Collector buys ancient cup, pockets 422 million American Express points

By David Flynn, July 22 2014

A Chinese art collector has spent A$39 million on a Ming dynasty teacup and pocketed a whopping 422 million American Express points in the process.

Shanghai multi-millionaire Liu Yiqian used his Amex Centurion Card to pay for the 550 year old ceramic cup after placing the winning bid at an auction held by Sotheby's Hong Kong.

Liu swiped his credit card 24 times to make the HK$281.24 million purchase because the system can only handle transactions of up to HK$12 million at a time, said Sotheby's Asia executive Nicolas Chow.

But it seems Liu had his eye only on the porcelain cup, not the points.

"He didn't even know," said his daughter Betty Liu after being contacted by journalists. "He is checking now to find out about how many points he can get."

The answer is a whopping 422 million American Express points. Which, in anybody's language, is a lot of free flights... 

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

08 Apr 2014

Total posts 15

... and then he'll be denied access to a lounge because he's with the wrong program...

Sorry, the cynic in me couldn't resist ;)

QF Plat

14 Jul 2014

Total posts 19

Or the check in counter will tell him to go to the lounge then they boot him out

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 129

Something tells me that a guy who can drop A$39 million on a cup isn't too bothered about free flights.... (awesome story though)

08 Apr 2014

Total posts 15

No, but his daughter is quoted as saying that he is "He is checking now to find out about how many points he can get."... something about that statement tells me he's not the sort who would let even a few points get away.

Perhaps he'll cash them in for gift vouchers then sell the vouchers on ebay to re-build his wealth?

Can you imagine how many $50 fuel cards that would be??

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 8

Amex advertising anyone?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1381


More than 10 points per Aus dollar. ??

This however seems to suggest normal earn is

1 airmile per 15 HKD (or about A$2.06)

https://www.americanexpress.com/hk/en/personal/Cards/rewards/programinfo_fto_turbo.cgi

with some turbo programs going up to 1:A$1.03 but capped


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