TAP Portugal: What You Need to Know
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TAP Air Portugal is the country's flag carrier airline, with a hub in Portugal's capital of Lisbon. While it's generally considered a budget airline, it's fares aren't as low as truly budget airlines like RyanAir or EasyJet. It's also got slightly more elevated service than those names. And it's loyalty program, TAP Portugal Miles&Go airline miles, is pretty darn good, especially when it comes to the value of its miles.
It's easy to redeem miles earned through TAP all around the world (and to spend miles on TAP even if you've never flown it before), as TAP Portugal is a member of the Star Alliance. Thus, its flights service several U.S. cities, which allows for connections via Lisbon to the rest of Europe, Africa and beyond.
This TAP Portugal guide covers details of the airline, how to earn TAP Portugal Miles&Go airline miles, sweet spots for redeeming miles and everything else you need to know before you go.
About TAP Air Portugal
TAP Portugal Fare types
TAP Portugal flights come in just two classes — economy class and executive class (business class). There's neither a first class cabin nor a true premium economy cabin either. Though, some economy class flights have been unbundled so travelers can pay extra for seats with additional legroom (EconomyXtra). Learn how to make the most of Tap Air Portugal's economy class.
Where does TAP Portugal fly?
TAP Portugal’s main hub is in Lisbon, Portugal, and it serves more than 80 destinations in over 30 countries
As far as U.S. flights, TAP Portugal flies from Lisbon to cities including Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Miami, Newark, New York-JFK, San Francisco and Washington-Dulles.
Additionally, TAP Portugal flies between Newark and Porto, Portugal.
TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles: the airline's points currency and loyalty program
TAP Portugal’s frequent flyer program is called Miles&Go. All airline currencies have nebulous values that vary based on how you redeem them, but TAP Portugal miles tend to be among the most value of any airline mileage program. at 1.7 cents each.
You can credit Star Alliance flights to Miles&Go and use miles to book flights on Star Alliance and other partners.
How to earn TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles
Earn TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles by flying
You can earn Miles&Go miles by flying on TAP Portugal and entering your Miles&Go membership number to the itinerary information. On TAP Portugal flights, you earn miles based on a percentage of flown miles, ranging from 10% for the lowest discount economy fares to 200% for top executive fares.
If you’re flying one of the cheap economy fares, you’re likely to be much better off crediting the flight to a Star Alliance partner rather than earning 10% of flown miles with TAP Portugal.
You can also earn TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles by flying on Star Alliance or other TAP Portugal airline partners when entering Miles&Go membership information at booking. The number of Miles&Go miles earned varies by each partner and can be checked on TAP Portugal’s Earn Miles page.
For example, when flying on United, you can earn:
50% of miles flown on economy fare classes V, W, S, T, K, L, E, U.
100% of miles flown on economy fare classes Y, B, M, H, Q.
200% of miles flown on business/first fare classes C, D, Z, F, A, P.
With United’s move to earning miles based on the cost of your ticket, you may find that you'd earn more miles by crediting your United flight to TAP Portugal Miles&Go.
» Learn more: How to know how many miles you’ll earn from a flight
Transfer credit card rewards from Capital One
Of the four major transferable currencies (Chase, American Express, Citi and Capital One), only on transfers to TAP Portugal Miles&Go: Capital One. Capital One Rewards points transfer to TAP Portugal at a 1:1 ratio.
Transfer hotel points from Marriott Bonvoy
As far as hotel partners go, Miles&Go is a transfer option for Marriott Bonvoy points.
Marriott Bonvoy transfers to many different airlines at a rate of 3 Bonvoy points to 1 airline mile. If you're transferring Bonvoy points, it makes sense to transfer in blocks of 60,000 points since you’ll earn a 5,000 airline-mile bonus. In essence, 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points can become 25,000 TAP Portugal Miles&Go airline miles. That's a surprisingly fair redemption. While most currencies lose their value when transferred, these points gain marginal value (NerdWallet values 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at $420, while it values 25,000 TAP miles at a slightly-higher $425).
Given that incredible transfer ratio, the quest for more Bonvoys can actually net out to be one of the best ways to get a free TAP Portugal flight, especially for American travelers willing to apply for a Marriott branded credit card., which can quickly rack up Bonvoys from your everyday spending.
Other ways to earn TAP Portugal miles
Buy miles: TAP Portugal typically sells miles at a rate of 4.35 cents per mile (not a good value). However, it regularly runs promotions where you can buy Miles&Go miles for under 1 cent per mile, which can be a good value.
Participate in Club TAP Miles&Go: Club TAP Miles&Go is a subscription service that allows you to pay upfront to earn Miles&Go miles each month for a year. It also often offers promotions where you can earn bonus miles or even elite status.
Shop with TAP Portugal Partners: TAP Portugal has a wide array of different partners that allow you to earn Miles&Go miles by shopping, staying at hotels or booking car rentals.
Gift miles: You can buy and gift miles to a Miles&Go account that isn't your own at a rate of about 1.25 cents per mile.
There isn't currently a U.S.-based credit card that earns TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles. But given Marriott's incredible transfer ratio with TAP Portugal, someone seeking to earn miles through credit cards might consider a Marriott-branded credit card.
How to redeem TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles for good value
Fly TAP Portugal
TAP Portugal publishes an award chart, and it costs 29,000 Miles&Go miles for one-way flights from the U.S. to Europe. The airline's executive class (business) runs 100,000 miles one way from the U.S. to Europe.
As with any redemption, check the cash price of the flight versus the number of miles required to pay. When cash prices are high (peak travel times, holidays, etc.), you’ll get good value out of your TAP booking, thanks to the award chart.
Why TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go Miles are great for procrastinators
While this isn't the case for every airline, TAP Portugal is a pretty good airline for procrastinators. In a NerdWallet analysis of award redemptions, TAP Portugal miles are best for last-minute flight deals.
For economy redemptions, the valuation was 1.7 cents each for close-in bookings 15 days before departure. Meanwhile, advanced purchase bookings offer around 1.5 cents per mile. For holiday economy award flights, the valuation was slightly lower at 1.4 cents per mile.
Fly a partner airline
Here are the award chart values for Star Alliance partner flights, originating from North America, which start at 30,000 miles one way.
The Star Alliance partner executive class redemptions start at 45,000 miles one way.
You can book award flights for TAP Portugal, as well as with Star Alliance partners, on TAP’s website. For other nonalliance partners, such as GOL, Emirates or Azul Airlines, you'll have to call in to redeem Miles&Go miles.
Double-check the cost of partner award bookings. Note that TAP Portugal charges fuel surcharges on some partner redemptions, so you need to pay close attention to your options to avoid paying a lot of cash out of pocket.
A Lufthansa flight between Newark and Frankfurt International Airport booked with Miles&Go points can cost $755.60 on top of the 80,000 miles, compared with the Air Canada flight between the same destinations that charges only $36.60 in required taxes and 80,000 Miles&Go miles.
A rate of 80,000 miles for a one-way flight between the U.S. and Europe in business class isn't a spectacular deal, but when you couple that with how cheap it can be to buy TAP Portugal Miles&Go miles during a promotion, it may make for a better deal.
Other ways to redeem Tap Portugal miles
What else can you do with my Miles&Go miles besides fly on TAP Portugal and partner flights? You can also:
Upgrade flights: TAP Portugal allows you to use miles to upgrade any flight. It’s as few as 68,000 Miles&Go miles to upgrade to executive class from the U.S. to Europe.
Convert miles to status miles: You can convert Miles&Go miles to status miles at a rate of 1:2 to help qualify for elite status.
Purchase round the world tickets: TAP Portugal also offers a round the world ticket (up to 10 flights) for 250,000 miles in economy or 350,000 miles in executive/business class.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
TAP Portugal’s elite status program
TAP Portugal has only two elite status levels — Silver and Gold. Here's how these statuses compare:
TAP Portugal Gold
TAP Portugal Silver
Star Alliance partner elite status
How to earn status
70,000 status miles or 50 flown legs with TAP.
30,000 status miles or 25 flown legs with TAP.
How to maintain status
50,000 status miles or 40 flown legs with TAP.
20,000 status miles or 15 flown legs with TAP.
Mileage earning bonus
50% extra miles.
25% extra miles.
One extra complimentary piece of checked baggage on TAP / Star Alliance flights.
No additional benefit.
Economy Xtra seat upgrade for no additional charge
TAP Portugal also offers a status match program for frequent flyers who hold elite status with other airlines. This can be a way to cut down the number of miles or legs required to earn TAP elite status.
» Learn more: Travel loyalty program reviews
Bonus tip: Take advantage of free stopovers in Portugal
TAP Portugal also offers a stopover program where you can get a stopover in Lisbon or Porto at no additional cost. You can stay from one to 10 days in either location. This is a great way to extend your trip and see another destination, and — depending on how you do your accounting — let's you visit two destinations for the price of one.
To make a stopover, check if your route is eligible by inputing your cities on the booking menu on TAP Portugal's website. Click on "add a Stopover", and check if your flight is eligible for a Portugal Stopover.
If it's offered, select from either Porto or Lisbon as your stop over city, and select whether you want your stopover on the outbound or the return flight, as well as how long the stopover should last.
Both round trip and one way flights are eligible for stopovers, though don't get too greedy; Portugal Stopover can only be used on one of the routes of the journey, either the outbound or the inbound.
TAP Portugal's stopover program is also unique because it allows for multicity stopovers, where you can book a roundtrip where the destination and/or the origin are not the same in both directions.
Flying on TAP Air Portugal: is it worth it?
TAP Air Portugal is a lower-cost budget airline. As is the case with pretty much any budget airline, realize that you get what you pay for, so don't expect the frills of one of the fancier ones.
However, TAP Air Portugal shines relative to other budget airlines. That free stopover program is especially generous, and it can be a great way for frugal travelers to score an additional leg on their vacation without having to buy completely separate airfares.
As far as the Miles&Go mileage program goes, it's may be worth investing in. While it doesn't have an outstanding award chart, it’s tempered by the fact that, during promotions, you can often buy miles very cheap. If you can reliably purchase miles for less than 1 cent per point, you can get affordable award flights even if cash prices are high. Plus, you can find some deals on the promotions page.
And its miles are surprisingly valuable, especially relative to other international airlines.
TAP Portugal is well-known for offering extremely affordable one-way flights from the U.S. to Europe (it's possible to find award flights in economy class for less than 20,000 miles). So whether you're paying cash or in miles, know that you're flying a decent airline at what's likely a low price.
How to maximize your rewards
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