UPDATE: Unfortunately Malaysia Airlines has slashed the value from the Enrich program as of February 2015, which makes much of this post redundant – so I’m leaving it up for historical interest only.
I’m currently researching a pretty hefty points bankruptcy trip with flights from Europe back to Sydney for 3 people around Christmas, and I figured I’d tell you how I’m planning to go about using Membership Rewards points for my family’s return flight from the UK.
Malaysia Airlines has a particularly sweet spot in their award chart costings for redemption on their own flights (but not oneworld partners). Europe – Sydney flights in Business Class, at their cheapest price, come in at 51,000 points, all in. Compare that to Qantas at 128,000 points for Business, one way – it’s stellar value.
They have pretty amazing availability on the routes I am looking at in Business Class for 3+ people, and a 15% discount for booking Enrich awards on Malaysia Airlines flights online. This particular routing is on Malaysia Airlines new A380’s, and then transferring onto their new A330 in Kuala Lumpur to Sydney.
Taxes are acceptable – for example, a redemption from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney I made in Business Class last year came in at around $200 AUD per person on top of the required points, and the route I am looking at in particular from London pieces at £399, which a decent portion is the unavoidable APD tax which is particularly steep when departing in premium cabins from UK airports.
What makes the Europe (or US) multi-stop long haul redemption cost so great is when you compare this to just one leg (which is still decent value) of the same trip, for example London – Kuala Lumpur only. This comes in at 46,500 Enrich Miles. It’s only an extra 4,500 miles to tack on an 8+ hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. In terms of value, that’s just amazing.
The Enrich program is partners with Membership Rewards, and points usually take a couple of days to reach Enrich after initiating the transfer. You can also receive 1000 Enrich Miles just for signing up for the program.
Enrich Miles transfer over from American Express Membership Rewards at 1:1 earn ratio – cue reminder that this post details some of the best signup bonuses are actually through referrals, not for applying directly, if you’re a new Amex cardholder.
Now, I don’t actually have enough Membership Rewards points to make this booking for 3 people right now – I’m about 30,000 short. However, I have a way to crank up those points at a reasonable cost (for this purpose) in just a few days. Interested? More on that later in the week.
Now, don’t go and destroy all this award availability before I’ve had my chance to book, OK?!