Getting to Africa from North America often requires a connection in Europe or the Middle East and paying an exorbitant number of miles to travel comfortably. However, one of the best ways to redeem points for Africa is using 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You points, or Chase Ultimate Rewards on one of Delta’s non-stop routes.
Breaking It Down:
Delta Service to Africa
The key here is Delta’s non-stop service from New York to Accra in Ghana, Dakkar in Senegal, and Lagos in Nigeria. Delta also operates service from Atlanta to Johannesburg — though award availability is much tighter on that route.
The flights to Ghana and Senegal feature the old, but comfortable Boeing 767 Delta One product that uses the lie-flat Thompson Vantage seat (the same as the one offered on American’s 767-300ERs but with seatback entertainment).
Meanwhile, the wide-body A330 and the 777 used for the Nigeria and Johannesburg service respectively, feature direct aisle access in either a reverse herringbone or herringbone configuration.
Using Points & Miles For Africa
With the exception of the Johannesburg route, award availability on these Africa routes is usually wide open and there are often multiple seats available, which is great for families and groups. Delta does not publish an award chart so it’s tough to know the ‘right’ price — but typically business class seats cost anywhere from 120,000 – 350,000 miles when booked with Delta directly.
However, the exact same award seat can be booked with the Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program. Virgin Atlantic charges a very reasonable 60,000 miles and roughly $15 in taxes for these flights.
The Best Credit Card Points to Get to Africa
Virgin Atlantic points are easy to accrue as points can be transferred from Chase, Citi, and American Express at a 1:1 ratio.
Right now, the Platinum Card by American Express if offering 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card opening, which is enough to fly to Africa and still have points left over! Alternatively, The Gold Card by American Express, is currently offer 35,000 miles after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months. This card is especially valuable as it earns 4x points at restaurants and supermarkets, which means those points will accumulate quickly. Pair either of these cards with the no-annual fee Amex Blue Business Card to maximize your everyday spend.
A Great Way To Find These Awards
I discovered this great value award by searching for flights on our sister service, Juicy Miles, a paid service. This award search tool is intelligent enough to price in transfer bonuses like the one’s being offered by AMEX and Citi, so users can easily see where the best deals are to be found.
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