A Totally New Award Chart Coming to a Star Alliance Amex Membership Rewards Partner: The Good and the Bad

Yesterday commenter TJ flagged that ANA is introducing a new zone-based award chart effective April 12. The only problem is that I haven’t found an English-version of the announcement, and have been on travel and time-constrained.

We care because ANA:

  • Is a Star Alliance member, so their miles can be used on a variety of partner flights
  • Their website is in general the best for booking Star Alliance awards, showing award space on on all Star partners.
  • They are an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, so lots of US folks have access to their miles.
  • The current distance-based award chart has some fantastic values.

Fortunately both Travel is Free and Points with a Crew are unpacking what the changes mean.

Bottom-line is that at the margin there will be some great values that disappear, corner cases, where you could max out the old mileage bands — like 63,000 miles for roundtrip business class between New York and London.

But overall this isn’t a devaluation, and many awards become less expensive. Where pricing goes up, they don’t go up substantially. This is a shift to zone-based, or region-based, meaning you start with the area of the world you are flying from and where you are going rather than calculating the total distance flown. And overall it’s just a shift from distance-based to zone-based, not a big devaluation although there will be winners and losers.

  • Business class roundtrip to North Asia 105,000 miles
  • Business class roundtrip to South Asia and India 110,000 miles
  • Business class roundtrip to Europe 72,000 miles

The big loss is only getting one stopover on awards. Not a big deal for most members, but for those who maximize awards it’s fewer destinations than before.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I can only read katakanta so this is what I got from the chart:

    Zone 1: Japan
    zone 2: Seoul
    Zone 3 (Asia 1): My guess is chinese cities, manila
    Zone 4 (Asia 2): Singapore, bankok, hochimin, yangon, jakarta, mumbai, delhi, hanoi
    Zone 5: Hawaii, Honolulu
    Zone 6: LA, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Washington, NYC, Chicago, Vancouver
    Zone 7: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munchen, Dusseldorf

  2. ANA has flights between the US and Europe?

    Or is it that you can use ANA miles for Star Alliance flights between US and Europe, for a lot less miles than it would cost to use United Mileage Plus miles?

  3. Just got an email from Iberia. Boy does someone need a crash course in customer relations:

    “Please keep in mind that it shall be deemed that you accept modifications of terms if you continue to use your Iberia Plus card or if you do not manifest your opposition to them. Otherwise, you have a period of one month from the reception of this email to send back this document, indicating your cancellation in the Programme.”

  4. @Carrie I deeply apologize you are not being naggy at all — I intended to link to and give credit for excellent work on this, I’ve been flying all day with probably the worst inflight internet I’ve had in a long, long time.

    Looks like my ‘fix’ left off the http:// and that led things to see the URL as being underneath my own web domain. Hopefully it really is fixed now.

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