Is it worth earning points for AA by AMEX

Discussion in 'American Airlines AAdvantage' started by Johno, Jul 9, 2007.

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  1. Johno

    Johno Newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    I have been reading the posts on site all night long, trying to work out whether I should switch to AA from QF.

    Which brings me to the question, if you earn a lot of points on credit card (by spending other peoples money), in the order of 400,000 points per year, is it worth converting them to AA points? You seem to lose a lot of points in conversion even allowing for the 50% bonus AMEX offers on dollar for dollar purchases.

    400,000 AMEX points converts to 100,000 AA miles or 400,000 QF/Virgin or 200,000 Cathay Miles). Or $3200 (at 12,500 points per $100 Myer / DJ gift card).

    I have lifetime QC membership, so status points are not all that important. 100,000 AA miles would appear to qualify for AA exec. platinum status, although it seems to be an expensive way to buy it.

    My thoughts are that it is better to take the AMEX points as gift cards, hotel rooms etc.

    Going forward, I recently flew to the US and back on Qantas Business, and around US on AA. It is likely to happen again once or twice a year. From what I have been reading, I figure it may be worth doing this on AA rather than QF. Mel to LAX to NY and back.


  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I'm a bit unsure on the conversion rate which you are using

    1 AMEX point gives 0.33 Starwood points

    400000 AA miles gives 132,000 Starwood points

    1 starwood point gives 1 AA point , however when done in multiples of 20000 then 20000 Starwood points gives 25000 AA points

    120,000 Starwood points gives 150,000 AA points
    12,000 Starwood points gives 12,000 AA points

    Total AA point earning is 162,000 rather than 100,000

    Examples of use of 160,000 AA miles

    150,000 AA miles will give a 26,000 mile business class One World award
    145,000 AA miles will give a 1st class return trip to USA
    150,000 AA miles will give 2 r/ts in economy to USA
    160,000 AA miles will give a 1st class return ticket from Australia to Europe

    NONE of the above will incur any Fuel Fines ( unlike QF scheme )

    It would seem to me that the award flight values may be worth more than the $3200 vouchers

    If you are doing MEL-LAX-JFK in business class, it is definately worth collecting to AA I would say. If you can do your 1st trip using AA flight numbers, then your 1st flight will get you Platinum status via the challenge and so earn 100% bonus on all flights thereon

    MEL-LAX-JFK is 10400 miles approx, so r/t will be approx 20800 miles

    This will earn 20,800 base plus 20,800 Platinum bonus plus 5200 business bonus = 46,800 miles per trip. If you do 2 trips a year you will be able to maintain Platinum status easily

    3 Trips and you will have enough miles for a business class 26k mile award, which is a pretty decent return on the flying

  3. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    miles transferred into your AA account from non-flying schemes (such as your case from Amex to Starwood to AA) do not count towards annual status earning. They do count towards lifetime status earning, requiring 1,000,000 miles for Lifetime Gold and 2,000,000 for Lifetime Platinum status.
  4. Johno

    Johno Newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    Thanks for the replies.

    I used Webfly to calculate the conversion. It did not have AMEX AU so I used AMEX CA without checking the effect. Clearly AMEX AU points have a better conversion rate than AMEX CA.

    I am still unsure whether it is worth converting AMEX points to AA miles as compared to QF or other FF schemes. At least there does not appear to be any substantial differences.

    I will be joining AA to cover future flights to the US and back. I clearly will get a better return for points on those flights. I think I got around 30,000 QF points for the trip (excluding cc points), including some of the internal flights.

  5. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    If you are going to credit flights to AA, then, imo, crediting the AMEX points would be a good place to put them. Even if the award cost for a flight is similar, the lack of fuel fines makes the AA award better than airlines such as QF. On a trip to UK, for example, the additional $350+ that needs to be spent in cash on a QFF award makes a big difference


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