6 exciting ways to use 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
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It has been great to see positive movement in the rewards card world this week. American Express announced on Wednesday the biggest card welcome bonuses we’ve ever seen in the U.K.
These are the current limited-time offers:
- The American Express Business Platinum Card — New cardmember offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £10,000 in your first three months of card membership.
- The American Express Business Gold Card — New cardmember offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £5,000 in your first three months of card membership.
The beauty of Membership Rewards is their versatility. There are many different ways to spend the points, including transferring to 13 different airline programmes (including the likes of British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore and Emirates) and three hotel programmes (Hilton, Marriott and Radisson). Once the points are transferred, the wide range of partners each of these programmes has means the options are endless.
We now have a combination of generous offers to take advantage of and also many people sitting on large existing balances of Membership Rewards points from earning over the past year with little opportunity to spend them. With a strong caveat that any bookings should be made deep into the future to avoid the current travel restrictions, now is the perfect time to break down some of the best and most exciting ways to spend a Membership Rewards points balance of at least 100,000.
1. Emirates’ gamechanger first class one-way from Dubai to London
Emirates competes for one of the best first-class products in the sky. Its newest iteration on some Boeing 777s has become known as the “Gamechanger”. You can transfer Membership Rewards point to Emirates Skywards at a 1:1 ratio.
A first-class redemption one-way from Dubai (DXB) to London Heathrow (LHR) will cost 85,000 plus £83 in taxes. By comparison, a business-class ticket on the same route will cost 62,500 miles.
There is no better way to fly direct between Dubai and London, and this product is one that should be firmly at the top of any airline or luxury enthusiast.
2. Europe to the US with Delta
Delta is itself a transfer partner of Amex, but there is a much better way to redeem Membership Rewards points for Delta flights. There was a slight recent devaluation in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club programme for Delta redemptions, but this did not affect Europe to U.S. flights.
You can bag a flight with Delta on routes such as Amsterdam (AMS) to Boston (BOS) or Paris (CDG) to Atlanta (ATL) for just 50,000 Virgin Points one-way. Or, 100,000 points gets you a return ticket — and you will find taxes and fees far lower than if you make a similar booking from the U.K.
For the leg from the U.S. to Europe, the total cost will be 50,000 points plus only $5.60 in taxes.
Be sure to look at the aircraft you choose closely in order to land a ride on Delta’s newest Delta One Suites.
3. Group Ibiza blowout with British Airways
With the cheapest — and shortest — flights available for redeeming with the British Airways Executive Club costing just 4,000 Avios, you could book up to 25 one-way flights around Europe with your 100,000 points. The great benefit of these tickets for shorter flights under 2,000 miles, known as Reward Flight Saver awards, is that British Airways caps the taxes at £17.50 one-way in economy and £25 one-way in business class.
To spice things up a little bit, why not grab a group of friends and head to Ibiza. Four off-peak return business-class flights will cost just a shade over the budget (102,000 Avios). Alternatively, you can halve the cost by flying economy — and take more friends on the trip.
4. Fly Singapore Suites to New York
One of the best flights of my life was flying the new Singapore Airlines Suites from Singapore (SIN) to Zurich (ZRH). I booked this by transferring 125,000 Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer programme — and it was a steal at just £19 in taxes.
However, you can stay within the 100,000-point limit and still try out Singapore’s first-class suites. Although you are unlikely to fly its newest product, for 86,000 KrisFlyer miles, you can book the fifth-freedom route from Frankfurt (FRA) to New York (JFK). You’ll have plenty of points leftover to book an Avios redemption to Frankfurt from the U.K.
5. Enjoy a spa weekend at the Langley
Membership Rewards points convert into Marriott Bonvoy points at a ratio of 2:3. For 120,000 Bonvoy points (80,000 Membership Rewards points), you can enjoy a swanky two-night weekend escape to the country with a stay at the Langley in Buckinghamshire.
If this is not quite to your taste, the options are endless both at home and abroad with Marriott Bonvoy. A central London weekend at The Edition will set you back 140,000 Bonvoy points, for example.
Open up your options to Hilton and Radisson, the other two hotel transfer partners under the Membership Rewards scheme, and there is no doubt you will find a stay that suits you.
6. Shopping spree at Sainsbury’s
If you truly don’t see travel as an option right now, how about transferring your points to British Airways Avios and then on to the Nectar programme? I should make it clear that this will not get you the most bang for your buck — this is a last resort, albeit not a completely terrible option.
British Airways and Nectar recently announced their partnership, which allows you to convert 250 Avios into 400 Nectar points. 100,000 Membership Rewards points would give you 100,000 Avios, which can then be converted into 160,000 Nectar points. This is worth £800 when shopping at Sainsbury’s, enough for a truly wild shopping spree!
It’s important to note that under the rules of the partnership, you can only convert a maximum of 80,000 Nectar points or 50,000 Avios per calendar month, so you will have to split this transaction over a couple of months.
Finally, do not transfer from Amex straight to Nectar. Routing through Avios gets you a ratio of 1:1.6, which is much better than the 1:1 Nectar direct transfer rate that Amex offers.
The options set out here are just scratching the surface. 100,000 Membership Rewards points will go a long way, so decide what excites you and use the examples above as a jumping-off point to find the perfect use for your stash.
Featured image by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
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