Amex Points for Flights -My head is spinning....

Status
Not open for further replies.

SirTristram

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
5
Points
0
I have approx 600k of American Express points and next April (2015) I need to fly to Turkey with my wife then return 2 weeks later.

I have really no idea of what I should do to get the most out of my points.

Do I have enough points for 2 business class tickets or should I buy 2 standard tickets and upgrade them?

any one with experience that could steer my in the right direction , it would be appreciated.

John.
 

The Rok

Established Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
1,916
Points
10
Transfer them to SPG for 300,000 and then over to USDM or AA for 360,000 and book from there!
 
Last edited:

Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
1,825
Solutions
1
Points
425
Qantas
Silver Club
Is April 2015 for the Anzac day centenary? Will be very hard tending to impossible to get award flights on any airline about this time.

If upgrade you mean on Qantas, forget about it completely. QF upgrades are lottery. Trying for 2 people reduces the odds 4 times. And you cannot upgrade on EK flights with QF points.
 

SirTristram

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
5
Points
0
Can someone pls decipher this for me??


Transfer them to SPG for 720,000 and then over to USDM or AA and book from there!
 

ferni

Active Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
577
Points
10
USDM and AA are 2 american based Frequent flyer Programs. Amex MR actually transfer to SPG (Starwood preferred guest hotel loyalty program) at 2:1 so your 600k will become 300k SPG points. From SPG points you can transfer them to AA or USDM at 1:1 plus an extra 5k per 20k transferred.

That is one way. There are many others such as transferring them direct from Amex MR to Malaysian or Singapore points at 1:1 and book with them. The problem is going to be finding availability, once you have found award availability with the right airline then you need to look at all the FF programs you can transfer to from your Amex MR points and decide which one is best bang for point. You've got a steep learning curve but plenty of great info on these forums... start reading :)
 

Jack_OC

Established Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
1,569
Points
465
Qantas
Platinum 1
Virgin
Platinum
The best way is to transfer your Amex points to an airline Frequent Flyer program, and then book award flights using that program. I think Amex points can transfer to 8 different frequent flyer points. You should explore availability and points required with various frequent flyer programs, and only transfer your Amex points after you find availability of appropriate flights.

One good option is Etihad. Amex points transfer at a rate of 1:1 to Etihad, and you can get a business class return from MEL or SYD to Istanbul for 245,000 points each plus $110 in fees. So you have more than enough points for 2 business class returns, and the good news is that there is even good availability next April, even either side of ANZAC Day. Also worth looking into the other airlines too.
 

Jack_OC

Established Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
1,569
Points
465
Qantas
Platinum 1
Virgin
Platinum
Thankyou so much. That maybe the option for me.

Do I need to transfer them directly to Etihad or to Qantas 1st then to Etihad??

Directly to Etihad. You will need to join Etihad Guest first if you're not already a member. You can do so online for free. Once you're a member you can transfer your points to Etihad and then book the award flights online. Check that there is availability on the dates you want to go first though.

Perhaps check Singapore Airlines too - in theory you could get business class rewards for fewer points (161,500 each) but not sure about availability, and the fees would be quite a bit higher (~$800 each).
 

Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
1,825
Solutions
1
Points
425
Qantas
Silver Club
The reason for suggesting AA US ffp is is awards cost far less miles/points and no surcharges (unless on BA aircraft)

Example (from another thread)
LAX-SYD one way QF points - AA miles
Economy QF 48,000 - AA 37,500
P Ecxx_x QF 72,000 - AA n.a
Bus xx_x QF 96,000 - AA 62,500
First xx_ QF 144,000 - AA 72,500
Plus a lot of $$$ in fees / surcharges to QF

QF upgrades with points LAX-SYD
45,000 Discount economy to Prem Eco
18,000 Economy to PE
72,000 Discount economy to business (more than an AA bus award)
45,000 Economy to business
45,000 Prem Economy to business
45,000 Business to First

AA miles for first is about the same as QF points for PE
Even if you earn less AA miles than QF points, you get more for them
One difference is AA only have seats for sale / awards from 330 days compared QF 355 days (due to the different IT systems)
And you cannot upgrade QF eligible flights with AA miles (only QF points)

Checked 14 Mar 2014 economy award flight cost in AA miles/ QF points & co-pay fees/surcharges/taxes
QF award flight 14 May 2014 LAX-SYD QF12 48,000 points & USD$384
AA award flight 14 May 2014 LAX-SYD QF12 37,500 miles & USD$27
 

Austff

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
318
Points
5
Think about your hotel needs also , transferring some points to SPG for hotel stays is well worth it .
 

The Rok

Established Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
1,916
Points
10
Sorry, fixed up my original posts glaringly obvious mathematical error. Night shift and I was in a world of my own.

But yea, as others have explained, that's the best way.
 
Using the S26 Wi-Fi Smart Plug you can easily convert your existing appliances into smart devices to be controlled remotely with your phone.

Takes just minutes to setup!

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

amaroo

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
13,644
Points
10
Qantas
Platinum 1
Is April 2015 for the Anzac day centenary? Will be very hard tending to impossible to get award flights on any airline about this time.

Assuming it is for Anzac Day.......have you got your tour booked? Having just gone through the process - it's a bit of PITA and will need to be sorted quick smart. Tried to be solo travellers but tour is the logical call here due to logistics and the fact that all accommodation has been taken by the tour groups.

We booked our award flights as soon as the flights were released.....not much left with QF.
 

Joshua

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
925
Points
10
Adding to the chorus: lots of options, something you'll have to compare and decide on.

Malaysia fly to Istanbul. Awards can also be booked onto the Turkish airlines codeshare. Would cost about 200,000 points for the flights, which makes it more comfortable to swallow the taxes that are comparable to Singapore and a few other airlines. And plenty to spare on a hotel stay if you wish.

As has been mentioned, look at what airlines you have to choose from, sign up (free) for their frequent flyer schemes and then search for award flight availability first. Once you've decided, then transfer the appropriate points. At least look at the options you can directly transfer to: Thai, Singapore, Etihad, Virgin Australia (via Etihad) etc.

I really couldn't imagine burning a whole 600K on just two return flights in J. There is a lot better value out there. Best example: Transfer to Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific) and a multi-carrier/alliance award would cost 440K for two to travel business up to 50,000 miles (approximately twice around the world). These are complicated and much more than you need, but my point is the actual value between available options varies greatly.

All the above carriers transfer 1:1 from your Amex account. Otherwise as has been mentioned you can transfer to SPG and then through many other airlines, including the US ones. This is a trade off here is possible more points / less cash, depending on your circumstances.

Don't think first class isn't an option either. Look at each direction separately, no need to book them return through the same carrier.
 

Traveller1955

Intern
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
86
Points
10
Please consider joining KrisFlyer at Singapore. Points can be transferred easilt but availability next year J class is very difficult as very popular. Recently flew out of IST Ataturk airport home via Singapore! Wow it was excellent.
 

SirTristram

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
5
Points
0
OK here is the final result from the great advice from forum members...

I checked availability with the 6 carriers that I can move Amex Points to and by far the best option was Etihad.

I rang the Guest Services and found 6 seats over 3 flights on the days I needed. I then moved 242k points from Amex to my Etihad Guest Account. Rang Etihad the next day and booked the 2 Guest J Class Seats on the day I wanted and paid the $161 for each flight taxes one way SYD to Istanbul.

So all way round a good result.

Thanks again for the help.

John C.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..
Top