United’s award space on many international routes is unprecedented.
Just take a look at Newark to Tel Aviv this fall/winter/spring:
Same story for Tel Aviv to Newark:
The same applies for routes like Newark-London, Paris, and many more.
However the best way to book those flights isn’t with United miles, it’s with Turkish Airlines miles.
That being said, you’ll want to actually search for saver award space on United.com. If you have a United credit card, you’ll want to logout before searching in order to access the saver award inventory that is bookable by partner airlines. Just click the small X when it asks you to login.
Use the United one-way calendar option to find saver awards:
As I’ve written about before, Turkish Airlines has a ridiculously generous Star Alliance award chart.
And they don’t charge any fuel surcharges for United flights.
Here is the North America version of the chart with one-way award pricing:
|Between the US and:||Economy||Business||First|
|US, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and USVI||7.5K||12.5K||N/A|
|Central and North Africa||30K||49K||73K|
|Southern Africa and Far East||45K||67.5K||100K|
|South America and Oceania||52.5K||75K||115K|
As part of the Star Alliance, Turkish can book award travel on airlines like United and Air Canada.
You can open a Turkish Airlines mileage account online (Hint: Your password must be exactly 6 numbers or else it will give an error).
And you can book Star Alliance awards with Turkish miles here (Login and then click this link again). You can’t search for partner awards from their home page. Search for one-way at a time for best results.
While United charges 42.5K miles for a ticket to Tel Aviv in coach, Turkish charges just 32K miles:
While United charges 75K miles for a ticket to Tel Aviv in business class, Turkish charges just 47K miles!
Best of all, you can earn 2 points per dollar and get a 10% rebate for points redeemed via the Citi Trifecta and then transfer points to Turkish!
If you need to fly across the country today, you’ll need 15K United miles in coach or 38K in business class:
But those same flights are 7.5K Turkish miles in coach:
Or 12.5K miles in business class:
Turkish even counts Hawaii as domestic, so a flight there is the same rate, 7.5K miles in coach or 12.5K in business class!
Alas, I have not had luck booking any nonstop flights from Chicago, Houston, Newark, or Washington DC to Hawaii online or over the phone (800-874-8875).
But you can book nonstop flights and connections from other cities to Hawaii via Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco:
Other highlights include:
- The domestic rate of 7.5K miles in coach and 12.5K miles in business even applies for flights to Puerto Rico or S. Thomas, USVI!
- You can fly to Cancun for 10K Turkish miles in coach or 15K miles in business class vs 17.5K/30K with United miles.
- Business class to Europe is 45K Turkish miles instead of 60K United miles.
Fuel surcharges will apply with most other airlines besides United, though at these rates it may be worth paying them.
As you can see from this chart, you can transfer points to Turkish Airlines from Citibank at a 1:1 ratio from from Marriott at a 60K:25K ratio. Transfers from Citi take a day, while Marriott transfers can take slightly longer.
Miles expire after 36 months and won’t be extended with activity. But you should never transfer miles unless you’re ready to book an award.
Turkish allows you to hold an award for 3 days, which will allow you to transfer in miles after the award is on hold.
You can get a free stopover on Star Alliance awards with round-trips that cost at least 60K Turkish miles in coach or 90K Turkish miles in business.
Another nice perk is that changes or cancellations cost just $25!
Marriott cards with transferable points to Turkish Airlines include:
- Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Consumer Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®Card
- The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back or 2 points per dollar spent everywhere that can be transferred into ThankYou points. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles or get a 25% added value for paid airfare. No annual fee.
- The Citi Rewards+ Card offering 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. This card can’t transfer points on its own, but can transfer points if you have one of the Citi cards above. This card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload. Earn 2 points on $6K in annual spending at supermarkets, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles or get a 25% added value for paid airfare, plus get a 10% points rebate on transferred or redeemed miles. No annual fee.
- The Citi Premier card offers up to 3 points per dollar spent and allows you to transfer points into miles. $95 annual fee.
Have you used Turkish miles to book Star Alliance awards? What are your favorite awards to book with Turkish miles?