Updated August 15, 2019

Miles to Australia

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Fly to Australia for as low as 60,000 miles round trip. Read this redemption strategy guide for the best ways to get to Australia using airline miles and points.

The sheer number of airlines can make finding the right flight seem daunting. If you're not sure where to start with your Australia trip, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to fly for cheap, or fly in premium seats?
    If you're looking to get to Australia for the least number of miles, look for the cheapest Economy seat options. Flights on American, ANA, Delta, and United are good bets.

    If you're not looking to spend 15+ hours squeezed into 34" of legroom, Air Canada, American, Cathay Pacific, and United can give you premium Business and First Class seats for a reasonable number of points.

  • Do I want to fly direct to Australia or am I interested in stopovers?
    If you want a stopover, consider an airline that will route you through Asia or Europe so you can explore a new place. You'll find lots of connections through Southeast Asia, Japan, Singapore, etc. with Japan Airlines or British Airways.

  • How many/what kinds of credit card points and airline miles do I have?
    See what types of points you have and which airlines accept those points. For example, if you only have Chase Ultimate Rewards, focus on the airlines that partner with Chase. Then you can determine if you want Economy or Premium seats based on the number of points you have.

If you're new to airline points and miles, start here.

Best Ways to Get There With Points and Miles

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We reviewed all airline options to find the ones that fly directly from the US to Australia. Then we expanded our search to include their partner airlines. All points/miles estimates are for round-trip prices.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada's Aeroplan program has some great deals. Aeroplan is known for having one of the best search engines for award flights on Star Alliance partners, so you'll see lots of travel options.

TicketPoints
Economy90,000
Premium Economy135,000
Business160,000
First220,000

Nonstop Routes from the US

  • LAX - SYD
  • SFO - SYD

Fly with Airline Partners
Star Alliance partners like United, ANA, Air China, Air New Zealand, or Asiana.

How to Get Aeroplan Miles

  • Transfer from AMEX Membership Rewards at 1:1 ratio

  • Transfer from Marriott Bonvoy at 3:1 ratio (3 points for 1 Aeroplan mile). This isn't a great redemption ratio.

How to Book
Award flights can be purchased and booked directly through the Aeroplan website. If you find an award flight on their search engine that isn't listed elsewhere, you can also call that airline directly to book.

Say you can't find award flights on your travel dates with United. But you find an award flight with United on Aeroplan's site.

Simply call the United service desk to book the award space. But make sure to ask the United attendant to waive the $25 fee for booking over the phone, since it was their mistake that the award flight wasn't listed.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska doesn't fly to Australia directly, but it does have great partners that do. The only tricky part is that they have different awards charts for each partner airline.

Points Required:

Airline PartnerEconomyBusinessFirst
American Airlines80,000160,000220,000
Cathay Pacific Airway80,000120,000160,000
Emirates130,000240,000250,000
Fiji Airways80,000110,000N/A
Korean Air170,000250,000N/A
Qantas Airways85,000110,000140,000

Nonstop Routes from the US:
No direct flights with Alaska, but look for direct flights with partner airlines American and Qantas.

Fly with Airline Partners:
American, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Fiji, Korean, or Qantas. Of this group, American and Qantas are probably your best bets, but it's worth looking at the others if you want to connect through Asia.

If you're looking for an Economy direct flight, American and Qantas are your best choice. Qantas also has a Premium Economy option for 95,000 points round trip, which is only 15,000 points more than Economy. This is a good deal for something that could cost hundreds of dollars.

How to Get Alaska Airline Miles:

How to Book:
You can search and book directly on Alaska's website (make sure to check "Use Miles" when searching), except for Cathay Pacific. To fly with Cathay, you'll need to search on British Airways' site and then call the Alaska helpline to book.

American Airlines AAdvantage

As a part of oneworld, American Airlines will connect you to Qantas, Australia's national airline. Plus, it has lots of direct flight options to multiple cities in Australia.

TicketPoints
Economy80,000
Business160,000
First220,000

Nonstop Routes from the US:

  • LAX - SYD
  • LAX - BNE
  • LAX - MEL
  • SFO - SYD
  • DFW - SYD

Fly with Airline Partners:
Oneworld partners, including Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines.

How to Get AAdvantage Miles:

How to Book:
The easiest way will be through the American website.

There are no MileSAAver Off-Peak (the cheapest option) award flights to Australia. American is known to have limited MileSAAver seating, so look early and often. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with AAnytime award seats, which will cost you a lot more.

Also, American doesn't offer First Class seats to Australia. You can still book First Class seats with AAdvantage miles, but you'll fly with Qantas.

All Nippon Airlines

ANA is known to have the best website (tied with Aeroplan) for looking for round-trip flights on Star Alliance partners.

Its awards system has a twist - it has three "seasons" that will determine the cost of your flight: Low Season, Regular Season, and High Season.

For your cheapest option, look for flights in Low Season (those are the points we gave here).

TicketPoints
Economy60,000
Business105,000
First210,000

If you can't find space on the dates you want to fly, you can put yourself on an award space waitlist - this does not guarantee you a seat. And if you're booking a flight through ANA on a partner airline, it will cost you a few more miles.

Nonstop Routes from the US
There are no direct flights on ANA, but there are some with Star Alliance partners Air Canada and United.

Fly with Airline Partners
Star Alliance partners like Air Canada, United, Asiana, EVA Air, Thai Airways, and Air China.

How to Get ANA Miles

How to Book
Book directly on the ANA website. You do need an ANA account to look for award flights. It's free to sign up.

British Airways Executive Club

The key to flying direct to Australia with British Airways is using their partner airlines.

Points Required
Economy: 64,000 Avios (Off Peak) or 110,000 Avios (Peak)

Premium award space can be hard to find with British Airways, but if you want, you can put yourself on an upgrade waitlist. Again, that does not guarantee you a seat. British Airways also allows stopovers, so consider that if you're interested in seeing another destination while getting to Australia.

Nonstop Routes from the US
No non-stop flights with British Airways, but you can find them with partner airlines American and Qantas.

Fly with Airline Partners
Oneworld partners, including American, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines. Qantas will have the best availability and options of the bunch.

How to get Avios

How to Book
Book using your Avios points directly on the British Airways website.

You can easily hop around within Australia by using British Airways Avios. British Airways is a part of the oneworld alliance, which means it's partnered with Australia's national airline Qantas. For as few as 9,000 Avios points, you can take a round-trip flight from Sydney to Melbourne. That same amount of points will take you to lots of other cities in Australia as well.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific has a notoriously confusing awards pricing system. When you fly, how many legs of your trip are run by Cathay Pacific vs. by partner airlines will all affect the number of points required. Luckily, we've given you our best estimates here.

TicketPoints
Economy80,000
Premium Economy95,000
Business120,000
First160,000

Nonstop Routes from the US
Cathay Pacific doesn't fly direct from the US to Australia, but its partners, American and Qantas, do.

Fly with Partner Airlines
American and Qantas

How to Get Asia Miles

How to Book
Flights can easily be found on Qantas' website.

Don't let Cathay Pacific's weird pricing system freak you out. You can score great flights with them. Just be sure to read all the fine print while booking your ticket.

Delta Airlines SkyMiles

Delta has a cost-based award system. That means the miles required depend on the price of the flight, so it's difficult to predict how many points you'll need. That doesn't mean you can't get great redemptions. Look early and often to get the best deal.

TicketPoints
Economy80,000
Business188,000
First240,000

Nonstop Routes from the US
LAX - SYD

Fly with Airline Partners
Virgin Australia, Korean Air, or KLM

How to get Delta SkyMiles

How to Book
Book directly through Delta's website.

Delta has a funky naming system for their seat options. "Basic Economy" and "Main Cabin" are their cheapest options, aka their Economy options. "First Class" is more like Business class. Delta One is their most luxurious choice, and is similar to a traditional First Class option.

Air France and KLM Flying Blue

Both Air France and KLM use Flying Blue for their rewards program. If you have some Flying Blue miles tucked away, you can use them for some decent redemptions with SkyTeam partner Delta.

TicketPoints
Economy97,000
Business242,000
FirstN/A

Nonstop Routes from the US
There are no nonstop routes with KLM or Air France, but there are with its partner Delta.

Fly with Airline Partners
Delta is your best bet from the US. If you are interested in some layovers in Asia, check out China Airlines or Korean Air.

How to Get Flying Blue Miles

How to Book
Use KLM's website to find and book flights.

You can never be too prepared for a trip. Check out this article from Ordinary Traveler for 25 of the best travel tips to save money, avoid common mistakes and make your trip unforgettable.

Hawaiian Airlines

TicketPoints
Economy120,000
Business210,000
FirstN/A

Nonstop Routes from the US
Hawaiian Airlines doesn't have a direct flight, but you can fly with them and enjoy a nice layover in Honolulu. Another option is booking through them for a direct flight on Virgin Australia.

Fly with Airline Partners
Virgin Australia, Japan Airlines, or Korean Air.

How to Get Hawaiian Airline Miles

How to Book
Use Hawaiian Airlines website to find and book flights.

Qantas Frequent Flyer (90,000 Miles)

Qantas is the sweet spot of flight options to Australia. As the country's biggest airline, you'll find the most flights through them. All of these options, plus lots of airline partners, make it pretty easy to find award space on Qantas.

TicketPoints
Economy90,000
Premium Economy144,000
Business192,000
First288,000

These point totals are for flights operated by Qantas. They have a separate award chart for partner airlines that may affect how many points you're shelling out for their flights.

Nonstop Routes from the US:

  • LAX - SYD
  • SFO - SYD
  • DFW - SYD
  • Honolulu (HNL) - SYD
  • JFK - SYD
  • LAX - MEL
  • SFO - MEL
  • LAX - BNE

Find Qantas Flights Through
Qantas is a member of oneworld, so look for award seats on Qantas through American, Emirates, British Airways, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Fiji, and Japan Airlines.

How to Get Qantas Miles
Transfer credit card points from Citi ThankYou Points at 1:1 ratio

How to Book
Book Qantas flights directly on their website.

It is notoriously difficult to find premium award space (aka Business and First Class seats) on the airline, so it's best to be flexible when looking. As always, looking early and often will also be a huge help.

United Airlines MileagePlus

United always comes in clutch for flights originating in the US, so they've got you covered to Australia. Plus, with a 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer ratio, you can cash in those UR points for miles on United or its Star Alliance partners.

TicketPoints
Economy80,000
Business160,000
First180,000*

*Although if you're on a flight with both Business and First Class offerings, it'll cost you 260,000 miles

Nonstop Routes from the US

  • IAH - SYD
  • SFO - SYD
  • LAX - SYD
  • LAX - MEL

Fly with Airline Partners
Star Alliance partners like Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana, or ANA.

How to Get United Miles

How to Book
Book through United's website, which does a pretty good job of finding Star Alliance rewards options. If you aren't seeing the options you want, you can also search for Star Alliance flights on ANA's website and then call the United desk to book them (although calling to book will cost you $25).

Be careful of mixed cabin tickets. You may fly Economy for one leg and Business class for another, but you will still pay the Business class price.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic partners with Delta and Virgin Australia to give you even more flight options to Australia.

Points Required

AirlineEconomyBusinessFirst
Delta100,000N/A150,000
Virgin Australia94,000141,000188,000

Nonstop Routes from the US
None directly with Virgin Atlantic, but you'll find direct flights via partner airlines Delta and Virgin Australia.

Fly with Airline Partners
Delta and Virgin Australia.

How to Get Virgin Atlantic Miles

How to Book
Search for and book flights on Virgin Atlantic's website. If you aren't seeing the flights you want, you can also give the Flying Club phone desk a call - we have found the agents to be pretty knowledgeable about finding and booking award flights with partners.

It may seem like Virgin Atlantic's options aren't as great as some others on the list, but trust us, it's worth a look. Especially since Delta has a super opaque awards system that could range from 90,000-150,000 miles for a round trip Economy flight. You can also save miles on Business class flights on both Delta and Virgin Australia.

Bottom Line

You have a lot of different choices to get to Australia. Using the credit card points that you have and all of our information above, you're ready to go out and book your own Australian vacation.

More from CreditDonkey:


Airline Miles for Beginners


How to Earn American Airlines Miles


How to Earn Alaska Miles Fast

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