Update: EVA availability has been temporarily pulled from United.com. They are saying it should be back online late next week. In the meantime you can have United call you to book and have them waive the phone fee as it’s not bookable on United.com
The Star Alliance is the largest airline alliance which means you have more options for award redemption.
Alliance members include Adria, Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Avianca/TACA, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAM, TAP Portugal, THAI, Turkish, United, and USAirways.
Taiwan based EVA Air has been bookable for a while with United as a non-alliance partner over the phone but now that it is part of Star it is bookable on United.com.
Availability is incredible in coach and business:
In the pictures above I limited the search for nonstop flights between JFK and Taipei (TPE), Taiwan. Green dates mean there is availability in coach and business.
EVA does not fly nonstop from JFK to TPE on Mondays or Saturdays.
Note that if you search for a Monday or any day without nonstop award availability then United.com will say that no nonstop flights could be found and the calendar will not reflect nonstop availability. To get the United.com award calendar to only reflect nonstop availability only you’ll need to first search and find a date with nonstop award availability.
Coach awards are 32,500 United miles each way and business awards are 60K United miles each way.
Plus of course you can continue onward in Asia for free and have a free stopover and open jaw as well! For example here is just an example of an itinerary I price out using United.coms advanced search option to spend about a week in Taipei and a week in Shanghai before returning to JFK for 120K miles+$44 in business class the entire way. Click the picture to enlarge it.
There is a Chabad House with kosher food in Taipei and the shliach there is even a DansDeals Forum member!
Plus there are 5 brands of Starwood hotels ranging from a category 2 Four Points to a category 6 W in Taipei.
There is also a Grand Hyatt in Taipei that costs just 15,000 Hyatt or Chase points per night and you can even use a Hyatt anniversary free night there.
EVA flies from JFK, Los Angeles, S. Francisco, and Toronto to Taipei with their new 777 lie-flat business class product. 747 flights from Seattle and Vancouver are not lie-flat in business.
You can watch a video of their excellent looking business class seat in this video:
You can rapidly accumulate United miles on awesome Chase cards like the United Explorer (Consumer or for Business click on “Are you a business owner”), Freedom Visa, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, and Ink Cash.
Starwood points for the plethora of SPG hotels can be accumulated on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.