a red building with a tall tower with Sensō-ji in the background
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Japan is not optional, it’s mandatory for any serious traveller. The people couldn’t be nicer, the food is heavenly and there’s so much to learn from this amazing culture. Plus, Japan is gorgeous too. As usual, that just leaves getting there. If you have a US based Amex card, there’s a fantastic opportunity to get there round trip in style for fewer points than most loyalty programs charge for economy. If that sounds like a dream, here’s how to make it reality…

a plane flying in the skyANA Limited Time 20% Off Promotion

All Nippon Airways is one of Japan’s two most revered airlines, with a lovely business class. The airline is currently running a promotion for the next few days, which takes 20% off the number of miles you’d usually need, to book flights between select destinations and Tokyo.

One such promo destination: Los Angeles. Sadly, it’s the only US gateway in this round of promotions, but it could well be worth a cheap flight to LA. Of course, 85,000 points from any other US city served by ANA isn’t bad either.

ANA always offers great rates using points, thanks to the limited ability to earn them in any ways other than actually flying or transferring US Amex Points, but with 20% off, great becomes greater. Flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo (and vice verse) require 68,000 points round trip, instead of the standard 85,000. That’s an extreme bargain for more about 20 hours in the air.

In case you’re not quite seeing it: your Amex Points can unlock Tokyo for 68,000 points round trip in business class by transferring them to ANA, and booking and flying during a certain period.

The Promo Travel And Booking Dates

There’s a few key dates to be had here, but even if they don’t work for you, don’t fret. There will be others. ANA joins a growing list of airlines making last minute seats available at better than average rates to help fill up flights.

To take advantage of this promotion, you’ll need to book by October 31st, for travel from November 1st to December 3rd 2019. Yep, spontaneous travel at its best. In the wake of next weeks Rugby World Cup Final, Tokyo should be in amazing form, and autumn/winter weather can be gorgeous.

a glass of wine on a table in a plane
Copyright Mark Chau. TheShutterWhale.com

How To Search For Flight Availability And Book

First things first, you’ll need an ANA Mileage Club account. Fortunately, they’re free and you can make one online instantly here. Once you have an ANA account, you can transfer your Amex Points by linking your ANA account to your Amex Membership Rewards account online.

Keep in mind: Amex Points transfers take 48-72 hours, so you’ll want to do that TODAY (Sunday) if you want to ensure they should make it on time, or tomorrow at the latest.

When it comes to searching for ANA flights, you can do everything directly with ANA. Simply visit their website, choose Mileage Club, International and then “Award Reservation” to bring up the search feature. Just entire your desired route, dates and cabin preference, and you should see the limited time pricing for searches for travel November 1st to December 3rd. Obviously, not all dates will be available, so search around!

Be sure to find availability you can actually use before you transfer your Amex Points. For practical purposes, that effectively means find something today or tomorrow, or you’ll have to sit this one out and see what’s on offer in the next promotion. Availability can change in the time that it takes for your points to move over from Amex to ANA Mileage Club, but that’s a risk you always have to live with when booking award travel.

If anything were to change, at least your points would be in a great program for the next set of 20% off promotions, or you’ll be well on your way to booking around the world in business class for just 125,000 points all in. Talk about a bargain…

Are you taking a spontaneous Tokyo trip?

HT: Sam Chui

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Are there any other destinations than LAX this works with? In Europe for example? Where can I see the routes the discount applies to?

  2. Also not sure about the LAX-Tokyo routes, but some models of the 777-300 DO NOT RECLINE IN ECONOMY (I’m looking at you , NH 7 SFO-NRT!)

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