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8 Business Class Flights You Can Book for 50K Points (Or Less!)

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If you don't think you have enough points and miles to fly business class, think again. We're here to prove you wrong. 

Sure, if you have Delta SkyMiles, you're all-too-used to seeing business class award tickets selling for 400,000 miles each way. But that's one extreme … and it's time to look at the other. Even when airlines are charging $5,000 or more for those same flights, you can book some of the nicest lie-flat seats around the world for 50,000 points or less.

The trick is knowing which airlines to fly, whose miles to redeem, finding the flights you can actually book (or waiting for a Thrifty Traveler Premium award alert), and having even a small stash of transferrable credit card points to make it a reality. With the right redemptions that combine all three essential ingredients, a single credit card welcome bonus is more than enough to get you on one of these business class seats.

From a slew of redemptions that clock in at exactly 50,000 points to others as low as 34,000 miles each way, here are a handful of ways to book that business class flight for 50,000 points or less. 



Delta One for 50K Each Way (or 39K!)

Delta One flights to Europe can run you 200,000 Delta SkyMiles or more. It's one of the worst things about the SkyMiles program.

There's a better way.

If you time it right, you can book that exact same Delta One seat using miles from partner airline Virgin Atlantic for just 50,000 points each way! And since Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner with all the big banks, you can easily turn 50,000 points from a *chase sapphire preferred* or the *amex gold* into the miles you need to book this.


Delta One deal


Read our full walkthrough on booking Delta One for 50,000 points!

It's one of – if not our number one – favorite redemptions and one of the best deals in the world of points and miles, period. The struggle is finding the award availability to actually book it: Delta can be incredibly stingy with allowing partner airlines like Virgin to book at these absurdly cheap rates.

Trust us: It can be done. 

Earlier this year, we found Thrifty Traveler Premium members a ton of Delta One availability with Virgin Atlantic on many nonstop routes to Amsterdam (AMS), Dublin (DUB), Frankfurt (FRA), Lisbon (LIS), and Munich (MUC), among others.

Best of all, Capital One was running a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin at the time. That means just 38,500 points was all you needed to snag these seats. Those 30% transfer bonuses to Virgin are shockingly common – Chase is running one right now!


Delta One info


When Virgin and Delta team up like like this, you can count on us to get deals into your inbox within minutes. It's one of the best redemptions out there, and you only need 50,000 points (or less) to snag it. 


Delta one fares


Air France/KLM for 50K Each Way

Some of the best cheap business class redemptions are hard to find, like the one above. This isn't one of them. 

That's the beauty of booking KLM or Air France business class to Europe: The airlines make it easier than most carriers to book their lie-flat seats using points. And unbelievably, this redemption has gotten even better recently after Air France/KLM lowered award rates.

Whether you want to get to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Amsterdam (AMS), or connect almost anywhere flying business class to Europe, it'll run you as few as 50,000 miles each way. Better yet, Flying Blue unleashes a monthly set of discounted routes it calls Promo Rewards, with occasionally discounted business class rates to Europe from a handful of U.S. cities. To top it all off, regular transfer bonuses (including occasional 25% bonuses if you've got Chase or Amex points), can make these already-cheap redemptions even cheaper.


air france business class alert


But that doesn't mean it's always easy to find these flights. You still might see business class award rates north of 100,000 miles each way. 

But at Thrifty Traveler, we have special award alert that we reserve for the most rare, best business class redemptions: Unicorn Alerts. And this one was the ultimate unicorn.


AF KLM business class


Here's why this deal was a unicorn: 

  • Peak summer business class award availability
  • During the Paris Olympics
  • Deep availability up to 9 passengers in some cases
  • To and from nearly all of Air France and KLM's North American gateways
  • Bookable through Flying Blue (transferrable from Amex, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo!)
  • All for just 50,000 points each way!


AF KLM biz class


I can't remember ever seeing this much peak summer business class availability, helping travelers fly (in style) straight into the heart of Europe during the most in-demand time of year. 

Read Next: A Review of Air France Business Class


Iberia Biz Class to Spain for 34K Each Way

Iberia business class isn't the fanciest lie-flat seat in the sky, though it's still an incredibly comfortable way to fly.

More importantly, it's absolutely exceptional for the price. 


Iberia business class


In the off-peak season from January to May, you can snag these seats for just 34,000 points each way, or just 68,000 points roundtrip! It's one of the best ways to book business class to Europe.


Iberia biz class


Iberia or British Airways Avios are the points you'll need for this one, which you can transfer in from Amex, Bilt, Chase, Capital One, or Wells Fargo. That's right: No matter which credit card points you've got, you can easily book this deal. 

You'll find these lowest rates from Boston (BOS), New York City (JFK), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), and Chicago-O'Hare (ORD).


Iberia biz class fares


A One-Way to Lisbon for 35K Points

Ready for a weird one?

You can fly to Lisbon (LIS) in TAP Air Portugal business class for just 35,000 miles one way by using Avianca LifeMiles. But this is a unicorn, as it only works at that ultra-low rate on a single route: New York City (JFK) to Lisbon. Oddly, even a flight from Newark (EWR) or the return flight back to JFK from Lisbon will cost you the full 63,000 miles.

New York to Lisbon in business class for 35k LifeMiles 

Avianca LifeMiles isn't our favorite way to book flights using miles, as its website is wonky and customer service can be quite bad. But when you can book a business class seat to Portugal for just 5,000 miles more than economy, it's worth it. We recently gave Thrifty Traveler Premium members the heads-up on how to book this deal for a trip this fall.

On the plus side, Avianca LifeMiles are incredibly easy to earn. You can transfer points to LifeMiles from cards like American Express, Capital One, and Citi.


Aer Lingus Biz Class to Ireland for 45K Each Way

Aer Lingus has a sneakily awesome business class that doesn't get enough credit in our opinion. We just flew it again thanks to this deal, too! 


Aer Lingus biz class


Flying Aer Lingus's nonstop routes from all over the U.S. and Canada, you can snag these seats from just 45,000 miles from Alaska Airlines each way … or a few miles more using other airline programs. 


Aer Lingus biz class


The best part about this Aer Lingus deal, though, is simply how much business class availability is bookable. Look at all of those nonstop routes to Ireland and England that our subscribers were able to gobble up. 


Aer Lingus biz class


American Biz Class to Europe for 45K Each Way

While the foreign airlines get a lot of credit for their comfortable lie-flat seats, don't sleep on American Airlines!

The U.S. carrier has a plush business class offering of its own, and it's been easier (and cheaper) to book lately than you might expect. 


American business class


Booking business class to Europe in peak summer using miles was totally unheard of over the last few years. But this year is different. 


American business class


AAdvantage miles will do you right, but using a smaller stash of Alaska Airlines miles is even better: Just 45,000 each way is all you need to book!


AA biz class


Hawaiian Biz Class to Japan, Australia & Beyond for 50K Each Way

If you thought only Europe gets to have fun with sub-50,000-point business class awards, you're wrong! You might just have to work a little harder to snag the same rates across the Pacific. 

From its hub in Honolulu (HNL), you can fly lie-flat nonstop to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea for just 50,000 points each way on Hawaiian Airlines. 


Hawaiian business class


This deal is exceptional because of the price, of course. But it's also great for the opportunity to book a stopover in Hawaii on the way to or from your final destination. Just grab the cheapest flight you can to Hawaii, spend a few days there, and then continue on in a lie-flat seat to the South Pacific or Asia. Incredible. 


Hawaiian biz class


The trick is booking with Virgin Atlantic, as the airline charges some shockingly low rates for these gruelingly long flights. But if you time it right with a transfer bonus of 30% to Virgin, 50,000 credit card points is all you need. 


Hawaiian biz class


The same goes for these nonstop flights to Auckland (AKL) and Sydney (SYD), which are bookable with Virgin for just 50,000 points during the transfer bonus. If not, it'll cost you 65,000 miles instead. 


Hawaii business class


LATAM Biz Class to South America for 35K 

Finally, we can fly south for just 35,000 points each way, too! Check this out. 


LATAM biz class


LATAM business class seats fly all over South America from the U.S. And while they're not the mega suites that you'll see from some airlines, it's still one of the best ways to get to South America. 


LATAM biz class info


Oh … and did I mention that you only need 35,000 Alaska miles to grab these flights, too?


LATAM fares


If Alaska miles aren't in your arsenal, then 50,000 Virgin miles can get you to Lima (LIM) in Peru from several U.S. cities as well! 


Bottom Line

You don't have to be hoarding hundreds of thousands of points to fly business class. Choose your battles, and mou might not need more than 50,000 points to book the best lie-flat seats in the world. 

Thrifty Traveler Premium members get award alerts almost every week for lie-flat seats you can secure for less than 50,000 points to fuel your next dreamy vacation. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

6 Responses

  • Seems like those of us on the West Coast – I’m SFO – don’t get S much benefit in these examples…or am I missing something here?


    • These are just a few examples of many. San Francisco definitely still benefits – though admittedly to a slightly lesser extent: The longer flights to Europe and especially Asia/beyond mean that those redemptions often cost a bit more than East Coast to Europe, for example.

    • We do write about getting to both Southeast Asia and Africa – stay tuned! Unfortunately, both destinations will certainly cost you more than 50,000 points each way so they didn’t fit in this story.

  • Great article… for the East Coast and Hawaii. What options do you recommend for SFO and LAX?

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