Star Alliance and oneworld

Star Alliance Partners
United Award Ticket from Tokyo to Taipei

United Award Ticket from Tokyo to Taipei

How to save your miles by using different Star Alliance and oneworld partners?

If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, and Amex Membership Rewards, you have more flexibility in using different travel programs among Star Alliance Partners and oneworld participating airlines.

Recently I were helping two friends to redeem 2 business class tickets from Tokyo to Taipei.  Since it was less than 21 days in traveling, United Airlines charged a $150 extra fees in redeeming the award tickets.  For them to redeem 2 business class tickets, it required 60,000 miles plus $44 taxes and $150 service fee for less than 21 days in traveling, total $194 taxes and fee (30,000 MileagePlus miles and $97 taxes for each business award ticket).

The flight will be operated by Air Japan NH 1083, which is a partner airlines in Star Alliance.

In this case, I have 2 options to save them in miles and fees.

  1. They can use British Airways Avios to issue 2 business class tickets from Tokyo to Taipei, by using Japan Airlines or Cathay Pacific, which will cost them 40,000 Avios and $136 taxes (20,000 Avios and $68 taxes for each business award ticket).  This is the most economic way, unfortunately there were no flights available on March 8, 2015.
  2. They can use Singapore KrisFlyer to issue 2 business class tickets from Tokyo to Taipei, by using Air Japan same flight NH 1083, which cost them 45,000 KrisFlyer and $136.12 taxes (22,5000 KrisFlyer and $68.06 taxes for each business award ticket).

Since both Singapore Airlines and United Airlines are partners in Star Alliance.  They both can redeem tickets from Air Japan.  In this case, travelling the same date on March 8, 2015 and same flight NH 1083, we save 15,000 in miles/points and save $57.88 in taxes by using Singapore KrisFlyer verse United MileagePlus.

Therefore, we transferred 45,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards to Singapore KrisFlyer.  We requested the transfer in the morning and the miles appeared on the KrisFlyer in the evening, which were faster than we expected. My suggestion is always allowed 24-48 hours for the points transfer and do not plan in the last minutes.

Remember we mentioned in the past posting that if you use Singapore Airlines online to redeem award tickets, you can save 15% in redemption miles.  In this case, it won’t work because the partners award seats do not show up on Singapore Airlines online system and you have to call customer services to issue the award ticket.

Therefore, you need to keep your miles in flexible programs, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, and Amex Membership Rewards, instead of airlines loyalty programs directly unless you have no other choices.

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