Part III – Getting To Australia/New Zealand Using TYPs

As I mentioned in the Introduction Post, Citi ThankYou Points (much like all transferable currencies) are great points to stockpile because they are so versatile. Of all the transferable currency options, Citi ThankYou Points are probably the easiest to accrue, so they can be extremely useful for getting you to Australia/New Zealand!

Please note, I do not earn a commission off of any of the credit card links contained herein. These referral links are currently the highest publicly available offers and I will always link to the highest publicly available offer for your benefit.  As always, your support by signing up via my referral links is greatly appreciated!

Introduction – Getting To Australia/New Zealand Using Your MRs, URs or TYPs
Part I – Getting To Australia/New Zealand Using Your MRs
Part II – Getting To Australia/New Zealand Using Your URs
Part III – Getting To Australia/New Zealand Using Your TYPs
Part IV – Getting To Australia/New Zealand Using Your SPG Starpoints

Citi offers a few cards that earn ThankYou Points, including their ThankYou Premier card (which gets a lot of my daily spend due to the great category bonuses for travel and gas). Citi offers a few other card options that earn TYPs, so I highly encourage you to head over to Citi’s website and check out the options.

Now that you know how to earn the TYPs, the more complicated process is how to use those hard earned TYPs to get you to Australia/New Zealand! Your TYPs will transfer to 12 different airlines across all 3 major airline alliances. Those airlines include:

AirlineAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Air France/KLMSkyTeam1:1Up to 2 days
Garuda IndonesiaSkyTeam1:1Up to 2 days
Cathay PacificOneWorld1:1Same day
Malaysia AirlinesOneWorld1:12-14 days+
QantasOneWorld1:1Up to 2 days
QatarOneWorld1:1Up to 2 days
Eva AirStar Alliance1:1Up to 2 days
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:1Up to 2 days
Thai AirwaysStar Alliance1:1Up to 4 days
EtihadN/A1:1Up to 6 days
Virgin AtlanticN/A1:1Up to 2 days
Virgin AmericaN/A1:0.5Up to 2 days

As I said before, the transfer times are just an approximation based upon data points I could find (as well as personal experiences), but it is important to be cognizant of these transfer times when you are planning your award booking(s).

Also keep in mind that you should always be looking at the paid ticket prices for tickets through the Citi TYP portal – especially if you are looking to fly economy class – as your TYPs can be redeemed towards a paid ticket.

Another caveat is that although I will be including general advice for getting to Australia/New Zealand on your TYPs, your home airport will play an important role in finding availability or determining cost. For example, since Cathay Pacific operates under a distance based award chart, the cost for someone traveling from the West Coast may be lower than the cost for someone traveling from the East Coast. I will also assume for purposes of this post that you would be flying into either Sydney (SYD) or Auckland (AKL).

Air France/KLM (FlyingBlue)

Air France and KLM share a frequent flyer program called FlyingBlue. Since FlyingBlue is a SkyTeam alliance member, you can redeem FlyingBlue miles for travel on Delta flights. FlyingBlue can be finicky to work with, but they offer some decent value for flights to Australia/New Zealand. FlyingBlue groups Australia and New Zealand into the same award zone.

Roundtrip award tickets in economy will cost you 100k miles and in business class will cost you 250k miles. Due to the SkyTeam alliance not having a strong presence in the area, I would expect to encounter some difficulties with finding low level saver space that partners can book. While the economy class rate is fairly reasonable, availability is going to be sparse. Availability for business class was non-existent even 10 months out.

One-way award tickets are allowed at 50k in economy and 125k miles in business, but no stopovers are allowed. While the rates for economy class are about average, the rates for business class are just outrageous. Factoring in the extremely poor availability, I would say cross FlyingBlue off your list unless you can find availability nowhere else.

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia’s GarudaMiles program uses a distance based award chart, so your redemption cost will depend on your home airport. Garuda Indonesia is part of the SkyTeam alliance which means you can redeem your GarudaMiles miles for travel on Delta flights.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Sydney (SYD) or Auckland (AKL) via Los Angeles (LAX), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~115k miles for economy and ~200k miles for business class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) or Auckland (AKL), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~105k miles for economy and ~190k miles for business class.

Although the redemption rates may not be horrible, the process for obtaining your award ticket is probably the worst I have ever seen. First you need to call the Garuda Indonesia call center at 021.2351.9999 to place your award ticket on hold. Then you need to download and complete an award ticket application form which you must take to a Garuda Indonesia sales office, in person, and then go back to the ticket office, in person, to claim your award ticket. So how many sales offices does Garuda Indonesia have in the US? Four. Yes, you read that right. Four. Encino, California, Chicago, Houston and New York.

In short, avoid Garuda Indonesia like the plague for award tickets unless you happen to live in or very near Encino, Chicago, Houston or New York and do not mind doing a ton of legwork.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Cathay Pacific is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Asia Miles to book Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and American Airlines flights to Australia/New Zealand. Interestingly, Cathay Pacific also partners with Air New Zealand and it appears that you can redeem your Asia Miles for Air New Zealand flights as well.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX or SFO) to Australia or New Zealand, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 60k miles for economy, 72k miles for premium economy, 120k miles for business class and 180k for first class. It is worth noting that flights between LAX/SFO and Australia are right on the cusp of flowing over to the next award zone, so if you are going to Melbourne (MEL) or connecting to somewhere in the interior of Australia, you are going to be in the next award category, which is more expensive.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of: 40k miles in economy, 48k miles in premium economy, 70k miles in business class and 105k in first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Australia or New Zealand, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 90k miles in economy, 108k miles for premium economy, 145k miles for business class and 220k miles for first class. Again, it is worth noting that flights between JFK and Australia are right on the cusp of flowing over to the next award zone, so if you are going to Melbourne (MEL) or connecting to somewhere in the interior of Australia, you are going to be in the next award category, which is more expensive.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of: 55k miles for economy, 66k miles for premium economy, 85k for business class and 130k for first class.

What is wild though is the Asia Miles program allows you to make up to 5 stopovers, 2 transfers and 2 open-jaws at either the origin, en-route or at the turnaround point (destination)! That means you could put together an itinerary where you hop all over the South Pacific, in business class, for only 145k miles total from the U.S.! Depending on how you routed yourself, that could offer some truly exceptional value.

If you can get the stopovers and open-jaws to work for your itinerary, Asia Miles should be the top contender for you to transfer your TYPs to for your Australia/New Zealand vacation. Even if you are not utilizing the stopovers and open-jaws, I would say that the Asia Miles program offers the best bang for your TYP buck to Australia/New Zealand.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Malaysia Airlines is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Enrich miles to book Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and American Airlines flights to Australia/New Zealand.

Malaysia Airlines is another airline that uses a separate award chart for redemptions on their own flights and partner redemptions. As there are no Malaysian Airlines flights from the U.S., you will redeem according to the partner award chart.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Sydney (SYD) via Los Angeles (LAX), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~120k miles for economy, ~174k miles for business class and ~264k miles for first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Auckland (AKL) via Los Angeles (LAX), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~96k miles for economy, ~144k miles for business class and ~204k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Sydney (SYD), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~96k miles for economy, ~144k miles for business class and ~204k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Auckland (AKL), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~72k miles for economy, ~132k miles for business class and ~192k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates.

While the redemption rates are actually generally not horrible, there have been a lot of reports of people experiencing issues when transferring their TYPs to the Enrich program. I would generally steer clear of transferring your TYPs to the Enrich program until Malaysia Airlines gets their IT department up to speed and fixes these issues.

Qantas

Qantas’ Frequent Flyer program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Qantas is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Qmiles to book Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and American Airlines flights to Australia/New Zealand.

Qantas uses a separate award chart for flights operated by American Airlines/Qantas and all other partner airlines, so the quoted prices below assume flights on either American or Qantas. To route through Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Pacific or Tokyo (NRT/HND) on Japan Airlines will obviously increase your award cost and you should reference the Qantas award chart to determine your cost.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Sydney (SYD) via Los Angeles (LAX), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~120k miles for economy, ~192k miles for premium economy, ~256k miles for business class and ~384k miles for first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Auckland (AKL) via Los Angeles (LAX), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~110k miles for economy, ~168k miles for premium economy, ~224k miles for business class and ~336k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Sydney (SYD), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~90k miles for economy, ~144k miles for premium economy, ~192k miles for business class and ~288k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Auckland (AKL), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~80k miles for economy, ~126k miles for premium economy, ~168k miles for business class and ~252k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates. Remember that you will be charged for carrier imposed surcharges, which should not be very much on Qantas/Cathay Pacific/JAL/American flights.

Qantas’ redemption costs are fairly high (more so for premium cabins), so unless you have a glut of Qantas miles that you want to burn, you are better off transferring your TYPs elsewhere for a redemption to Australia/New Zealand as the Qantas redemptions rates are not very good.

Qatar

Qatar’s Qmiles program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Qatar is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Qmiles to book Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and American Airlines flights to Australia/New Zealand.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Sydney (SYD) or Auckland (AKL) via Los Angeles (LAX), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) or Auckland (AKL), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~150k miles for economy, ~225k miles for premium economy, ~300k miles for business class and ~450k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates. Again, and as with Qantas, unless you have a glut of Qmiles you want to burn, you are better off transferring your TYPs elsewhere for a redemption to Australia/New Zealand.

EVA Air

EVA Air is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Infinity miles for Air New Zealand, Air Canada, United, ANA and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to Australia/New Zealand. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

EVA Air is one of several airlines that utilizes a separate award chart for EVA Air redemptions and for partner awards. The EVA Air specific award chart does not list redemptions between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand, so you would presumably have to pay for two award tickets – 1 between the U.S. and Asia and 1 between Asia and Australia/New Zealand. For reference, a roundtrip utilizing 2 award tickets would cost you 200-210k miles in economy, 210-220k miles in premium economy (though this would only be premium economy for the U.S.-Asia segment), 300-310k miles in business class.

The partner specific award chart on the other hand offers the better deal to Australia/New Zealand. A roundtrip redemption between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand on EVA Air’s partner(s) will cost you 120k miles for economy, 195k miles for business class and 255k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are available at half of the above quoted rates. It’s important to keep in mind that EVA Air requires that you make your Star Alliance award ticket booking(s) through their reservation office. Unless you are dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier to Australia/New Zealand, I would look elsewhere to transfer your TYPs. In the case you are dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier, EVA Air is your best option for your TYPs.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your KrisFlyer miles for Air New Zealand, Air Canada, United, ANA and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to Australia/New Zealand. Again, in other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Singapore Airlines is one of several airlines that utilizes a separate award chart for partner awards. Both the Singapore Airlines specific award chart and partner award chart put Australia and New Zealand together in the same award zone, so your award cost will remain the same regardless of which you opt to travel to.

For Singapore Airlines operated flights from the East Coast of the U.S., you can expect roundtrip prices of 105k miles for economy, 180k miles for premium economy, 205k miles for business class and 265k miles for first class.

For Singapore Airlines operated flights from the West Coast of the U.S., you can expect roundtrip prices of 95k miles for economy, 170k miles for premium economy, 190k miles for business class and 270k miles for first class.

For Singapore operated flights, one-way award tickets are allowed at half the price. Also keep in mind that the quoted rates do not factor in the 15% discount you would receive from booking your award ticket online. With that said, even factoring in the 15% discount, these rates are not especially competitive.

For roundtrip partner redemptions between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand, it will cost you 110k miles for economy, 195k miles for business class and 255k miles for first class.

Overall, Singapore is not really very competitive when it comes to award ticket prices to Australia and/or New Zealand. There are much better redemptions to be had elsewhere with your TYPs, so I would not transfer them here.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Royal Orchid Plus miles for Air New Zealand, Air Canada, United, ANA and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to Australia/New Zealand. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Thai Airways is another airline that uses a separate award chart for redemptions on their own flights and partner redemptions. As there are no Thai Airways flights from the U.S., you will redeem according to the partner award chart.

A roundtrip redemption will cost you 80k miles for economy, 130k miles for business class and 140k miles for first class.

Although the award redemption rates are among the best of the TYP transfer partners, keep in mind that Thai Airways charges fuel surcharges on award tickets. From all the reports I have seen, they are crazy high. Considering that EVA Air should have access to most of the same Star Alliance award space that Thai Airways has access to, you are better offer transferring your TYPs to EVA for this redemption unless you have a stash of Royal Orchid Plus miles that you are looking to burn, and/or you do not mind paying exorbitant surcharges. Again though, if you are not dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier, there are definitely better redemptions to be had with your TYPs (like Cathay Pacific or Etihad).

Etihad

Although Etihad is not a part of any major airline alliance, they do have several strategic partnerships with airlines such as Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. The award chart for Air New Zealand redemptions is distance based, while the award chart for Virgin Australia redemptions is origin/destination based, so I would recommend that you go to Etihad’s respective partner pages and to determine your mileage redemption rates.

For reference though, most of your flights are going to run well over 110k miles for a roundtrip economy award ticket, so I would strongly recommend you look elsewhere to transfer your TYPs for an Australia/New Zealand trip.

You can also book American Airlines saver level award flights with your Guest Miles. Roundtrip award tickets between the U.S. and Australia or New Zealand will cost you 75k miles in economy, 125k miles in business class and 145k miles in first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half the quoted rates. These award rates mirror the pre-devaluation AA award chart, so this could present a nice and reasonably priced option if you do not mind flying on AA metal.

To redeem for any partner awards you have to contact the Etihad service center at 888-8ETIHAD at least 14 days prior to the intended date of travel.

Virgin America

Virgin America offers one of the best deals around to get to Australia – though not using TYPs. I did a more thorough write-up on this option here, so I will not rehash that all in this post. Keep in mind that your TYPs only transfer at a 1:0.5 ratio, so that actually makes Virgin America one of the worst available transfer partners for your TYPs when looking to get to Australia/New Zealand. If you want to go this route, I would strongly suggest you start earning as many SPG Starpoints as you can.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic operates out of a very small market in the U.S., but they do partner with Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Delta for award tickets to Australia/New Zealand. The major downside to this program is that the taxes and carrier imposed fees/surcharges are outrageously high – especially on premium cabin redemptions.

For partner redemptions on Delta between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand, you are looking at a roundtrip cost of 100k miles in economy and 150k miles in business class. Virgin Atlantic however requires that you call them to determine the taxes, fees and surcharges on these tickets.

For partner redemptions on Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand, you need to call Virgin Atlantic at least 14 days prior to departure at 1.800.365.9500. From what I have been able to find, you can expect pretty outrageous taxes, fees and surcharges on these redemptions (think $1,000+ for business class redemptions).

Although the mileage redemption rates (ignoring the outrageous taxes and fees) for Delta are actually not horrible, the fact that your TYPs transfer to Virgin Atlantic at only 1:0.5 makes Virgin Atlantic the single worst TYP transfer partner for award tickets to Australia/New Zealand in my opinion. When you factor in the outrageous taxes and fees, I would strongly recommend you avoid this option at all costs unless you literally have no other option.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the TYP transfer partners offer a lot of options for finding award availability to Australia/New Zealand. Hopefully this guide has helped to shine a little light on how to utilize and maximize your TYPs for a trip to Australia/New Zealand!

What is your favorite way to redeem TYPs to get to Australia/New Zealand?

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