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Book business class flights to Europe for 44,000 points next summer with Brussels Airlines

Dec. 27, 2021
9 min read
View of the Grand Place in Brussels
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Brussels Airlines isn't the most well-known Star Alliance carrier — but it should be on your radar.

The Lufthansa Group carrier operates a hub in Brussels (BRU), where it flies around Europe and to Africa, the Middle East and North America. Here in the U.S., you can fly the carrier to Brussels from New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles (IAD). The airline also offers nonstop service from Toronto (YYZ) to Brussels, providing a convenient connection for many U.S. travelers.

But the best way to book Brussels Airlines isn't with Star Alliance miles like United MileagePlus. Instead, you can leverage the carrier's non-alliance partnership with Etihad Airways to book business class flights to Europe on the cheap. Its nonstop routes to/from the U.S. cost just 44,000 Etihad Guest miles each way in business class, which is a steal compared to other booking options.

There is open Brussels Airlines award space from New York and Washington to Brussels next summer, giving you an easy way to score an excellent deal on a summer vacation. Let's take a closer look at the award space and how to book it with Etihad Guest.

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The deal

Airline: Brussels Airlines

Routes: JFK and IAD to BRU

Cost: From 88,000 Amex, Capital One or Citi points round-trip (transferred to Etihad Guest)

Dates: July-Aug. 2022

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How to book: Find award space with your favorite Star Alliance search tool and call Etihad Guest to confirm award space. Then, transfer points to Etihad Guest to finalize your booking.

Pay Taxes/Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel; on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel) for travel protections on the award flight.

Related: The best ways to travel to Europe using points and miles

Is it worth it?

(Photo courtesy of Brussels Airlines)

Flights to Europe — whether to Brussels or elsewhere — aren't cheap during the summer months. For example, this round-trip Brussels Airlines flight from New York-JFK to Brussels in business class costs over $3,400 next August.

(Screenshot courtesy of google.com/flights)

Flights from Washington are even more expensive, with the least expensive business class round-trip on Brussels Airlines being $3,738 next August.

(Screenshot courtesy of google.com/flights)

Beyond just price, Brussels is a great European destination. It's full of historic sights, great beer and excellent food (make sure to try the waffles). The summer is a great time to experience the city, with moderate temperatures that make it a joy to walk around the city and enjoy al fresco dining.

Brussels Airlines has a huge European route network too, so you can add a stopover for marginally more miles. Take a look at Etihad Guest's full Brussels Airlines award chart (PDF link) and add the miles required to go from Brussels to your final destination to the 44,000 miles it costs to fly from the U.S. to Brussels.

Related: Etihad Guest miles continue to fly under the radar

Sample itineraries

(Photo by Vincent Kalut / Photonews via Getty Images)

One quick note: you need to find award space with your favorite Star Alliance search tool — United.com is a great option — and call Etihad Guest to book the ticket. Thankfully, this should be a quick process barring any long hold times. Just make sure to look for flights operated by Brussels Airlines, as flights operated by other Star Alliance carriers cannot be booked with Etihad Guest for 44,000 miles one-way.

(Screenshot courtesy of united.com)

Each of the dates listed below has, at the time of writing, award space for at least one passenger, though many dates have more seats available.

New York-JFK to/from Brussels (BRU)

  • Outbound:
  • July: 4, 19 and 26
  • August: 4-6, 10, 12, 19 and 21-23
  • September: 6, 12, 15, 20 and 28
  • Inbound
  • July: 24, 26 and 30
  • August: 8, 10, 12, 15-16, 18-19, 21-23 and 26-28
  • September: 2-3, 7, 9, 26-27 and 30

Washington-Dulles (IAD) to/from Brussels (BRU)

  • Outbound:
  • July: 12, 14, 16, 19, 21 and 24
  • August: 5, 7, 12, 14 and 20
  • September: 2, 16, 18, 22, 25 and 30
  • Inbound
  • July: 2-3, 7-8, 15, 24, 26 and 28
  • August: 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 28, 23, 25, 27-28 and 30
  • September: 8, 15-16, 22 and 25

Related: 7 great airline mileage programs for booking Star Alliance awards

Boosting your Etihad Guest balance

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Etihad Guest is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou. Here’s a look at some of my favorite Amex cards and their current welcome offers, some of which will give you more than enough points to book a Brussels Airlines ticket through Etihad. Each card has its own set of benefits and fees, so do your own research and see which is best for your wallet.

  • American Express® Green Card: Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Earn 3x points on dining at restaurants, travel and transit (including flights, hotels, transit, taxis, tours, and ridesharing services), 1x points on all other purchases ($150 annual fee; see rates and fees).
  • American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of card membership. Earn 4x points on dining at restaurants; 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x points); 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or American Express Travel; 1x points on all other purchases, ($250 annual fee; see rates and fees).
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or with American Express Travel (earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 5x on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts; 1x on all other purchases, ($695 annual fee; see rates and fees).

The information for the Amex Green card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Transfer and maximize: The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards

Bottom line

Brussels Airlines has open award space next summer from New York and Washington D.C. If you're interested, you'll want to book quickly as this award space can disappear at any time.

Remember, you can book with any Star Alliance miles, but you'll get the best deal when booking with Etihad Guest. The program charges just 44,000 miles one-way for a business class flight from the U.S. to Brussels.

For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

Feature photo by Massimo Borchi/Atlantide Phototravel via Getty Images

Featured image by (Photo by Massimo Borchi/Atlantide Phototravel via Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023