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Why you need to know about ANA Mileage Club as a US-based traveler

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All Nippon Airways’ Mileage Club has long been regarded as one of the top options for maximizing American Express Membership Rewards points. It offers redemption rates that are often significantly lower than other Amex partners, like Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan, with the peace of mind of published award charts.

Although the program has quirks and an interface that may not be the most user-friendly, the potential savings make it worthwhile. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ANA Mileage Club, including earning and redeeming miles.

How to earn ANA Mileage Club miles

ANA Boeing 777-300

There are several ways to earn ANA miles. Here’s a look at some of the most popular options:

Transfer Amex points to ANA

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to ANA Mileage Club at a 1:1 ratio. Generally, point transfers from Amex to ANA take around 48 hours. Unfortunately, ANA doesn’t allow for award ticket holds, meaning that award availability could change by the time your Amex points arrive in your ANA Mileage Club account.

If you don’t already have Amex points, you can earn a welcome bonus on an American Express card and potentially have enough points for an ANA Mileage Club redemption. Here’s a look at some of the most popular American Express cards:

  • American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 120,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
  • American Express® Green Card: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership, and 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases in your first six months of card membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.

Transfer hotel points to ANA

Additionally, you can transfer hotel points to ANA. Here’s a look at this option:

Loyalty program Transfer ratio
Hilton Honors 10,000 points = 1,000 miles
IHG One Rewards 10,000 points = 2,000 miles
Marriott Bonvoy 3 points = 1 mile (plus 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer in a single transaction)
Shangri-La Circle 500 points = 500 miles
World of Hyatt 2.5 points = 1 mile (plus 5,000 bonus miles for every 50,000 points you transfer in a single transaction)

Earn ANA miles on ANA flights

For ANA-marketed and -operated flights, multiply the distance flown (basic sector mileage) by the accrual rate for the booking class to calculate mileage accruals. The accrual rates typically range from 30% to 150%, though some fare classes are ineligible for mileage accruals.

If you fly from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) in D-fare business class, you’ll earn 8,465 Mileage Club miles on your booking since the fare class earns 125% miles flown. The math looks like this: 6,772 * 1.25 = 8,465.

Earn ANA miles on partner flights

For eligible partner flights you credit to ANA, you’ll earn ANA miles as you would on ANA metal. The difference, however, is that accrual rates vary by the partner airline you’re flying on.

ANA is a member of Star Alliance, so you can earn ANA miles on eligible Star Alliance flights in addition to flights on its non-alliance partner airlines. Here’s a look at ANA’s non-alliance partner carriers:

  • Air Dolomiti
  • Air Macau
  • Etihad Airways
  • Eurowings
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Jet Airways
  • Olympic Air
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

Other ways to earn ANA miles

You can also earn ANA miles through ANA World Hotels and ANA World Car Rentals, powered by Agoda. Earning rates for hotel bookings vary, while you’ll earn 1 mile for every 100 Japanese yen (around $0.72) spent on car rentals.

Related: Feels like first class: Flying ANA The Room business class from LA-Tokyo

How to redeem ANA Mileage Club miles

ANA the Suite

As mentioned, ANA still uses award charts, so as long as there’s award space, you can book award flights at the published rates. Some partner flights won’t appear on ANA’s website, so you can use another top Star Alliance site or ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures) to search for availability on most of ANA’s partner airlines. Once you find award space, call ANA Mileage Club to confirm availability.

There are two significant limitations to ANA Mileage Club redemptions, however. First, you can only book round-trip awards, though the program allows for creative stopovers and open jaws on most award tickets. Second, you can only use your miles to book tickets for you and your family. If you plan to travel with a friend, they’ll need their own ANA miles.

ANA has three types of awards: ANA domestic flight awards, ANA international flight awards and partner flight awards.

ANA domestic flight awards

The ANA domestic flight award chart lists round-trip flights within Japan from 5,000 miles.

The price of your flight will depend on the season (low, regular or high) and the distance of the flight. For example, a round-trip short-haul flight from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND) to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX) costs 5,000 miles during the low season, 6,000 miles during the regular season and 7,500 miles during the high season.

Longer domestic flights cost more miles. A round-trip flight from Okinawa’s Naha Airport (OKA) to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport (CTS) costs 8,500 miles during the low season, 10,000 miles during the regular season and 11,500 miles during the high season.

ANA international flight awards

The ANA international flight award chart shows award prices in the various zones, cabins and seasonalities, with award rates starting at 12,000 miles for round-trip flights between Japan (Zone 1) and South Korea (Zone 2). You can book and combine Air Japan and ANA flights at these award rates.

ANA is known for having extremely limited premium-cabin award space. Still, if you find award space, you can book a round-trip flight between the U.S. and Japan for 75,000-90,000 miles in business class or 150,000-165,000 miles in first class, depending on seasonality.

Economy-class rates are between 40,000 and 55,000 miles.

At the time of writing, ANA flies from Tokyo to these American destinations:

  • Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Unfortunately, ANA charges fuel surcharges on its own award tickets, which currently sit at nearly $500 on round-trip flights between the U.S. and Japan. You can see the current fuel surcharges by clicking “International Surcharge Info” on the ANA fare rules webpage. Note that these surcharges apply in each direction on any class of travel, and the date ranges apply to your ticketing date. As you can see, the surcharges on a flight to Japan from the U.S. will drop from $216 each way to $173 each way as of Aug. 1.

You might be able to reduce your fuel surcharges by not starting or ending your trip in Japan, though the savings may be offset by additional costs to position to those spots.

You might also consider checking Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s award rates for ANA flights to Japan — especially since Flying Club is a transfer partner of all major credit card currencies.

Partner flight awards

The ANA partner flight award chart shows award rates on Star Alliance and non-alliance partners. While the partner award chart is zone-based like the ANA international award chart, it doesn’t fluctuate on seasonality.

ANA passes fuel surcharges on to some partner airlines, including those part of the Lufthansa Group (Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss). These carriers have some of the highest fuel surcharges, with long-haul business-class taxes and fees routinely passing $1,500 per person. You can avoid fuel surcharges by sticking to partners like Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, SAS, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and United Airlines (except on some United Asia flights).

The ANA partner chart has some bargain sweet spots. For example, you can travel round-trip in business class on Philippine Airlines from JFK to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) for just 95,000 miles plus roughly $500 per person in taxes and fees. TPG’s Nick Ewen recently booked this exact award for three passengers in early 2024.

If Europe is on your mind, you can book round-trip flights in business class for just 88,000 miles (and minimal taxes and fees for carriers like TAP Air Portugal and United).

Award flights on TAP Portugal booked through ANA Mileage Club
This round-trip flight from the U.S. to Portugal is just 88,000 miles and about $64 in business class through ANA Mileage Club. ANA.CO.JP

Another sweet spot is round-trip business class from the U.S. to South Africa for 104,000 miles. You can add a stopover in Europe on the way or in Ethiopia if you choose to fly on Ethiopian Airlines.

However, there are limitations on redeeming rewards based on the airline partner. For example, when using ANA miles, you may only have the option to book economy seats on Singapore Airlines for most flights, as Singapore Airlines typically reserves long-haul business- and first-class seats exclusively for its KrisFlyer mileage program.

Round-the-world tickets

ANA offers a surprisingly reasonable around-the-world award chart for multistop itineraries, which are priced based on the total distance you travel. There are certain restrictions to remember, but you can book up to 12 flight segments and four ground transfer segments on the same ticket, with the option for multiple stopovers. Mixed-cabin bookings are allowed, but the cost will be based on the highest booking class. Additionally, your itinerary must touch all three of ANA’s around-the-world regions and return to the same zone where you departed.

While there are rules to follow, ANA’s around-the-world awards are relatively easy to calculate using route mapping tools. These award tickets cannot be booked online and you must contact ANA Mileage Club to make the reservation. Fuel surcharges may also apply for certain partner flights. So it’s advisable to choose carriers that don’t add these surcharges if you want to save money.

You can learn more about ANA round-the-world tickets here.

Related: Your ultimate guide to searching award availability for the major airlines

Bottom line

ANA is one of the most lucrative airline loyalty programs out there. It has an excellent award chart and offers a great deal on true around-the-world itineraries, so be sure to consider it the next time you need to book a Star Alliance award ticket.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.