American Express Membership Rewards points are extremely flexible and can be converted to a wide range of partner airlines, so you can choose a carrier and route that suits your travel needs.
2 Membership Rewards points transfer to 1 frequent flyer point or mile in most cases, so having 150,000 points in your Amex account means you’ll get 75,000 frequent flyer points to spend overall.
Of course, we can’t travel internationally yet due to border restrictions. But keep on saving those points, because here’s what you could do with it once international travel opens up again.
COVID-19 DISCLAIMER: The situation regarding COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the impacts on travel remain quite fluid. We endeavour to keep our content as up to date as possible in this dynamic environment.
Now: take 10 one-way domestic Economy flights on Virgin Australia
Did you know you can use Etihad Guest miles for Virgin Australia flights? This could be good for short domestic trips as border restrictions allow. For example, you could fly yourself and four other people on a return trip on the following routes:
- Sydney to Cairns
- Melbourne to Hamilton Island
- Brisbane to Hobart
- Perth to Broome
- Adelaide to Gold Coast
Read more: you can top up your Etihad Guest balance by buying Etihad Guest miles
Later: fly Air New Zealand Business Class anywhere in the South Pacific for 62,000 KrisFlyer miles return
With this redemption, you can fly anywhere in the ‘South-West Pacific region’, encompassing Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga and Vanuatu.
This could take you as far afield as Tahiti, which is a minimum nine-hour flight from the East Coast with a stop in Auckland, so this redemption represents good value. Plus, you won’t have to pay fuel surcharges on Air New Zealand flights.
Be aware that award space on Air NZ flights can be quite difficult to come by, so you’ll need plan well ahead if possible.
Read more: The best uses of KrisFlyer miles
Later: fly Qantas Business Class to Los Angeles for 75,000 Asia Miles one-way
Qantas has stated that it doesn’t expect flights to the UK and US to return until a COVID-19 vaccine is safely distributed. But once it does (or the US is included in a travel bubble somehow), then get your Asia Miles ready.
All of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and about half of its Airbus A380s have the most up-to-date Business Class offering, so you’ll have a comfortable ride across the Pacific.
If redeeming through Qantas Frequent Flyer, you’d need to fork out 108,400 Qantas Points for this redemption — compare that to only 75,000 Asia Miles. For the same price, you can also book on American Airlines’ flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.
To increase your chances of snagging a seat, try to book 11-12 months in advance or as soon as new flight schedules are released.
Later: fly to Southeast Asia in Qantas Business Class for 50,000-60,000 Emirates Skywards miles one-way
Most Qantas flights to Southeast Asia operated by Airbus A330s with modern Business Suites, offering lie-flat beds and direct aisle access.
Travellers from Perth can fly nonstop to Singapore for only 50,000 miles one-way. For 10,000 miles more, you can fly nonstop from Melbourne or Brisbane to Hong Kong, or Sydney to Manila, for example.
Qantas revealed to Point Hacks that it was weighing up new Asian destinations such as Seoul and Taipei if travel bubbles eventuate. You would be able to use your Skywards Miles for those flights then.
Later: enjoy the world’s best Business Class for 70,000 Asia Miles one-way
Qatar’s flag carrier has lie-flat beds on all its Australian flights, including some which feature the QSuite. You’ll get a sliding privacy door as well as delicious food and attentive customer service.
Unfortunately, flying from Sydney costs an extra 20,000 miles and availability is not as good as from the three other cities. Qatar Airways is currently one of the few carriers with regular flights to and from Australia, so this could be good for essential travel.
Later: fly Singapore Airlines Business Class from Australia to Singapore for 36,500-62,000 KrisFlyer miles one-way
Singapore Airlines offers one of the best Business Class products in the world. We’re lucky to have flights to Singapore from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.
Depending on the route, you could enjoy the latest A380 version or a slightly older product, like the seats found on Airbus A350s and Boeing 777-300ERs.
From Perth, you’ll only pay 36,500 miles; from the other cities, it’s 62,000 miles. The good news is that taxes are less than AU$100 in both directions.
Flexible points currencies like American Express Membership Rewards give you a lot more options than putting all your eggs in one basket with one frequent flyer program.
This means that you can access any of the flights and airlines above, plus many more. However, during these uncertain times, it may be wiser to keep your points with Amex until travel restrictions are relaxed further.
We hope this list will help you plan ahead for the future and develop a points-earning strategy with a dream goal redemption in mind.
Looking for more inspiration for how to spend your hard-earned frequent flyer points?
Here is a comprehensive list of all of our Best Uses of Points guides. There may be some overlap but each guide has its own twist.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Best uses of Qantas Points
- ‘Ultimate’ uses of Qantas Points
- Best uses of 60,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 75,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 100,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 150,000 Qantas Points
- When it makes sense to use your Qantas Points for domestic travel in Economy (and when it doesn’t)
- Best uses of Qantas Points from the East Coast
- Best uses of Qantas Points from Perth
- Reader responses: what is the best use of Qantas Points?
- Seven of the cheapest Qantas Points redemptions for luxurious Emirates flights
- The cheapest ways to fly Cathay Pacific First Class with Qantas Points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Best uses of Velocity Points
- Best uses of 40,000 Velocity Points
- Best uses of 80,000 Velocity Points
- Best uses of 100,000 Velocity Points
- Five flight redemptions that maximise your Velocity points balance
American Express Membership Rewards
- Best uses of Etihad Guest miles
- Etihad Guest vs Velocity for Virgin Australia flights comparison guide
Supplementary images courtesy American Express and respective airlines/frequent flyer programs.