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Planning a trip abroad? Use points and miles to book these popular international flights in 2024


Redeeming your hard-earned airline miles and credit card points can be confusing. After all, if you’re traveling on a popular international route like New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), there are a multitude of airlines, cabins and tax bases.

However, knowing which airlines offer the most lucrative awards is worth your while.

I’ll take you through some of the most popular U.S. nonstop international flights and show you which programs offer the most appealing award rates.

As you may already know, more and more loyalty programs have drifted away from fixed-price award charts in favor of dynamically priced awards. This is particularly true when you’re redeeming points and miles with the same loyalty program as the airline you’re flying on (i.e., redeeming SkyMiles for a Delta Air Lines flight).

So, some of these award prices are starting prices that I found, while others are the fixed award rate for a given flight. Confirm that your desired dates have award space before transferring points if you’re transferring credit card points.

We checked each route over three months toward the end of the schedule to find the best availability and lowest redemption prices. As always, these redemptions may vary during your search.

Related: 7 of the best airline award chart sweet spots

Book a flight from New York to London

ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

The New York-to-London corridor is one of the most competitive and profitable international aviation routes, with dozens of nonstop flights daily. Here are some options to redeem your points and miles to travel from New York to London.

American Airlines

  • Economy: 22,500 Alaska Airlines MileagePlan miles plus $19
  • Premium economy: 41,250 British Airways/Iberia Plus Avios plus $457
  • Business: 57,500 Alaska Airlines miles and $5.60
  • First: 95,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles plus $5.60

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British Airways

  • Economy: 25,000 Avios and around $81
  • Premium economy: 40,000 AAdvantage miles plus $237
  • Business: 80,000 Avios and around $223
  • First: 80,000 Avios and around $986

Delta Air Lines

  • Economy: 23,500 Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles and around $10
  • Premium economy: 62,000 Delta SkyMiles plus $6
  • Business: 170,000 Delta SkyMiles plus $6

United Airlines

  • Economy: 30,000 United MileagePlus miles and $5.60
  • Premium economy: 50,000 United miles and $5.60
  • Business: 88,000 United miles and $5.60

Virgin Atlantic

  • Economy: 10,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points and $153
  • Premium economy: 17,500 Virgin points and around $453
  • Business: 74,500 Flying Blue miles and $365, or 47,500 Virgin points and $982

Related: The complete guide to flying to London on points and miles

Book a flight from Honolulu to Tokyo

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Flights between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND) have largely returned to their pre-pandemic frequencies.

There are also flights from Honolulu to other airports in Japan — like Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO). So, if you’re having issues finding availability, consider checking other airports in Japan.

Here are some of the best options for redeeming your points and miles from Hawaii to Japan.

All Nippon Airways

  • Economy: 27,500 Avianca LifeMiles and $25
  • Premium economy: Limited, if any, award space
  • Business: Limited, if any, award space

Delta Air Lines

  • Economy: 26,500 Flying Blue miles and $25
  • Premium economy: 88,000 Delta SkyMiles and $6
  • Business: 170,000 Delta SkyMiles and $6

Hawaiian Airlines

  • Economy: 32,500 American miles and $5.60
  • Business: 52,500 American miles and $5.60

Japan Airlines

  • Economy: 25,000 Alaska miles and $19
  • Premium economy: 40,000 Alaska miles and $19
  • Business: 52,500 AAdvantage miles and $5.60

Related: After 3-month delay, Japan Airlines unveils flights on new flagship jet

Book a flight from New York to Toronto

Economy class on an Air Canada A220. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Many travel regularly from New York City to Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ). Heads-up here — as I mentioned earlier, some of these awards are dynamically priced, meaning you could find lower or higher award rates depending on your travel dates. This route is particularly susceptible to dynamic pricing.

Air Canada

  • Economy: 7,500 Air Canada Aeroplan points and $28
  • Business: 14,000 Aeroplan points and $28

American Airlines

  • Economy: 7,500 American miles and $6
  • Business: 15,000 American miles and $5.60

Delta Air Lines

  • Economy: 6,500 Delta SkyMiles and $6
  • Business: 18,000 Delta SkyMiles and $6

United Airlines

  • Economy: 7,500 Aeroplan points and $28
  • Business: 15,000 Aeroplan points and $57

Related: The best ways to maximize Air Canada’s Aeroplan program

Book a flight from New York to Paris

ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Air France-KLM is most likely your go-to when traveling between New York and Paris on points and miles, given Air France operates numerous daily flights between the cities.

Here’s what you can expect when using points and miles from New York to Paris.

Air France

American Airlines

  • Economy: 30,500 American miles and $5.60
  • Premium economy: 59,000 American miles and $5.60
  • Business: 80,500 American miles and $5.60
  • First class: 273,500 American miles and $5.60

Delta Air Lines

  • Economy: 25,000 Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles and $10
  • Premium economy: 70,000 Delta SkyMiles and $6
  • Business: 155,000 Delta SkyMiles and $6

United Airlines

  • Economy: 30,000 United miles and $5.60
  • Premium economy: 50,000 United miles and $5.60
  • Business: 80,000 United miles and $5.60

Related: 11 things I learned during my trip to Paris

Book a flight from New York to Santo Domingo

A JetBlue A320. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The Dominican Republic is another popular international destination from New York. As with Toronto, flights on this route are heavily dynamically priced, meaning that award prices for your travel dates could vary greatly.

Here are some options for using points and miles to fly between New York City and Las Americas International Airport (SDQ).

Delta Air Lines

  • Economy: 9,500 Delta SkyMiles and $53
  • Business: 27,000 Delta SkyMiles and $53

JetBlue

  • Economy: 6,800 JetBlue TrueBlue points and $53
  • Business: Not offered on this route

United Airlines

  • Economy: 11,800 United miles and $53
  • Business: 35,000 United miles and $53

Related: How to book a trip to the Dominican Republic using points and miles

Book a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney

ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

With its world-famous harbor bridge and Opera House, Bondi Beach and laid-back lifestyle, Sydney has long been a popular choice for those looking to head Down Under. With four different airlines offering nonstop flights between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Sydney Airport (SYD), here are the best prices.

Qantas

American Airlines

  • Economy: 30,000 Alaska miles plus $40
  • Premium economy: 65,000 American miles and $26
  • Business: 45,000 Alaska miles plus $40 (increasing to 60,000 miles for redemptions made from March onward)
  • First class: 70,000 Alaska miles plus $40

Delta Air Lines

  • Economy: 65,500 Virgin points plus $33
  • Premium economy: 155,000 Delta SkyMiles and $33
  • Business: 410,000 Delta SkyMiles and $33

United Airlines

  • Economy: 36,900 United miles and $26.60
  • Premium economy: 70,000 United miles and $26.60
  • Business: 100,000 United miles and $5.60

Related: When is the best time to book flights for the cheapest airfare in 2024?

Book a flight from Miami to Buenos Aires

ALAN BRUTENIC/EYE EM

Miami International Airport (MIA) to Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) is another premium-heavy route.

While it’s historically been difficult to redeem points and miles to fly on the flag carrier of Argentina, it’s a member of SkyTeam, so Air France-KLM Flying Blue members can redeem Flying Blue miles to fly on Aerolineas Argentinas. Admittedly, the award rates are underwhelming, so consider sticking to American Airlines.

Aerolineas Argentinas

  • Economy: 44,000 Flying Blue miles and around $10
  • Business: Limited, if any, award space

American Airlines

  • Economy: 30,000 American miles and $5.60
  • Premium economy: 40,000 American miles and $5.60
  • Business: 55,000 American miles plus $5.60
  • First: 110,000 American miles plus $5.60

Related: One of the most affordable Park Hyatt hotels is in Argentina’s wine country — but is it worth it?

Book a flight from San Francisco to Singapore

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Despite a marathon 16-hour flight time to the Lion City, there are usually four daily flights to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), both on Star Alliance carriers. The best prices and availability are through the airline’s own loyalty programs.

Singapore Airlines

  • Economy: 42,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles and $5.60
  • Premium economy: 75,000 KrisFlyer miles and $5.60
  • Business: 87,500 Aeroplan points and $57

United Airlines

  • Economy: 55,000 United miles and $5.60
  • Premium economy: 65,000 United miles and $5.60
  • Business: 87,500 Aeroplan miles and $57

Related: Is United Polaris business class worth it to Singapore?

Bottom line

As you can see, loyalty programs charge different amounts on the same route. Some programs have steep fuel surcharges, which can ruin what would have been a favorable use of points and miles. And in some instances, one program may charge more for premium economy than another program would charge for business class on the same flight. So, it pays to know the best redemption prices.

The key to a successful award redemption is flexibility in travel dates, airports and airlines. Transferable points allow you to transfer to the program best for your particular flight.

If your preferred flight doesn’t have award space, consider setting up an alert with ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures). That way, you’ll be notified if an award seat becomes available.



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