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

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. The bonus points offers vary and only last for a promotional period, but some cards come with 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards when you meet the spend requirement. If you're considering an Amex card with a 100,000 bonus points offer or are saving up your points, you can use this guide to get some inspiration for the best ways to spend your Membership Rewards.

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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1. Qantas Frequent Flyerqantas-new-logo

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 Explorer Credit 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
Origin Destination Fare Class Qantas Points
Sydney Melbourne Business 32,000
Brisbane Adelaide Business 48,000
Sydney or Melbourne Perth Business 72,000
Darwin Melbourne or Sydney Business 72,000
Perth Brisbane Business 72,000
International flights
Origin Destination Fare Class Qantas Points
Sydney or Melbourne Vancouver Economy 90,000
Sydney or Melbourne Los Angeles Economy 90,000
Sydney or Melbourne Dubai Economy 90,000
Brisbane Johannesburg Economy 90,000
Sydney Hong Kong Premium Economy 90,000
Sydney or Melbourne Phuket Business 96,000
Sydney Bali or Jakarta Business 100,000
Melbourne Fiji (Nadi) Business 100,000
Perth or Darwin Auckland Business 100,000
International one-way flights
Origin Destination Fare Class Qantas Points
Sydney Honolulu Business 72,000
Melbourne or Sydney Paris Premium Economy 94,500
Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane New York Premium Economy 96,000
Perth or Melbourne London Premium Economy 96,000
Sydney Hong Kong Premium Economy 90,000
Sydney or Melbourne Phuket Business 96,000
Sydney Bali or Jakarta Business 100,000
Melbourne Fiji (Nadi) Business 100,000
Perth or Darwin Auckland Business 100,000

2. Virgin Velocityvelocity-ff-logo

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
Origin Destination Fare Class Velocity points
Sydney Melbourne Business 47,000
Brisbane Adelaide Business 47,000
Sydney or Melbourne Perth Business 71,000
Darwin Melbourne or Sydney Business 71,000
Perth Brisbane Business 71,000
International return flights
Origin Destination Fare Class Velocity Points
Perth Abu Dhabi Economy 84,000
Sydney or Melbourne Hong Kong Premium Economy 89,400
Brisbane Tokyo Premium Economy 89,400
Sydney or Melbourne Los Angeles Economy 89,600
Sydney or Melbourne San Francisco Economy 89,600
Perth Kuala Lumpur Business 99,000
Melbourne Bali Business 99,000
International one-way flights
Origin Destination Fare Class Velocity Points
Brisbane Honolulu Business 59,500
Sydney Honolulu Business 71,500
Melbourne London Economy 75,000
Sydney or Melbourne Los Angeles Business 95,500

3. Air New Zealand Airpointsnzairpointsbanner

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.

4. Asia Milesasia-miles-logo-2017

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
Origin Destination Airline Fare Class Asia Miles
Melbourne Abu Dhabi British Airways Premium Economy 72,000
Sydney or Melbourne Hong Kong Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Finnair or Qatar Business 80,000
Melbourne Shanghai Air China Business 80,000
Sydney Tokyo Qantas Business 80,000
Sydney New York Qantas or American Airlines Economy 90,000
Melbourne Vancouver Qantas Economy 90,000
Perth Paris Qantas or British Airways Economy 90,000
International one-way flights
Origin Destination Airline Fare Class Asia Miles
Melbourne Kuala Lumpur British Airways, Malaysia Airlines or SriLankan Airlines First 70,000
Sydney or Melbourne Honolulu American Airlines or Qantas Business 70,000
Melbourne London Qantas Economy 84,000

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.

5. Emirates Skywardsemirates-skywards-logo

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.

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.

6. Etihad GuestEtihad-Airways

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.

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.

7. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyersingapore-airlines

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
Origin Destination Fare Class Standard KrisFlyer Miles KrisFlyer Miles with 15% discount
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Beijing or Shanghai Economy 70,000 59,500
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Hong Kong Premium Economy 90,000 76,500
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Los Angeles Economy 95,000 80,750
Perth or Darwin Bangkok, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur First 95,000 80,750
Perth or Darwin Beijing or Shanghai Business 100,000 85,000
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Europe (for example, London, Paris or Amsterdam) Economy 100,000 85,000
International one-way flights
Origin Destination Fare Class Standard KrisFlyer Miles KrisFlyer Miles with 15% discount
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Singapore First 75,000 63,750
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Malaysia, Indonesia or Brunei First 75,000 63,750
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia or Laos First 75,000 63,750
Australia (excluding Perth and Darwin) Beijing or Shanghai First 92,500 78,625
Perth or Darwin Africa, Middle East or Turkey First 100,000 85,000
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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
Origin Destination Fare Class Enrich Miles
Sydney or Melbourne Hong Kong Economy 72,000
Perth Abu Dhabi Economy 72,000
Sydney or Melbourne Bali (Denpasar) Business 96,000

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)
Origin Destination Fare Class Royal Orchid Plus Miles
Australia Central Asia and Middle East Economy 85,000
Australia China North, Japan, Korea and Mongolia Economy 90,000
Australia Hawaii First 100,000

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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Earn-Points-alphabet-blocks

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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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    EdwardApril 19, 2018

    Can I use my points to purchase a one way airline ticket from London to Australia for by son?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayApril 19, 2018Staff

      Hi Edward,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, you can use your Membership Rewards Points to redeem or purchase a ticket for your son, provided you meet these conditions:

      1. Amex has received prior a written authorisation from you.
      2. All your accounts are active and kept in good standing and are not overdue.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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