Reader Debra wants to travel from Florida to South Africa for a honeymoon. She’s never been out of the country and has only taken one vacation in recent memory. She’s a private school kindergarten teacher and wants to make this trip happen with her newlywed husband before life gets too complicated.
Though her 19,810 Delta SkyMiles and 8,557 Southwest Rapid Rewards points are better than nothing, trips to South Africa from North America require such a substantial outlay of points that we’re essentially starting from scratch. Today, we’ll take a look at which programs offer the best values to South Africa and how folks like Debra can most easily begin amassing the miles needed to cover such a trip.
Expanding Our Horizons
We might normally restrict our search to the most popular US frequent flyer programs in some cases. South Africa, however, is often an extraordinarily expensive destination from a miles and points perspective, rivaled only by jaunts to the South Pacific. As such, we’ve widened the scope of our search to include many more programs than usual, including most transfer partners available to the Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards programs.
Here’s a broad chart of possibilities in Economy and Business Class, sorted least-to-most by Economy Class: