Mix & Match: 60,000 AMEX, Chase, Or Citi Points For Business Class To Africa

by Sanjay

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.

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).

how to use points for africa

Non-suite Delta One on a 767

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.

how to use points for africa

Using Points & Miles For Africa

boats on a beach

Visit the beaches of Senegal
Point Me To The Plane |

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.

a screenshot of a search engine

Point Me To The Plane | Juicy Mile


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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Snorklez May 22, 2019 - 3:06 am

Would be nice to mention the juicy miles (the name alone kept me from looking until now) is not a free service, in any form.

I believe it’s generally common courtesy to disclose paywalls

Sanjay May 22, 2019 - 4:18 am

Hi Snorkelz – I’ve updated the post to mention it’s a paid service. I’ve found the site to be incredibly valuable, but understand that the subscription model may be an issue for many. Fortunately there are many free ways to search for availability on these flights, including Virgin’s website or calling Virgin.

Chris September 6, 2019 - 10:59 am

One way or round trip?

Sanjay September 6, 2019 - 12:53 pm

one way!

JI September 6, 2019 - 6:16 pm

As if Delta ever releases availability at any normal times on this flight at that rate…. the cheapest rate for a period of months (at least half the year that i bothered checking) is 95,000 miles on JFK to DSS one way. This is just promotional clickbait for Juicy Miles…

Sanjay September 7, 2019 - 5:52 am

I actually see excellent availability on this flight on the outbound leg from JFK. I was able to snag 3 business class seats on the same flight without any issues. Mysteriously, the return flight has much spottier availability.

The trick is that Delta’s website doesn’t reveal the award seats. To check availability, you’ll want to use the Air France or KLM Flying Blue website, ExpertFlyer, or, yes, the JuicyMile tool. You could also just call Virgin Atlantic if the hold times aren’t too long. Once you confirm an award seat is available, you can use the trick above to book with Virgin Atlantic.

Todd Phoenix September 6, 2019 - 11:22 pm

Important to note that Virgin Atlantic partners with South African Airways on the latter’s IAD – Dakar flight. Only 25,000 miles one way in business! Check seat availability on the United web site.

Sanjay September 7, 2019 - 5:53 am

Very good point! I’m sometimes a little too NYC-centric, so thank you for the reminder.


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