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The ultimate guide in using points to book Philippine Airlines using miles & points

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When Mom asked me, “can you get me tickets to the Philippines” – that means I was sent on a mission. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with flying coach/economy, I made it my mission to have her fly business class on her next trip to Manila. That all came true.

Not one but two

I booked not one but two round trip tickets for her and my sister-in-law. I was able to book Philippine Airlines business class round trip (valued at over $12,000) but you should know me better than that. We used credit card miles and points from American Express and transferred them to ANA. All they paid out of pocket was $471.95 per person. That’s $6,126 per person for this round trip ticket. There is NO WAY we would pay that amount.

Philippine Airlines Business Class Tickets for 2 (cash out of pocket)

 

They didn’t pay $12,252.90…not even close

Instead of paying $12,252.90, my mom and my sister-in-law used:

  • 95,000 miles per person x 2 = 190,000 miles
  • $471.95 fees per person x 2 = $943.90

 

Which credit card points can you use to book Philippine Airlines via ANA

So how exactly did we make this happen? Of course, credit card miles and points. Here’s how. You could use your points earned from the cards below. Unfortunately, points with Chase, Citi, Discover, Capital One DO NOT transfer to ANA.

American Express Membership Rewards 

These points transfer to ANA at 1:1.

Marriott Bonvoy

Yes, if you have points with Marriott, you can transfer  to ANA Mileage Club at a 3:1 ratio – you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott. I, personally, have not transferred my Marriott points to an airline. I heard it could also take awhile to do such transfer. In any case, these are the different Marriott Bonvoy credit cards that earn Marriott points that you could transfer to ANA.

Step by step  – DO’s and DON’Ts

Let me give a high-level overview of what needs to be done. I will include the misconceptions (things you do not need to do). For this booking, the points I used were American Express Membership Rewards that I had to transfer to ANA.

** For this post, I transferred points from Amex to ANA.

Number of miles or points required

Exactly how many points do you need to transfer? According ANA Mileage Club chart, the Philippines is part of Asia 1 (Zone 3), while the US is North America  (Zone 6)

  • Economy – 60,000 miles round trip
  • Business – 95,000 miles round trip
  • First – 180,000 miles round trip

Zone / Required Mileage Charts|ANA – and for this example booking that I did, I was able to book business class seats at 95,000 miles round trip with Philippine Airlines

  • DO know that transfers from Amex to ANA are not instant.
    • My transfer took nearly two days (it could take up to 4 days)

Philippine Airlines and North America

These are the North American cities/airports that offer nonstop service flights to/from Manila.

  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Vancouver (YVR)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • New York (JFK)

Risk vs reward

ANA will not put my Philippine Airlines flight reservations on hold without the points sitting in my ANA account. This means that while you could call ANA to inquire about flight awards availability, the only way to secure those seats is to have your points be readily available in your ANA account.

Using my situation, I made a decision to transfer my points from Amex to ANA. The transfer time took 2 days, and once I saw that my points were already in my ANA account, that was when I decided to call and book the award flights. The risk is not knowing how long it could take for the points to transfer, and also, unknown if my travel dates were even going to be available.

Are you booking for yourself or a family member?

ANA has unique policy about booking for someone else other than the ANA member. Using my example, I booked two tickets for my Mom and sister-in-law. That was allowed using ANA Family Usage option. I could add up to 10 different immediate family members. This means that I could transfer my points to my ANA account, and those points could be used to book the family members who I added as part of my family. This is not for the super extended family – this will work with mother, father, in-laws, son/daughter, grandchild, brother/sister. I didn’t see options for cousins, etc. To access this option to add family members to your account:

  • Go to your ANA Mileage Club account profile
  • Click on Family Usage
  • Click on Award User Registration.

All you need is their full name as shown in the passport, and date of birth. Again, using my example, I took care of registering my mom and my sister-in-law before I initiated the points transfer from Amex to ANA, and before I called ANA to book the flight.

Once the points are transferred from Amex to ANA

  • DO have your potential dates ready (it’s best to be very flexible vs. sticking with set dates)
    • Be realistic especially with booking around the busy holiday season
    • Those are best secured when you book a year in advance
  • DO NOT check Philippine Airlines website
  • DO NOT call Philippine Airlines
  • DO NOT check ANA website
    • This is all done over the phone
  • DO call ANA Customer Service 1-800-235-9262 (toll-free) Business Hours : 5:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. PST, 6:00 a.m. – 3:00a.m. PDT (7 days/week)
  • DO have your ANA Mileage Club Account Number ready
  • DO prepare to wait on hold
    • With my two recent calls to ANA, I was on hold for nearly two hours

Booking directly with an ANA rep over the phone

Once an ANA rep answers the phone, all I had to tell her were my plans of booking tickets flying Philippine Airlines. In my case, it was for two business class tickets. You could also have them check coach/economy tickets.

  • Provide the airports (origin and destination) – in my case, it was Los Angeles (LAX) and Manila (MNL)
  • Provide the travel date/s – remember flexibility is KEY. Fortunately for me, Mitsumi, the ANA rep checked my desired travel dates plus other flight schedules close to that date to give me more options.

Once the rep finds the travel dates that work, here’s what else to expect:

  • The rep will confirm the required # of miles
    • In my case, it was for 95,000 miles per person for business class
    • 60,000 miles per person for economy class
  • Confirm the name of the passenger/s, the rep will spell it out letter by letter (make sure it’s the name that matches the name on the passport)
  • If you are booking for another family member, this is where it all becomes helpful that you’ve done the legwork in adding their names to your profile PRIOR to making contact with ANA
  • Pay with a credit card over the phone (I was given the option to pay using Visa, Mastercard, American Express)
  • Transfer the call to process your payment by phone
  • Once paid by phone, the call goes back to the rep to finish the ticketing process
  • Ticket and receipt will be sent via email immediately
  • Check the email, review the ticket/s

The real truth behind the Amex/ANA/Philippine Airlines booking process

To be perfectly honest with you, the hardest parts were:

  • The points transfer wait time. Once I transferred my points from Amex to ANA, I stalked my ANA account like a hawk. I checked every hour hoping to see the points transfer. Eventually, t it took just under 2 days for me
  • Boy, speaking with ANA was not the issue but it was the HOLD TIME….I was on hold for nearly two hours before I got to speak to a live agent

If you follow the steps exactly as I shared, then it will be a breeze. Please do let me know if my guide works for you. Maraming salamat po. Thank you very much.

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Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

2 thoughts on “The ultimate guide in using points to book Philippine Airlines using miles & points

  1. Yay, Maraming Salamat, Jason….much appreciated.
    How many passengers can you book? Need party of 5 🤦🏽‍♀️
    You mentioned do not call ANA, is there always an availability?

    1. It will all be based on availability. You would just need to check it for yourself on the dates that you choose.

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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