The 3 Best Ways To Use Amex Points To Fly To Korea
If youre checking out the land of K-pop and plan on savoring some incredible food, youll have plenty of options.
Korean Air is the only airline offering first class flights nonstop to Seoul furthermore, Korean Air restricts first class award space strictly to redemptions made with its own mileage program: Korean Air SKYPASS. Unfortunately, this frequent flyer program isnt transfer partners with Amex. So well have to settle for business class unless you have a bunch of Marriott points.
Here are our favorite ways to use Amex points to fly to Korea.
Fly Qatar Airways Qsuites To South Africa Via Doha
Qatar Airways QSuites. Image Credit: Qatar Airways
The best way to fly business class to South Africa from the U.S. is aboard the famed Qatar Airways QSuites.
Youll transit through Doha in the Middle East, but your fun-filled flight will be in pure bliss youll wish the flight never ended!
Similar to Emirates above, you can choose between Cape Town and Johannesburg as your final destination. Check out some of the best example redemptions you can make here:
- Atlanta Doha Cape Town one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Boston Doha Johannesburg one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Dallas-Fort Worth Doha Cape Town one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Houston Doha Johannesburg one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Chicago Doha Cape Town one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Los Angeles Doha Johannesburg one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites 90,000 Asia Miles
- San Francisco Doha Cape Town one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Miami Doha Johannesburg one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- Philadelphia Doha Cape Town one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
- New York City Doha Johannesburg one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites for 90,000 Asia Miles
Best Ways To Redeem Amex Points
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American Express has been doing a large marketing push with increased welcome bonuses for new cardholders. Cards like The Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Gold Card earn Membership Rewards points.
The value of Membership Rewards points can vary based on how you plan to redeem them. In this post, weâll go over the best and worst ways to redeem Amex points.
The data points in this post are pulled from the American Express Rewards calculator site:
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Booking A Flight With An Amex Travel Partner
The most valuable way to use Amex points for flights is to transfer your points into the frequent flyer program of an Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner. By going this route, as we mentioned, you can get maximum value for your Amex points.
Once you’ve transferred your points into the partner program, you will then follow that partner’s procedure for booking a flight with points. This procedure differs by partner, so it’s smart to familiarize yourself with each program you plan to use regularly.
How To Earn Amex Points
Its easy to earn Amex points with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, which currently has a public offer of 100,000 Amex points after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening. Plus, Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. The card also has a slew of benefits, which you can learn more about from out Amex Platinum card review.
You can earn Amex points with the following cards:
|Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.|
|The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express||15,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
|The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||10,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
The information for the Amex Green Card, Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card and Amex EveryDay Credit Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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Other Options For Earning Amex Points
Once you have a card that earns Membership Rewards points, you can leverage Rakuten, one of our favorite online shopping portals here at TPG. When you click through Rakuten to a participating merchants website, you can earn bonus Amex points for every dollar you spend. If you dont currently have a Rakuten account, you can sign-up here and enjoy a one-time bonus of $30 when you spend at least $30 within 90 days of becoming a member.
Fly Lufthansa First Class To South Africa With A Stopover In Germany
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class. Image Credit: AuPACS
Our first South Africa redemption involves a stopover in Germany. Why? Because you can access 2 trips in 1 by transferring your Amex points to Air Canada Aeroplan. If you were interested in a stopover in Germany, Air Canada Aeroplan is the best bet.
Lufthansa is one of the only airlines that offer one-stop itineraries entirely in first class to South Africa.
Youll need to fly into Johannesburg, no doubt, but even if Johannesburg wasnt your final destination, its worth taking a detour to experience 20+ hours of amazing first class on Lufthansa.
Here are the best Lufthansa first class itineraries you can book to South Africa using your Amex points:
- Chicago Frankfurt Johannesburg one-way in Lufthansa first class for 135,000 Aeroplan miles
- Los Angeles Frankfurt Johannesburg one-way in Lufthansa first class 135,000 Aeroplan miles
- Houston Frankfurt Johannesburg one-way in Lufthansa first class for 135,000 Aeroplan miles
- Miami Frankfurt Johannesburg one-way in Lufthansa first class for 135,000 Aeroplan miles
- New York City Frankfurt Johannesburg one-way in Lufthansa first class for 135,000 Aeroplan miles
- San Francisco Frankfurt Johannesburg one-way in Lufthansa first class for 135,000 Aeroplan miles
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Fly Delta One Suites To Israel
Delta One Suites. Image Credit: Delta
Our favorite way to fly to Israel is aboard Delta One Suites business class. Delta doesnt exactly have a large route network to Israel in fact, they have just 1 nonstop flight. Still, if you want a comfortable experience, this is one of the best ways to go.
The frequent flyer program to focus on here is Air France/KLM Flying Blue:
- New York City Tel Aviv one-way in Delta One Suites for 95,000 Flying Blue miles
Avoid Blackout Dates By Paying With Points
Amex points are worth at least 1 cent each toward airfare when you Pay With Points. Your points can be worth even more with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express because youll get a 35% points rebate on all economy flights booked with your airline of choice through the Amex travel portal. Youll get the same rebate on all business class and first class flights booked on any airline through the Amex travel portal. The card comes with a $595 annual fee .
Youll also get up to a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year by selecting one airline from the following nine carriers :
- Alaska Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- United Airlines
If you take advantage of the 35% Pay With Points rebate, you can get some serious value from your points.You can even use your Amex points for an airline you cant search on the Amex travel portal, like Southwest, youll have to call to redeem your points. Check out this post to learn our trick for using your American Express points to book Southwest flights.
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Utilize Etihad Guest Partner Award Bookings
While using miles for flights on Etihads own metal rarely results in good value for your Membership Rewards points, the Etihad Guest program does have various partner awards you can book. The uniqueness of the individual partner award charts opens up some high-value trips you can book for comparatively few miles.
One great example involves American Airlines, which can result in some substantial savings. A one-way first-class flight from the U.S. to Europe, for example, would only set you back 62,500 Etihad Guest miles compared to 85,000-175,000 AAdvantage miles. Since you cant transfer your Membership Rewards points to American, this is a great option to snag AAdvantage award flights with your Membership Rewards points.
Heres a sample of other current Etihad partner awards you can book. All are priced based on a one-way ticket unless otherwise noted:
- New York-JFK Casablanca in Royal Air Maroc business class: 44,000 miles or 22,000 miles .
- New York-JFK Brussels on Brussels Airlines: 44,000 miles or 27,000 miles .
- San Francisco Seoul on Asiana Airlines: 59,000 miles or 35,000 miles .
- American Airlines A321T business class transcontinental flight: 32,500 miles.
- American Airlines flagship first class to Asia or Europe: 62,500 67,500 miles.
Make sure to look at the ANA, Air Canada and Air Seychelles partner charts for using Etihad miles, each with its own sweet spots.
Book Rooms With Hotel Partners
Just as airline partner transfers result in amazing deals, so do transfers with Amex hotel partners.
Amex partners with three hotel chains: Hilton, Marriott and Choice. Using the same strategy above, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to the hotel program at an often higher value.
Hilton offers the best transfer ratio value, at 2 Hilton points per 1 Membership Rewards point. Marriott and Choice hotels offer a 1-to-1 ratio.
Using this ratio, here’s how many hotel points you could get by transferring 100,000 Membership Rewards points :
- Hilton: 150,000 points
- 75,000 points
- Choice: 75,000 points
You’ll typically yield more value by transferring your points to airline partners and booking flights, but using points for hotel stays can be smart too. You’ll do well when redeeming points for luxury hotels or when demand for hotels is high which translates into high cash prices.
You can book the Conrad Maldives for 95,000 Hilton points a night, meaning the Amex Platinum welcome bonus would almost be enough to reward cardmembers with a two-night stay. Rooms at the Conrad Maldives can go for more than $1,000 a night.
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How To Search For American Airlines Flights That Can Be Redeemed With Etihad Guest Miles
American Airlines limit the amount of award tickets on any given flight. So even if a paid seat is available, you may not be able to book an award seat. You need to make sure American Airlines has award seats available at the MilesAAver level, NOT the AAnytime level.
You cannot search for or book any AA flights on Etihads website. There is no phone fee because since tickets arent bookable online, they waive the phone fee. When you call, the phone agent can search for dates, or you can figure out your flights before you call Etihad by searching with another partner airline.
I like to do my own search before calling because I feel that it saves time, especially if your dates and routing are flexible. The easiest way to search for American Airlines flights that are available with partner airlines is to search on Qantas.
UPDATE 2021: You can still use aa.com to search for availability, but the calendar view looks different now and it is sometimes hard to distinguish between MilesAAver and web specials. Web specials are only available to book with AAdvantage miles. In other words, you cannot book an AA web special ticket with miles from Etihad or any other partner airlines. Qantas is now the easiest way to search for AA award space when booking with a partner.
Do not pay attention to the redemption price when you are searching AA.com, Qantas.com, or any other partner site for availability
If you search AA, you are looking for MilesAAver tickets
Transfer To Ana For Cheap Star Alliance Business Class Flights
Due to lenient routing rules and a great award chart, you can piece together incredible award ticket itineraries using ANAs Mileage Club.
The first way to maximize this transfer partner is flying to Japan on off-peak dates. You can score round-trip tickets from the U.S. for just 40,000 miles in economy on ANA metal and 75,000 miles round-trip in business. Thats really cheap, even with mild fuel surcharges. Plus, you can add a free stopover.
You can also score an excellent deal on Star Alliance business class flights from the U.S. to Europe. These flights cost just 88,000 miles round-trip, but youll pay high fuel surcharges when flying with carriers that levy them. Thankfully, you can avoid these by booking flights on SAS, Lot Polish Airlines, United and others that do not add fuel surcharges to their tickets. This is one of the best deals out there for booking tickets to Europe in business class.
There are other gems to investigate too, including reasonably-priced around-the-world tickets that allow eight stopovers for as little as 100,000 miles in business class, but be sure to confirm availability before you transfer points.
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Book Flights Hotels And More Through The Amex Travel Portal
Amex Travel is essentially a travel-booking website operated by American Express. It works similarly to travel booking sites like Expedia or Orbitz.
Airfare is the best option when you’re paying with points. When you book a flight through Amex Travel, you’ll get a value of 1 cent per point. You may also find “Insider Fares,” which generally offer a slightly better value a lot of these fares are on Delta.
Unfortunately, if you want to book anything else through the Amex Travel portal like hotels, cruises, rental cars, or vacation packages you’ll only get 0.7 cents per point.
This is in contrast to Chase, which offers the same price for anything through its Ultimate Rewards travel portal 1 cent per point if you have a basic card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom Flex, 1.25 cents per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, or 1.5 cents per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Use Points For Charges
This is like a cash-back option for covering eligible charges on your billing statement. What are eligible charges? There does not appear to be a solid definition, and American Express can change whatever charges it deems eligible at any time without prior notification. Youll only receive 0.6 cents per point with this option, though, so its not a good return.
If you want to use points to cover your everyday purchases, consider opening a cash-back credit card instead. One of the best is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express check out our full review for more information.
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Fly Swiss Air Business Class To Europe
Swiss Air Business Class. Image Credit: Swiss Air
Swiss Air is a fantastically solid way to fly in business class to Europe. Whether your final destination is Zurich or elsewhere, youll have an enjoyable experience throughout the flight.
Swiss Air is one of those airlines where the seat you pick is super important. Thats because some seats are called throne seats, which essentially occupy the same amount of space as 2 seats, have 2 side tables, and are just better for privacy.
For the lowest mileage price, this Star Alliance airline is best booked using ANA miles, though youll pay ~$1,500 round-trip in taxes and fees.
Nugget of Advice:
If you want to avoid fuel surcharges, you can redeem 63,000 LifeMiles one-way or 60,000-70,000 Aeroplan miles one-way.
- Boston Zurich round-trip in Swiss Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles
- Chicago Zurich round-trip in Swiss Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles
- Los Angeles Zurich round-trip in Swiss Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles
- Miami Zurich round-trip in Swiss Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles
- New York City Zurich round-trip in Swiss Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles
- San Francisco Zurich round-trip in Swiss Air business class for 88,000 ANA miles
The 9 Best Ways To Use Amex Points To Fly To Europe
Europe is a gigantic melting pot of different cultures, histories, and heritages. Inevitably, youll be making your way to Europe.
Theres a ton of stiff competition among airlines competing for the best products, so in this section, well walk you through our favorite ways to redeem Amex points for European luxury flights.
Some flights arent practical/feasible to book using points, including SWISS and Air France first class, so just keep that in mind!
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