Turkish Airlines, with its global hub in Istanbul, flies to more countries than any other carrier in the world. With a fleet of 400 aircraft, the airline flies to more than 300 destinations in 120 countries.
As one of the biggest and best airlines in the world, it’s important for you to familiarize yourself with its frequent flyer program, Miles & Smiles.
The program allows you to earn miles that can be redeemed for flights not only on Turkish Airlines’s massive network, but also on its Star Alliance partners as well.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything there is to know about Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, including how to optimize your earning and redeeming within the program.
Earning Miles with Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Unfortunately, for those in North America, Turkish miles aren’t as easy to rack up as miles from other Star Alliance programs. That being said, there are still some easy ways to pad your Turkish miles balance.
Transferring from Other Programs
Miles&Smiles isn’t a transfer partner of any Canadian credit card program. However, in the US, you can convert points from the following programs to Turkish miles at a rate of 1 point = 1 mile:
Marriott Bonvoy points could be transferred to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles at a rate of 3 Bonvoy points = 1 mile, with a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred.
Even with the bonus, it’s an unfavourable exchange altogether, so you should only convert your Marriott Bonvoy points to Turkish miles when you need a top-up on a planned redemption. Otherwise, you should save your Bonvoy points for aspirational hotel and resort stays.
Other than Marriott Bonvoy, you could also transfer points from the following hotel programs at suboptimal rates:
- Accor Live Limitless: 2 points = 1 mile
- Hilton Honors: 10 points = 1 mile
- Radisson Rewards: 10 points = 1 mile
- Wyndham Rewards: 5 points = 1 mile
Flying with Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet
You’ll earn Turkish miles when you fly on a paid ticket with Turkish Airlines and its low-cost affiliate, AnadoluJet.
If you’re flying wholly within Türkiye, you’ll earn a fixed amount of miles, depending on your cabin class and not your distance flown. You can expect to earn 300–600 miles in economy, or 1,000–1,250 miles in business class.
On the other hand, if your ticket involves international segments, the number of miles you’ll earn depends on your distance flown, cabin, fare class, and elite status.
You’ll earn miles based on the following earning chart:
Flying with Partner Airlines
When you fly on a paid ticket with one of Turkish Airlines’s partners, you can credit your flight to your Miles&Smiles account. In order to do so, you must add your Miles&Smiles number during booking or check-in.
Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance; thus, you can earn miles with any of its alliance partners. The airline also partners with a few non-alliance airlines as noted below.
The following are Turkish Airlines’s airline partners:
Star Alliance Airlines Aegean Airlines Air Canada Air China Air India Air New Zealand All Nippon Airways (ANA) Asiana Airlines Austrian Airlines Avianca Brussels Airlines Copa Airlines Croatia Airlines EgyptAir Ethiopian Airlines EVA Air LOT Polish Airlines Lufthansa Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Shenzhen Airlines Singapore Airlines Swiss TAP Air Portugal Thai Airways Turkish Airlines United Airlines
Star Alliance Airlines
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways (ANA)
LOT Polish Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
TAP Air Portugal
- Azul Airlines
- IndiGo (redemption only)
- Olympic Air
When flying with partner airlines, the number of miles you’ll earn depends on the airline you’re flying with, as each airline has its own accrual policies.
Buy Turkish Miles
The quickest way to accumulate Turkish miles is by buying them from Turkish Airlines itself.
By default, a block of 1,000 Turkish miles can be purchased for $30 (USD) or 3 cents per mile. You’re allowed to buy up to 50,000 miles per calendar year.
Sometimes, the airline holds promotions that entail up to 100% bonus miles. If you chance upon a 100% bonus promotion, your acquisition cost drops to 1.5 cents per mile.
Other Ways to Earn Turkish Miles
You can also earn Turkish miles through other means, including hotel stays, car rentals, and vacations. Be sure to quote your Miles&Smiles number during your transaction, so you’ll be credited the miles you’re entitled to.
When you book your accommodations with the following hotel chains and platforms, you may choose to earn Turkish miles at the following rates:
- Best Western: 500 miles per stay
- Booking.com: up to 2 miles per Euro spent
- IHG: up to 2 miles per dollar (USD) spent
- Kaligo: up to 15 miles per dollar (USD) spent
- Marriott International: up to 2 miles per dollar (USD) spent
- Rocketmiles: up to 10,000 miles per night
- Wyndham: up to 2 miles per dollar (USD) spent
For car rentals, you can earn Turkish miles with the following companies:
- Alamo: 1,000 miles per rental
- Avis: up to 4,000 miles per rental
- Budget: up to 500 miles per rental
- Enterprise: up to 1,000 miles per rental
- Europcar: 500 miles per rental
- Hertz: up to 1,000 miles per rental
- National: up to 1,000 miles per rental
- Sixt: up to 500 miles per rental
Lastly, Turkish Airlines also has its own holiday package booking portal, which allows you to earn 2 miles per dollar (USD) spent.
Redeeming Miles with Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
You can use your Turkish miles in a number of ways; however, you’ll get the most value out of your miles by redeeming them for flights on Turkish Airlines or its partners.
Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet Flights
Turkish Airlines publishes zone-based award redemption charts for its own flights, as well as its low-cost subsidiary, AnadoluJet.
There are two award charts: one for promotional award tickets, and one for regular award tickets. Naturally, promotional awards, akin to “Saver” awards, are somewhat more difficult to find. You can think of it as Turkish Airlines’s way of imposing dynamic pricing.
Despite flying to 120 countries, Turkish Airlines has only divided the world into 12 redemption zones. The US and Canada are both in the North America zone.
Thus, from any city in the US or Canada, a one-way business class ticket to Türkiye costs 45,000 miles as a promotional award, and 105,000 miles as a regular award.
Keep in mind that with Miles&Smiles redemptions, you may add a stopover in Istanbul, but only with round-trip awards. To book a redemption with a stopover, you must call in to process your ticket.
Also note that Turkish Airlines passes on carrier-imposed surcharges on award redemptions, though they are modest in most cases.
If you’re paying for a ticket for yourself, you may use your Turkish miles to cover a ticket for a companion.
Companion tickets have their own promotional and regular award charts, and you may notice that the redemption costs are substantially lower than redeeming for tickets with miles outright.
A one-way business class companion ticket from the US or Canada to Europe costs 31,500 miles as a promotional award, and 73,500 miles as a regular award.
Compared to tickets redeemed with miles outright, companion tickets require 30% fewer miles for redemption.
Note that there are rules surrounding companion tickets, including:
- Only one companion ticket may be redeemed for each paid ticket.
- Your companion must travel on the same flights, and on the same or lower cabin class.
- Companion tickets must be booked over the phone.
Flights on Partner Airlines
Turkish Airlines uses a similar award redemption chart for partners as its own flights. However, only the promotional award table applies to partner awards, since Miles&Smiles only allows “Saver” award redemptions on partner airlines.
Let’s take Washington DC (North America zone) to Lisbon (Europe 2 zone) as an example. A one-way business class redemption on TAP Portugal costs only 45,000 miles, which is great value for a trans-Atlantic crossing.
Keep in mind that the workflow for a partner award search is different from a Turkish Airlines award search. You must go to your Miles&Smiles account dashboard, navigate to “Miles transactions”, and find the “Star Alliance award ticket” toolbar.
Alternatively, you can also call Miles&Smiles to book your chosen partner award flights, since Turkish Airlines doesn’t seem to show all available Star Alliance flights online.
You can use your Turkish miles to upgrade your flights operated by Turkish Airlines and its Star Alliance partners. The miles required to upgrade are based on a redemption chart, which is similar for both Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance flights.
For any miles upgrade request, your flight must be paid under eligible fare classes. For Star Alliance upgrades, it doesn’t matter which Star Alliance carrier issued your ticket.
Since only higher fare classes are eligible for an upgrade with miles, you can’t expect deeply-discounted tickets, such as basic economy ones, to qualify.
Still, if you find yourself a good deal for a paid ticket, here’s an example:
For a one-way ticket from North America to Paris (Europe 1 zone), an economy to business class upgrade costs 45,000 miles, while a business class to First Class upgrade costs 67,500 miles.
If you check the award redemption table, the cost for an upgrade with miles is the same for a promotional or “Saver” award redemption. Hence, one of the few instances where it might make sense to upgrade with miles is when you can’t find award availability on the days you need to fly.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Sweet Spots
Miles&Smiles has simple zone-based redemption charts, which don’t consider distance as much as other programs do. You can therefore maximize your redemptions and find “sweet spots” by considering the coverage and limits of each zone.
For example, Honolulu still belongs to the North America zone, despite being a few thousand miles away from the East Coast. Thus, a Toronto to Honolulu redemption counts as an intra-North America redemption.
Going by the redemption chart, a one-way intra-North America redemption costs 10,000 miles in economy and 15,000 miles in business class. You can also book other transcontinental United or Air Canada flights at the same rate – assuming you find availability, of course.
Another redemption you should be looking at is North America to Europe and vice versa. For one, if you’re from the West Coast, you can redeem with the same number of miles as those from the East Coast.
More importantly, with Miles&Smiles, you can fly direct to Türkiye from North America then backtrack to a destination in Europe. Despite the longer total distance, tickets are still priced as North America to Europe redemptions, which cost the same as North America to Türkiye redemptions.
Let’s take Madrid to New York as an example. A one-way promotional business class ticket from Istanbul to New York alone costs 45,000 miles. Adding a four-hour connecting flight to Madrid wouldn’t cause an increase in price – the entire redemption would still cost 45,000 miles.
While a routing that backtracks from Istanbul seems counterintuitive, you might be inclined to try out Turkish Airlines’s stellar business class product and its lounge in Istanbul. Moreover, you might prefer a Turkish Airlines intra-European flight, which has a true business class product, unlike most of its European competitors.
Should you prefer a more direct trans-Atlantic routing, the same pricing above applies to partner airlines. Again, with the entire Canada and US in one redemption zone, a one-way business class ticket from any North American city to Europe costs 45,000 miles only.
A one-way business class “Saver” award from Warsaw to Chicago on LOT Polish Airlines would cost 45,000 miles with Turkish Airlines, while it would cost 70,000 points with Aeroplan, and 63,000 miles with Avianca LifeMiles.
However, the caveat is that Turkish Airlines’s Star Alliance booking engine doesn’t display all partner flights, so you might need to call in to book. You can always use other Star Alliance booking engines to search for flights, so you have your flight numbers ready when you call in.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Tips & Tricks
The first tip you need to know is Turkish Airlines’s award release pattern. Like many other programs, the airline releases award seats 355 days ahead.
Naturally, long-haul flights, like Toronto or Montreal to Istanbul, are harder to come by as promotional or “Saver” awards; thus, you’d often have to pay more miles under the regular award table. However, higher-frequency flights like Istanbul to New York generally have more availability.
It’s likewise easier to find promotional award pricing for intra-Europe flights on Turkish Airlines. These include flights departing for other Star Alliance hubs, such as Frankfurt (Lufthansa) and Warsaw (LOT Polish Airlines), should you wish to connect to these partners.
Another tip you should be aware of is Turkish Airlines’s stopover program, which includes award tickets, unlike other carriers. Remember, you may add a stopover in Istanbul when you book a round-trip Turkish Airlines flight award.
Business class award passengers are entitled to two nights at a five-star hotel, while economy award passengers are entitled to one night at a four-star hotel.
To qualify, your award ticket’s stopover in either direction must be for at least 20 hours, and you must not be coming from or connecting to a domestic flight in Türkiye.
Further, your award ticket must’ve been issued by Turkish Airlines under the Miles&Smiles program. Turkish Airlines flights on tickets booked by other Star Alliance partners aren’t eligible.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Status
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles has four membership tiers: Classic, Classic Plus, Elite, and Elite Plus. In order to progress to the next tier, you must accumulate enough Status Miles, and once you’ve qualified for a higher tier, you’ll stay on that tier for two years.
Status Miles are earned through flying Turkish Airlines, AnadoluJet, and partner airlines, and they’re distinct from program miles, which you can use for redemptions. You’ll usually earn the same number of Status Miles as program miles.
You’ll need to earn the following Status Miles to advance to the next tier:
- Classic Plus: 25,000 Status Miles or 40 flights
- Elite: 40,000 Status Miles
- Elite Plus: 80,000 Status Miles
Meanwhile, to retain your current status, you’ll need the following:
- Classic Plus: 17,000 Status Miles or 30 flights in one year, or 35,000 Status Miles or 40 flights in two years
- Elite: 30,000 Status Miles in one year, or 45,000 Status Miles in two years
- Elite Plus: 40,000 Status Miles in one year, or 60,000 Status Miles in two years
Depending on your Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles elite status, you’ll receive a wide range of benefits, including:
- Star Alliance status (Star Alliance Silver for Classic Plus, and Star Alliance Gold for Elite and Elite Plus)
- Free inflight wi-fi
- Lounge access
- Extra baggage allowance
- Priority check-in
- Family membership
- Complimentary seat selection
- Special terminal entrance and passport counter at Istanbul Airport
- Special inquiry and reservation line
- Cabin upgrade vouchers
- Elite gifting privilege
Despite flying to a number of destinations in Canada and the US, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles doesn’t have many program partners in the two countries. In the US, the program only partners with Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
Its lack of partners is unfortunate, since Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is a solid Star Alliance frequent flyer program.
Notably, the program’s simple zone-based redemption charts, which don’t account for distance as much as other programs, allow for great deals and sweet spots.
As an example, Canada, the US, and Honolulu all belong to the North America zone. Therefore, you can fly from any city in Canada or the US to Honolulu for as low as 10,000 miles in economy.
Equally lucrative are its promotional or “Saver” awards from North America to Europe, be it on flights operated by Turkish Airlines or its Star Alliance partners. One-way tickets cost only 45,000 miles in business class – beating the pricing of other programs, such as Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles.