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Earlier I wrote about the best ways to redeem miles for travel on Emirates. The single best mileage program for premium cabin redemptions on Emirates is Japan Airlines Mileage Bank. Unfortunately the catch is that Japan Airlines miles are tough to come by, as they’re only transfer partners with Starwood Preferred Guest.
That means the only decent credit cards that will earn you Japan Airlines miles are the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Starpoints convert into Japan Airlines miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred, meaning you’re earning up to 1.25 Japan Airlines miles per dollar spent.
Anyway, in the comments section of the post, a reader pointed out that Japan Airlines has a new partner award chart for tickets booked as of October 1, 2017. When I first heard that I thought to myself “oh no, there goes the best way to redeem miles for Emirates first & business class.” The good news is that the changes are very, very minor. Like, I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a modest devaluation.
Here’s Japan Airlines Mileage Bank’s partner airline award chart for tickets booked as of October 1, 2017:
Specifically, what’s changing is that:
- Business class on a flight of 1-1,000 miles is going down in price from 35,000 miles to 32,000 miles
- First class on a flight of 1-1,000 miles is going down in price from 60,000 miles to 55,000 miles
- First class on a flight of 8,000-10,000 miles is going up in price from 100,000 miles to 105,000 miles
In practice I’d call this a very mild devaluation. I hope not many people are redeeming JAL miles for a business or first class flight covering a roundtrip distance of under 1,000 miles. Meanwhile the above means that the cost of a roundtrip Emirates first class award from New York to Milan or Athens is increasing by 5,000 miles, from 100,000 miles to 105,000 miles
This award chart continues to represent an incredible value, especially for travel in Emirates first class. I think the real sweet spot is a trip covering a distance of 14,001-20,000 miles, which costs 155,000 miles in first class.
For that you could fly from New York to Milan to Dubai to Bangkok to Dubai to New York in Emirates first class, with stopovers in each city. Not bad, eh?