How can I best use 150,000 American Express Membership Rewards points?

American Express Explorer | Point Hacks
GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: May 9, 2017
UPDATED: April 29, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, American Express Membership Rewards, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest

We thought we’d pick out five of our favourite award redemptions that you can use your American Express Membership points on.

Given that 2 Membership Rewards points transfer to 1 frequent flyer point/mile in most cases, your 150,000-point Amex balance will get you 75,000 frequent flyer points.


1. Fly to the US in Virgin Australia Premium Economy for 71,700 Velocity Points one-way

Rather than being stuck with over 250 other people in Economy, you can enjoy a step up in the 24-person Premium Economy mini cabin on Virgin Australia’s retrofitted Boeing 777s flying direct from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles.

You’ll get an extra third of legroom to stretch out (41 inches instead of 32), plus if you’re in a window seat you’ll only have one person to climb over instead of two.

Upon boarding, the cabin crew will serve you a champagne cocktail and canapés, as well as your à-la-carte dining menu for the flight.

With this flight retailing for over $1,500 in cash, using 71,700 Velocity Points + ~$130 in taxes represents good value.

Read more: How to redeem Velocity points for flights to the US

2. Fly Air New Zealand Business Class anywhere in the South Pacific for 62,000 KrisFlyer miles return

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) in Business Class on Air New Zealand for 62,000 miles return per person.

Air NZ 777 Livery

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 that redemption represents good value.

Plus, you won’t be charged fuel surcharges on Air New Zealand flights.

Be aware that award space on Air NZ flights can be quite difficult to come by, so plan well ahead if possible. If you can’t find availability on the KrisFlyer website, try the United website and if you find an open seat, call KrisFlyer to book.

Read more: The best uses of KrisFlyer miles

3. Ten one-way domestic Economy flights on Virgin Australia

Did you know you can use Etihad Guest miles for Virgin Australia flights?

For example, you could fly yourself and four other people on a return trip to the following destinations:

  • Sydney to Cairns
  • Melbourne to Hamilton Island
  • Brisbane to Hobart
  • Perth to Broome
  • Adelaide to Gold Coast

Read more: you can also top up your Etihad Guest balance by transferring points from flybuys or buying Etihad Guest miles

4. Fly to Southeast Asia in Qantas Business Class for 50,000-60,000 Emirates Skywards miles one-way

Most flights to Southeast Asia operated by Airbus A330s with modern Business Suites, offering lie-flat beds and direct aisle access.

Travellers in Perth can fly direct to Singapore for only 50,000 miles one-way.

For 60,000 miles one-way, you can fly direct from Melbourne or Brisbane to Hong Kong, or Sydney to Manila, for example.

Read more: 9 of the best uses of Emirates Skywards miles

5. Fly to Doha in Qatar Airways 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.

Unfortunately, flying from Sydney costs an extra 20,000 miles and availability is not as good as from the three other cities.

Read more: How to redeem points for travel on Qatar Airways from Australia

Summing up

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, meaning that you can access any of the flights and airlines above, plus many more.

Supplementary images courtesy of American Express and respective airlines/frequent flyer programs


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

Velocity Frequent Flyer

American Express Membership Rewards

Asia Miles

KrisFlyer

Etihad Guest

Emirates Skywards

How can I best use 150,000 American Express Membership Rewards points? was last modified: April 29th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt
How can I best use 150,000 American Express Membership Rewards points? was last modified: April 29th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt