Main Frequent Flyers Programs Japan Mileage Bank

Japan Mileage Bank

Program overview 

Japan Mileage Bank is the loyalty program of Japan Airlines (JAL), the second largest airline in Japan and a member of Oneworld Alliance. It is a distance-based program. You can redeem miles for JAL, Oneworld partners and several non-Oneworld partners at excellent prices.



Program website 

Approximate miles value 


Miles validity 

36 months 

Program accrual

Flight mileage + bonus 

Limit on amount of miles you can purchase 

No option to purchase miles 

Waitlist option


Courtesy Hold for award reservation

Not allowed 

Do you need to open an account to check availability?


Stopover option 

3 stopovers on partner flights and no stopovers within Japan 

Family account


Upgrade option


Online booking 

Yes, but some partners must be booked over the phone 

Airline partners 

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Air France, Bangkok Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Korean air, LATAM

Credit card partners

No transfer partners

Hotel partners 

IHG Rewards (5:1, 6 weeks transfer), Marriott Bonvoy (3:1, 2 days transfer), Hilton Honors (10:1, up to 30 days transfer), World of Hyatt (2.5:1, 6-8 weeks transfer), Radisson Rewards (10:1, 4-6 weeks transfer), Accor Live Limitless (2:1, 4-6 weeks transfer)

Co-branded credit cards 


Point/Miles Conversion Chart


  • Miles pooling 
  • Low refund fee (USD $30) 
  • Lower mileage requirements for redemptions compared to other airlines 


  • Fuel surcharges on some partner airlines
  • Complicated redemption process
  • Not a user friendly website
  • No credit card transfer partners or co-branded cards in the US
  • Awards can be used by the Japan Mileage Bank member, member's spouse, relatives within the second degree of kinship, and the spouses of members' brothers and sisters

Excellent for   

  • Round trip from the US to Tokyo on JAL for 140,000 miles in First and 100,000 in Business Class.
  • JAL domestic tickets start from 5,000 miles in Economy. 
  • Round trip from the US to Dubai on Emirates for 110,000 miles in Business (please note that taxes/fuel surcharges are very high). 

Insider Tip 

  • One of a very few programs where transferring points from hotel programs may occasionally make sense.
  • You can pool up to 9 immediate family members. So if you are buying a trip for family and you do not normally fly Oneworld, you could pool the miles and earn something of value given JAL’s low redemption prices.  You could do the same with British Executive Club but those points are far easier to come by than JAL.
  • The Homebase Stopover Strategy works very well for Tokyo based travelers.

Do you use this program? Share your experience and tips in the comments below. Your thoughts would be very valuable to us!



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