Last July I wrote about the Chinese art collector, Liu Yiqian, who used his American Express Centurion Card to pay for a HK$281 million (US$36 million) ancient Chinese ceramic cup.
Well, Liu Yiqian is back in the news again today, this time for his purchase of a US$45 million 15th century Tibetan embroidered silk thangka.
The best part? The focus of the story isn’t even the purchase, but rather the points he’s earning… and that he used points to fly to Hong Kong to make the purchase!
Via Bloomberg, it looks like he’s paying more attention to points since the last story was written about him:
“Since you wrote the story, I started to pay attention to the points,” said Liu, who flashed the plastic again today at Christie’s for the thangka, requiring him to sign 31 separate AmEx receipts because the system can only swipe transactions up to a maximum amount.
So, what else has he been using his tens of millions of points for?
Liu is using points from his previous purchase to fly his wife Wang Wei and their daughter, whose English name is Betty, to Hong Kong and back from Shanghai. He’s also flying the family to New York tomorrow on points.
Betty said on previous trips to New York her father has used points to stay at the St. Regis, though they didn’t qualify for a suite.
Tisk, tisk, tisk! It sounds like they were just booking on SPG’s website, which doesn’t show the option of redeeming for a suite. However, if they called SPG they could have booked a suite at the St. Regis New York for double points.
St. Regis New York suite
Or maybe since he has so many points he should just book 50 nights at a Category 1 Starwood property so he can get SPG 50 night Platinum status, and then he’ll have 10 suite night awards he can redeem for his stays. 😉
As far as flights go, I wonder which frequent flyer program they redeemed through for the ticket. If they transferred their Membership Rewards points to Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles and managed to snag business class, I hope they checked first class award availability within a couple of days of departure, given how frequently Cathay Pacific opens up first class space just before departure.
And for the ticket between Shanghai and Hong Kong, I sure hope he transferred those points to British Airways Executive Club rather than Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles. For roundtrip business class the former charges 30,000 miles, while the latter charges 40,000 miles. Points are too valuable to waste!
Cathay Pacific regional business class
Though I guess either of those programs are better than redeeming through the “pay with points” option.
I’m not overthinking this, am I?
(Tip of the hat to @phil_muller)