Why would I want to search for flights on Japanese based carrier All Nippon Airways, when I’m looking to fly from New York to London? To save thousands of miles and fly with one of the best mileage-based award charts of any program. ANA offers the best award availability for Star Alliance partners and is the standard for finding award ticket availability for any of its Star Alliance members. Star Alliance members include airlines such as United, Lufthansa, Singapore, Air Canada, Thai, Turkish, and more. See the mileage-based distance award chart below:
First off, apply for an ANA Mileage Club program account here. It can be difficult to find their page to redeem miles for award tickets, so click here and then click on the “members-only function” link to access the page once you’ve already logged into your account. ANA will not allow you to search for Star Alliance award flights until you have miles in your account. However, The Points Guy showed me a great trick on how to search for Star Alliance international award tickets without having any ANA points in your account.
As you can see, the “Use Star Alliance Member Airlines” option is grayed out. However, if you just click on “ANA International Flight Awards” and search any flight operated by ANA, for example, LAX-Tokyo, you will then find an option at the bottom of the page that says “Star Alliance Member Airlines” to access the page to search any Star Alliance member award tickets. Once you reach this page, you can search unlimited Star Alliance availability without having any miles in your account!
Now you can book a flight on United from New York to London that would normally cost you 60,000 points roundtrip in economy and get it for only 38,000 points when you book it through ANA! Plus, ANA will find you flights on many Star Alliance partners when they aren’t showing any availability on their own websites. ANA also offers up to 4 free stopovers. So feel free to book an extensive trip through Europe and stopover at a bunch of cities of your choice for free!
You can book that same flight in business for only 63,000 points through ANA as opposed to 115,000 points to fly the same route on United and 140,000 points with their partners. These awards are easily searchable once you get some points into your account and enjoy great savings today!
Notice a 20,000 point difference here between ANA and United when booking a roundtrip ticket for the exact some flights from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand:
I love playing around with ANA and comparing mileage award ticket prices to United and other airlines in the Star Alliance network. Lufthansa flies one of the bets first class products in the sky with their plush seats and a complete lie-flat bed right next to it! They used to be affordable on United’s website, but with United’s recent devaluation, a roundtrip ticket with Lufthansa in first class would set you back 220,000 miles! However, on ANA, that same itinerary is only 100,000 points…what a deal! It’s worth noting that Lufthansa usually only releases award tickets in their first class cabins 14 days in advance of departure, and the itinerary listed below is obviously not one you would book (spending only half a day in Frankfurt). However, I’m posting it here just to show you the difference in miles needed to book through ANA for Star Alliance member flights. I also review Lufthansa’s magnificent Frankfurt first class lounge that has world-class luxury amenities and makes my list of top 5 airport lounges in the world.
Book on ANA for 100,000 points:
United for 220,000:
- You should note that ANA charges a fuel surcharge to all flights booked through their platform. They charge very little to no surcharges on flights booked through United. So if you have the ability to choose which airline to fly with, United is most ideal for ANA mileage award bookings.
How to Earn ANA Points:
The best way to start earning ANA points is to accumulate American Express Membership Reward Points and/or American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Points (Starpoints) that can be transferred to your ANA account. Membership Reward points will transfer over at a 1:1 rate as will Starpoints, however, Starwood Preferred gives you a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer to an airline account. So I like to transfer points in 20,000 point increments even if I don’t need the extra points, I can save them for a later date. So that first class roundtrip ticket listed above, from New York-Frankfurt that costs 220,000 points on United, would only cost you 80,000 Starpoints when transferred to ANA! You can’t get much better value than that.
For more information on some of the best cards from American Express and a detailed list of all the other perks from cards such as the Amex Gold, Platinum, and Starwood card, read my reviews on them here.