Getting to Europe on Points and Miles


I traveled to Greece and Italy this summer, two destinations that are on a lot of people’s bucket lists. So many people want to go to Europe so let’s go over some of the best ways to get to Europe on points and miles.


United Airlines

One of the ways I fly to Europe the most is on United Airlines. Typically, I can find business class seats for about 70K-80K miles one-way. I live in Denver, a United hub, so it is nice to find flights from my home airport. At times, though, if the price is above that, I will position for a flight to a bigger airport. Recently, prices to Europe have been higher as they increased prices to many of their destinations.

There are several ways I get these miles. Of course, my husband and I have signed up for the Chase United Explorer Credit Card and the Chase United Quest Credit Card. We’ve also referred each other in the past to get referral points.

United Airlines is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, so we have used points from our Chase Sapphire Preferred to transfer to United in the past. Additionally, you can earn Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Flex cards and Chase Ink Business cards, so we have had several ways to get more United miles through the years.

I also love United Airlines for flying to Europe because they are easy to book through, they don’t pass on high surcharges, and there are so many ways to earn United miles.


Avianca LifeMiles

When I first started using credit card points and miles, I was just getting card after card. One of the random credit cards I got was the Avianca Avuela Visa Credit Card. I knew it was an airline that traveled to Central America and decided to go for it. It sat around and was never used for a while. Then I realized that Avianca is a member of the Star Alliance, the same alliance that United is. I found that I can find United flights on Avianca Life Miles and fly my normal flights from Denver to Hawaii.

I also used Avianca LifeMiles to book my recent trip to Greece at quite a savings from my United flights. For only 65K plus $72.50 in taxes and fees, I booked a business class seat on Lufthansa (also a part of the Star Alliance) from Chicago.


Points and Miles have made my Greece dreams a reality!

Delta Airlines

Delta is not my favorite airline for booking to Europe, although they occasionally have some great deals with their flash sales. Be sure to sign up to be notified of their sales. I have found a few cheap business-class deals to London when I have been flexible.

Another way to book with Delta Miles is to book via Virgin Atlantic Airlines. You can book the same flights, often for much cheaper. Here is a handy guide on how that works.


American Airlines

One of my favorite deals on American Airlines is when you find a Web Special Fare. These special deals can be found when you are doing a web search on select flights and dates for fewer miles than the AAnytime or MileSAAver award level. I found them for our trip to Macchu Pichu and have found several in the past to Europe.


Screenshot AA Award Flights


You can see here that it is possible to fly in economy class to London roundtrip for 45K AA miles or 110K in business class. Note that the taxes and fees are higher when you fly through Heathrow and take that into account.


ANA-All Nippon Airlines

ANA is known to be a great roundtrip business class redemption to Europe. You can’t book it on one-way trips, though, only roundtrip tickets. While one-way bookings are not allowed when using ANA miles, you can see two European cities for the price of one by booking open-jaw flights – still for just 88,000 miles total. I could essentially fly into London, take the Chunnel to Paris, and fly back from Paris, and it would be for the same 88,000 miles. That is a huge saving over my usual 140K roundtrip business class on United.

American Express Membership Rewards can be used to transfer to ANA.

Let’s go over how it’s done!

  • Sign up for an ANA loyalty account here.
  • Click on the ANA Mileage Club area.
  • Click on the left side where it says ANA International and Award Partners
  • Press the Award Reservations button
  • Fill out your desired reservations


Screenshot ANA airlines


I love when I can see several dates with seats available. From here, I can pick my desired dates and will then see what flights are available.


Screenshot ANA award flights


Picking the top two flights for this demonstration, I found the following – 88K + about $300 in taxes and fees for business class to London. The last time I flew to  London, I did ANA from EWR-LHR for 88K roundtrip in business!


ANA award flights screenshot


I have several American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards, so I have amassed many points that I can travel on ANA with these cheap fares. AMEX credit cards that will earn points that you can transfer to ANA to get to Europe cheaply on points and miles include:


Iberia to Spain

Prior to the pandemic, Alex and I had planned to go to Barcelona. We found the best business class seats on Iberia Airlines. 43,000 miles for lay-flat seats are amazing! You can also get there for 34,000 miles on an economy round trip. This is one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe on points and miles!

I had Iberia miles because I applied for the Chase Iberia Visa Signature Credit Card a few years ago. (Remember, I’m the OCD points/miles person). If you want to go to Spain, you might consider it! Alex used Chase Ultimate Reward and transferred those to Iberia to book her flight.

If you have transferable points (Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Capital One Venture Miles) and aren’t sure that is the best transfer partner to use, then we recommend using This site will help you find the best flight available using your points and will provide instructions on how to go about booking it. We have a membership to It helps us save time when looking to book award travel. There are several other search engines, including Roame, that will also help you find award travel.


Bottom Line

There are many ways to get to Europe on points and miles! These are just a few that we commonly use. Start earning your points and plan that trip to Europe that you have been dreaming about!


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  1. Kookie Abad says:

    What is your hotel recommendation at Lake Como?

    • Pam says:

      There are a couple of the Small Luxury Hotels that you can book through Hyatt. I stayed at the Grand Victoria Concept Resort and Spa in Menaggio and it was incredible.

  2. Jaime says:

    Where were you flying from on the Iberia flight to Barcelona? NY?

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