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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Best uses of Qantas Points
- ‘Ultimate’ uses of Qantas Points
- Best uses of 60,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 80,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 100,000 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 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