With Miles&Smiles, you can book a United Airlines flight from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii for only 7,500 miles, enjoy a lie-flat seat on a cross-country journey for just 12,500 miles, or fly to Europe in business class for 45,000 miles each way. The catch is that you have to find award space, which can be difficult on some routes.
Today, we’ll highlight five ways you can maximize your credit card points with Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Hawaii for 7,500 miles each way
Paid fares to Hawaii often cost over $500 round-trip from the mainland U.S. Meanwhile, award tickets between the continental U.S. and Hawaii with many programs are more expensive than domestic awards within the continental U.S.
However, this isn’t the case with Turkish Miles&Smiles, which charges just 15,000 miles for a round-trip economy award between the continental U.S. and Hawaii. These awards carry no fuel surcharges, and in theory, you can book these online — though if you’re not finding award space online, be prepared to call Turkish Airlines.
You can also fly between the continental U.S. and Hawaii in business class for just 12,500 miles each way. The only problem is that business-class award space can be extremely difficult to find on routes to and from Hawaii. But you may luck out by traveling on off-peak dates and setting award space alerts with ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures).
Domestic business class for 12,500 miles, including transcontinental
Turkish Miles&Smiles charges just 12,500 miles each way for domestic business-class awards on United, regardless of the distance.
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While business-class award availability on Hawaii flights is rare, finding it on other domestic routes is easier. If you’re booking far in advance or at the last minute, you might even find availability on premium transcontinental routes between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) that feature United’s Polaris business-class seats. However, even if your flight doesn’t offer lie-flat seats, booking a domestic business-class award for 12,500 miles is a bargain.
Business class to Europe for 45,000 miles each way
Turkish Airlines isn’t only good for booking domestic flights. You can book business-class awards between North America and Europe for just 45,000 miles each way. That’s a steal compared to the more than 60,000 miles most programs charge for these awards.
You can redeem Turkish miles for flights operated by various Star Alliance partners. Just note that some partners, particularly Lufthansa and Swiss, tack on hefty fuel surcharges. You can avoid fuel surcharges by flying with Brussels Airlines, Scandinavian (SAS), LOT Polish Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and United Airlines.
Mexico for 10,000 miles in economy or 15,000 in business class
While award flights between the U.S. and Mexico on United booked through United MileagePlus generally cost at least 17,500 miles each way in economy or 30,000 miles in business class, you can again save miles by booking through Turkish Miles&Smiles instead.
Turkish Miles&Smiles charges just 10,000 miles in economy or 15,000 in business class for any nonstop award on a Star Alliance airline between the U.S. and Mexico, regardless of whether you’re heading to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City or anywhere else in the country.
North America to India for 52,500 miles in business class
Although there are many ways to fly to India with points and miles, award rates are typically steep. However, Turkish offers some of the lowest rates.
On its award chart, Turkish includes India in the Central Asia zone. So, you’ll only need to redeem 34,000 miles each way in economy and 52,500 in business for award flights between the U.S. and India. However, avoid partners like Lufthansa if you don’t want to pay high fuel surcharges.
The Turkish Miles&Smiles program often offers excellent award rates, even if you have no plans to visit Turkey. And earning Turkish miles is easy thanks to the 1:1 transfer ratio from Bilt Rewards, Capital One and Citi ThankYou Rewards. With the right redemption, you can use your credit card points to unlock tremendous value with Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.