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Bilt Rewards is the new kid on the block, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. With an amazing set of airline transfer partners, you have a bunch of different business class award booking opportunities.
Let’s take a look at what they have to offer!
Bilt Rewards’ claim to fame is the ability to earn 1x points on rent (up to 100,000 points per calendar year). The Bilt Card (no annual fee) also earns 3x on dining and 2x on travel including flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises.
However, the fun part about Bilt is their promos and partnerships.
Rent Day (the first day of each month) is popular as you can earn double points on your purchases, so 6x on dining and 4x on travel. They often run transfer bonus promos as well. For example, they ran a 100% transfer bonus promo to Flying Blue in May 2023.
Plus, you can link Bilt to Lyft and earn 2x bonus points on your rides. They even have a dining program in which you can earn 5x bonus points at partner restaurants. These points are on top of what you’d earn just for using the card (or another credit card).
Considered one of the best business class products in the world, you can book a one-way Qsuites award ticket to the Middle East or Indian Subcontinent for 70,000 American miles. This includes the Maldives which is always a favorite of those looking for villas on the water.
Please note that AA classifies Egypt as the Middle East.
If you want to go on safari in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, etc., you can book Qatar Qsuites for 75,000 American miles one-way. If you have a long layover in Doha, make sure you check out Qatar Airways’ famous Al Mourjan lounge.
For 60,000 American miles one-way, you can book Japan Airlines business class to/from Japan or Korea. Known for their amazing crews and great seats, this is one of the best ways to fly to North Asia.
Hong Kong is always a popular destination in Asia, especially for foodies. You can use 70,000 American miles to book a one-way award on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. Or, you can connect in Hong Kong on your way to some amazing destinations in Southeast Asia such as Bangkok, Hanoi, or Bali.
One of my favorite parts of flying Cathay Pacific is that they use widebody aircraft on intra-Asia routes so you can get a comfy lie-flat seat on the connecting flight. Plus, they have some great lounges in Hong Kong.
Qantas doesn’t release much business class award space between the US and Australia so, if you see it, book it quickly! You can use 80,000 AA miles to book a one-way award. Plus, you can connect to New Zealand for no additional miles.
Similar to Qantas, Finnair is generally quite stingy when it comes to releasing business class award space, especially to oneworld partners. However, if you can find space, 57,500 AA miles is a great way to book a one-way business class award ticket.
If you're looking to book business class on Star Alliance partners departing from the central or east coast of the US, consider the Aeroplan program. It offers a multitude of one-way nonstop options for as low as 60,000 Aeroplan points, with additional options available for 70,000 points.
Additionally, Aeroplan has the exclusive privilege among Star Alliance programs to book Singapore Airlines business class. This benefit is especially useful on Singapore’s two fifth freedom routes to Europe: JFK to Frankfurt and Houston to Manchester.
With Aeroplan, you don't have to worry about surcharges, enabling you to avoid high taxes and fees. For a modest 5,000 points, you can even add a stopover on your one-way award ticket.
Remember, to book at the 60,000-point rate, your total flight distance must not exceed 4,000 flight miles. For distances between 4,001 and 6,000 flight miles, the 70,000-point rate applies. The Aeroplan award chart can provide more details as the award rate depends on the regions of your origin/destination and your total flight distance.
At a cost of 70,000 Aeroplan points for a one-way ticket, you can book a business class seat from the east coast to African destinations like Ghana via Europe on Star Alliance partners. The award rate goes up to 90,000 points for flights spanning more than 6,000 miles. Hence, a one-way journey to Ethiopia or Kenya would require 90,000 points.
To qualify for the 87,500-point award rate, your total flight distance cannot surpass 11,000 flight miles. This holds true whether you're flying with EVA Air via Taipei, All Nippon Airways (ANA) via Tokyo, Etihad via Abu Dhabi, or Singapore Air via Singapore. For flights of 11,001+ flight miles, you’ll need 115,000 points to book a one-way business class award ticket.
While booking a business class ticket to South America on flights with lie-flat seats can be challenging, it certainly enhances the travel experience. If the flight distance is more than 4,501 flight miles, a one-way award can be booked for 60,000 Aeroplan points. For flights between 2,501 and 4,500 miles, you’ll only need 50,000 points.
While the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club might allow you to fly to Tokyo with fewer points, you'll have to pay the carrier-imposed surcharges. Depending on Japan's surcharge cap when you book, this could result in $200+ taxes/fees on a one-way award ticket.
With Aeroplan, you're not on the hook for surcharges, which allows you to book with 75,000 points and save significantly on the taxes/fees. Plus, you can add connections on other Star Alliance partners or connect to other destinations in the region at no extra points cost.
If you book a non-stop flight between Seattle and Tokyo, you'll only need 55,000 Aeroplan points. While this is a niche option, it's a fun sweet spot if it aligns with your travel plans!
With 90,000 Aeroplan points, you can grab a seat in Etihad business class to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or Oman. Please note that the rate will increase to 110,000 points if your total flight distance exceeds 8,000 miles.
A one-way business class flight from the East Coast to Delhi with a stopover in Europe can be yours for 90,000 Aeroplan points. If you plan to travel further south in India to destinations like Mumbai and Goa,, you’ll need 110,000 points. As such, you might want to consider flying into Delhi and booking a separate cash ticket from there.
Many airline programs impose a fee equivalent to 10% of the cash fare for traveling with an infant. This can be costly when you're booking one-way premium cabin awards. But with Aeroplan, you can include a lap infant on your journey for a mere CAD$25 on a one-way ticket.
While you can use Virgin points to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, you'll be hit with substantial carrier-imposed surcharges. However, with Flying Blue, you can book a business class award ticket to London for just 64,000 miles with reasonable taxes and fees. Longer routes like LAX will require more points than shorter routes such as JFK.
Be aware that departing from London will result in higher taxes and fees due to the UK's Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee.
Each month, Flying Blue releases Promo Awards from selected airports. Though business class Promo Rewards to/from the US/Canada aren't always available, they offer excellent opportunities to utilize Flying Blue miles when they are.
With a Promo Reward, you can get 25-50% off the saver award rate. So, a 55,000-mile one-way business class award rate can drop to 41,250 miles (25% discount) or even just 27,500 miles (50% discount). Note that these discounts don't apply to taxes or fees.
China Airlines, while not well known, provides non-stop service between the US/Canada and Taipei. You can find awards starting at 82,500 Flying Blue miles for a one-way business class ticket to/from Vancouver. From other West Coast cities, awards rates start at 90,000 miles.
Flying Blue sets the saver level award rates based on origin and destination pairs. Numerous US/EU city pairs offer business class awards for just 55,000 miles one-way. While surcharges can make the taxes and fees a tad pricey (around $250-$300 one-way), if you're looking to minimize cash costs, you can opt to use another program to book an award for your return journey.
Qatar Airways' Qsuites are typically seen as one of the top two business class cabins in the world. A non-stop flight to/from Doha can be booked for a mere 70,000 Avios. However, should you wish to connect within the Middle East, the rate will increase to 75,000 or 80,000 Avios so transferring Bilt points to American is preferable.
The advantage with BA Avios is that you can move them to your Qatar Privilege Club account and Privilege Club members sometimes get access to additional award space.
While many routes can be booked with BA Avios or Qatar Avios for the same rate, that’s often not the case with itineraries that connect to Southeast Asia. In this case, you’ll want to combine your Avios under your Privilege Club account so you can book Qsuites for only 95,000 Qatar Avios one-way.
Iberia business class one-way to Madrid for 34,000 Avios is a consistent top pick among points enthusiasts. To book this rate, there are two factors to keep in mind.
First, finding award space on off-peak dates is key as flying on peak days costs 50,000 Avios one-way (still a solid choice). Conveniently, Iberia provides a calendar indicating off-peak and peak travel dates.
Second, you must fly non-stop from Boston, Chicago, JFK, or Washington Dulles to Madrid to book at this rate. As Iberia and BA have award charts based on flight distance, other US routes and trips with connections will require more Avios.
I will note that 42,500 Avios on off-peak dates from other US airports is still a great deal and even 62,500 on peak dates can be a good option.
Royal Air Maroc provides a solid non-stop option to Casablanca from the east coast for 60,000 BA Avios. Once in Casablanca, you could then take trips to other cities such as Fez and Marrakech.
You can book a one-way non-stop business class ticket on a Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo for 77,250 Avios departing from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Known for their superb service, JAL ensures that you can enjoy the journey to Japan.
In most cases, upgrading a cash ticket with miles is a pretty poor value proposition. However, British Airways is an exception as it's often more advantageous to book a premium economy cash ticket and then upgrade to business class using Avios.
You can book a one-way business class ticket on Cathay Pacific for 85,000 Asia Miles for journeys covering 7,501+ flight miles. This could be a direct flight from New York to Hong Kong, or a flight to other destinations like Australia, South Africa, Thailand, etc. with a layover in Hong Kong.
For those starting from the west coast, a one-way non-stop business class reward on Cathay can be booked for 70,000 Asia Miles. You can also include a short connection if the total flight distance is no more than 7,500 flight miles.
Asia Miles is the best way to book Qantas business class to Australia using Amex points. Finding award space can be challenging, but 90,000 Asia Miles offers a great way to book a non-stop to/from the US or Canada. Additionally, you can include a connecting flight on Qantas to other Australian destinations for no extra miles.
British Airways is infamous for levying hefty surcharges on award tickets. These surcharges are passed on to you by BA’s own program and other oneworld programs. However, Asia Miles only passes on a portion of these surcharges, allowing you to keep the cash cost minimal.
Preferably, your award ticket on British Airways should commence outside the UK. If you begin your trip from the UK, you’ll be liable for the expensive Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee. Yet, if you merely connect or arrive in the UK, the APD fee won't apply.
Finding award space in business class on Finnair can be difficult, but the rate of 61,000 miles one-way is a great way to book when you can find space. If you wish to connect to other European cities, the rate generally increases to 75,000 miles.
Asia Miles offers one of the best methods to book a multi-carrier award ticket on oneworld partners. If you can steer clear of airline partners with excessive surcharges, this can be a remarkable way to include multiple stops on a single itinerary.
Specifically, you can include up to 5 stopovers on a multi-carrier award ticket. Furthermore, 2 open-jaws and 2 transfers can be included. To book, your itinerary must include at least 2 oneworld airlines besides Cathay Pacific. Note that you'll need to book over the phone.
Booking a round-trip Emirates business class ticket between JFK and Milan is an excellent use of 108,000 Skywards miles, plus taxes and fees are only around $260.
The same rate applies for flights between Newark and Athens, however, the business class cabin on Emirates’ Boeing 777 doesn't feature lie-flat seats. The cabin has a 2-3-2 configuration, meaning many seats lack direct aisle access. Despite this, it might still be worth booking, but it's something to bear in mind.
If you want to book a one-way award, you’ll need 87,000 Emirates miles.
Emirates slightly trumps British Airways Avios when booking a business class seat on Japan Airlines between Seattle and Tokyo with a redemption rate of 76,000 miles compared to 77,250 Avios.
The Emirates and Korean Air partnership is frequently overlooked, even by seasoned points enthusiasts. However, Emirates Skywards offers a solid option for redeeming business class award tickets at 88,000 miles for a one-way journey.
HawaiianMiles is a niche program, largely suitable for award tickets on Hawaiian Airlines, and finding saver level award space can often be challenging. However, if you manage to locate a saver level first class award seat to or from the contiguous 48 states, you can secure a one-way award for 40,000 HawaiianMiles.
Note: It's important to clarify that in the US, the terms "first class" and "business class" are frequently used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion. In reality, Hawaiian Airlines' first class is akin to business class.
Turkish Miles&Smiles allows you to add a stopover in Istanbul on a round-trip award booking when flying with Turkish Airlines. This is an excellent deal, especially for Europe-bound flights, as a round-trip ticket in business class only requires 90,000 miles.
Please note that you can’t include partner airlines on your itinerary if you want to include a stopover.
For just 45,000 miles, you can secure a one-way business class ticket to Europe using Turkish miles, provided you can find award space on a partner airline that does not impose surcharges. Air Canada, United, and TAP Air Portugal are good options, whereas Austrian, Lufthansa, and Swiss should be avoided.
Although United operates only a few flights to Hawaii with lie-flat seats, and business class award space is rarely available, if you do find business class award space, 12,500 Turkish miles can be a fantastic way to book.
Due to Istanbul's strategic location, it serves as an excellent connecting point for the Middle East. With Turkish Miles&Smiles, you can book a one-way business class ticket to destinations like Dubai for a mere 47,000 miles.
Similarly, using Turkish miles for destinations in India and Central Asia is an excellent choice, requiring only 52,500 miles one-way. You can fly either Turkish Airlines or any of its numerous Star Alliance partners, but make sure to avoid carriers known for imposing steep surcharges.
Although award rates to Asia on Star Alliance airlines can be quite high, especially for Southeast Asia, you can use 67,500 Turkish miles to book a one-way business class ticket to destinations like Japan and Singapore.
Another highlight of Turkish Miles&Smiles is North Africa. For 60,000 Turkish miles, you can book a one-way business class ticket to countries such as Egypt and Morocco. Remember to avoid partner airlines with high surcharges.
For 72,500 Turkish miles, you can book a one-way business class ticket to Central Africa, which includes countries like Kenya. If a safari is on your bucket list, this could be a great way to get there.
With few non-stop itineraries to Israel, booking a non-stop United flight from the US for 75,000 United miles one-way is a fantastic option. The challenge lies in finding saver level award availability.
Booking a business class seat on a non-stop flight to Australia can be tough. However, when such an opportunity arises, United miles offer a great way to book a seat in United Polaris.
Non-stop United flights to South Africa are always in high demand. Therefore, if you spot business class award space, be quick to book it using 70,000 United miles.
United operates several non-stop flights to India with one-way business class tickets priced at 75,000 miles. Similar to flights heading to Israel, the major obstacle is finding saver level award availability.
Finding business class award space to Tahiti may be even more challenging than to Australia, considering the limited flight options between the US and Tahiti.
If you come across such an opportunity, don't hesitate to redeem 70,000 United miles for a one-way business class award. Just make you have an option for the return flight to the US!
ANA is consistently ranked among the world's top airlines.
Virgin points offer a fantastic opportunity to book a seat in ANA's business class, particularly on flights offering their new business class known as "The Room".
A one-way award ticket for a non-stop flight from the West Coast can be yours for just 45,000 Virgin points. If you're flying from the East Coast or the Central US, it's still a great deal at 47,500 points for a one-way ticket.
Just keep an eye on the taxes/fees as the surcharges can be a bit steep.
Despite Delta SkyMiles' unappealing award rates for business class awards to Europe, Virgin points offer a great alternative for those looking to fly non-stop Delta One Suites to/from Europe. At just 50,000 points one-way, it's significantly better than 250,000+ SkyMiles.
Although finding space in Air New Zealand's business class can be challenging, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club provides an excellent option if you do manage to find a spot.
At just 62,500 points one-way, it offers one of the best award rates to New Zealand. While the business class cabin may not be the best in the business, the lack of a connection in Asia or Australia can significantly cut down your travel time.
While most awards booked with the Flying Club require additional points for a connection, this is not the case for tickets booked on Air France or KLM. Instead, Virgin sometimes offers better award rates than Air France-KLM's own Flying Blue program. For flights from the East Coast/Central US to Western Europe, you'll only need 48,500 points on off-peak dates.
Unlike other transferable points programs, there’s only one card to help you earn Bilt points. However, Bilt regularly runs fun promos that allow you to earn more points on purchases. Plus, they often run transfer bonus promos for Rent Day which makes getting enough points for an award ticket a even easier.
Our mission is to help you get the most out of your points and miles and transfer bonuses can be a great way to do that.
With so many travel credit cards to choose from, where do you start? With consideration of your 5/24 status, we have ranked the top credit card offers on the market.
With my years of experience, as well as my depth of knowledge of all of the programs, my goal is to help demystify the opportunities you have to help you move beyond researching and onto booking your trips.