The Best Award Flights to Book to Calgary

Flying United is likely to be your best bet for getting a deal on your trip to Calgary.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 

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Headed north of the border? Consider Calgary as a destination for your next trip. As the biggest city in Western Canada and the largest in the province of Alberta, Calgary is home to a booming oil industry, but a lot more, too. Tourists flock to town for its world-famous Calgary Stampede rodeo event. Couples and families alike will love the great shopping downtown as well as visits to the Calgary Zoo and getting a bird's-eye view of the city from the top of Calgary Tower.

Calgary International Airport has a decent network of flights to get you there. But, it is important to look beyond the obvious Alaska, American, Delta and United loyalty programs if you want to fly for less. We looked into the best flights to Calgary on points and miles with some of the top non-U.S. programs that can get you there for less. If you play your loyalty cards right, these are the best award flights to Calgary.

Air Canada Aeroplan distance-based award chart

Using Aeroplan points to fly to Canada can be worthwhile, but the price varies based on the distance flown and if you fly Air Canada or a partner airline. From the U.S., that would be United.

Flights costs are based on the distance flown between the origin and destination according to the different price category zones, not on whether the flight is nonstop. Connecting itineraries are permitted. For example, flights under 500 miles cost between 6,000 and 10,000 points in economy on Air Canada. Flights between 1,501 and 2,750 miles cost a flat 12,500 points in economy on partner airlines like United.

Let’s take a look at a Denver to Calgary flight on United. With a flight distance of 897 miles, it's in the second category. As a partner airline, the economy redemption would cost 10,000 Aeroplan points for economy or 20,000 points for business class. There are minimal taxes and surcharges, including a small partner award booking fee.

It is easy to search for Aeroplan availability via Air Canada’s website. You can even pad your Aeroplan balance with a variety of 1:1 transfer partners including:

  • American Express Membership Rewards.

  • Capital One Rewards.

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Another option is moving Marriott Bonvoy points from your account to Aeroplan at a 3:1 ratio. You can quickly stock up on Marriott Bonvoy points with Marriott co-branded credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Terms apply.

Awesome award flights to Calgary

12,500 miles in economy or 23,000 in business with Singapore KrisFlyer

As a Star Alliance member airline, Singapore KrisFlyer members have access to alliance partner airline redemptions. The program charges a flat fee for mileage tickets plus minimal taxes and surcharges starting at $40. A one-way ticket in economy class on partners Air Canada and United cost 12,500 miles, while business class redemptions are 23,000 if available.

Sample flight redemptions are similar to other Star Alliance partners on nonstop flights such as Denver to Calgary on United or Phoenix to Calgary on Air Canada.

You can earn Singapore miles without setting foot on the airline’s flights. The KrisFlyer program is a transfer partner with:

  • American Express Membership Rewards.

  • Brex Rewards.

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Capital One Miles.

  • Citi ThankYou Rewards.

You can also transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy to KrisFlyer at a 3:1 ratio.

10,000 miles in economy or 15,000 in business class with Turkish Airlines

The Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles program may not be familiar to most American travelers. But for those looking for good redemptions, Turkish has some bargains up its sleeve. While you won’t be flying Turkish flights between the U.S. and Canada, you can still redeem Turkish miles for its Star Alliance partners. Here’s how.

Start by searching for award flights on Air Canada or United via Once you find nonstop, saver availability, call Turkish at 800-874-8875 to book the deal. The one-way economy award on Turkish is 10,000 miles plus minimal taxes and fees; one-way business class redemptions go for 15,000 each way.

Examples of nonstop flights to Calgary include Air Canada (from Phoenix and San Francisco) and on United (from Denver).

If you’re wondering how to accrue Turkish miles, flying the airline is not the only option. The airline is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points with a 1:1 transfer rate. Cards like the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Prestige® Card award ThankYou Points for every dollar you spend. You can also move Marriott Bonvoy points into your Turkish account at a 3:1 ratio. Aside from staying with Marriott, you can also score more points with Marriott co-branded credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card.

Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Turkish Airlines miles at 1.4 cents each.

Flying to Calgary on miles and points

If you want a great mileage bargain to Calgary, avoid award programs like Delta, which charge a lot more than these international programs. The best of the domestic airlines to use is United Airlines, which partners with Star Alliance member Air Canada and has an easy award search function online. You will regularly find one-way economy award flights for 15,000 miles. Still, if you pair the right credit card points with an international program, there are even better deals to be had on some routes.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

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