The Cheapest Ways to Fly to Australia Using Points and Miles

Nov 5, 2019

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Known for its natural beauty and incredible cities, Australia is a popular tourist destination that can be expensive to travel to. Even tickets from the West Coast can cost over $1,500 during peak season.

The solution? Frequent flyer programs. Here are the cheapest ways to fly to Australia using points and miles.

All Nippon Airways Mileage Club

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club offers round-trip partner award flights to Australia for just 75,000 miles in economy. But where the program really shines is when it comes to business class tickets, where a round-trip award costs just 120,000 miles. That’s a bargain, considering Star Alliance member United currently charges 160,000 to 180,000 miles for a round-trip business class award to Australia.

ANA Mileage Club is a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program. You can cover the entire cost of a round-trip ticket with the welcome bonus from The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

The following cards offer comparatively smaller welcome bonuses, but their spending requirements may be more attainable:

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

A Oneworld alliance member, Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank has a distance-based award chart with some pretty great sweet spots. While a round-trip economy class ticket between Los Angeles or Dallas and Sydney clocks in at 90,000 miles round-trip (more than you’ll pay compared to other programs on this list), business class awards are a bargain at 120,000 miles round-trip.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is a Marriott transfer partner, and the airline also has a co-branded credit card as a means for you to rack up miles for a trip to Australia.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Thanks to a partnership with Qantas, American Airlines is a great option if you’re looking for cheap award flights to Australia using points and miles. A round-trip flight in economy class costs 80,000 AAdvantage miles, while business class costs 160,000.

The reason American Airlines makes the list is because the program offers many different co-branded credit cards to give your account a boost. For example, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® currently offers a sizeable  bonus after a single purchase. Pair that with the bonus from the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and after completing the spending requirements, you’ll be on your way to earning enough for two round-trip economy class tickets to Australia.

United MileagePlus

United MileagePlus charges 80,000 miles round-trip for an award flight to Australia in economy. Business class on United is pricier at 160,000 miles round-trip. Partner business class seats are priced slightly higher still at 180,000 miles round-trip.

While there are cheaper award flight options, United MileagePlus awards are fairly attainable thanks to multiple co-branded credit cards and a transfer partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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