3 Incredible Ways To Use Miles For First Class

by Miles Jackson

I have been flying for many years: think Braniff, Pan Am & TWA. I have seen some great deals come and go. Here’s my round-up of three amazing redemptions for flying first class right now. These are currently the best ways (read: lowest number of miles) to use miles for first class flights.

1. Flying ANA First Class Using Virgin Atlantic Miles

miles for first class

Image: ANA All Nippon Airways

You can redeem as little as 110,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for a roundtrip first-class ticket from the United States to Japan on ANA (All Nippon Airways): a partner with Virgin Atlantic. That’s a fantastic value for a great product.

miles for first class

110,000 Flying Club Miles for First Class ANA

Note that Virgin Atlantic requires a roundtrip ticket when booking an award. You cannot simply buy as one-way with points. If finding dates and award space availability is an issue you might want to look to Juicy Miles for assistance. They have a team of professional award and mileage run bookers who can help you with any award redemptions.

Business class more your style and want to go even further with your miles? Contributor Anna also demonstrates a surprisingly easy ANA Around-the-World business class booking.

One great way to earn a ton of Virgin miles is to transfer from partners like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Citi ThankYou. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is currently offering its biggest bonus ever with 60,000 bonus points, plus 2X points on travel and dining. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to your Flying Club account at a 1:1 ratio.

2. Flying Etihad First Class Apartments for 50,000 AAdvantage Miles

miles for first class

The Etihad Apartment is the most spacious first class cabin bookable with American AAdvantage Miles.

One of the best first class redemptions right now is a great award possibility on Etihad’s premium product. Likewise, it comes with access to their first class lounge in Abu Dhabi. Amazingly, flights can be as cheap as 50,000 American AAdvantage miles, routing from the Middle East to Asia. That route specifically is from Abu Dhabi to Seoul, with daily service starting July 1, 2019.

So, if you can find a way to position yourself to the Middle East, you can experience a true premium first class product for a very cheap award price. Etihad’s A380 aircraft feature the apartments and the Residence.

See also: AAdvantage Changes For Etihad Create Incredible Award Opportunities

One of the best ways right now to get those is with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® credit card sign-up bonus. Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

3. Flying Cathay Pacific First Class for 70,000 Alaska Miles

Cathay Pacific First Class

I love Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program and although they are not part of a true alliance, they do have some great partners in air travel. One such partner is Cathay Pacific. This is an oldie but a goodie award. You can fly Cathay Pacific’s first class product one-way from the USA to Asia for 70,000 miles. Incidentally, some of these flights retail for as high as $18,000 (one-way) so there’s a huge reward for a savvy award redeemer.

Read about Cathay Pacific Sweet Spots for Redemptions

Pro Tip: Alaska Airlines allows a free stopover so you could stop over in Hong Kong, have a separate vacation and continue on to Africa for the same 70,000 miles redemption! Simply amazing, right?

Using Points & Miles For Award Travel

These are some of the best first class redemptions I see right now. Don’t want to deal with transferring and redeeming on your own? Juicy Miles can help. Juicy Miles has a team of travel professionals who can take the stress out of finding the best award tickets and at the lowest redemption values.

The Upshot

I often find myself chasing the best deals and I let the details fill in once I know my destination. For me, it’s often the journey and excitement of new places, new airlines and trying to hack the best deals (in first class preferably).

These are three amazing redemptions for first class and the lowest number of miles required for any first class long haul flights.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Meg J December 31, 2020 - 12:44 am

what’s the best for flights to Europe?

Miles Jackson January 5, 2021 - 6:30 pm

Meg J-
Juicy Miles is a partner with PointMe and they have a team of travel professionals to help you with award travel bookings. You can check them out here.


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