.S. to Asia. Better yet, ANA offers one of the best business products in the sky, especially on routes equipped with the carrier’s new “The Room” business class product.
Pricing varies based on where you fly. Flights to Japan are cheapest at 75,000 miles round-trip off-peak, while flights to other Asian cities cost more miles. Here’s a look at off-peak business class pricing in all Asian zones. You can view the full award chart on ANA’s website.
- Japan: 75,000 miles
- South Korea/East Russia: 80,000 miles
- Asia 1 (Central Asia): 80,000 miles
- Asia 2 (South Asia): 100,000 miles
Off-peak dates vary based on where you fly. These are the dates for flights from the U.S. to Japan and South Korea/East Russian, you can view all the seasonality charts on ANA’s website.
- 2022: January 4-February 28, April 1-26
- 2023: January 4-February 28
You can add a free stopover to ANA award tickets too. This means you can see a second city at no extra points cost. For example, you can start by flying from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT), where you can stay for as long as you’d like. Then, you can visit Okinawa (OKA) and fly home through Tokyo.
Or, you can fly to Hong Kong (HKG) and stopover in Tokyo on your way home for 80,000 miles.
That said, there are a couple of restrictions to keep in mind when booking ANA awards. The first is that you can only book round-trip tickets — no one-ways are allowed. Second, you can only book off-peak prices on ANA-operated flights. Partner flights book at standard award pricing.
Related: The complete guide to maximizing stopovers and open jaws on award tickets
How to book this award
To book an ANA award ticket, go to the airline’s website and click the Award Booking button on the left-hand side of the screen. Then, log into your account and you’ll be redirected to the award search page.
From here, you can select whether you want to book a round-trip or multi-city award ticket. Select the multi-city option if you’d like to book a ticket with a stopover, which is what I’ll do in this example. Enter your itinerary and click the orange Search button at the bottom of the screen.
You’ll find flight options for the first leg of your trip at the center of the screen. Flights listed as “Available” can be confirmed immediately, so skip waitlisted flights if you can. Select the flight you’d like and click the continue button to select flights for the remaining legs.
Related: Fly from the US to Europe, North Africa from 21,500 miles each way
After you select all your flights, you’ll get a quote for the miles and taxes required to book. Follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to complete your booking if all looks OK.
Related: Sweet Spot Sunday: How to fly round-trip to Europe in business class for 88,000 miles
How to earn points for this award
American Express Membership Reward transfer to ANA at a 1:1 ratio. You can earn Amex points by putting your everyday spend on an Amex card. Plus, you’ll earn bonus points when you open a new Amex card and earn the welcome bonus.
Here’s a look at current offers that will put you well on your way to having enough points for an ANA round-trip ticket to Asia:
- American Express® Green Card: 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Earn 3x points at restaurants, on travel and transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, tours and ride-sharing services), and 1x points on other eligible purchases ($150 annual fee; see rates and fees).
- American Express® Gold Card: 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of account opening. Earn 4x points at restaurants, 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x points), 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or American Express Travel, and 1x points on other eligible purchases ($250 annual fee; see rates and fees).
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership. Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 5x on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, and 1x on other eligible purchases ($550 annual fee; see rates and fees).
The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to ANA Mileage Club at a 3:1 transfer ratio. You’ll earn a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, so 60,000 points are worth 25,000 ANA miles.
Related: Move over Sapphire: Why I almost always go for Membership Rewards instead of Ultimate Rewards
Round-trip business class tickets to Asia for 75,000 miles are hard to beat. Bookmark this article and refer to it the next time you’re booking a trip to Asia. It can save you a ton of miles if award space works out.
Feature photo by Matteo Colombo/Getty Images.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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