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Answers (5)

Maximizing Amex points for Qantas, AA, or United

Maximizing Amex points for Qantas, AA, or United

  1. stephanie victorero

    Hello,

    i have around 800,000 American express pts. We are trying to book a family trip to Australia and New Zealand (LAX/ SFO to AKL or SYD) . Preferably business class. How can i transfer points to Maximize award travel.

    Thanks!

  2. MidSouthSkier

    Welcome [USER=2559]@stephanie victorero[/USER] – how many people need seats? What time of year do you want to travel?

  3. stephanie victorero

    [QUOTE=”stephanie victorero, post: 23623, member: 2559″]Hello,

    i have around 800,000 American express points and 200,000 Chase Sapphire points. We are trying to book a family trip to Australia and New Zealand (LAX/ SFO to AKL or SYD) . Preferably business class. How can i transfer points to Maximize award travel.

    Thanks![/QUOTE]
    [QUOTE=”MidSouth Skier, post: 23624, member: 184″]Welcome [USER=2559]@stephanie victorero[/USER] – how many people need seats? What time of year do you want to travel?[/QUOTE]

    4 passengers. Flexible travel. Either spring or fall.
    [QUOTE=”MidSouth Skier, post: 23624, member: 184″]Welcome [USER=2559]@stephanie victorero[/USER] – how many people need seats? What time of year do you want to travel?[/QUOTE]
    four

  4. MidSouthSkier

    Tickets to Australia & NZ in premium cabins are more difficult to find in general. Finding them for multiple people on one flight makes it even tougher, though it can be done. I’d first set expectations of splitting up into two groups of two people. While you never know how many seats the airlines will release, you’ll have a much better shot getting two seats on the same flight than four.

    United charges 65K each way in business class on their own planes or 75K each way on partners. The Ultimate Rewards (UR) points you’ve earned from your Chase Sapphire card can be transferred to United. Of course you’d only have enough points for 3 one-way tickets but you could either buy a revenue ticket or compare the cost of buying points to the price of a ticket to see what works out best.

    Both Amex Membership Rewards (MR) and URs can be transferred to Air France’s program, Flying Blue. If you can find low-level award space on Delta or Korean Air you should be able to book it through Flying Blue. I’m not up-to-date on Flying Blue’s routing rules so I don’t know if you can route to Australia via Asia with FB. Maybe [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] can jump in here. Flying Blue charges 125K each way in business.

    MR & URs can also be transferred to Virgin Atlantic, which is partners with Virgin Australia and perhaps you can find award space there. I think it’s 80K each way in business for that.

    Whatever option you pick, don’t transfer your miles anywhere until you’re sure there’s award space. It’s also worth noting that transfer times to partners vary. Transfers to United, Korean and Flying Blue are near real-time (within an hour or so), transfers to Virgin Atlantic may take a day or two, [URL=’http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/03/25/long-amex-membership-rewards-points-transfers-take/’]per this post from Lucky in 2014[/URL].

    Award space goes very quickly to this destination, so as soon as you see it, be prepared to jump on it. I’d keep looking for Fall 2017 but would be prepared to wait for Spring 2018 so that you can check on availability as soon as the calendar opens up. If you have Expert Flyer you can set award alerts to let you know when space becomes available on Delta, United and Virgin Australia.

    If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

  5. MarkS

    Hi [USER=2559]@stephanie victorero[/USER], adding to [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] options I’m going to recommend Singapore Krisflyer. From the west coast to down under is 85K after the discount on SQ metal.

    Singapore flies to all Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne as well as all the other Aussie cities. I randomly looked at Singapore-Melbourne for 4 people in business class next fall and got 2 flights with space in one day.

    The tricky part probably will be getting 4 from the US to Singapore. But this is where their waitlist might work out. Say if they had 2/3 available you could waitlist the other 1/2, then contact them and request it. This is a good reason and they might just open it.

    Doing a round trip you can also get a stopover and see Singapore at no charge.

    You also have the option of using SQ points for Star Alliance flights. While more expensive (195K RT) it still is pretty reasonable given now you have Thai, ANA, Air China that can get you to Australia. An ANA/Thai combo works well to this area. Thai open up space to Melbourne on their A350 (hopefully A350, now 777) and Sydney B747. They also fly to AKL. I’ve seen Air China now on space down to Sydney, although they aren’t my favorite. ANA only has 1 flight to Sydney so that probably won’t work but ANA from the west coast to either BKK to connect with Thai or PEK to connect with Air China. You also have a chance at UA from SFO to Auckland that has space recently. An Air New Zealand has opened space from time to time.

    Overall your best bet is Singapore airlines IMO. Good luck.

    A note on Virgin Australia, took it the other day Perth to Melbourne and it was fantastic. So much so I want to fly it LA to Australia. I looked for a full year and the only space available was within the next 7 days and 1 flight going there in a month but nothing coming back and only 1 seat. Unless this changes getting that reward for 4 and planning ahead is not feasible.

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