Top 10 Business Class Destinations For Under 180,000 Points

Tired of getting poor value for those hard-earned credit card points? We have you covered with this list of the 10 best award booking solutions that can be found using superior booking methods, representing up to 8 times the value (!) compared to what you’ll find through a simple portal search.

We are often asked by our clients for tips and tricks for maximizing credit card points. The mistake people tend to make with their points, is that they use credit card portals to book award travel, which is much easier but several times more expensive. You can either try your hand at booking these flights yourself, or contact our points experts, we're a chat away if you’d like us to help. If you want to know more about how we go about finding these deals, we’re all about sharing. Check out our introduction to booking flights for points and miles, for instance.

Keep on reading below.

Here's the list:

1. Business Class to South Africa for 104,000 Amex Points

A business class flight to South Africa will set you back no more than 104,000 points

Transfer your Amex points to All Nippon Airways Mileage Club and book a round trip business class ticket to South Africa on the Star Alliance carriers (see how). Ethiopian Airlines has the best availability and the lowest fees at around $150 per person.

It’s also possible to fly on Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa or SWISS, although they charge higher fees and typically release fewer seats. Expect to pay around $800 in taxes and airline surcharges with these airlines which, given the low points price, is still an acceptable deal.

Points redemptions to South Africa

  • Recommended transfer partner: ANA Mileage Club
  • Points needed: 104,000
  • Availability in Business Class: Ethiopian, Turkish, Lufthansa, SWISS
  • Taxes and surcharges: $150-800 per person

2. Business Class to Athens for 90,000 Amex, Chase or Citibank points

Emirates operates a fifth freedom flight between Newark and Athens, which typically offers a good amount of business class award seats. Transfer your points to Emirates Skywards and book a round trip ticket in business class for just 90,000 points and $150 in taxes and airline fees (see how). Emirates is a transfer partner of Amex, Chase and Citibank.

Points redemptions to Athens

  • Recommended transfer partner: Emirates Skywards
  • Points needed: 90,000
  • Availability in Business Class: Ethiopian, Turkish, Lufthansa, SWISS
  • Taxes and surcharges: $150 per person

3. Business Class to Madrid for 68,000 Amex or Chase Points

Another one of our favorites is Iberia Plus who are a transfer partner to Amex and Chase. Iberia operates daily flights between New York and Chicago to Madrid and their award prices are very competitive. During off-peak season you can fly business class to Madrid for just 68,000 points and $200 in taxes and airline surcharges. If you wish to fly during the peak summer season, the price jumps up to 100,000 points round trip which is still a great deal.

Points redemptions to Athens

  • Recommended transfer partner: Iberia
  • Points needed: 68,000 - 100,000
  • Taxes and surcharges: $200 per person

4. Business Class to Brazil for 100,000 Amex, Chase or Citibank Points

Transfer your Amex, Chase or Citibank points to Avianca LifeMiles to fly from the United States to Brazil for just 100,000 points per person round trip in business class on United Airlines or Avianca. United operates nonstop flights to São Paulo from Newark, Chicago and Houston, and availability is typically easy to come by. Another option is to fly with Avianca via Bogotá, Colombia. LifeMiles only charges airport taxes so you can expect to pay around $100 per person in addition to the points.

Points redemptions to Brazil

  • Recommended transfer partner: Avianca Lifemiles
  • Points needed: 68,000 - 100,000
  • Availability in Business Class: Avianca or United
  • Taxes and surcharges: $100 per person

5. Business Class to the Maldives for 170,000 Amex, Chase or Citibank Points

The Maldives is the ultimate dream destination, and while there are many ways to get there, the best and most reasonably priced way is with Emirates. Transfer your Amex, Chase or Citibank points to Emirates Skywards to book a round trip business class ticket for 170,000 points and approximately $500 in taxes and fees (see how). It’s also possible to add a stopover in Dubai at no additional cost for those who prefer an extended rest between the flights.

Points redemptions to the Maldives

  • Recommended transfer partner: Emirates Skywards
  • Points needed: 170,000
  • Taxes and surcharges: $500 per person

6. Business Class to Europe for 88,000 Amex Points

All Nippon Airways Mileage Club offers some of the cheapest redemptions out there, if you have Amex points. A round trip in business class to Europe will cost you just 88,000 points, which also includes the option to add a free stopover (see how). United Airlines, TAP Portugal and SAS don’t impose any high fuel surcharges, so you only need to pay for the airport taxes, which are around $100-150 per person. 

Points redemptions to Europe

  • Recommended transfer partner: ANA Mileage Club
  • Points needed: 88,000
  • Availability in Business Class: Several; United, SAS and TAP recommended
  • Taxes and surcharges: $100-150 per person

7. Business Class to Hawaii for 25,000 Citibank Points

One of our favorite redemptions is from mainland USA to Hawaii for just 25,000 Citibank Points in business class when transferred to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles. While United are known to release very few business class seats to Hawaii, it’s still possible to find availability if you book 2-3 months in advance or at the very last minute. On domestic flights, you only need to pay the airport taxes which come out at a low $11.20 per person round trip.

Points redemptions to Hawaii

  • Recommended transfer partner: Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • Points needed: 25,000
  • Taxes and surcharges: $11 per person

8. Business Class to the Seychelles for 104,000 Amex Points

Again, All Nippon Airways Mileage Club is a program with many sweet-spots and a transfer partner that offers some of the best value for Amex points. The Africa region in particular is very well priced given its distance. One of the destinations in this zone is the Seychelles to which it is possible to fly for just 104,000 points round trip in business class on either Ethiopian Airlines or Turkish Airlines. Expect to pay around $150 in airport taxes on Ethiopian or around $800 in airport taxes and fuel surcharges on Turkish Airlines.

Points redemptions to the Seychelles

  • Recommended transfer partner: ANA Mileage Club
  • Points needed: 104,000
  • Availability in Business Class: Ethiopian Airlines or Turkish Airlines
  • Taxes and surcharges: $150-800 per person

9. First Class to Tokyo for 120,000 Amex, Chase or Citibank Points

While All Nippon Airways (ANA) have a great frequent flyer program, they are also a great airline for actual flight redemption. ANA is a partner of Virgin Atlantic, which means that you can use your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for ANA flights. The award chart for ANA flights using Virgin points is very reasonably priced and arguably the best value is for First Class redemptions between New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Tokyo for just 120,000 Flying Club points per person and $50 in taxes (see how).

Points redemptions to Tokyo

  • Recommended transfer partner: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Points needed: 120,000
  • Availability in Business Class: ANA
  • Taxes and surcharges: $50 per person

10. Round The World in Business Class for 200-250K Amex Membership Rewards Points

Unfortunately, round the world (RTW) award tickets are slowly being discontinued across many frequent flyer programs, but some solutions do still exist. If you have Amex points for instance you can redeem RTW awards on All Nippon Airways Mileage Club, Aeromexico Club Premier and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. These awards will typically cost between 200,000 and 250,000 points depending on the distance and the number of stops.

When comparing the cost to a typical long-haul redemption, which goes for around 150,000-200,000 in business class, the fact that you can fly around the world for just another 50,000-100,000 miles makes these redemptions some of the best value out there if you have time on your hands! Read more on how to get there in our dedicated RTW Guide.

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