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The Ultimate Pokéroute

Catch 'Em All with a Round-the-World Rewards Route

Traveling the world to catch Pokémon certainly falls in line with the spirit of the games, but it also costs thousands in airline fares. RewardExpert has crunched the numbers to provide Pokéfans with an around-the-globe strategy to catch even the rarest of Pokémon without breaking the bank.
With Pokémon Go, you can experience the thrill of catching rare Pokémon in the real world. Yet the only way to be a true Pokémon master is if you catch ‘em all. Since some of the rarest creatures are only available in specific areas, real Pokémasters have to travel the world.

Hunting the Rarest Pokémon

Pokémon Go has several different rarity levels, starting with the most common and easily-found Pokémon, such as Pidgey, Rattata, and Eevee. Uncommon, rare, and very rare Pokémon are more difficult to find in the wild, but you can still hunt them down if you put in the time and throw out enough Ultra Balls.

The real “needle in a haystack” Pokémon are the epic, mythical, and special creatures. Pokémon of these rarity levels are very hard to find, but they’re significantly common in certain cities. These Pokémon are listed below, along with their hotspots in the United States and abroad.

Epic Pokémon

dratini
Dratini
catch in usa
catch
international
Seattle, Washington
San Francisco Seattle
Seattle
economy class
5,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
SkyMiles
skymiles
business class
25,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
SkyMiles
skymiles
magnemite
Magnemite
catch in usa
catch
international
San Francisco, California
Los Angeles San Francisco
san_francisco
economy class
2,997
pt
+ $5.60 fee
RapidRewards
south-west
business class
15,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
AAdvantage
advantage
electabuzz
Electabuzz
catch in usa
catch
international
Los Angeles, California
Las Vegas Los Angeles
los-angeles
economy class
2,997
pt
+ $5.60 fee
RapidRewards
south-west
business class
15,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
AAdvantage
advantage
hitmonchan
Hitmonchan
catch in usa
catch
international
Las Vegas, Nevada
Phoenix Las Vegas
las-vegas
economy class
5,810
pt
+ $5.60 fee
RapidRewards
south-west
business class
15,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
AAdvantage
advantage
hitmonlee
Hitmonlee
catch in usa
catch
international
Houston, Texas
Memphis Houston
houston
economy class
10,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
MileagePlus
mileage-plus
business class
25,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
MileagePlus
mileage-plus
chansey
Chansey
catch in usa
catch
international
Denver, Colorado
Houston Denver
denver
economy class
10,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
Early Returns
early-returns
business class
25,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
MileagePlus
mileage-plus

Mythical Pokémon

snorlax
Snorlax
catch in usa
catch
international
Tampa, Florida
Cleveland Tampa
tampa
economy class
10,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
Early Returns
early-returns
business class
10,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
Early Returns
early-returns
porygon
Porygon
catch in usa
catch
international
Boston, Massachusetts
New York City Boston
boston
economy class
2,600
pt
+ $5.60 fee
TrueBlue
trueblue
business class
15,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
AAdvantage
advantage
lapras
Lapras
catch in usa
catch
international
Cleveland, Ohio
Boston Cleveland
cleveland
economy class
3,100
pt
+ $5.60 fee
TrueBlue
trueblue
business class
25,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
MileagePlus
mileage-plus

Special Pokémon

kabuto
Kabuto
catch in usa
catch
international
Memphis, Tennessee
Tampa Memphis*
memphis
economy class
4,972
pt
+ $5.60 fee
Rapid Rewards
south-west
business class
4,972
pt
+ $5.60 fee
Rapid Rewards
south-west
aerodactyl
Aerodactyl
catch in usa
catch
international
Phoenix, Arizona
Denver Phoenix
phoenix
economy class
3,131
pt
+ $5.60 fee
Rapid Rewards
south-west
business class
25,000
pt
+ $5.60 fee
MileagePlus
mileage-plus

Region-specific Pokémon

farfetch-d
Farfetch’d
exclusive to asia, most common in taipei
Taipei, Taiwan
Sydney Taipei
tampei
economy class
35,000 pt
+ $95.9 fee
SkyMiles
skymiles
business class
65,000 pt
+ $95.9 fee
SkyMiles
skymiles
mr-mime
Mr.Mime
exclusive to europe, most common in finland
Helsinki, Finland
Amsterdam Helsinki
helsinki
economy class
10,500 pt
+ $25.2 fee
Flying Blue
flyingblue
business class
15,000 pt
+ $74.87 fee
Executive Club
exsecutive
bitmap
Tauros
exclusive to north america, most common in dallas
Dallas, Texas
Seattle Dallas
dallas
economy class
8,087 pt
+ $5.6 fee
Rapid Rewards
south-west
business class
25,000 pt
+ $5.6 fee
AAdvantage
advantage
kangaskhan
Kangaskhan
exclusive to australia, most common in perth
Perth, Australia
Singapore Perth
perth
economy class
12,500 pt
+ $36.9 fee
Executive Club
exsecutive
business class
37,500 pt
+ $36.9 fee
Executive Club
exsecutive
That list may seem daunting, which is why we’ve put together detailed route strategies showing you how you can hit every city, both domestic and international

Hunting Pokémon in the United States

We set our starting point as New York City, but our route map makes one long round trip, so you can start on any leg and end up back home at the end of it.
pok
Congratulation!
this is final stop in your trip
New York City, New York
Dallas New York City
New York
economy class
4,001 pt
+ $5.6 fee
Rapid Rewards
south-west
business class
25,000 pt
+ $5.6 fee
MileagePlus
mileage-plus
*Regardless of your budget, we advise against flying in business class on these short-haul domestic flights, as you don’t get much additional value due to the short flight times.
If you fly economy, the trip costs:
72,695points
+ $72.8 fee
skymiles
SkyMiles
5,000 pt
+ $5.6 fee
south-west
Rapid Rewards
31,995 pt
+ $39.2 fee
mileage-plus
Mileage Plus
10,000 pt
+ $5.6 fee
early-returns
EarlyReturns
20,000 pt
+ $11.2 fee
trueblue
True Blue
5,700 pt
+ $11.2 fee
If you fly business class, the trip costs:
249,972points
+ $56 fee
skymiles
SkyMiles
25,000 pt
+ $5.6 fee
advantage
AAdvantage
85,000 pt
+ $28 fee
mileage-plus
MileagePlus
125,000 pt
+ $28 fee
early-returns
EarlyReturns
10,000 pt
+ $5.6 fee
south-west
Rapid Rewards
4,972 pt pt
+ $5.6 fee

Going Around the Globe

We set our starting point as New York City, but our route map makes one long round trip, so you can start on any leg and end up back home at the end of it.
pok
Congratulation!
this is final stop in your trip
New York City, New York
Tokyo New York City
New York
economy class
25,000 pt
+ $90.8 fee
Mileage Bank
mileage-bank
business class
50,000 pt
+ $90.8 fee
Mileage Bank
mileage-bank
*Regardless of your budget, we advise against flying in business class on these short-haul domestic flights, as you don’t get much additional value due to the short flight times.
If you fly economy, the trip costs:
203,500points
+ $628.73 fee
mileage-plus
Mileage Plus
30,000 pt
+ $41.61 fee
flyingblue
Flying Blue
23,000 pt
+ $56.7 fee
advantage
AAdvantage
10,000 pt
+ $17 fee
exsecutive
Executive Club
70,500 pt
+ $307.62 fee
skymiles
SkyMiles
35,000 pt
+ $95.9 fee
mileage-bank
Mileage Bank
35,000 pt
+ $109.9 fee
If you fly business class, the trip costs:
447,250points
+ $778.93 fee
advantage
AAdvantage
35,000 pt
+ $22.6 fee
exsecutive
Executive Club
178,250 pt
+ $477.03 fee
skymiles
SkyMiles
160,000 pt
+ $169.4 fee
mileage-bank
Mileage Bank
74,000 pt
+ $109.9 fee

Earning and Transferring Reward Points

If you’re starting from scratch, it takes time to earn all those reward points, but you can get there faster by choosing the right credit cards. One option is applying for the credit card of every reward program within your chosen route plan. However, that’s quite a few new credit cards to open, and then you have to carefully manage your spending on each card.

A simpler solution is choosing credit cards that allow you to transfer your points to the right reward programs without penalties. Certain credit cards even give you bonus points when you transfer your points to the right partner program.

For example, although the international economy class route uses six different reward programs, you can earn the necessary points with just one credit card – the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. SPG points transfer to every program in that route, and you even get a bonus for most of the transfers.

To help you decide which credit cards to choose, we’ve broken down a few programs with the most versatile reward Best Credit Card Transfer Options:

Point Transfer Options:
  • AAdvantage
  • Asia Miles
  • Executive Club
  • Flying Blue
  • Mileage Bank
  • SkyMiles
* Includes 5,000-point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred
chase-o Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
50,000 bonus points sign-up offer
chase-o2 Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
80,000 bonus points sign-up offer
Point Transfer Options:
  • MileagePlus
  • Rapid Rewards
* Points are worth more when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
platinum_card Platinum Card from American Express
40,000 bonus points sign-up offer
platinum_card_2 Business Platinum Card from American Express
50,000 bonus points sign-up offer
Point Transfer Options:
  • Executive Club
* Points transfer to Executive Club on a 1.25:1 ratio

Adjusting Your Route

Maybe you’ve already caught Dratini, so you want to go from San Francisco back to New York. For that or any other route adjustments, just plug in your starting point and your destination into the RewardExpert travel tool to see route options and their cost in reward points. If you were always jealous of Ash Ketchum, now you can live like a Pokémon trainer.

All you need is your smartphone and enough reward points to go to those rare Pokémon hotspots. Which Pokémon do you need to fill out your Pokédex, and where are you going next?

Methodology

Sources: Pokemon type information data was collected from Eurogamer.net, and Pokemon location information was collected from the PKMN Go Trading Wiki, Heavy.com, Ranked Boost, and Vulcan Post.

Flights: RewardExpert chose only non-stop flights with the exception of Paris to Budapest, which includes a stopover in London. All flights selected offered the best value by factoring mileage and additional fees.