Sponsored by American Express
Last week TVG promoted a story about American Express giving eligible Card Members the chance to win one million Rewards Points, and we thought what better way to follow it up than an article highlighting some of the incredible ways you could spend those American Express Rewards Points if you won.
I’m sure any points enthusiast would agree with me when I say the best way to get value from your rewards points is to spend them on travel, specifically international trips. That’s not to say I haven’t spent points flying domestically; I love to indulge after a long day in Melbourne with a return flight in Business Class. When I talk about value, I’m referring to what amount (in cents) each point is worth upon redemption. The American Express Membership Rewards program has an abundant offering, allowing members to redeem points for travel, shopping, gift cards and even credit on their card to pay off your purchases . However, if you’re looking for the absolute best way to maximise one million points, you just can’t go past travel.
As we outlined in our first article, ‘you can earn your points now and move them to your desired airline or hotel partner when required.’ American Express make this especially easy by allowing you to transfer points directly to nine airline partners including Emirates, Etihad, Cathay and Singapore, for use on their respective carriers or within their alliances. This is where the fun part begins, deciding where you want to go and which carrier can fly you there First Class. Here are my top picks with American Express Membership Rewards points transferring to each of the below partners at a 1:1 ratio (except for my last option that transfers at 3:4).
Etihad The Residence – Abu Dhabi to Mumbai
One Way: 544,629 Etihad Guest Miles
Why not kick off your million points spend by blowing a cool half on the shortest flight possible in Etihad’s The Residence. You’ll have to get you and your plus one to Abu Dhabi, and then home from Mumbai but you should be able to cover that if you’re happy to fly Economy.
Etihad First Apartment – Sydney to Paris
Return: 429,128 Etihad Guest Miles PP
Take your significant other for 858,256, leaving you with enough Starwood Preferred Guest points for a couple of nights in a lovely room at Prince de Galles Luxury Collection Hotel.
Singapore First Class Suites/First Class – Sydney to London
Return: 333,625 Kris Flyer Miles PP.
Singapore First Class Suites are only offered on the A380 so if you can find a combination of two A380s for the trip you’re onto a winner. Likewise, if you can find a Saver Award fare out of London to Singapore in First Class, you’ll reduce the number of miles required for the trip. Regardless, a return First Class flight to London with one leg in the brilliant Singapore Suites is a phenomenal way to spend the points, even if you’ve got to drop $1233 AUD on tax.
Cathay Pacific First Class – Hong Kong to NYC
Return: 220,000 Cathay Asia Miles PP.
If you’re going to fly what is often referred to as the best First Class product in the world, why not make it one of the longest routes in the world (and Cathy’s longest flight!). I flew Cathay Business Class from Hong Kong to NYC, and it’s an excellent flight – I can only begin to imagine how much better it would be in First.
Emirates First Class – Melbourne to Dubai
One Way: 217,500 Skywards Miles*** Transferred at a 3:4 ratio.
I’m not particularly versed in Skywards Miles. I’d be as inclined to move these point to SPG and onto AA for a Qatar booking, but I thought I’d include the famous shower in the sky. This is RRP points, and I’d be very surprised if these flights didn’t come in more affordable.
I’ve highlighted five standout flight options because I wanted to recommend the way to get the very best value out of winning one million points. Everyone, however, is entitled to their opinion about what ‘the best’ is, it may well be 45 return trips from Sydney to Melbourne in Economy!
Regardless of whether you win the points or not, the complimentary travel insurance, lounge access and free domestic flight each year on my card, solidifies its place in my wallet. I recently called to redeem my yearly flight for Derby Day weekend and was booked on a return flight which cost well over $500. Considering my annual card fee is $349, I’ve come out $150 ahead from that single perk.
American Express Card Members benefit from the most flexible rewards programs in the industry today. Combine the exemplary service and your chance to win one million rewards points to possibly spend on one of the five epic adventures I outlined above; you’ve got a formidable offering on your hands.