Fewer miles, less money and more luxury? That's a winning combo. It's hard to keep up with loyalty programs these days, constant changes and such, but one thing remains true: certain programs are far more generous than others. There's one frequent flyer program that's been "flying" under the radar and there are a few reasons it may just blow your mind...

It's The Japan Airlines Mileage Bank...

Japan Airlines (JAL) is a member of the OneWorld alliance, meaning you can earn JAL miles for flights you take on British Airways, Qatar, American, Qantas, Finnair, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and many more. The earning rates aren't wildly great, but the redemption rates are ridiculous. You can also convert Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points into JAL miles 1:1, with the 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 transferred.

There's A Distance Based Chart For Redeeming Miles...

Unlike most frequent flyer programs that charge you per segment and have jacked up rates for using miles like an insecure bodybuilder, Japan Airlines maintains a distance based chart for using your miles. Each distance "band" has a range of roughly 2000-6000 miles, and if you find an itinerary that ends on the higher end of the band, you'll most certainly score an insane deal.

Here Are A Few Teasers... 

New York to Doha fits just under the 14,000 mile maximum on the 12,000-14,000 mile band. For just 85,000 miles round trip and no surcharges you can fly Qatar Airways A350 business class. If you want to step up to First Class, you can fly Emirates First Class just about anywhere, up to 20,000 miles, for a mere 155,000 points. British Airways business class U.S. to UK or vice versa is only 63,000 miles round trip, essentially the same as British Airways themselves charge for a one way!

If You Already Have Status, Just Show Your Card...

The dilemma people face is that they don't want to forgo benefits for the chance of great redemptions for their miles. You can add your JAL frequent flyer number (free to join) to your reservation but simply present your elite loyalty card for usual lounge access, priority check in and so forth. If you care about retaining status, do the math to see how easily you'd maintain your current level of benefits through the JAL program. Benefits and best miles are ideal...

How To Play This Like A Pro...

If you fly with OneWorld and spend on an SPG credit card (which are available worldwide) you can really rack up miles with efficiency. If you're earning a decent amount of miles for flying while also turning every dollar/pound/yen spent into SPG points which convert into JAL miles, it's not at all unreasonable to end up with enough for a stunning long haul flight up front. This isn't for everyone, but it may be eye opening to many. Chart for earning on partner airlines.