30+ Best Uses of American Express Membership Rewards Points

There are so many “best uses” of American Express Membership Rewards points because they have a large number of transfer partners compared to Citi and Chase.

Unfortunately, Amex doesn’t have two of my favorite airline miles, AA and United (favorite because they don’t pass on fuel surcharges and a few other things). But they have a ton of transfers. Because there are so many transfer options, I thought I would just list tons of best uses.

The first thing you need to know is that not all “American Express” cards transfer to Membership Rewards partners. Not to mention you also need to know who the transfer partners are.

Amex cards that transfer to partners:

Both Amex EveryDay Credit Cards, Green Card, both Gold Cards, and the Platinum Card

The partners you can transfer to are:

Delta Skymiles, AeroMexico, Air Canada Aeroplan, Flying Blue (KLM & Air France), Alitalia MilleMiglia, Cathay’s Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, El Al Israel, Emirates Skywards, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Plus, Jet Blue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Virgin Elevate, Virgin Atlantic, All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club

Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton Hhonors (1:1.5), Starwood SPG (3:1 (very bad))

 

General Best Uses and Best Programs

See some of these best posts to get right idea about the best uses of these best programs.

Between these programs you’d have basically any transfer I’d make. My top three recommendations are the top three listed: BA Avios, Flying Blue, and ANA.

Each is tricky but really rewarding. There are a lot of programs to choose from, so you can choose the amazing sweet spots from each program. Going to Europe? You can check if there is a Flying Blue Promo Award for 12,500 points, use ANA if you’re on the east coast, or use Air Canada for two stopovers.

All these and more I’ll list out.

The most tricky thing with any program, that basically isn’t AA or United, is fuel surcharges. See the Master List of Avoiding Fuel Surcharges or posts on the specific mileage program for more.

As always, price things out before transferring. You might misunderstand something or there might not be availability. Some websites allow you to check online, and for others you have to call.

 

(ANA’s award chart is supposed to be changing April 12, so I’ll have to switch all the examples to the new award chart on that date.)

 

Top 30+ Uses of Amex MR points

 

  1. 12,500 points → Flying Blue miles for a oneway flight to Europe (or Israel/North Africa) during special Promo Award (when they are available). See Best Use of Flying Blue Miles.
  2. 25,000 points → Flying Blue miles for a oneway flight to Europe (or Israel/North Africa) as the regular price.
  3. 43,000 points → ANA miles for a roundtrip flight from east coast USA to west coast Europe on United (to avoid fuel surcharges). See Best Use of ANA Miles.
  4. 20,000 points → Singapore miles for a oneway US domestic ticket in business class.
  5. 20,000 points → British Airways Avios for a oneway to Europe, at least from the east coast. Fly on Air Berlin to avoid fuel surcharges.
  6. 6,000 points → Choice Hotel points for a night at the Clarion Suites Roatan on the island of Roatan, Honduras. See Best Use of Choice Points.
  7. 40,000 points → Virgin Elevate for a roundtrip flight from New York to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines. See this post: One Amazing Award with Virgin Elevate Miles
  8. 80,000 points → Air Canada miles for a roundtrip to Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific with 2 stopovers.
  9. 12,500 points → Flying Blue miles for a oneway flight to Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Mexico.
  10. 10,000 points → Hilton points to get 15,000 Hhonors points for three nights at a category 1 hotel, like the Hiltons in Egypt. See Best Hilton Category 1 & 2 Hotels.
  11. 50,000 points → Alitalia miles for a roundtrip to Europe.
  12. 80,000 points → Alitalia miles for roundtrip to Europe in business class.
  13. 22,000 points → ANA miles for a roundtrip to Central America with multiple stopovers. Like DC to Cancun, to San Salvador, to Belize.
  14. 20,000 points → Singapore miles to fly oneway from New York to Frankfurt, or Houston to Moscow, on Sinagpore Airlines flights. See Best Use of Singapore Miles.
  15. 12,500 points → British Airways Avios for a oneway to Hawaii from LA, Seattle, San Fran, Portland and more.
  16. 10,000 points → Choice Hotel points for a night in hotel in downtown Venice or Rome, Italy. See Best Use of Choice Points.
  17. 15,000 points → Flying Blue miles for a oneway flight to Hawaii.
  18. 17,500 points → Singapore miles for a oneway to Hawaii on United (econ/biz/first is 17.5k/30k/40k). See Best Use of Singapore Airlines Miles.
  19. 60,000 points → Asia Miles for a roundtrip to Europe with 4 stopovers. Usually from the east coast, like NYC – Dusseldorf – Vienna – Warsaw – Dublin – NYC. See Best Use of Asia Miles.
  20. 60,000 points → Air Canada miles for a roundtrip to western Europe with two stopovers. But see Master Chart of Fuel Surcharges.
  21. 30,000 points → Flying Blue miles for a oneway flight to Tahiti.
  22. 4,500 points → British Airways Avios for a short domestic oneway like: NYC to Toronto, DC to Chicago, or Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale.
  23. 35,000 points → Alitalia miles for a roundtrip to northern South America (like Peru).
  24. 38,000 points → Flying Blue miles for a roundtrip flight from Houston to northern South America and stopovers in Central America. See Best Use of ANA Miles.
  25. 12,500 points → British Airways Avios for a flight on Aer Lingus from Boston to Dublin oneway. See Breaking British Airways with Stopovers.
  26. 30,000 points → Flying Blue miels for a oneway to Sydney (with a trick: routing to NOU via SYD). See Best Use of Flying Blue Miles.
  27. 4,500 points → British Airways Avios which can get you flights from Miami to the Caribbean: Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cancun, Bamahas or many more options. See Avios Sweet Spots.
  28. 22,000 points → ANA miles for some roundtrip domestic flights with 3 stopovers.
  29. 10,000 points → British Airways Avios for a oneway flight from Miami to Lima, Peru.
  30. 50,000 points → Alitalia miles for a roundtrip to southern South America (like Argentina and Chile).
  31. 75,000 points → Alitalia miles for a roundtrip to southern South America in business class.
  32. 110,000 points → Singapore miles for a oneway flight from NYC to Singapore (via Frankfurt) in Singapore Airline’s famous Suites Class. A double bed on an A380. See Best Use of Singapore Miles.
  33. 80,000 points → Air Canada miles for a roundtrip to the Middle East with 2 stopovers.

 

Related Posts:

12 Comments

  1. 20,000 points – Flying Blue miles for a roundtrip Asia 2 to Asia 2 on Garuda or Air Asia. Could be Taipei all the way to Sorong and back. 1 stopover + 1 open jaw allowed.

    Reply
  2. One minor correction: I believe Frontier is no longer an Amex transfer partner (they were, but this was dropped not long ago). Not exactly a tragedy, but just sayin’.

    Reply
  3. Drew always delivers the best post in the whole blogsphere. I am delighted to discover Flying blue is partnered with AS. :)

    Reply
  4. I keep finding 12,500 avios to get from MIA to LIM instead of 10. I’m planning to take this route in October, where do I find your price?

    Reply
  5. This is a great post, though I’m confused about the difference between numbers 30 and 31.. they seem the same. Is 30 economy and 31 business?

    Reply
  6. On #20, the better deal is to pay 50% more points and fly to Europe in J for 90k. Everyone values biz differently but no one can really argue against such a small price premium.

    Reply
  7. Are you absolutely sure that Everyday card allows transfers to partners? I see that people have written that up in the past but wording on the Amex website seems to indicate that you can only use the MR points to pay for travel (and not do transfers)

    Reply
    • More clarification: I used the “compare cards” tool on the Amex website to compare MR benefits of Everyday card versus Gold card. This is where the Everyday card shows/seems to be different because it does not list the Transfer benefit, like the Gold does.

      However, I just did a chat with Amex and they assured me that you can transfer. I’m keeping the record of this chat….just in case.

      Reply
    • I have an everyday card and I transferred MR to ANA without any issues.

      Reply
  8. Hello,

    I have 50,000 AMEX points (from a recent account I opened). I want to fly to and from London to LAX (mid december to mid january). It seems that Air France is the best offer at the moment 50,000 points + ~$260. Any advice or leads on a better deal or transfer scenario? Thanks!

    Reply
  9. I have 80000 reward points and i am in mn, ive never used them before and want to travel, any suggestions on destination and help planning a trip using my rewards the best value

    Reply
  10. Any suggestions for using AMEX from DFW-TLV?

    Reply

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