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Ahh Italy, a place with amazing history, gorgeous architecture, and even better food. It’s no wonder Italy is a bucket-list destination for many people. What makes visiting Italy so great, is the fact our points and miles can reduce our cost whenever we fly to Italy from the USA.
But searching for the best award flights to Italy can be frustrating!
So in this guide, we’ll take a look at the best ways to fly to Italy using your miles and points and how to search for and book the award flight.
How to Fly to Italy with Miles and Points
Generally speaking, round trip flights to Italy using your points will cost between 50,000 to 60,000 points per person, plus taxes and fees.
Occasionally, you might score a great deal on a promotion or bonus transfer, but spending 50,000 to 60,000 points is generally what it will cost you.
And once you’re in Italy, the train system is fantastic, so you shouldn’t have any issues exploring different parts of the country. Plus, when you travel by train, you get to see the beautiful countryside.
Use Etihad Miles to Fly American Airlines to Italy
If you aren’t familiar with Etihad Guest, I’d recommend looking into the program because it can offer fantastic value. One key piece about Etihad miles, they’re a non-alliance partner to American Airlines.
While American Airlines is slowly moving towards dynamic award prices, Etihad is actually using the old American Airlines award chart. You’ll notice one-way flights can be as low as 20,000 Etihad miles to fly economy, or only 50,000 Etihad miles to fly business class to Italy, which is an amazing value.
The Etihad award chart offers off-peak pricing which is favorable for flying to Europe. Etihad even uses the old American Airlines off-peak award dates from October 15th to May 15th.
Now, look at American Airlines off-peak dates.
You’ll see that Etihad offers a much larger range of off-peak dates than American Airlines!
How to Book an Award Flight to Italy with Etihad Miles
In order to book an AA flight to Italy using your Etihad Guest miles, you will need to search American Airlines for award space. When you search the American Airlines website, you must find SAAver availability for Etihad to book your flight.
In addition, the flight must be flown on American Airlines metal, which means you must fly on an American Airlines plane. To make this easier, you can actually filter your search to show only American Airlines operated flights.
In this example, flight numbers 2562 and flight 718 are both flown on American Airlines metal and should be bookable by Etihad.
For your return flight, you see that flight number 239 is also under Economy MileSAAver, which should be bookable by Etihad as well.
If you were looking to fly business class to Italy, it would only cost 50,000 miles one way per person instead of 57,500 miles, which is what American Airlines charges for the same exact flight.
Once you find the American-operated flights you need, write down the flight information and call Etihad to book the award.
That makes earning Etihad miles extremely easy and opens up the opportunity to book American Airlines flights to Italy for fewer points.
Use Alitalia Millemiglia for Business Class Flights to Italy
In the points and miles world, Alitalia Millemiglia have limited use, but can offer good value when you want to fly Alitalia. Additionally, they’re one of the only airlines to offer nonstop flights to Italy.
Looking at the Alitalia award chart, you’ll notice business class flights to Italy from NYC (JFK to Rome nonstop) for only 80,000 miles, plus taxes.
You’ll want to book a round trip ticket because if you book a one-way flight to Italy, it’ll cost you 48,000 miles one way. That is still a good value, but it isn’t 50% of the round trip price.
Unfortunately, Alitalia will pass on fuel surcharges, but for 80,000 miles round trip to fly nonstop on business class flights to Rome, this is a solid way to use your points.
How to Book an Award Flight to Italy with Alitalia
Search directly on the Alitalia website. From the Millemiglia drop-down menu, select “spend miles.” Then click on “claim your award ticket” on the side of the page. You’ll be taken to a standard search box where you can enter your trip details.
In this example, you’ll fly nonstop to Rome for 80,000 miles and $350.09 with Alitalia’s Standard Business award.
While $350 in taxes might seem like a lot, the cash price of this ticket is over $3,600!
To earn Alitalia miles, transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards and Capital One Miles.
Get to Italy Using Delta SkyMiles
I know what you’re thinking, Delta SkyMiles are worthless! While SkyMiles might not be the most valuable travel currency on the market, Delta SkyMiles can still offer some fantastic value, especially when it comes to their Flash Sales.
Delta SkyMiles award ticket prices are based on the ticket price, so these tickets can be very inexpensive…or they can be outrageous in price. You just don’t know until you search on Delta’s website!
For example, take this round trip from New York To Rome. It’ll only cost 34,000 miles and $80.33 for a round trip ticket. This definitely qualifies as one of those Delta deals to Italy!
Fact is, it’s an absolute steal, especially when you consider some of these airline programs will charge between 50,000 to 60,000 points for flights to Italy.
But if you were looking to fly business class to Rome, on Delta One, it would cost you, over 400,000 Delta miles, which is extremely expensive!
You can earn SkyMiles from their American Express co-branded Delta credit cards, American Express Membership Rewards earning credit cards, or even transferring Marriott Bonvoy points.
ProTip: If you transfer American Express points to Delta you’re required to pay the excise tax of 0.0006 cents per points, up to a max of $99.
Fly to Italy from the USA Using Avianca LifeMiles
I’m a fan of Avianca LifeMiles because they offer some great value for Star Alliance flights, especially when it comes to business class flights.
Flights to Italy start at just 30,000 LifeMiles each way and for business would be just 63,000 LifeMiles each way. To put that into perspective, United charges 70,000 miles for business class partner awards.
Unfortunately, Avianca doesn’t publish an award chart anymore, and to find prices, you’ll need to search the LifeMiles website.
Avianca’s website can be a bit quirky to navigate, but they don’t pass on fuel surcharges, which is a great money saver. Also, you’re able to book mixed cabin awards online, which gives more options to customize your flights and potentially save miles.
Here’s an example from Chicago to Rome. You’ll notice you have the option to book your flight in economy, business class, or even book a mixed cabin award.
If you booked a mixed cabin award, with the Chicago to Frankfurt segment of your ticket in business class and your Frankfurt to Rome segment in economy class, your itinerary would only cost 59,000 LifeMiles!
Learn more about using Lifemiles for cheaper Star Alliance flights to maximize your redemptions.
You could even apply for Avianca’s co-branded credit cards. And currently, the Avianca Vuela Visa card is offering it’s highest ever welcome bonus!
How to Travel to Italy using Aeroplan Miles
There’s so much value in Aeroplan miles and I’d recommend looking into the program if you haven’t already.
Aeroplan splits Europe into two zones and Italy falls into zone 1, which costs 30,000 miles one-way in coach and only 55,000 miles in business class. Or, if you’d really like to fly in style, first-class flights to Italy are 70,000 miles one-way. As you can see, Aeroplan is the best Star Alliance partner to fly business class to Italy.
Unfortunately, Aeroplan will pass on fuel surcharges when you use certain partner airlines, such as Lufthansa. Aeroplan will not pass on fuel surcharges for partners like TAP Air Portugal, Swiss Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.
It’s important to learn how to redeem your Aeroplan miles for the best value, while still avoiding these fees.
To search, you’ll need to log in to your Aeroplan account first. As you check results, avoid any award itineraries with hundreds of dollars in fees.
In this example flying from Chicago to Venice, it’ll only cost 55,000 miles for $21.75 ($28.70 CAD).
When you compare this with the cash price for this airplane ticket to Italy, the redemption value is 14 cents per point! That is an absolutely amazing value.
Book Italy Round Trip Using Your United Miles
When it comes to United miles, they’re only transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
Starting November 15th, 2019, United is moving to dynamic pricing (similar to Delta), for flights on their aircraft. Currently, the pricing to book awards on partner airlines won’t be affected.
Right now, using United miles will cost 30,000 miles per person for economy class, 60,000 miles for business class flights on United metal, and 70,000 miles for flights on Star Alliance partners.
While United might be one of the more expensive options for business class flights, they do offer the Excursionist Perk, which lets you add a free one-way segment to United award itineraries.
Another upside is using United miles is straightforward and easier for many people, compared to the other ways to use miles and points for Italy on this list.
Travel Portals: The Best Way to Fly to Italy??
The last option we should talk about are the travel portals, and most importantly the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. Flights to Europe have been affordable recently and you can find a great deal to fly to Italy for cheap on a cash fare.
Couple a cheap cash fare with the Chase Sapphire Reserve increased point redemption at 1.5 cents per point and you have a recipe to save you points!
For example, you could fly LAX to FCO nonstop (Los Angeles to Rome) for only 46,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
Not only is this saving you points compared to transferring to an airline partner, but you won’t pay any taxes and fees.
Using the travel portal won’t always result in better pricing, but you should certainly research portal pricing before transferring your points to any airline partner.
Italy on Points and Miles Bottom Line
If visiting Italy is on your bucket list, here are some of the best ways to fly to Italy using your points and miles. But now that you have the info you need, the real question is, when are you finally going to book that award ticket to Italy?!
How will you use your miles and points to get to Italy?
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