Using AMEX Membership Rewards points to fly international business class

3 replies

spinoza

Member since 01 Feb 2012

Total posts 218

I mainly want to use them to book international business class tickets (e.g. to Asia, Europe, or US).

Which airline has the most supply of reward seats, of the below:

- Cathay

- Singapore

- Emirates

- Virgin Australia


Thanks


Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 80

As a very general rule, I find that Singapore Airlines has the best availability on the routes I want to travel. But the best strategy is to do your own research and then, and only then, transfer the points to the airline that has the best supply on the routes and dates you want to travel.

Remember also that Cathay, Singapore and Emirates points expire after a period of time. Best keep your points in Amex for as long as you can, as Amex points never expire as long as your account is open.

twiningb

Member since 30 Jan 2015

Total posts 19

It's probably a good idea to search for availability and then transfer when ready. If you have Amex Membership Rewards points there's no imminent devaluation expected (they had one a few months ago) so you can safely warehouse your points until ready. On the other hand, not only do conversions to all those airlines essentially lock your points there, but they'll also have a fixed lifespan which you can't extend with other activity, for all except Virgin/Velocity.


I would hazard that if you can find Oneworld availability where/when you want, Cathay is going to give you the best bang-for-point; their own metal is good, and also they give you access to Qatar, Japan, and American (which is better than people say at least in terms of the hard product in business being very comfortable for sleeping), and even Qantas.


Singapore will have excellent availability on their own metal, and a good product. And if you can find space on a Star partner, that would be how to redeem it.


Velocity is good value transPac if you can actually find Virgin (or Delta) award space available where/when you want, and gives you access to Etihad, which is very nice in business if you can find it.


I would see little value in Emirates, unless a specific redemption on Emirates metal is in mind, but others might recommend it.


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Notso Swift

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 06 Oct 2016

Total posts 30

As always the hardest pert is getting out of Australia, SQ has more available I have found, especially from Melbourne which is hard on Saver FF (worse with Oneworld network), but don't discount buying a local flight to connect from say ADL or CBR where you can get better options

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