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How to Get the Best Value from a Swiss Rail Pass for Seniors
Traveling around Switzerland by rail is a great way to experience the country’s stunning scenery and vibrant culture. For seniors, a Swiss Rail Pass can be an especially attractive option, offering discounted fares and other benefits. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your Swiss Rail Pass as a senior traveler.
Know Your Options
The first step in getting the best value from your Swiss Rail Pass is to understand all of your options. There are several types of passes available, including single-day passes, multi-day passes, and regional passes. Each type of pass has its own set of benefits and restrictions, so it’s important to research which one is right for you. Additionally, seniors may be eligible for additional discounts on certain types of passes.
Once you’ve chosen the right pass for your trip, it’s time to start planning your itinerary. The Swiss rail system is extensive and efficient, so there are plenty of options when it comes to destinations. However, it’s important to plan ahead in order to make sure you get the most out of your pass. Research routes and schedules in advance so that you can take advantage of any discounts or special offers that may be available.
Take Advantage of Benefits
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of all the benefits that come with your Swiss Rail Pass as a senior traveler. Many passes include discounts on attractions and activities throughout Switzerland, as well as access to special lounges and other amenities at select stations. Additionally, many passes offer free or discounted travel on certain mountain railways and boats throughout Switzerland. Be sure to check out all the benefits that come with your pass before you travel so that you can get the most out of your trip.
By following these tips, seniors can get the best value from their Swiss Rail Pass and make the most out of their travels around Switzerland. With its stunning scenery and vibrant culture, Switzerland is an ideal destination for seniors looking for an unforgettable experience.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Miles & More
The frequent flyer and awards programme from SWISS. Earn miles whenever you fly or shop, and spend them on things you want. As a frequent flyer you also benefit from exclusive privileges that will make your trip even more comfortable.
Take off into the world of earning miles
Earn miles in the air and on the ground. You can spend your award miles on exclusive products in the Lufthansa WorldShop, upgrades to the next travel class and many other offers.
Benefit also with SWISS Miles & More credit cards
Fill your mileage account even faster. No matter whether you are at a restaurant, shopping or in the online shop: pay for your purchases with SWISS Miles & More credit cards. Every time you will receive a credit of valuable miles that you can exchange for flight awards, attractive offers from the Lufthansa WorldShop and much more. Your miles will not expire if you use your cards regularly.
Move up to a frequent flyer with status
In addition to award miles, you also earn status miles on your flights with SWISS and the entire Star Alliance. You can use them to achieve a frequent flyer status. The associated privileges will make your trip even more enjoyable, faster and more comfortable.
Become a Frequent Traveller in SWISS Business
Become a frequent traveller in swiss economy, travel with privileges, frequent traveller.
Access: 35,000 status miles or 30 flight segments in one calendar year
- Preferential check-in
- Access to the Business Lounge
- Higher baggage allowance
More on Frequent Traveller status
Access: 100,000 status miles per calendar year
- Access to the Senator and Star Alliance Gold lounges
- 2 upgrade vouchers
- Preferential baggage reclaim
More on Senator Status
Access: 600,000 HON Circle miles in two consecutive calendar years
- Top waiting list priority
- Access to the First-Class lounge and the First-Class terminal
- Senator partner card
- Exclusive limousine and transfer service
- 6 upgrade vouchers
More on HON Circle
New status programme
The new status programme starts on 1 January 2024: a simple and transparent path to achieving status, as versatile as ever for enjoying privileges.
More about Miles & More
- Become a member
- Redeem miles
- Subsequent mileage credit
- Apply for credit card
On swiss.com, the selection of forms of address (for example, Prof. Dr.) is not as comprehensive as it is on milesandmore.com. Your ticket is still be valid when the forms of address vary.
“Doctor on board” programme
When medical assistance is needed on board, doctors participating in the “Doctor on board” programme will be there to help us. Become a part of the programme, too, and benefit from the many advantages.
Redeem miles when shopping
Shop at the Lufthansa WorldShop to your heart’s content and redeem the award miles you have earned to secure your product highlights.
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You can redeem your Miles & More award miles for a product award, a flight or an upgrade to Business or First Class. Simply exchange your award miles online for flights, upgrades or product awards.
Miles & More gifts
Fancy a city break in Barcelona, Lisbon, or London, an upgrade to Business Class, or a strong wheelie suitcase for your next trip? Look no further – choose your gift and pay using your award miles.
Make the most of your miles: Exchange your SWISS Miles & More award miles for flights and benefit from unbeatable offers at almost 40 partner airlines.
Enjoy more flexibility with MilesPay. Pay for your purchases in the Swisscard app with the award miles you have earned.
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Best Ways To Book SWISS Air Business Class With Points [Step-by-Step]
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A Look Inside SWISS Air Business Class
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Swiss International Air Lines, the flag carrier of Switzerland, plays an important role in connecting one of the world’s finance hubs to other countries.
Situated in Zurich (ZRH), SWISS Air possesses a unique set of nonstop flights to Switzerland, positioning itself as one of the go-to airlines within Star Alliance .
One little-known fact is that SWISS Air is actually owned by the Lufthansa Group! But what is generally well-known is that its business and first class products are excellent.
Let’s take a look at how you can book SWISS Air business class with points.
SWISS Air’s business class cabin layout is somewhat unique. When you look at the seat map, you’ll quickly find out that there’s significant variation in the quality of business class seats on a given plane.
That’s because some seats don’t have direct aisle access while other seats literally have the same amount of space as 2 other business class seats!
But what you’ll find in SWISS Air business class cabins is an elegant, understated luxury vibe with quilted stitching, wooden touches, excellent seat engineering, and practical touches.
Regardless of whether you’re flying on the 777-300ER, A330, or A340, you’ll enjoy the same business class seat. Each of these seats is a forward-facing, staggered seat with a large privacy shell, an arm table, and more.
You’ll definitely enjoy a crisp inflight TV, lots of privacy, and a good amount of personal storage.
SWISS Air’s business class lounges are solid, too. While they’re not as lavish as Qatar Airways’ lounges, for example, they are certainly a step above Priority Pass lounges like most Korean Air lounges.
How To Fly SWISS Air Business Class Using Points
SWISS Air releases an excellent amount of award space, as long as you look at the right times.
To start, the most important thing to remember is that SWISS Air releases award space 300 days before departure , making it easy to mark important dates in your calendar to book your SWISS Air business class flight.
Sure, you won’t be able to plan super far in advance (330+ days before departure), but you’ll get a consistent stream of award availability on most, if not all, of SWISS Air’s nonstop U.S. routes.
Here are all of SWISS Air’s nonstop routes between the U.S. and Switzerland :
- Boston (BOS) – Zurich (ZRH)
- Chicago (ORD) – Zurich (ZRH)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Zurich (ZRH)
- Miami (MIA) – Zurich (ZRH)
- Newark (EWR) – Zurich (ZRH)
- New York (JFK) – Geneva (GVA)
- New York (JFK) – Zurich (ZRH)
- San Francisco (SFO) – Zurich (ZRH)
In general, SWISS Air award availability on Mondays and Tuesdays is usually the most abundant, though this can definitely vary depending on the route, season, etc.
This airline doesn’t release much additional award availability closer to departure, so just keep that in mind.
SWISS Air levies huge fuel surcharges of more than $700 in each direction, making it one of the most awful airlines for fuel surcharges in the world . Not to worry — we’ve focused on avoiding these surcharges in this guide.
Avianca LifeMiles is our favorite frequent flyer program to use to book SWISS Air business class, thanks to the absence of any fuel surcharges, the ease of earning LifeMiles, and terrific redemption rates.
One of the biggest qualms travelers have about LifeMiles is the inconsistent award availability — you’ll be pleased to learn that this isn’t generally a problem with SWISS Air!
LifeMiles customer service, however, is a nightmare to deal with. As long as you book your award ticket exclusively on the LifeMiles website, you should be in good shape.
Any time you need to change your award ticket or cancel it, you’ll pay $150 to $200 per ticket, which is a big penalty to stomach.
Once you’re ready to book your SWISS Air ticket with LifeMiles, follow these steps:
- Visit the LifeMiles homepage .
- Change the site language from Spanish to English by clicking the flag icon in the top-right corner and clicking English .
- Click Log in in the top-right corner and enter your LifeMiles information.
- On the English homepage, click Travel in the top-left area of the main banner.
- Change the dropdown menu that says Smart Search to Swiss Airlines (Switzerland) .
- Enter your flight details and click the Find Flights button.
- Select your travel dates.
- After a valid flight shows up, redeem your LifeMiles and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.
Earning Avianca LifeMiles
Avianca LifeMiles are incredibly easy to earn — this frequent flyer program is an Amex airline partner , Citi ThankYou Rewards airline partner , Capital One Miles airline partner , Brex Rewards airline partner , and Marriott Bonvoy airline partner .
Amex, Citi, Capital One, and Brex all transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio in around 1 business day.
Amex, Brex, and Citi have also offered transfer bonuses of 20% to 30% in the past, making it a great idea to wait for one of these to come around before transferring your points.
Also, LifeMiles offers award sales every quarter or so, whereby you can get around 20% off of specific flight redemptions using LifeMiles. That means a 63,000 LifeMiles flight would now cost around 40,000 LifeMiles!
Avianca also offers co-branded credit cards with Banco Popular to earn miles directly.
The last easy way to rack up LifeMiles is to buy them during mileage sales, where LifeMiles offers these miles at up to a 200% bonus. This would allow you to basically purchase miles at 1.0 to 1.1 cents each.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
The Platinum Card ® from American Express
This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From the best lounge access (of any card) to statement credits, to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card ® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access , hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
- The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
- 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
- 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
- Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment ( airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit )
- TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
- Access to Amex International Airline Program
- No foreign transaction fees ( rates and fees )
- $695 annual fee ( rates and fees )
- Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards ® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card ® , Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards ® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards ® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts ® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card ® . The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card ® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card ® . Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card ® .
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card ® . Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
- $189 CLEAR ® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card ® . Learn more.
- $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck ® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card ® . Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
- Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card ® . That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card ® . An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
- Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card ® to your Resy profile.
- $695 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- APR: See Pay Over Time APR
- Foreign Transaction Fees: None
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American Express ® Gold Card
This is the go-to card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants and those who want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express ® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
- 4x points per $1 at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- 4x points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
- 3x points per $1 on flights purchased directly from airlines or at Amex Travel
- Up to $120 annual dining credit: up to $10 monthly statement credit when you pay with the Amex Gold card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com , Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations
- Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash : get $10 monthly in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account
- No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees )
- Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
- Access to American Express transfer partners
- $250 annual fee (see rates and fees )
- No lounge access
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards ® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards ® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards ® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards ® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
- $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express ® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
- Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
- Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Find the Amex Gold 75k or 90k Welcome Bonus Offer
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Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards .
Air Canada Aeroplan has an interesting award pricing system, but for flights between the U.S. and Europe, the points price you’ll pay corresponds to specific distance brackets.
Here’s the award chart:
The good news is that for flights from Boston and New York to Switzerland, you’ll fall under the first distance bracket, costing you 60,000 points one-way.
No fuel surcharges are passed on here , keeping your out-of-pocket costs at around $40 one-way.
Also, if you redeem 5,000 more Aeroplan points, you can add a stopover , even if you’re booking a one-way flight.
You’ll need to factor in your stopover to the distance calculation and find award availability for each segment separately.
For example, a nonstop flight between Boston and Zurich spans 3,745 miles in flight distance, costing you 60,000 Aeroplan points.
However, if you fly from Boston to Zurich, stopover in Zurich, and continue to Geneva, the flight itinerary is 3,888 miles in flight distance, which is still under the 4,000-mile threshold. You’d pay 5,000 points extra for the stopover, bringing the total points cost to 65,000 Aeroplan points.
Simply follow these steps to book your SWISS Air business class flight with Aeroplan points:
- Visit Air Canada’s website .
- Log into your Aeroplan account by clicking Sign in in the top-right corner, entering your account details, and clicking Sign in again.
- Toggle Points in the main search box.
- Choose One-way or Round-trip .
- Enter your travel information.
- Click Find .
- All itineraries with stopovers must be booked over the phone. Call 800-361-5373 to book an award ticket with a stopover.
Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points
Earning Air Canada Aeroplan points is easy, on account that Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy are transfer partners of Aeroplan.
Amex, Chase, and Capital One transfer almost instantly to Aeroplan at a 1:1: ratio.
Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy transfers in approximately 5 business days at a 3:1 ratio. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer to Aeroplan, you’ll get an extra 5,000 Aeroplan points.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ® Card
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred ® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance . With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
- 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
- 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
- 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel worldwide
- $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024), plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
- Excellent travel and car rental insurance
- 10% annual bonus points
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt
- Complimentary Spot Club Platinum status with The Parking Spot for 2 years, 20% off of your first reservation, and points for 1 free day of parking (enroll by October 26, 2023)
- $95 annual fee
- No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® .
- Enjoy beneﬁts such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® , 3x on dining, and 2x on all other travel purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® . For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
- Member FDIC
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Chase Sapphire Reserve ®
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve ® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access , with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
- 10x points on car rentals, hotels, and dining booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
- 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
- 5x points on airfare booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 3x points on all other travel and dining purchases; 1x point on all other purchases
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass airport lounge access
- TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS credit
- Access to Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
- Rental car elite status with National and Avis
- $550 annual fee
- Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards ®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
- Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® . For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck ®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
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Chase Freedom Unlimited ®
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited ® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
- 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
- 1.5% back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Earn big on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Everyday bonus on dining and drugstores
- Straightforward cash-back on all other purchases
- Ability to pool points
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- SPECIAL OFFER: Unlimited Matched Cash Back. Use your card for all your purchases and at the end of your first year, Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earned! There is no limit to how much you can earn. Every dollar in cash back rewards you earn is a dollar Chase will match.
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back is just the beginning of what you can earn. You’ll enjoy 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® , our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% – 29.24%.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
- No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited ® card
- Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
- APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
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Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
- Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
- Excellent cell phone insurance
- Mastercard World Elite benefits
- 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards ® , our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
- Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
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Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points .
United MileagePlus is an effective frequent flyer program for a certain type of traveler.
If you already have a lot of United miles or want to deal with a familiar search engine, this may be the best program for you.
The redemption prices are actually not terrible for business class flights, and you won’t pay for any of SWISS Air fuel surcharges out-of-pocket.
Keep in mind that United uses dynamic award pricing, which you may observe in the form of slight variations in business class award prices (e.g. 75,000, 77,000, or 80,500 miles for the same flight).
The booking process for United MileagePlus is easy:
- Visit the United website .
- You’ll see a search box on the homepage.
- Check off the box that says Book with Miles to search for award space.
- Click Roundtrip or One-way .
- Fill in your trip details, click Find flights . Browse your flight options until you find a suitable itinerary.
- Redeem your United miles and pay for taxes and fees with a credit card.
Earning United MileagePlus Miles
Although United MileagePlus doesn’t have quite as many transfer partners as LifeMiles and Aeroplan, it does have partnerships with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
Chase transfers at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1.1 ratio in 1 business day. Plus, when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United, you’ll get a bonus of 5,500 extra miles!
One of the most useful aspects of United MileagePlus is its array of co-branded credit cards issued by Chase that help you earn miles quickly and directly .
Recommended United Cards
United℠ Explorer Card
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.
You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card , because this card does all that and more!
- 2x miles per $1 on United purchases, dining purchases (including delivery services), and hotel stays
- 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
- First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
- 25% statement credit on United inflight purchases
- Priority boarding
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS statement credit
- 2 United Club 1-time passes each year
- Premier upgrades on award tickets
- Travel and purchase protections
- $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee
- Does not earn transferable rewards
- Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United ® purchases
- Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck ® or NEXUS fee credit
- 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
- Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
- Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with 2 one-time passes each year
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United Club℠ Infinite Card
Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.
United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.
- 4x miles per $1 on United purchases
- 2x miles per $1 on travel and dining purchases
- Complimentary United Club membership
- Free first and second checked bag for you and 1 traveling companion
- United Premier Access
- 25% back on United inflight purchases
- Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated award tickets (when available)
- Expanded award availability
- Up to 8,000 Premier Qualifying Points
- $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS credit
- Trip protections like trip delay insurance, lost and delayed luggage insurance, and rental car insurance
- Shopping protections like return protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection
- $70 discount on CLEAR membership, plus 10,000 bonus miles
- IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status and a $75 annual credit
- Avis President’s Club elite status
- 10% discount on United Economy Saver Awards within the continental U.S. and Canada
- $525 annual fee
- Earn 90,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
- Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United ® purchases
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and Premier Access ® travel services
- 10% United Economy Saver Award discount within the continental U.S. and Canada
- Earn up to 8,000 Premier qualifying points (500 PQP for every $12K you spend on purchases)
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United Quest℠ Card
The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.
The newest addition to United’s lineup of cards is the United Quest℠ Card . With it, you can bolster your United MileagePlus miles, thanks to the bonus categories, while enjoying the card’s many perks designed to help save you money on each United flight.
With an annual fee that falls between the United℠ Explorer Card and United Club℠ Infinite Card , the United Quest card makes for a fantastic card option for United frequent flyers.
- 3x miles per $1 on United purchases
- 2x miles per $1 spent on travel, dining, and select streaming services
- $125 annual United credit
- 2 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits
- Up to 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points
- Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS credit
- Travel and shopping protections including trip delay insurance, lost/delayed luggage insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection
- Does not offer airport lounge access
- $250 annual fee
- Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 PQP after qualifying purchases
- Earn 3 miles per $1 spent on United ® purchases
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, dining and select streaming services
- Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and priority boarding
- Up to a $125 United ® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits each year - terms apply
- Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points (500 PQP for every $12K you spend on purchases)
United Gateway℠ Card
The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.
The United Gateway℠ Card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without wanting to pay a credit card annual fee. Plus, the card offers other solid benefits like a 25% back on United inflight purchases, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.
- 2x miles per $1 on United purchases
- 2x miles per $1 at gas stations and on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services, taxicabs, train tickets, tolls, and mass transit
- 25% back on inflight purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
- Rental car insurance
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty coverage
- If you are a frequent United flyer, other cards offer more perks
- It does not earn transferable rewards
- Earn 30,000 bonus miles
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United ® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United ® purchases
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and commuting
- 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
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United Club℠ Business Card
The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.
From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.
- 2x miles per $1 spent on United purchases
- 1.5x miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Free checked bags
- Premier Access travel services
- Discount on inflight purchases
- Upgrades on award tickets
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- $450 annual fee
- Earning rate for United purchases is poor compared to other United cards
- Earn 75,000 bonus miles after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- Earn 2x miles on United purchases
- Earn 1.5x miles on all other purchases
- United Club membership — up to a $650 value per year. Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi, and more
- Free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, save up to $320 per round-trip
- APR: 20.74%-27.74% Variable
- Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
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ANA Mileage Club is normally one of our favorite mileage programs to use for business class flights to Europe.
Unfortunately, the massive fuel surcharges levied by SWISS Air are almost unconscionable because 100% of these fuel surcharges are passed on to travelers.
Additionally, ANA Mileage Club requires round-trip award bookings — one-way award flights are not allowed.
That means every time your round-trip business class flight will cost an extra $1,500, which significantly reduces the redemption value you get.
To redeem your ANA miles, we recommend following these instructions:
- Use the United.com search engine to find SWISS Air award availability.
- Note all of the flight details.
- Go to ANA’s website to complete your booking online.
- Click ANA Mileage Club near the top banner, then click International under Flight Awards.
- Then, click Award Reservation and enter your ANA Mileage Club account details.
- On the redirected search box, fill in your trip details and click Search .
- Confirm your ANA Mileage Club ticket and use a credit card for taxes and fees.
Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles
ANA is 1:1 transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and 3:1 transfer partners with Marriott Bonvoy .
Currently, it takes around 3 business days for Amex points to transfer to ANA, while it takes around 4 business days for Marriott Bonvoy points to transfer to ANA.
In addition to the 3:1 ratio that Marriott Bonvoy has, you’ll also get 5,000 extra ANA miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once, meaning you’ll end up with 25,000 ANA miles overall.
Asiana Airlines’ frequent flyer program is called Asiana Club .
We’d generally only recommend redeeming Asiana miles if you already have a bunch of Asiana miles or if you have a ton of Marriott Bonvoy points and you’re interested in getting the lowest redemption price, even if it comes with fuel surcharges.
Here’s the Asiana Club award chart for flights between the U.S. and Europe:
All fuel surcharges, taxes, and other fees are passed on to you , so a one-way business class flight will come with $700+ worth of taxes and fees.
Asiana Club requires you to call them to book partner flights, so here are our recommended instructions:
- Use United.com to find SWISS Air award availability.
- Write down all of the flight details and call Asiana Club at 800-227-4262 .
- Feed the agent with your desired itinerary, redeem your Asiana miles, and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.
Earning Asiana Club Miles
Unfortunately, Asiana miles are difficult to earn, based on the fact that it has just 1 transfer partner in Marriott Bonvoy.
Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio to Asiana Club in around 4 business days.
Also, if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana at once, you’ll get a bonus of 5,000 miles.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
Marriott Bonvoy Bold ® Credit Card
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold ® Credit Card.
The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
- Up to 14x points per $1 on Marriott purchases
- 2x points per $1 on travel purchases
- 15 Elite Night Credits each year (automatically gives you Silver Elite status)
- Lower point earn rate than other Marriott Bonvoy cards
- Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status is the lowest status tier
- Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold ® Credit Card from Chase ® !
- Earn up to 14X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold ® Card.
- 2X points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
- 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ® Credit Card
Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ® Credit Card . The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.
- Earn big when you use your card at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- New benefit to earn big at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining
- Automatic Silver Elite Status
- 1 Free Night Award each cardmember anniversary (up to 35,000 points)
- DoorDash DashPass subscription
- Marriott Silver status is the lowest status tier
- Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
- Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
- Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
- 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ® Card.
- Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite status, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
- The 75,000 or 100,000 Bonus Point Offer for the Marriott Boundless
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Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card , the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
- 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
- 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
- 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
- Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- 15 Elite Night Credits per year
- 1,000 bonus points per paid stay
- 1 Free Night Award (up to 50,000 points) when you spend $15,000 on the card in a year
- $250 annual fee ( rates and fees )
- Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
- Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy ® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
- Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
- Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
- 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy ® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
- With complimentary Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy ® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy ® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® . Certain hotels have resort fees.
- 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card ® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy ® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
- Plan It ® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms apply.
- APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
- 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
- 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
- 25 Elite Night Credits each year
- Priority Pass Select membership upon enrollment
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit
- Annual Free Night Award after card renewal
- Complimentary Platinum Elite status
- Steep annual fee of $650 ( rates and fees )
- 6x points per $1 is the same earn rate offered with lower annual fee alternatives like the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card
- Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card at restaurants worldwide.
- With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
- Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® . 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
- Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® . Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
- $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton ® or St. Regis ® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck ® : Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck ® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy ® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy ® member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
- Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
- With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
- $650 Annual Fee.
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Other frequent flyer programs we looked at included EVA Air Infinity MileageLands , Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer , and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles .
All of these programs pass on fuel surcharges, and many of them also have high redemption prices.
Turkish Airlines is probably the best program left off of our main list, though the redemption prices are still 90,000 miles round-trip with $1,500 in taxes and fees per person. Itsh Airlines is also transfer partners with Citi and Capital One, but the booking process is rather cumbersome.
SWISS Air business class is within your grasp — all you need to do is make a judgment call on how you’re going to book your award ticket.
Assuming you’re interested in a round-trip business class ticket between the U.S. and Switzerland, check out the following award table aggregating all of the frequent flyer programs we discussed.
You’ll see from the table above that Asiana and ANA charge the lowest price in miles, but come with a shocking $1,500 in taxes and fees . If you redeem via one of these programs, it’ll almost feel like you’re throwing away your points if you’re still liable for these huge fuel surcharges.
Rather, it’s a great idea to redeem LifeMiles for most U.S. routes . This is especially true if you only have Citi ThankYou Rewards Points or Capital One miles. In addition, LifeMiles is transfer partners with Amex, Brex, and Marriott Bonvoy.
If you’re a Chase and Amex loyalist and are flying on routes 4,000 miles or shorter, consider using Air Canada Aeroplan points. Plus, Aeroplan is also transfer partners with Capital One and Marriott Bonvoy.
United MileagePlus members may already have large piles of United miles sitting in their accounts — consider redeeming them for SWISS Air business class flights. You can top off your account with Chase or Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to United if necessary.
Here’s what each loyalty program allows in terms of stopovers :
- ANA allows 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw
- Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t allow stopovers at all
- Air Canada Aeroplan allows stopovers on one-way tickets for an extra 5,000 points
- Asiana has complex stopover rules on partner-operated flights, but 8 stopovers are allowed on a round-trip award ticket
- United MileagePlus allows stopovers through its Excursionist Perk .
Putting all of this information together, let’s go through some fantastic example redemptions you can make aboard SWISS Air business class:
- Boston (BOS) – Zurich (ZRH) – Geneva (GVA) one-way in SWISS Air business class with a stopover in Zurich for 65,000 Aeroplan points + ~$41 in taxes and fees
- Chicago (ORD) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS Air business class for 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS Air business class for 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles + ~$38 in taxes and fees
- Miami (MIA) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS Air business class for 40,000 Asiana miles + ~$750 in taxes and fees
- Newark (EWR) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS Air business class for 75,000 United miles + ~$5.60 in taxes and fees
- New York (JFK) – Geneva (GVA) one-way in SWISS Air business class for 60,000 Aeroplan points + ~$41 in taxes and fees
- New York (JFK) – Zurich (ZRH) round-trip in SWISS Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles + ~$1,500 in taxes and fees
- San Francisco (SFO) – Zurich (ZRH) one-way in SWISS Air business class for 75,000 United miles + ~$5.60 in taxes and fees
We outlined our favorite methods for booking SWISS Air business class using points above, but the important concept to remember is that as long as you stick to a transferable rewards currency , you should be able to book SWISS Air business class.
This is in stark contrast to other airlines like Fiji Airways, Icelandair, or Air Tahiti Nui that don’t offer accessible ways for people to earn enough points for business class award bookings.
The complication with SWISS Air business class is that huge fuel surcharges of around $700 one-way are levied, so choosing a frequent flyer program that doesn’t pass on these fuel surcharges could literally save you thousands of dollars per trip if you’re a family planner.
From a mileage perspective, ANA Mileage Club and Asiana Club have the best redemption rates, but both of these loyalty programs pass on enormous fuel surcharges, which is why our favorite options are Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus.
Here is the comprehensive list of transfer partners and their included airlines:
- American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and ANA Mileage Club at a 1:1 ratio. Avianca and Aeroplan transfer almost instantly while ANA transfers in 3 business days.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards Points transfer to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Capital One miles transfer to Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Brex Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio to Avianca LifeMiles (1 day), Air Canada Aeroplan (5 days), Asiana Club (4 days), and ANA Mileage Club (4 days). Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1.1 ratio to United MileagePlus (3 days).
Transfer bonuses happen quite often with LifeMiles (15% to 30%), sometimes with Aeroplan (15% to 25%), and almost never with United, ANA, and Asiana.
Generally, SWISS Air releases business class award space starting at 300 days before departure. At this time, it may make 2 to 6 business class award seats available.
That said, SWISS Air does not reliably release award space closer to departure, which means your best shot at snagging SWISS Air business class is through advance planning.
If you can mark your calendar to check for SWISS Air availability exactly 300 days before your desired date of departure, you’re in good shape.
Why SWISS Air Business Class Is a Great Redemption
SWISS Air offers a consistent business class product on an assortment of long-haul aircraft, including the A340, the A330, and the 777-300ER.
And while SWISS Air won’t come with the bells and whistles of Emirates or Qatar Airways business class , like dining on-demand and top-shelf drinks, you’ll still have a fun time on the flight.
Let’s look into why you’d want to book SWISS Air business class.
SWISS Air’s business class cabin layout is such that the cabin alternates between a 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 configuration. And some of the window seats are what’s known as throne seats .
Throne seats occupy the same amount of space as 2 seats, have 2 arm tables, and feel much more private.
Because these seats only exist on a few airlines, reserving a throne seat on SWISS Air means an exclusive, unique experience that’ll make you feel like you’re sitting on a spacious throne, hence the name.
SWISS Air’s service is generally known to be responsive, professional, and polished.
Meal services are typically performed efficiently, and ad hoc requests are taken care of promptly.
Additionally, the crew is always happy to serve you and is overall trained to make you feel welcome.
SWISS Air enjoys the honorable privilege of connecting U.S. travelers to Switzerland via nonstop services from most international gateways.
If heading to the Swiss Alps, tasting some Swiss fondue, or experiencing the unique culture of Switzerland is on your priority list, flying nonstop means more time to explore!
SWISS Air has excellent award availability in business class, often with 4 to 6 business class seats on the same plane.
Generally, you’ll find better availability from cities like Chicago or New York, but it’s pretty easy to find availability from Los Angeles and San Francisco as long as you’re an advance planner.
SWISS Air releases plenty of award availability far in advance, but not so much for flights closer to departure.
Although SWISS Air’s inflight catering isn’t at the same level as a first class airline’s or even a Gulf carrier’s business class program, it’s still noteworthy.
Each meal generally has 4 courses, including an appetizer, a main course, a cheese selection, and a dessert (including the popular Mövenpick ice cream).
The wine selection typically consists of 1 Champagne, 2 white wines, and 3 red wines. There are also spirits, non-alcoholic drinks, Nespresso, and chocolates.
Overall, this variety of food and beverage choices will leave you satisfied but isn’t mind-blowing.
When you fly SWISS Air, you’ll enjoy a comfortable, lie-flat business class seat and superb amenities.
One of the biggest selling points of SWISS Air business class is the abundance of award availability, as well as the ease of booking (regardless of which transferable currency you have).
Just remember that fuel surcharges of ~$1,500 are levied round-trip, which can definitely be painful.
Avoid these fuel surcharges by booking through Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus.
If you want to redeem the fewest points possible and are comfortable with paying for fuel surcharges, you can also use ANA Mileage Club or Asiana Club.
Hopefully, you’ve found this guide useful to help you plan your luxury trip to Switzerland!
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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, click here . For rates and fees of the American Express ® Gold Card, click here . For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card, click here . For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® card, click here .
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to book swiss air business class.
Our favorite redemption methods to book SWISS Air business class are Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, United MileagePlus, ANA Mileage Club, and Asiana Club.
LifeMiles, Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus will not pass on fuel surcharges, while ANA Mileage Club and Asiana Club will.
What credit cards can help me fly SWISS Air business class?
SWISS Air business class can be booked with any transferable rewards currency.
If you have Amex points, the best program is LifeMiles followed by Aeroplan and ANA Mileage Club. ANA Mileage Club has the lowest redemption rates but comes with $1,500 more in taxes and fees for round-trip flights.
If you have Chase points, you can transfer your points to Air Canada Aeroplan or United.
If you have Citi or Brex points, transfer them to Avianca LifeMiles.
If you have Capital One miles, you can transfer them to Avianca LifeMiles or Air Canada Aeroplan.
Lastly, if you have Marriott Bonvoy points, you can transfer them to Asiana Club, ANA Mileage Club, Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, or United MileagePlus.
What do I get when flying SWISS Air business class?
We like flying SWISS Air business class because of the possibility of reserving throne seats that are incredibly spacious and comfortable.
In addition, the convenience of being able to fly to Switzerland nonstop is an important factor, as well as the professional service, generous award availability, posh amenities, and tasty food.
Is Lufthansa or SWISS Air better?
Without a doubt, SWISS Air business class is the better business class airline. That’s because Lufthansa’s business class seats are outdated, a bit more cramped, and less private.
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Swiss international air lines: swiss quality above the clouds.
Experience typical Swiss hospitality on board SWISS: The name itself promises a special appreciation of quality. The airline of Switzerland, with its hub in Zurich, connects over one hundred destinations in more than 40 countries all over the world. And on all their flights the focus is on a love of detail. Attentive service, excellent on-board catering and modern aircraft ensure that you arrive fresh and relaxed at your destination. Earning miles has never been so relaxed.
- #Swiss International Air Lines
Personal service combined with the highest product quality
The origin says it all: Switzerland has always stood for the highest quality. This can be seen in all areas at SWISS. Always close to its passengers, the airline guarantees individual attention combined with a range of services that will make your journey as enjoyable as possible. To name just a few:
Large selection of eJournals
WiFi with SWISS Connect
A wide range of meals made from seasonal produce
Self-service check-in options
With departures from Zurich and Geneva, SWISS serves destinations in Europe, Africa, South America, the USA and the Middle and Far East. SWISS is a Star Alliance member and a fully integrated partner of Miles & More so you earn miles on all scheduled flights.
More offers for earning miles
More offers for spending miles, fresh, varied and delicious: on-board catering from swiss.
SWISS offers exclusive gourmet experiences for the most demanding of tastes. The airline of Switzerland serves you meals and snacks prepared from fresh, seasonal produce of the highest Swiss quality free-of-charge on flights from Zurich, even in SWISS Economy. Meat lovers and vegetarians alike also enjoy a hot menu on long-haul routes, and on most flights these are also accompanied by popular Swiss cheeses such as Appenzeller or Gruyère. And on long-haul flights in SWISS First and SWISS Business, creations from award-winning chefs will entice and delight you above the clouds as part of the SWISS Taste of Switzerland. Of course, you can also order from a range of special menus for children and infants, and for passengers with special dietary requirements, up to 24 hours before departure.
Miles can be earned for flights, travel and day-to-day purchases
Accrued miles can be redeemed for flight, upgrade or travel awards
Retroactive mileage credits are possible from many partners
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Swiss first-class awards now bookable with United miles, but there's a catch
If you've dreamed of flying in Swiss' highly rated first class, we have good news.
Related: Swiss Perfection: A Review of Swiss First Class on Its Flagship Boeing 777-300ER
Flying first class on Swiss typically requires paying cash or holding elite status with Miles & More from Lufthansa Group (which owns Swiss) for the privilege of booking a first-class ticket using miles.
But now, United MileagePlus members can book Swiss first-class award tickets. That said, there are some big caveats you should be aware of. This news was first reported by Live and Let's Fly .
How to book Swiss first class with United miles
The biggest thing to know about booking Swiss first-class award tickets with United miles is that they're only bookable within three days of departure. In turn, you can only use this for last-minute award tickets.
Additionally, only connecting itineraries show first-class awards on United's website. You can't book a flight directly from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Geneva Airport (GVA) as a Swiss first-class award. However, you can book JFK to Munich International Airport (MUC) via GVA. The JFK-GVA flight would be in the Swiss first-class cabin, with the second flight in business class since there's no first-class cabin on that flight.
This example award costs 121,000 United miles, plus $32.60 in taxes and fees.
Right now, Swiss first-class awards are not showing on other Star Alliance partner websites, such as Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles.
Caution: We've seen this before with sad news in the end
It's also worth pointing out that over the past five years, we've seen Swiss first class become available for brief periods using partner miles. On some occasions, Swiss canceled those bookings, claiming it was a mistake.
Until now, the only guaranteed way to book Swiss first class with partner miles has been the airline's three-hour flight between Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) and Buenos Aires, Argentina's Ezeiza International Airport (EZE).
This route is a continuation of the route between Sao Paulo and Zurich and is open to partner award bookings regularly. It doesn't require booking only a few days in advance.
Finally, there's no guarantee that this isn't a glitch on United's website. These awards could go away at any time, so book quickly if you see something you want to fly.
If you're flexible and longing to try Swiss first class, you can book it using United miles — at least, for now. Just remember that you can only book connecting tickets and you must book within three days of departure. But even then, award space can be tough to come by.
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