Great Brex Transfer Options for Star Alliance Redemptions

Aug 2, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

While most award travelers have a pretty good handle on personal and even small business credit cards, the world of corporate cards has generally been more opaque. That’s exactly the problem that Brex, one of the hottest companies providing corporate charge cards, seeks to solve. Brex has been rapidly improving its platform, including launching a ‘Brex Exclusive’ rewards program offering up to 7x points per dollar and opening up a cardholder lounge in San Francisco. And as of July 30, 2019, Brex customers have another reason to celebrate, as the company announced a new, 100,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 on the card in the first three months on the Brex World Elite Mastercard and the addition of six airline transfer partners:

  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Aeromexico
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Qantas

Six partners is just the beginning of Brex’s foray into the world of transferable points, but you might notice that they did a good job evenly spreading the transfer options out among the three major airline alliances: Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam. Whether you’re an existing Brex customer or thinking about opening an account to meet your corporate payment needs, today we’re going to take a look at the best options for redeeming your Brex points on Star Alliance carriers.

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles has risen from relative obscurity in recent years to quickly become one of the most valuable all around loyalty programs. In addition to being incredibly easy to earn — you can transfer from Amex and Capital One or frequently buy them on sale — LifeMiles has two main things going for it:

If you want to see both of these ideas in practice, look no further than Lufthansa first class awards from the US to Europe. While these tickets can incur close to $1,000 of fuel surcharges with some Star Alliance programs, Avianca will only charge you 87,000 miles and $5.60 in taxes. This is a phenomenal deal for one of the most well-rounded first class experiences in the sky.

LifeMiles is also a great option to consider for domestic travel operated by United Airlines. LifeMiles pricing has been sporadic over the last few months — including some unannounced, short-lived sales and inexpensive United-operated awards — but either way, it appears that Avianca’s award chart for domestic US flights is no longer accurate. Most flights price out between 10,000-12,500 miles each way in economy, which is not bad at all.

Award rates to Asia are incredibly reasonable as well, with one-way, business-class awards on top-rate carriers like EVA or ANA costing 75,000 miles and first-class awards costing 90,000 miles each way. Avianca is also unique in that it discounts mixed-cabin award tickets, meaning if you connect in a lower class of service (which is almost a guarantee if you’re flying in first class), you won’t pay the full price. If you fly ANA first class from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and connect on to Okinawa (OKA) in economy class, your total ticket will only cost 83,210 miles instead of 90,000.

Singapore KrisFlyer

Singapore’s KrisFlyer program remains an attractive option for booking certain Star Alliance flights, despite kicking the year off with a devaluation to both its award chart and its Star Alliance partner chart. Singapore’s premium cabins are some of the best in the world, from its unrivaled “Suites” class to a refined business class on the world’s longest flight between Singapore (SIN) and Newark (EWR). Because Singapore doesn’t release premium-cabin, long-haul award space to its partners, you’ll need to book through KrisFlyer if you want to experience these luxury flights.

Singapore Airlines A380 new First Class Suites. Photo by Brian Kelly / The Points Guy
Singapore Airlines A380 new First Class Suites. Photo by Brian Kelly / The Points Guy

A one-way, business-class award on the world’s longest flight will set you back 99,000 miles, but given how sparse award availability is, you might need to waitlist for the seat you want.

Despite the devaluations, Singapore KrisFlyer is still a great way to book an incredibly popular getaway: flights from the US to Hawaii on United. These flights cost only 35,000 miles round-trip, which is an absolute steal. And unlike other popular methods for redeeming awards to Hawaii, this deal isn’t limited to travelers on the West Coast. These flights cost the same whether you’re originating in San Francisco (SFO) or hopping on United’s 11-hour nonstop from Newark (EWR) to Honolulu (HNL). You can even connect from your home airport to many of United’s hubs, including Houston (IAH) or Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) before continuing on to your island getaway.

If you’re interested in flying the new suites, you’ll probably have better luck finding availability on one of the shorter routes like Singapore to Hong Kong (HKG) or Shanghai (PVG), but at 4-5 hours, these flights are barely long enough to enjoy the product. The new suites also fly on longer routes, including to Zurich (ZRH), Sydney (SYD) and London-Heathrow (LHR). One-way Suites awards between Singapore and Europe cost 125,000 miles each way, while Singapore to Sydney only costs 85,000 miles.

Bottom Line

As a corporate card, Brex isn’t likely to make its way into the wallets of most award travel enthusiasts, but the addition of six airline transfer partners sends a powerful message. More and more people are learning how to effectively earn and redeem their travel rewards, and Brex is giving the people what they want. While six partners might seem like a small list, this is a great start and offers travelers multiple options for booking award flights with each of the three major airline alliances.

Featured photo courtesy of Star Alliance.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.