ANA Miles Award Sweet Spots: Europe, Africa, Asia

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ANA Mileage Club Miles are a Great Way to Book Awards to Europe, Africa and Asia, although patience and flexibility may be required to find dates with award availability. I'll provide an example of each below, followed by how to earn ANA miles, when ANA miles expire, and the fee to cancel and redeposit an award.

Example 1: Europe in Business Class for 88,000 ANA Miles Roundtrip

I've covered this great value use of ANA miles to book business class between the U.S. and Europe for 88,000 miles roundtrip; that's just 44,000 miles each way, compared to the 70,000 miles United MileagePlus charges for partner awards, or 55,000 Aeroplan miles each way. Keep in mind that ANA miles must be used for roundtrip or open jaw travel, so you do need to find award availability in both directions.

That said, you could book an open jaw; recently I reserved LOT Business Class NYC to Budapest and TAP Portugal Business Class from Lisbon to NYC, for 88,000 miles + $151. A purchased ticket would have amounted to ~$3800 for this route, so that's over 4 cents per mile, a solid redemption value.

Keep in mind that ANA does pass along hefty fuel surcharges for airlines such as Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines and SWISS, so you'll probably want to keep your flights on LOT Polish, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines or United.

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Example 2: Africa in Business Class for 88K-104K ANA Miles Roundtrip

ANA Mileage Club considers Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to be part of Europe, so if you're visiting one of these countries, your business class award could be the same as Europe: 88,000 miles roundtrip.

Otherwise, ANA charges 104,000 miles for business class, for all other countries in Africa. Here's an example of an open jaw, flying into Dar es Salaam, say for a Serengeti safari at Singita Sasakwa Lodge or Singita Sabora Tented Camp, then ending in Marrakech, perhaps with a stay at Amanjena or the Four Seasons Marrakech, before returning to NYC. Since the outbound incurs Africa pricing and the return Europe pricing, the total comes to 96,000 ANA miles, plus ~$450 in taxes. It used to be that it was possible to redeem ANA miles for Etihad flights, which were a great way to get to Africa, but that partnership died at the end of 2017. For Business Class, best bets will be Turkish Airlines, TAP Portugal for northern Africa, and Ethiopian, since you're unlikely to find South African Business Class award availability.

United MileagePlus would charge 160,000 miles roundtrip, so you'd save 64,000 miles, although to be fair, you'd also pay ~$100 in taxes. Still, even if you only value United miles at 1.5 cents per mile, you'd be saving $960, so net savings of over $600 compared to a United award. Aeroplan would charge 150,000-165,000 miles roundtrip, although again with lower taxes than ANA, so again it would net out to hundreds of dollars in savings.

ANA Miles Award Sweet Spots-Africa

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Example 3: Asia in Business Class for 88K-104K ANA Miles Roundtrip

If you can be flexible and lucky enough to find award availability, ANA First Class roundtrip for only 120,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles (especially if you manage to transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Flying Club with a bonus) is still better than ANA, which would charge 150,000-165,000 miles.

But ANA charges fewer miles for Business Class: 85,000-90,000 miles, vs. 95,000 miles with Flying Club. In this Chicago example, taxes work out to $266 roundtrip, not too bad. Other places in Asia will run you 95K-115K roundtrip.

ANA Miles Sweet Spots-Asia

Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles

If you don't earn ANA miles by flying, the easiest way to obtain ANA miles is by transferring AMEX Membership Rewards points to ANA. Keep in mind that transfers aren't instant, but generally the points transfer within 24-48 hours.

Changing, Cancelling and Redepositing an ANA Award Booking

You may be able to change the date of your ANA award without a fee, but if you need to change the airlines or actual itinerary, such as the departure city or destination city, you'll need to cancel your existing award and book a new award. Instead of money, ANA charges 3000 miles to cancel and redeposit your remaining miles.

What are your favorite ANA Mileage Club awards?

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