ANA is one program you need to know about if you have American Express Membership Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy points.
Their mileage program is one of the best out there and they also run an amazing airline.
I used ANA miles to book my first ever business class award, which allowed me to visit five cities in Asia for only 95,000 miles. You can still book that same award for the same price today.
In this post we will detail (1) how much it will cost, (2) which airlines you can fly, (3) ANA’s amazing Round the World award, (4) routing rules you should know about, and (5) the best ways to spend ANA miles.
Airlines You Can Flying Using ANA Miles
Below are ANA’s Star Alliance partners that you can book awards on.
You can fly on multiple Star Alliance airlines using ANA Miles. For example, you could fly United from New York to Chicago, ANA from Chicago to Tokyo, and Asiana from Tokyo to Seoul.
|Star Alliance Airlines|
|Aegean||Air Canada||Air China|
|Air India||Air New Zealand||ANA|
|Asiana Airlines||Austrian Airlines||Avianca|
|Brussels Airlines||Copa Airlines||Croatia Airlines|
|Shenzhen||Singapore Airlines||South African|
|SWISS||TAP Portugal||Thai Airways|
|Turkish Airlines||United Airlines|
For Singapore Airlines, you cannot book awards for long-haul flights in Suites, First Class, and Business class cabins on the A350-900, A380-800, B787-1000, B777-200ER (retrofitted), and B777-300ER.
You can also redeem ANA Miles on their other partner airlines. You must call to book all of these other partners except Garuda Indonesia, which can be booked online.
However, you are limited to booking an award on a single airline. For example, you could not book an award that featured Virgin Atlantic and United, or Virgin Atlantic and Etihad. You would have to book all flights on Virgin Atlantic.
|ANA's Other Partner Airlines|
|Air Dolomiti||Air Macau|
|Philippine Airlines||Virgin Atlantic|
* Awards on Etihad are limited to codeshare flights between ANA and Etihad, which the Abu Dhabi to Tokyo route and a few Abu Dhabi to Saudi Arabia routes.
Fuel Surcharges on ANA Awards
Fuel surcharges are a frequent flyer tax. They can add hundreds of dollars to your “free” flight.
Some airlines such as Lufthansa charge outrageous fuel surcharges of $1,300 round-trip for a business class ticket that you have to pay in addition to using ANA miles.
ANA passes on fuel surcharges of their partners, but not all partners have fuel surcharges.
Below is a flight between New York and Frankfurt in business class. The left column is Lufthansa, which charges $1,300 in fuel surcharges. United Airlines is the right column, which has $0 fuel surcharges, but you would still have to pay the taxes and other fees which total $135.38.
You can see these a detailed breakdown of these taxes and fees after selecting award flights in a drop-down menu in the “Payment” area.
We looked at the fuel surcharges for ANA’s major airline partners for long-haul flights in the U.S. and short-haul (about 4 hours) in the table below.
The fuel surcharges below are based on round-trip flights, so for a one-way award, you could get a good estimate by dividing the number by 2.
These numbers can fluctuate, but this should give you a good idea of how much each airline will add to your award.
We found no fuel surcharges on Air Canada, Avianca, SAS, Singapore Airlines, TAP Portugal, and United Airlines to Europe (United has fuel surcharges to Asia).
|United (to Asia)||$358.00||N/A|
ANA's Award Charts
ANA has three award charts: (1) international flights on ANA, (2) intra-Japan flights, and (3) partner flights.
Prices for ANA flights change based on low, regular, or high season (dates below). Whereas, the prices for partner flights are steady year-round.
If you are booking a flight that includes both ANA and a Star Alliance partner, you would be governed by the partner award chart.
Below is the award chart for flights operated by ANA.
For those that want to print or enlarge the chart, you can download the ANA Award Chart.
Below are the award zones for ANA operated flights.
ANA increases the prices on certain routes based on the time of the year. The seasonality dates past April 2021 have not been announced yet as of this post. We will update when the remaining dates are released.
If the outbound and return flight are in different seasons, the mileage required will be averaged.
Japan to/from North America, Europe, and “Russia 2” (Zones 6 and 7)
- 2020 Low: January 6-February 29, April 1-23
- 2021 Low: January 5-February 28
- 2020 Regular: March 1-31, May 11-July 22, August 20-December 17
- 2021 Regular: March 1-31
- 2020 High: January 1-5, April 24-May 10, July 23-August 19, December 18-31
- 2021: High: January 1-4
Japan to/from Asia and “Russia 1” (Zones 2, 3, and 4)
- 2020 Low: January 6-14, April 1-23, May 11-June 30, December 1-17
- 2021 Low: January 5-29
- 2020 Regular: January 15-March 31, July 1-22, August 20-November 30
- 2021 Regular: January 30-March 31
- 2020 High: January 1-5, April 24-May 10, July 23-August 19, December 18-31
- 2021: High: January 1-4
You can also use ANA Miles to upgrade on ANA-operated flights.
However, you do need to have a ticket in a certain fare class. For example, to upgrade from Economy to Premium on an international flight, your ticket needs to be in either Y, B, M, U, H, Q, or V fare class.
You can find the eligible fares easily on the ANA’s home page when booking a flight reservation.
However, these upgradable fares will be usually at least $500+ higher than the lowest economy fares.
If you just want to upgrade to premium economy, it may be cheaper to book a premium economy ticket than an economy ticket that you could upgrade.
But these upgrades could be very useful for business travelers who book the more expensive economy or premium economy tickets.
The fine print for these upgrade awards are:
- It is not possible to make both an Economy-Business and Economy-Premium Economy upgrade application for the same flight simultaneously.
- Customers who have applied for an upgrade from Economy Class to Premium Economy cannot then upgrade to Business Class. To upgrade to Business Class, customers must request a refund for their current upgrade application and then make a new application to upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class.
- It is not possible to upgrade directly from Economy Class to First Class.
- Depending on the flight, it may not be possible to use upgrade awards.
- Upgrade awards cannot be used for domestic flight sectors within Japan.
Lastly, you can also waitlist for an upgrade, and the miles will be automatically deducted if an upgrade becomes available.
Below is the award chart for ANA’s Star Alliance and other partners.
This chart also applies if you fly ANA + Star Alliance partners.
ANA divides the world into ten zones, which are detailed below.
Some fine print applies to some awards:
- Flight awards cannot be used for First Class on Swiss International Air Lines flights.
- Reservation for Singapore Airlines Suites, First Class and Business class cabins are not permitted for award travel on the following Singapore Airlines aircraft (A350-900, A380-800, B787-1000, B777-200ER (retrofitted), B777-300ER)
- Award reservations made on Etihad Airways (EY) operated flights will be limited to the codeshare routes between ANA (NH) and Etihad Airways (EY).
- When using Avianca, flights which are operated by Avianca [AV], TACA [TA], and LACSA [LR] are also eligible.
- Flight Awards can be used for train services on Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.
- Awards cannot be used for bus services which are operated under Etihad Airways flight numbers.
- Flight awards cannot be used for the Beijing-Pyongyang (North Korea) sector that is operated by Air China.
- Flight awards cannot be used for Air Macau flights which have flight numbers above 9000. (More specifically, it is possible to submit an application, but a reply from Air Macau’s reservation system will not be forthcoming.)
- Flight awards cannot be used for Premium Economy Class on EVA Air flights.
- Flight awards cannot be used for South African Airways flights which have flight numbers above 8000.
- Flight awards for Olympic Air flights have to be reserved under Aegean Airlines (A3) flight numbers (Range A3 7000-7999)
There are also restrictions on where you cannot connect. For example, you can’t fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii via Tokyo and have it price out at the US to Hawaii rate. But you could fly Los Angeles to Hawaii to Tokyo to Los Angeles, which would be charged at the US to Tokyo price.
You can also use ANA Miles to upgrade your flight on Star Alliance Airlines.
For example, you could upgrade from Economy to Business class on United Airlines from Chicago to Paris one-way for 28,000 ANA miles assuming there was United upgrade availability.
You also have to have an eligible fare, which depends on each airline.
ANA's Family Booking Requirement
One of the biggest rules you need to know is that you can only book awards for yourself and family members.
The most important thing to know is that you cannot book an award for your boyfriend/girlfriend or fiancee (or one of your children’s unmarried significant other).
The way around this restriction would be to transfer points from Marriott or American Express into that person’s ANA Mileage Club account and book an award from there.
ANA allows you to pre-register up to 10 people as award users (their spouse or same-sex partner and relatives within 2 degrees of family relationship), as long as you have at least 1,000 miles in your account.
Some people have reported being able to pre-register non-family members, but the official policy requires a family relationship.
If you don’t share the same last name, ANA may require you to submit a marriage or birth certificate.
The one advantage is that ANA allows family members to pool their miles, which is a helpful feature.
ANA Routing Rules, Fees, and Important Tips
There are a few rules you should know about ANA.
Round-Trips Only- ANA does not allow you to book one-way flights, so you must book a round-trip flight.
Stopovers: One stopover plus one open jaw; OR two open jaws and no stopovers.
- A stopover is defined as a connection for longer than 24 hours.
- Exception: No stopovers for awards starting in Japan flying only on ANA (e.g., Sapporo to Tokyo to New York to Tokyo to Sapporo).
- Example: For my trip, I did two open-jaws, which allowed me to visit five cities in Asia in a single award. Charlotte to New York to Seoul (open-jaw); Tokyo to Hong Kong (open-jaw); Manila to Chicago via Taipei (23-hour connection).
Transfer Limit: Two connections are allowed each way on the outbound and inbound trips. Also, the first and last cities of an award must be within the same award zone.
Mixed Classes: Mixed classes are allowed. The mileage for the outbound and return journey is divided by two. However, if you flew an outbound flight in both economy and business class, you would be charged for business class. The entire journey either outbound or return needs to be in the same class.
Award Changes: You can change the date and time of your travel for free. If you need to change the routing or airline, you have to cancel and re-book at a cost of 3,000 miles. The big disadvantage of cancelling and trying to re-book is that there is a cancel that the seats will not go back into award inventory.
Return Flight: Your outgoing and return flight must return to the same “country.” However there are a few exceptions:
- The United States and Canada are considered to be the same country for award ticket itinerary purposes.
- With the exception of itineraries which are solely within Europe, all of Europe is considered to be the same country for award ticket itinerary purposes. However, this excludes areas of Russia east of Urals.
- Hong Kong, Macau, and China are considered to be separate countries for award ticket itinerary purposes.
- With the exception of itineraries which are solely within Scandinavia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are considered to be the same country for award ticket itinerary purposes.
- You can book flights between 4 and 355 days before departure.
- You can put an award on hold for 48-hours sometimes by calling in, but you will have to pay the $25 phone booking fee.
The Amazing ANA Round the World Award
One of my favorite ways to use ANA miles is their Round the World (“RTW”) chart because you can do up to eight stopovers for a very reasonable price.
The Round the World award requires you to have a lot of vacation time for a trip, but you could split the trip into two separate trips.
For example, you could:
- Use the RTW award to fly from the U.S. to Europe in the summer.
- Book a cheap round-trip cash or award flight back to the U.S. with a return to Europe in the winter.
- Continue your RTW award in the winter from Europe to Asia with a return to the U.S.
To calculate the miles flown, plug your route into this calculator.
A few examples of possible awards in business class with stops in each city are:
- Chicago to Los Angeles to Tokyo to Taipei to Hong Kong to Bangkok to the Maldives (stop) to Istanbul to Paris to Chicago for 125,000 miles.
- Los Angeles to Taipei to Bangkok to Paris to Lisbon to Dublin to New York for 115,000 miles.
- Los Angeles to Tokyo to Istanbul to Rome to Frankfurt to Zurich to London to Denver for 105,000 miles.
- Chicago to Tokyo to Sydney to Bangkok to Singapore to the Maldives to Istanbul to Paris to Frankfurt to Chicago for 170,000 Miles.
Other things you should know are:
Mixed Cabins: ANA does not give a discount for mixed cabin awards for this award.
Stopovers Limit: You are allowed eight in total, with a maximum of 3 stopovers in Europe and 4 stopovers within Japan.
Segments Limit: You are limited to twelve segments.
Open-Jaws Limit: You can do up to four open-jaws, which is when you fly in and out of a different airport. For example, if you flew into Tokyo-Narita and out of Tokyo-Haneda, that counts as an open-jaw. Or into Hong Kong and out Singapore with a cash flight in between would be an open-jaw.
Minimum Travel: Your trip must last at least 10 days for a Round the World award.
- You generally need to move in a single direction, east or west.
- You need to cross the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean once and only once.
- ANA is somewhat flexible with this rule, but it depends on the phone agent.
- You can fly from Japan, South Korea, and China to New Zealand and Australia, with the next flight to Southeast Asia.
- The “hard rule” is that once you leave an “area” you cannot go back to that area.
Round the World in First Class
For those of you who want to fly First Class, there are some options, but it is very limited due to only a few airlines operating first-class cabins.
The only Star Alliance airlines that you can book first class for are ANA, Thai, Lufthansa, and Swiss.
However, first-class on Lufthansa and Swiss are only available 14 days before departure, which means you would have to book an award at the last minute and also find last-minute award space on other airlines.
Plus, Lufthansa and Swiss charge very high fuel surcharges, so you are likely looking at least $800 in fees.
Some all first-class options would be:
- USA to Frankfurt/Zurich to Tokyo to USA for 160,000 ANA miles.
- USA to Frankfurt/Zurich to Bangkok to Tokyo to USA for 180,000 Miles.
Best Ways to Use ANA Miles
There are several great ways to use ANA miles that we will detail below.
1. ANA Business Class Across their Network
ANA prices out their business class very reasonably from most departure points.
You will likely find a reasonably priced award from wherever you are and wherever you want to go in ANA’s route network.
You have to take into account the low, regular, and high season, but even the high season prices are cheaper than other programs.
The high season price matches the price of their Star Alliance chart, so if you are flying during these dates, you have the flexibility of flying on other airlines for the same price.
From the U.S., you can fly round-trip to Japan for 75,000 miles (low), 85,000 miles (regular), or 90,000 (high).
For only 5,000 miles more, you could also visit South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Manila.
Europe to Japan is also very reasonable at 80,000 miles (low), 90,000 miles (regular), or 95,000 (high). Or 5,000 more miles if you want to visit South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Manila.
Another great option is to fly the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand via Tokyo. This award only costs 105,000 miles (low), 115,000 miles (regular), or 120,000 (high).
Lastly, you can also fly very cheaply to Japan from Hawaii (60k/65k/68k) and Australia (65k/75k/80k). Or 10,000 miles more if you wanted to South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Manila.
2. North America and Europe to East Asia for 95,000 Miles on Star Alliance Airlines.
You can use 95,000 ANA miles to fly to South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, the Philippines, and Guam.
You could fly a mix of EVA, Asiana, and ANA, which are all three very good airlines.
One of my best flights ever was a 2-hour business class flight on EVA, so they are a great option for getting around this region or flying back to the U.S.
3. North America to Europe for 88,000 Miles on Star Alliance Airlines.
ANA charges only 88,000 miles round-trip for a business class flight to Europe.
Other airlines such as United charge 140,000 miles, and American charges 115,000 miles.
However, you do need to avoid those high fuel surcharge partners like Lufthansa, Swiss, and Austrian.
You should focus on finding award space on United Airlines, TAP Portugal, or SAS to avoid fuel surcharges. LOT Polish is another option that only charged $120.00 in fuel surcharges from the U.S. to Europe.
3. North America to Africa for 104,000 Miles on Star Alliance Airlines.
You can fly from North America to Africa in business class for a very reasonable 104,000 miles.
You would most likely fly Ethiopian Airlines, which offers great connections to most places in Africa and low fees.
Alternatively, you could fly Turkish Airlines, but you would pay more in fees.
Ethiopian’s “Cloud Nine” business class is not as fancy as Turkish Airlines but is still a very good option with likely a lower travel time than Turkish Airlines.
4. North America to Australia for 120,000 Miles on Star Alliance Airlines.
You can fly from North America to Australia for only 120,000 miles, which is a good deal since United and American charge 160,000 miles.
You can save 15,000 miles off this price if you fly only ANA during the low season or 5,000 miles if you fly ANA during the regular season. (The high season ANA price and Star Alliance price are the same.)
The most direct option would be Air New Zealand, but the long-haul award space is very difficult to find.
You will most likely fly either Asiana or Air China between Asia and Australia/New Zealand because if you were to fly Singapore Airlines or Thai, the price would jump to 136,000 miles since you would be transiting through “Asia 2.”
5. North America to South America for 88,000 Miles on Star Alliance Airlines.
You can also fly to South America from North America for only 88,000 Miles. United Airlines charges 120,000 miles for flying the same Star Alliance airlines.
Your options for South America would be Copa Airlines (connecting through Panama City), Avianca (connecting through Bogota or Lima), United Airlines via Houston or Newark, and Air Canada via Toronto.
The one downside of flying business class to South America is that some routings may only have recliner business class.
Most flights over 7 hours will be in lie-flat or at angled flat, business class. But you can check this easily by plugging the flight into Google Flights and looking at the seat details.
Other Ways to Use ANA Miles
There are a few other ways to use ANA Miles, but we don’t recommend them since you can get much more value from using ANA Miles for flights.
- 12,000 Miles = $100 Amazon Gift Card
- 12,000 Miles = $100 Macy’s Gift Card
- 10,000 Miles = 10,000 Yen ANA Voucher (worth about $92 USD)
- Online shopping store that sells electronics, health & beauty, fashion, gaming, etc. For example, a Samsung phone that retails for $600 was 144,744 miles (or about 0.4 cents per mile).
- Car and Hotel Reservations.
- Extra or overweight baggage on ANA.
- You can donate your miles to several charitable causes.
- Airport Limousine Bus (12,000 Miles for 12,800 Yen bus voucher) between the airports and central Tokyo. This is equivalent to about a $120 USD voucher.
- Taxi Coupons (10,000 Miles for 10,000 Yen tax coupon). This is equivalent to about a $92 USD voucher.
Frequently Asked Questions
ANA miles expire after 36 months from earning those miles. The only way to extend the life of the miles is to be an ANA Diamond elite member, which is likely not feasible for the vast majority of people.
Thus, you should use them before you lose them.
ANA’s mileage program is one of my favorite points programs.
You can fly at very reasonable rates to anywhere ANA’s route network. ANA also has an amazing Round the World award, where you can truly take one of the best trips of your life for about 125,000 miles.
Thanks for reading this Ultimate Guide. I would love to know what flights you book using ANA miles. Just shoot me an email.