Top “Overlooked” Ways to Spend Points Between the US and Europe

People are traveling again, but years of unprecedented “deals” on business and first class fares have now given way to tickets starting at around $5,000 and only going up.

That’s fine for some, but for others it calls for a desire to save some cash and finally burn some of those hard (or easily) earned points.

There are plenty of obvious and easy ways to do this, like using Delta SkyMiles to fly with Delta or British Airways Avios to fly with British Airways, but there are a few overlooked ways to make the trip across the pond in comfort and convenience. style, using stitches you may already have.

Here are some overlooked options for getting yourself a flat bed between the US and Europe in business class or first class comfort.

Duomo at sunrise, Milan, Europe.

Emirates 5th Freedom and more

When people think of Emirates, they think of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. It’s a good idea, but Emirates operates a series of 5th freedom routes, which means that not all Emirates flights begin or end in Dubai.

Emirates flies between New York and Milan and Athens, providing direct access to two incredible European gateways. They also have a new flight between Mexico City and Barcelona.

While any of these cities might make sense in your travel plans, Emirates Skywards Miles are a great way to enjoy maximum convenience, without blowing your budget. With points, many of these flights.

Points you can use: you can instantly earn Emirates Skywards Miles by transferring points from Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

How many points do you need: Business class is as low as 90,000 miles round trip and first class is 170,000 miles round trip. One-way trips are entirely possible, but will require just over half the mileage cost of a round trip. First class between New York and Athens costs just 85,000 miles one way, with low taxes.

Bonus Tip: Emirates Skywards is a partner of JetBlue, which means you can also use Emirates Skywards Miles to book JetBlue flights between New York and London for 64,000 miles one-way, and low taxes (less than $250 return ).

Singapore Air 5th Freedom Routes

There is hardly an airline that does this better than Singapore. Incredible economy experience, stellar premium economy – and things only get better in Business Class and First Class.

Many people already know about the New York-Frankfurt flight from Singapore, but people forget that there is also Manchester-Houston. Both offer a less thoughtful way to cross the pond with far better flight availability than most other airlines.

Singapore regularly releases its (absolutely stunning) first-class suites using points and the rates remain incredible, given how extraordinarily nice it is. Dom or Krug, right?

Points you can use: you can instantly create Singapore KrisFlyer miles by transferring points from Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi Thank You Points.

How many points do you need: Business class is as low as 72,000 miles one way and first class is as low as 86,000 miles one way. Round trips are easy and taxes stay really low. Manchester to Houston is also 72,000 miles one way.

Bonus Tip: Singapore has slightly “dynamic” pricing for flights, meaning some days will require more points than others. Singapore does allow you to waitlist for flights though, so you can still declare your interest and hope for notification.

Air Tahiti Nui LAX to Paris

Tahiti is beautiful, so you can totally use it to get there. But that said, LA to Paris is a route that’s often sky-high, and points can help here too, with a cool side dish of novelty.

Air Tahiti Nui flies between Paris and Los Angeles, and you can use points to book these flights from time to time. That’s the catch – space isn’t as easy to come by as with the other options.

Points you can use: these flights can be booked with American Airlines AAdvantage Miles or with Flying Blue Miles. Flying Blue is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards and also Citi Thank You Points.

How many points do you need: Business class can be had for just 57,500 one-way miles when using American Airlines miles. Flying Blue is unfortunately much harder to find, as most of it is blocked off, for some strange reason. LA in Tahiti is not for what it’s worth!

Bonus Tip: If you can find the space it’s a good option for American Airlines miles, but if that’s the currency you want to use you also have other options like American, Finnair, BA and Iberia, au in case you have a preference.

Premium Economy (Cash) + points upgrade

Airlines are desperate to win leisure customers as the world starts to travel again and that means sales so far are in premium economy – not business class. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fly for around the premium price.

Most airlines offer an easy way to pay cash for a premium economy ticket (and earn miles and elite status by doing so), but then upgrade your ticket with points. Emirates even allows you to upgrade most Economy Class tickets directly to Business Class.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are two of your other best bets, each adding around $100 and 20,000 miles to your total for each one-way upgrade, but allowing one-cabin upgrades on all fares, not just expensive fares. .

When cash in business is very expensive, spending $100 and 20,000 points to trade a seat for a bed sounds like a dream.

Mary I. Bruner