Advertiser Disclosure

ANA airplane

Act Fast: ANA is Raising Award Rates on First & Biz Class Redemptions

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club is one of the best airline frequent flyer programs out there to book flights for fewer miles – and not just to Japan and back but also to Europe, Australia, and beyond. In just a few days, some of its sweetest spots are taking a major hit.

ANA is raising award rates for business and first class flights on both ANA and partner airlines like United and Air Canada, too … by as much as 33%. First unveiled back in late February, it's the first time in a decade that the airline has updated its award chart.

Time is running out to book before many flights will cost you more miles: These new, higher rates take effect this Thursday, April 18. And considering it can take 24 to 48 hours to transfer Amex points from cards like the *amex gold* to your ANA account, the clock is really ticking.


ana business class cabin


Check out our list of the five flights you'll want to book via ANA ASAP!

Here are some of the most notable changes on tap:

  • ANA business class from the U.S. to Japan is increasing from 75,000 to 100,000 miles roundtrip (33% increase) for the low season – and from 90,000 miles to 110,000 miles in the high season.
  • ANA first class from the U.S. to Japan will remain the same in the low season – still just 150,000 miles roundtrip – but it will go up from 150,000 to 170,000 in the regular season, and up from 165,000 to 200,000 miles (21% increase) in the high season.
  • Partner business class award rates between the U.S. and Europe are going up from 88,000 miles roundtrip to 100,000 miles (14% increase). This is currently one of the best ways to get to Europe with points and miles.
  • Partner business class award rates between the U.S. and Africa are increasing from 104,000 miles roundtrip to 130,000 miles (25% increase).
  • Business class flights between the U.S. and Australia on partner airlines will now cost 145,000 miles roundtrip, up from 120,000 miles (20% increase).

For ANA flights specifically, ANA's definitions of low, regular, and high season will depend on the region of your destination. You can find that information in the “Seasonality Charts” section on the airline's award chart page. This won't apply to partner award bookings.

Again, rates are only increasing for first and business class redemptions on ANA and its Star Alliance partner airlines – with few exceptions, economy redemptions will remain untouched. And note that you're required to book roundtrip tickets with ANA miles: the program doesn't offer one-way flights for half price like other programs do.


ANA award chart increases to Japan


Since ANA is an Amex transfer partner, you can transfer points from cards like the *amex gold* or *amex platinum* to easily get the ANA miles you need. Come April 18, though, you'll need to transfer more of those Amex points to book first and business class flights.

Airline mileage devaluations are the only thing guaranteed in this world of points and miles. Time and again, we've seen airlines increase how many points or miles you need to book an award flight – or move towards more dynamic pricing. It's the main reason we encourage travelers to stop hoarding their points and miles because they're not getting more valuable.

But ANA's award chart changes are not a complete gut job as we saw recently when Virgin Atlantic raised award rates on most Delta flights or when Turkish Airlines increased its award rates by as much as 100%. These new, higher award rates are still half the price of what partner airlines like United charge for flights to Japan, for instance.

For example, United charges 110,000 miles one-way to fly ANA business class to Japan. Even after ANA's increase in award rates, you'll be able to book this same flight roundtrip for the same number of miles (or fewer in low season).


United miles for ANA biz class


For now, ANA's Around the World awards don't appear impacted by this change: That sweet spot remains intact.

Consider this: With these quirky round-the-world itineraries, you could fly from New York City (JFK) to Tokyo (HND) and then on to London (LHR) and back to New York – all in business class – for just 5,000 miles more than your average roundtrip to London and back.


Bottom Line

ANA is updating its award chart for the first time in decades, and business and first class award redemptions on partner airlines and ANA itself are all taking a hit.

Overall, it's not the worst devaluation we've seen recently, as ANA is still charging much fewer miles than its partners for many of these flights. But if you've got plans for a trip to Japan, Europe, Australia, or really anywhere in first or business class – now's the time to burn those points and miles and book before award rates increase this Thursday, April 18. 


Senior Award Deal Analyst & Reporter Peter Thornton contributed to this story. 

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.

3 Responses

  • So glad I booked and flew ANA’s “The Room”recently on a RTW trip. I had a feeling that the door would soon close behind me, but not 10 days after I got back. Sweet spots are steadily disappearing from both banks and airlines, and I opted to strike while the iron is hot, especially since points take work to print.

  • The biggest snag I am running into trying to burn these AmEx points is when I pull up certain dates, it only list award flights as “Waitlist”. Is there any common work around for this? From what i’ve read Waitlist is essentially not worth it and rarely clears.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *