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Turkish Airlines has a ridiculously generous Star Alliance award chart.
Here is the North America version of the chart with one-way award pricing:
|Between the US and:||Economy||Business||First|
|US, including Alaska and Hawaii||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.
That’s right, for just 7,500 miles in coach or just 12,500 miles in business class, you can fly one-way from anywhere in the US on any domestic flight, even to Alaska and Hawaii!
A flights to Hawaii for 7.5K miles? A lie-flat business class seat from Newark to Los Angeles for just 12.5K miles?
It sounds too good to be true.
You can even fly between the US and Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, or Netherlands Antilles for just 10K in coach or 15K in business class!
You can’t book these awards online. Until now you have had to go into a Turkish Airlines office or had to email them to book, but now you can book awards over the phone at 800-874-8875.
I searched for saver award space on United.com. Once upon a time Continental business class space to Hawaii, such as Newark-Honolulu, was plentiful:
But that was 2012 and this is 2019 and Continental and business class saver awards to Hawaii only exist in our memories or for those with a PhD in mileage redemption:
I opened a Turkish Airlines mileage account online (Hint: Your password must be exactly 6 numbers or else it will give an error) and then called Turkish Airlines to see if they were able to book the saver awards that I saw on United.com.
Alas, they were not able to find any nonstop flights from Chicago, Houston, Newark, or Washington DC to Hawaii. Others have had success booking these nonstop flights, but even after multiple HUCAs I did not have any luck.
But they were able to find nonstop flight and connections to Hawaii via Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and it priced out at just 7.5K miles+$5.60 each way!
They were also able to price out a business class award from Newark to LA for 12.5K miles and a business class award from Newark to Tel Aviv for 47K miles with no fuel surcharges!
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.
Just to test that out I held an award from Newark to Honolulu via San Francisco (as they didn’t see availability on the nonstop flight to Honolulu) and I was given 72 hours to ticket it for 7.5K miles+$5.60.
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 Business™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®Card
- All 3 of these cards offer 75K points for spending $3K in 3 months, elite status, and free annual nights at Marriott hotels.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card offering 50K points for spending $2K in 3 months and no annual fee. Here is a comparison of all Marriott cards.
Citi cards with transferable points to Turkish Airlines include:
- Citi Premier offering 60,000 points for a limited time for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 3 points per dollar on travel and gas, and 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment. $95 annual fee.
- Citi Prestige offering 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 5 points per dollar on airfare and dining, and 3 points per dollar on hotels. $495 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.
Post a comment about which awards you book and what works or doesn’t work for you!