FAQ: Is this a good award redemption for business class to Europe?

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When I am looking for business class award flights to Europe, there are a handful of airlines I always check. Below are some of the airlines I think have good redemptions, often release more than 2 award seats and are easier to book with.


Air France/KLM – Look for 55K – 72K miles (one way) for a great deal. Look for departures from Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Miami (MIA), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Washington Dulles (IAD), Boston (BOS) all New York airports.
If you are flying from the West coast, look for LAX – AMS for 67K miles and LAX – LHR for 80K miles.

How to book – You’ll need to have an account with Flying Blue – this is the loyalty program for Air France/KLM. Transfer points from – Chase, Capital One, American Express, Citi Thank You, Bilt

Singapore Air – Look for 81K miles each way Houston (IAH) – Manchester, England (MAN) OR 81K miles each way New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA)

How to book – Create an account with Singapore Airlines
Transfer points from – Chase, Capital One, American Express, Citi Thank You

Virgin Atlantic
Delta One flights via Virgin Atlantic: Sometimes you can find Delta One seats on Virgin Atlantic for 50K miles each way. The best way to find these is to head to seats.aero . On the top nav bar, locate “Tools” and click “Delta One Finder”. You’ll see an empty search box on the right. Search “50,000” and that will show you availability.

Air France flights via Virgin Atlantic: You can also often find Air France flights on Virgin Atlantic for LESS than offered on Air France. But, the taxes are usually higher. The lowest I’ve seen business class seats for is 49K miles.

While you may see flight options on Virgin itself that has miles under 50K each way, the taxes/fees are usually incredibly high, making it a poor deal.

How to book – Create account with Virgin Atlantic
Transfer points from – Chase, Capital One, American Express, Citi Thank You, Bilt

Air Canada
Singapore Air Flights via Air Canada: Remember those Singapore Air flights we just talked about? Sometimes you can find them on Air Canada to book for 70K miles. Unfortunately they rarely release more than 2 award seats per flight.

United via Air Canada: You’ll also find many United (and other Star Alliance member) flights available via Air Canada for 70K miles, while these usually cost 80K+ miles when booked on United.
While Air Canada may not be on everyone’s radar, I would always recommend checking here to see their options.

How to book – You’ll need to have an account with Aeroplan – this is the loyalty program for Air Canada
Transfer points from – Chase, Capital One, American Express, Citi Thank You, Bilt

Avianca –
Avianca is in the same partner system (Air Alliance) with Air Canada & United. You can find business class flights to Europe on their partner airlines starting at 63K miles. If you see a flight you’d like on Air Canada or United’s site, it is worth checking LifeMilies (Avianca loyalty program) to see if they have it at a lower priced award.

How to book – You’ll need to have an account with LifeMiles – this is the loyalty program for Avianca
Transfer points from – Capital One, American Express, Citi Thank You

British Airways –
This one may be controversial. If you can find a flight around 90k – 100K miles AND there is a transfer bonus, then that’s a pretty good deal for British Airways. Unfortunately their taxes/fees are high and are usually $350 – $450. This airline is on the list for me because they have nonstops from Denver. However, fees are usually lower from O’Hare so it can be worth re-positioning to O’Hare.
We recently found flights from O’Hare to Naples, Italy for 102K points each way AND there was a transfer bonus from Amex, meaning we only needed 78,462 miles per person each way (+$350).

How to book – You’ll need to have an account with British Airways
Transfer points from – Chase, Capital One, American Express, Citi Thank You, Bilt

Iberia –
You can find 34K mile options in business one way from O’Hare to Madrid, Boston to Madrid or Barcelona and New York to Madrid or Barcelona. The only problem with these flights is I almost always only see 2 award seats available.
Oddly enough, if you use a different end point in Europe, you’ll often find more seat availability. Like Boston – Munich for 66,500 avios. Or O’Hare to Paris (CDG) for 66,500 avios.

How to book – You’ll need to have an account with Iberia
Transfer points from – Chase, American Express

Double check your work

Use tools like these to see if there are better options. Or start with these tools and then double check the airlines above.

A Few Notes:

  • It’s REALLY important to remember if a redemption works for you, that IS a good deal. A lot of us are working around school, sports, work. It’s better to book the trip and pay a little more with points then to keep waiting and never book it. Believe me, you can ALWAYS earn more points, and I’m happy to show you how : )
  • I never recommend transferring points until you have found the exact flights you want and are ready to book. Award travel changes all the time.
  • Check out the actual aircraft you are booking. If you are in business class, you want to look for a 1/2/1 or 1/1/1 (rare) seat configuration. Meaning 1 window seat, 2 middle seats, 1 window seat configuration. Unfortunately, yes, plane equipment can change at the last minute, but at least try to get on the good layout 😉
  • ALWAYS check to see if there are any transfer bonuses with cards you have before you transfer. This can really lower the flight cost. For example, American Express recently had a 30% transfer bonus to British Airways. That is how I got my British Airway seats much cheaper. What a 30% transfer bonus means is for every 1,000 points you transfer, Amex gave an extra 300 points. Hence, a 30% bonus.
  • If you want the best prices for business class to Europe, you’ll probably need to be flexible. For example, search a variety of dates. Or if you want to go to Rome, look at flying into Milan or Florence where you could take an easy train to Rome. Going to Scotland? See if flying into London is cheaper then take a train to Scotland. If you want the BEST deal, you have got to be flexible!

I hope that you found this list and tips helpful! There are many more ways you can get to Europe on points/miles but these are some of the more beginner friendly ways that have some fantastic point redemption options!

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

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