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Where can you travel with 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Whether you’ve got a signup bonus from a credit card or you’ve saved up points for years, check out these options to get the most value out of 100,000 Membership Rewards points.

The American Express Membership Rewards program offers both flexibility and value with competitive ongoing earn rates, a wide range of redemption options and no points expiry. It also offers valuable promotions and signup bonuses.

Case in point: the Amex Platinum charge card offers new customers 100,000 Membership Rewards points when they sign up for the card by 31 January 2017 and spend at least $1,500 in the first 3 months of card activation. With such a massive amount of points on offer, we thought we’d look at exactly what you can get if you sign up for this card (or if you have a spare 100,000 points lying around).

What rewards can you redeem with Membership Rewards?

The redemption options available through Membership Rewards are grouped into four key categories:

  • Travel. This includes flights, hotel bookings and car hire, as well as the option to transfer points to frequent flyer programs.
  • Shopping. You can use your points to shop directly with David Jones or Ticketmaster.
  • Gift cards. Membership Rewards offers a wide range of gift card options, from Westfield and iTunes to Hoyts, BP and Hertz.
  • Financial rewards. You can use your Membership Rewards points to pay off your credit card balance, pay your annual fee or make a charitable donation.

As with most reward programs, the dollar value of your points varies significantly depending on the redemption you choose. While there are thousands of options across all categories, travel redemptions – and particularly, transferring points to a frequent flyer program – tend to offer a high return rate on your points.

Frequent flyer flight options with 100,000 Membership Rewards points

A key feature that sets Membership Rewards apart from other reward programs is the number of frequent flyer program partners and the points conversion rate. For most options, one Membership Rewards point equals one frequent flyer point. With that in mind, we’ve focused the following sections on how far 100,000 Membership Rewards points will get you when you transfer them to any of the following frequent flyer programs:

  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Velocity
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints
  • Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

The sections below give you examples of domestic and international flights you could take with 100,000 points, based on each frequent flyer program. Flight options are ranked from least to most points required for the redemption and include economy, premium economy and business class fares. Note that other taxes and surcharges may also apply.

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qantas-ff-logo

1. Qantas Frequent Flyer

American Express Membership Rewards customers enrolled in the Ascent Premium or Business Ascent streams of the program can transfer their points to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program. These are the only Membership Rewards customers that currently have this option, so you’ll need an American Express Platinum charge card or Platinum Business card to be eligible for a points transfer. Below are the key details for transferring points to Qantas:

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Qantas point.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Qantas points.
Domestic return flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassQantas Points
SydneyMelbourneBusiness32,000
BrisbaneAdelaideBusiness48,000
Sydney or MelbournePerthBusiness72,000
DarwinMelbourne or SydneyBusiness72,000
PerthBrisbaneBusiness72,000
International flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassQantas Points
Sydney or MelbourneVancouverEconomy90,000
Sydney or MelbourneLos AngelesEconomy90,000
Sydney or MelbourneDubaiEconomy90,000
BrisbaneJohannesburgEconomy90,000
SydneyHong KongPremium Economy90,000
Sydney or MelbournePhuketBusiness96,000
SydneyBali or JakartaBusiness100,000
MelbourneFiji (Nadi)Business100,000
Perth or DarwinAucklandBusiness100,000
International one-way flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassQantas Points
SydneyHonoluluBusiness72,000
Melbourne or SydneyParisPremium Economy94,500
Melbourne, Sydney or BrisbaneNew YorkPremium Economy96,000
Perth or MelbourneLondonPremium Economy96,000
SydneyHong KongPremium Economy90,000
Sydney or MelbournePhuketBusiness96,000
SydneyBali or JakartaBusiness100,000
MelbourneFiji (Nadi)Business100,000
Perth or DarwinAucklandBusiness100,000

velocity-ff-logo

2. Virgin Velocity

All Membership Rewards customers can transfer their points to Virgin’s Velocity frequent flyer program. Below are the key details for transfers:

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Velocity point.
  • Minimum transfer: 2,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Three business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Velocity points.
Domestic return flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassVelocity points
SydneyMelbourneBusiness47,000
BrisbaneAdelaideBusiness47,000
Sydney or MelbournePerthBusiness71,000
DarwinMelbourne or SydneyBusiness71,000
PerthBrisbaneBusiness71,000
International return flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassVelocity Points
PerthAbu DhabiEconomy84,000
Sydney or MelbourneHong KongPremium Economy89,400
BrisbaneTokyoPremium Economy89,400
Sydney or MelbourneLos AngelesEconomy89,600
Sydney or MelbourneSan FranciscoEconomy89,600
PerthKuala LumpurBusiness99,000
MelbourneBaliBusiness99,000
International one-way flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassVelocity Points
BrisbaneHonoluluBusiness59,500
SydneyHonoluluBusiness71,500
MelbourneLondonEconomy75,000
Sydney or MelbourneLos AngelesBusiness95,500

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3. Air New Zealand Airpoints

The Air New Zealand frequent flyer program earns you Airpoint Dollars, rather than points. These “dollars” are worth AUD$1 each and can be redeemed for flights, travel and other rewards through the program.

  • Transfer rate: 100 Membership Rewards points = 1 Airpoint Dollar.
  • Minimum transfer: 2,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: One business day.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 1,000 Airpoint Dollars.

This exchange rate offers less value than most other options available for 100,000 Membership Rewards points, but we’ve still included some sample fares below to give you an idea of where you could go.

Return flight examples*

OriginDestinationFare ClassAirpoint Dollars
MelbourneAucklandBusiness829
SydneyAucklandBusiness836
MelbourneLos Angeles or San FranciscoEconomy936
SydneyLos Angeles or San FranciscoEconomy953
BrisbaneLos Angeles or San FranciscoEconomy955

*The Airpoint Dollar amounts are based on Air New Zealand’s “Best Fares” as of 14 July 2016.

Asia-Miles

4. Asia Miles

Asia Miles is a leading travel rewards program in Asia. While it’s most often associated with Cathay Pacific, it has 25 airline partners including Air China, American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas.

In terms of frequent flyer redemptions, Asia Miles offers flexibility in terms of airlines and destinations. In some cases, it can even offer better value than redeeming directly through an airline’s individual frequent flyer program (such as the Qantas Frequent Flyer program or Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club).

For example, a one-way premium economy ticket from Melbourne to London (Heathrow) costs 96,000 Qantas points but only 84,000 Asia Miles. You can also get a return business trip with Qantas for 80,000 Asia Miles, compared to 120,000 Qantas points for a business class fare or 90,000 Qantas points for premium economy.

These comparisons show that it may be better to transfer Membership Rewards points to Asia Miles rather than Qantas points even if you plan on flying with Qantas. Below are the key details for Asia Miles, and some examples of where you can go if you transfer 100,000 Membership Rewards points to this program.

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Asia Mile.
  • Minimum transfer: 5,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Three business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Asia Miles.
International return flights
OriginDestinationAirlineFare ClassAsia Miles
MelbourneAbu DhabiBritish AirwaysPremium Economy72,000
Sydney or MelbourneHong KongQantas, Cathay Pacific, Finnair or QatarBusiness80,000
MelbourneShanghaiAir ChinaBusiness80,000
SydneyTokyoQantasBusiness80,000
SydneyNew YorkQantas or American AirlinesEconomy90,000
MelbourneVancouverQantasEconomy90,000
PerthParisQantas or British AirwaysEconomy90,000
International one-way flights
OriginDestinationAirlineFare ClassAsia Miles
MelbourneKuala LumpurBritish Airways, Malaysia Airlines or SriLankan AirlinesFirst70,000
Sydney or MelbourneHonoluluAmerican Airlines or QantasBusiness70,000
MelbourneLondonQantasEconomy84,000

These are just a few of the fares you can get for 100,000 Asia Miles. If you have somewhere specific in mind, check out the Asia Miles website’s search tool to find out how many points it would cost.

emirates-skywards-logo

5. Emirates Skywards

Any Membership Rewards customer can transfer points to the Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program,just be aware that it does cost more to transfer your points to Skywards Miles than it does for most other frequent flyer programs.

  • Transfer rate: 4 Membership Rewards points = 3 Skywards Miles.
  • Minimum transfer: 2,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: One business day.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 75,000 Skywards Miles.

The Skywards program only has limited redemption options from Australia, and most cost over 75,000 Skywards Miles for return flights. A flight from Sydney or Melbourne to Emirates’s base in Dubai, for example, costs 90,000 Skywards Miles. You can, however, fly from Perth to Dubai for 63,000 Skywards Miles.

The frequent flyer program also specifies that you can't spend Skywards Miles on special or flex fares in economy, including one-way flights, so with 75,000 points, you’re quite limited. Alternatively, you can use the points to upgrade Emirates tickets you’ve already purchased.

Example upgrades

Perth to DubaiSydney or Melbourne to DubaiSydney or Melbourne to ParisSydney or Melbourne to London (Heathrow)
Between 48,000 and 94,000 Skywards MilesBetween 54,000 and 127,500 Skywards MilesBetween 62,500 and 171,000 Skywards MilesBetween 62,500 and 171,000 Skywards Miles

Note that you can only upgrade by one cabin class, and have to have purchased at least a Flex fare to use your Skywards Miles in this way. The other option is to save your Skywards Miles up for travel in the future. Skywards Miles last for three years before expiring, and you can check out the Emirates calculator to see how many points you need for any trip you’re planning.

Etihad-Airways

6. Etihad Guest

Etihad is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and is also a partner airline for Virgin Australia. All Membership Rewards customers can transfer their points to Etihad Guest Miles, with the following conditions:

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Etihad Guest Mile.
  • Minimum transfer: 1,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Three business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

Example upgrades

Etihad doesn’t currently have any flight redemptions from Australia for 100,000 Guest Miles or less, but here are some of the one-way flight upgrade options you can get:

Economy flight from Sydney to Abu DhabiBusiness flight from Sydney to Abu DhabiEconomy flight from Melbourne to LondonEconomy flight from Melbourne to Paris
Upgrade to business class from 45,599 to 91,198 Etihad Guest MilesUpgrade to first class for 68,399 Etihad Guest MilesUpgrades to business class start from 71,967 Etihad Guest Miles if booked on an Economy Flex fareUpgrade to business class for 70,671 Etihad Guest Miles with an Economy Flex fare, or 99,343 Etihad Guest Miles if booked on an Economy Classic fare

If you want to fly with Etihad, you can also try transferring your Membership Rewards points to the Virgin Velocity program. As Virgin Australia and Etihad are partners, you can redeem codeshare flights or direct flights through Velocity.

singapore-airlines

7. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines is a leading carrier across Asia and offers many flight redemption options through the KrisFlyer rewards program. Here are the key details for transferring Membership Rewards points to your KrisFlyer account:

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one KrisFlyer Mile.
  • Minimum transfer: 5,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Three business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 KrisFlyer Miles.

KrisFlyer also gives you the opportunity to save 15% on redemptions. To be eligible, choose a Saver awards fare on SilkAir flights, or a Saver or Standard awards fare on Singapore Airlines flights that you redeem online. We’ve included both the standard KrisFlyer Miles required and the discounted rates in the examples below.

International return flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassStandard KrisFlyer MilesKrisFlyer Miles with 15% discount
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Beijing or ShanghaiEconomy70,00059,500
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Hong KongPremium Economy90,00076,500
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Los AngelesEconomy95,00080,750
Perth or DarwinBangkok, Hong Kong or Kuala LumpurFirst95,00080,750
Perth or DarwinBeijing or ShanghaiBusiness100,00085,000
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Europe (for example, London, Paris or Amsterdam)Economy100,00085,000
International one-way flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassStandard KrisFlyer MilesKrisFlyer Miles with 15% discount
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)SingaporeFirst75,00063,750
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Malaysia, Indonesia or BruneiFirst75,00063,750
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia or LaosFirst75,00063,750
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin)Beijing or ShanghaiFirst92,50078,625
Perth or DarwinAfrica, Middle East or TurkeyFirst100,00085,000
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Other frequent flyer program partners

While the seven frequent flyer programs above are popular and familiar options for many Australian travellers, Membership Rewards also has three other airline reward partners. These frequent flyer programs don’t offer Australian travellers as many options, but we’ve listed out some of the key points for each of them below.

Malaysia-Airlines_logo

1. Malaysia Airlines

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Enrich Mile.
  • Minimum transfer: 500 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Two business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Enrich Miles.
  • Flight redemptions: Flights can be redeemed for Malaysia Airlines or any oneworld partner airline.
International one-way flights
OriginDestinationFare ClassEnrich Miles
Sydney or MelbourneHong KongEconomy72,000
PerthAbu DhabiEconomy72,000
Sydney or MelbourneBali (Denpasar)Business96,000

Thay-Royal--Orchid

2. THAI Royal Orchid Plus

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Royal Orchid Plus Mile.
  • Minimum transfer: 5,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Five business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Royal Orchid Plus Miles.
  • Flight redemptions: Flights can be redeemed with THAI Air or Star Alliance airlines.
International return flights (Star Alliance airlines)
OriginDestinationFare ClassRoyal Orchid Plus Miles
AustraliaCentral Asia and Middle EastEconomy85,000
AustraliaChina North, Japan, Korea and MongoliaEconomy90,000
AustraliaHawaiiFirst100,000

Virgin-Atlantic

3. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Transfer rate: One Membership Rewards point = one Flying Club Mile.
  • Minimum transfer: 2,000 points.
  • Estimated transfer time: Five business days.
  • Exchange rate: 100,000 Membership Reward points = 100,000 Flying Club Miles.

Note: Virgin Atlantic is based in the United Kingdom and does not include Australian destinations on its rewards flight tables. Unless you spend a lot of time flying out of the UK, it would be better to consider transferring your Membership Rewards points to a different frequent flyer program if you want to use them to book flights.

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Other rewards you could get for 100,000 points

Not sure if you want to transfer your Membership Rewards points to a frequent flyer program? Here are some other redemptions you can make with 100,000 points.

  • Travel bookings with Webjet or helloworld. 100,000 Membership Rewards points will give you $1,000 of travel booked directly through Webjet or helloworld.
  • David Jones. Use your Membership Rewards points to shop directly with David Jones online. With 100,000 points, you get $740 to play with (13,500 Membership Rewards points = $100). A minimum of 3,000 points must be redeemed with each transaction.
  • Gift cards. With 100,000 Membership Rewards points, you could get up to $750 worth of gift cards for retailers including Coles Group & Myer, Westfield, Priceline and BP.
  • Credit to your account. You could use 83,500 Membership Rewards points to get $600 credited to your eligible American Express account.
  • Currency exchange. You can use your Membership Rewards points to buy over 60 foreign currencies at an American Express Currency Exchange store. With 12,000 points equivalent to AUD$100, you’d get approximately AUD$833.33 to spend on cash for another country.

100,000 Membership Rewards points can open up a wide range of redemptions, particularly for frequent flyers. Find out more about the ways you can spend your points, and choose an option that offers great value for your individual needs.

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