The best way to get to Jordan using points and miles
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Editor’s note: The data below is not meant not reflect COVID-19 flight modifications.
As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
International travel may not be top of mind just yet with coronavirus still at large around the world, but Jordan is one of the few countries open to Americans at the moment. Prior to the pandemic, TourRadar reported a 94% increase in 2019 bookings for the country and said it had the 4th highest increase in year-over-year bookings of any destination. If Jordan is a “must visit” destination for you, now might be the time to plan a trip before the crowds get too large.
Visitors to Jordan must complete an electronic application on www.visitjordan.gov.jo prior to travel and receive an acceptance QR code minimum 24 hours before the flight. They’ll also need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure for Jordan, have health insurance and take another coronavirus test on arrival. They will also need to install Aman.jo app on their mobile phones and agree to health tracking.
Airlines that fly to Jordan
While all flights booked through U.S. airlines are operated by other airlines (typically Royal Jordanian or Lufthansa), redeeming miles is still possible with all U.S. airlines.
Best mileage options
American Airlines AAdvantage
American Airlines uses a zone-based award system, meaning that a one-way flight to Amman from anywhere in the U.S. would cost the same price regardless of the day of the week. There is no seasonal or peak pricing, though the number of award points required may increase if the trip layover exceeds the 24-hour layover included within an award booking.
- Economy: 40,000 miles
- Premium: 62,500 miles
- Business: 70,000 miles
- First: 115,000 miles
Royal Jordanian is Jordan’s official airline and offers direct flights from Amman to Chicago (ORD), Detroit (DTW), and New York (JFK). As Royal Jordanian is a member of the Oneworld Alliance – of which American Airlines is also a member – American Airlines points can be earned or redeemed with Royal Jordanian. Note that in terms of earning award miles through Royal Jordanian, the amount earned is based on a percentage of the flight distance and the fare class of the ticket, and can range from 0-100%.
For most of the schedule, a one-way ticket costs either 37,500 or 52,000 miles, depending on the day of the week. Most months include a few days that jump to over 110,000 miles but shifting your trip by a day or two can easily avoid these spikes.
However, Delta uses a revenue-based (dynamic) award system, meaning that the amount of award miles required to book a flight varies day to day and isn’t inherently based on the destination. Due to the dynamic nature of its award pricing, it’s difficult to generalize about how much an award ticket should cost, as price is based on demand and fluctuates accordingly.
Though United has switched to dynamic award pricing, the vast majority of one-way award flights from the U.S. to Jordan cost 42,500 miles, which is the same number of miles required under the previous award chart. Current award prices are based on availability, which doesn’t necessarily overlap with generally recognized peak travel times. Flight prices generally remain constant a few months out, including popular travel times like Christmas and the New Year. The only dates that cost up to 95,000 miles were those about one month out.
Turkish Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance – of which United is a member – is also a popular option to visit Jordan, as they offer a free (or almost free) layover in Istanbul. Turkish Airlines offers daily direct flights from Istanbul to New York City, San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH), and Boston (BOS), with layover times ranging from 90 minutes to nearly a full day before continuing on to Amman.
Pay with points
While transferring your points to airline partners is generally our preferred method of travel, it’s worth monitoring the cash cost of the ticket before you book. In many cases, you’d be better off paying with points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal than paying with miles through the carrier.
In order to see which course is best, compare the number of points you’ll need to book a flight directly through the portal to the number of airline miles required for an award. When you book through the portal, the points price is tied to the cash cost of the flight, and in some cases, you’ll use fewer points by booking directly through the portal. For instance, even if American Airlines were offering a fare special to Jordan for $300 each way, they would still charge you 40,000 miles. Booking directly through the portal would be a much better deal in this case.
Direct flights from various U.S. cities to Amman drop to $250-300 several times per year, though these fare specials are not necessarily aligned with a specific time of year (there is no official off-peak season in Jordan). If your travel dates are flexible, set a fare alert or sign up for discounted flight notifications to help you find the best price.
Want to pay for your flight with points but your balance isn’t quite there yet? There are currently some excellent credit card offers with sign-up bonuses up to 100,000 points, which could bring the award flight within reach and get you to Jordan before tourism really starts booming in the country.
Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy
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