Dom Perignon or Krug? These are the life changing decisions you are faced with when maximizing credit card points toward free travel, earned from just living your life. Having American Express Membership Rewards points enables you to turn purchases into miles with more than 20 airline and hotel partners, creating some of the most aspirational trips you could possibly imagine. When it comes to booking your dream vacation or trip, knowing which partners to transfer your points to can make the journey more than half the fun.....
Flying Blue: Air France, KLM
Whatever continent I'm on, I never book anything without considering the Flying Blue program by Air France and KLM first for one simple reason: promo awards. Promo awards offer discounts in miles needed for a ticket between 25-50% off, requiring less of your amex points. The promotional offers change every month, but they are a magical trick to consider every time. In general, a round trip business class ticket from US to Europe (vice versa) requires 125,000 miles, but in these sales, you can often find them for 50% off, requiring just 62,500 points per person round trip, creating a two for one. Check monthly HERE.
British Airways is the obscure, must consider for virtually every flight, especially shorter ones, worldwide. There is simply no other airline who charges less miles for short flights, and this is partly because British Airways system for calculating miles in based on the distance you are flying, not just the region of the world. You can use British Airways miles for flights on American, Iberia, TAM, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, Finnair and more, allowing you to find great value, especially on short flights all around the world. A round trip from New York to Miami is only 15,000 miles, a savings of 10,000 miles versus any other US carrier. Same goes for short flights everywhere you can think of...
The only thing better than first class is a private suite and grabbing one is much more possible than you think. You can experience world class luxury from LA to Tokyo for 74,345 miles or New York to Frankfurt for only 57,375 miles each way! The suites, also referred to as R class, were designed by a luxury yacht company and feature a full enclosed cabin. If traveling as a pair, you can grab the two middle seats and adjoin your cabins! Sweet. Similarly, if an award winning business class will do the trick for you, you can fly for as little as 43,750 miles one way. The picture above is your actual airline seat in suites class...
Delta, though a massive pain in the a** to search, can be a great redemption, especially to destinations outside the US. Using Delta Skymiles is the only way to grab a reward flight on partner Virgin Atlantic without the major fuel surcharges. If you used Virgin Atlantic's own miles for a business class flight from the US to UK (vice versa), you would spend 80,000 miles and $1,200 in taxes and surcharges round trip. Instead, using Delta miles, you can fly the same flights for 62,500 miles each way (one ways are ok) and leaving the US the taxes can be as low as $5.80. That means you can fly business class for $5.60 out of pocket.Similarly you can use miles for flights on Korean Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, KLM and Virgin Australia. Whatever your preference, using them on anything but Delta is usually the right answer.
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