8 Best Ways to Spend 200K Amex Points on Flights

Have a bundle of points sitting in the bank? It might be a great time to let those points fly. And it won’t take as many as you’d expect. While 200K Amex points will typically only give you about $2,000 in value when you shop for flights in the Amex travel portal, you can sometimes find Business or First Class flights — that can normally cost over $10,000 — for only 200K points, when transferred to a frequent flyer program.

We’ve compiled 8 of the best ways to spend 200,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when it comes to booking flights. Have a look and see where you can go!

Delta One to Europe 100K Points Round-Trip, per person

European houses in Amsterdam along a river

Delta charges a pretty penny to fly its lie-flat Business Class product, which it calls Delta One, when redeeming its own Delta SkyMiles. However, there is still a way around Delta’s high mileage prices, which allows you to fly its convenient route network from across the U.S. to Europe for just 50K points each way, per person, in Business Class.

Enter Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. By transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin’s frequent flyer program, you can take advantage of one of the few remaining sweet spots to fly Delta using points. If you have 200K Amex points, this means you can fly yourself and a friend, spouse, or child, round-trip to Europe in style. It can be difficult to find availability, so you’ll likely need to be pretty flexible with dates and/or destinations to find this deal. And we’re available to help, so feel free to start up a chat at any time.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to Europe

  • Recommended transfer partner: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Points needed for Business Class: 100,000 per person (200K for 2)
  • Operating airline: Delta

Related: Miles Redemption with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club — How It's Done

Business Class to South Africa with a Hong Kong Stopover 170K Points Round-Trip

Large Elephant amongst barren barren land in South Africa

Here’s one of the best ways to maximize your points. Sure, you may be able to fly to South Africa more directly via Europe or even a nonstop flight from the Northeast U.S. But, if you live on the West Coast, or if you just want to see Hong Kong for a few days on your way to/from South Africa, this is a pretty incredible deal. Plus, you get to fly on one of the best airlines in the world, Cathay Pacific.

Transfer Amex points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and redeem the miles for Business Class flights to South Africa starting at 85K points each way. Since Cathay’s award chart maxes out at 7,501 miles for distance flown, you can fly more than double that distance for the same amount of frequent flyer miles ­— and add in a stop in Hong Kong to boot! In North America, Cathay Pacific flies from Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and New York.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to South Africa and Hong Kong

  • Recommended transfer partner: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Points needed for Business Class: 170,000
  • Operating airline: Cathay Pacific

Related: Redeeming Miles with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: A Complete Guide

Business Class to the Philippines 80K Points Round-Trip, per person

Islands popping up from ocean in Palawan Philippines

Of course, it’s always nice to fly with a companion. So, if you’re sitting on 200K Amex points, why not bring a friend, fly two passengers to the Philippines, and still have 40K points to spare. By transferring your Amex points to ANA Mileage Club, you’ll be able to book round-trip Business Class seats to Manila for 80K points each round-trip during the low season. And if you’re looking to travel during ANA’s regular or high season, you’ll still have enough points for two passengers at 90K or 95K points each, respectively.

All Nippon Airlines is one of the top airlines in the world so you’ll enjoy excellent service on your flight. Its frequent flyer program is also among the best for valuable redemption opportunities and this example is just one of many. If you’d like to stopover in Japan along the way, you can also do that for no extra mileage. How’s that for a 2-for-1 journey to both North Asia and Southeast Asia?

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to the Philippines

  • Recommended transfer partner: ANA Mileage Club
  • Points needed for Business Class: 80,000 per person (160K for 2)
  • Operating airlines: All Nippon Airways

Business Class to Argentina, Brazil, or Chile 88K Points Round-Trip, per person

Wildlife in Patagonia with mountains in the background

South America is home to some of the most amazing landscapes on earth. And while it’s normally fairly inexpensive to get to the northern South American countries, many frequent flyer programs have a separate redemption value for countries that mostly fall well south of the equator. That’s where ANA Mileage Club shines with one of the best sweet spots in its award chart. South America, in its entirety, is considered one region, and Business Class seats can be booked for just 88K points round-trip, per person.

Take your loved one, a friend, or even your enemy, and fly round-trip to Argentina, Brazil, or Chile for only 176K points total for the two passengers. Of course, you won’t be flying on ANA aircraft for this trip, but with Star Alliance partners such as Air Canada, United, or Copa Airlines. You may prefer the flight experience more by flying Air Canada or United on the long-haul flights, but consider flying Copa if there is better availability or if you wish to have a stopover in Panama along the way.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to Argentina, Brazil, or Chile

  • Recommended transfer partner: ANA Mileage Club
  • Points needed for Business Class: 88,000 per person (176K for 2)
  • Operating airlines: United, Copa, Air Canada

Related: A Guide to Miles Redemption with ANA Mileage Club

Business Class to Bali with a Stopover in Singapore 190K Points Round-Trip

Rice terraces in Bali, Indonesia with many palm trees

If getting your photo taken swinging above the rice terraces of Bali is on your bucket list, why not add to it a picture of you enjoying the luxurious Business Class cabin of Singapore Airlines. Often cited as one of — if not the — best airline in the world, Singapore’s Business Class is on par with First Class service on some airlines.

Flying Singapore Airlines doesn’t just give you one of the most direct routes to Bali, it also allows you the opportunity to stopover for a few days in Southeast Asia’s business hub on your way to/from paradise. Since the airline is very strict on releasing award seats to partner airlines, you’ll need to transfer points to Singapore’s KrisFlyer program to book these flights. From the West Coast, it’s 190K points, and from the East Coast, it’ll be 198K points, round-trip. Still, just under the threshold of 200K.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to Bali and Singapore

  • Recommended transfer partner: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Points needed for Business Class: 190,000 - 198,000
  • Operating airline: Singapore Airlines

Related: Redeeming Miles with Singapore KrisFlyer: A Complete Guide

First Class to Seoul with a Stopover in Japan 180K Points Round-Trip

Sunset in Seoul, South Korea with skyline in foreground

Believe it or not, you can fly First Class for less than 200K Amex points, round-trip. While it can be even cheaper to fly to Japan via transferring points to Virgin’s Flying Club, you’ll find better availability and have more opportunities when transferring Amex points to ANA Mileage Club. For instance, you can visit both South Korea and Japan on the same trip for 180K points round-trip, flying First Class to Japan, and then Business Class on the short flight between Japan and Korea.

First Class seats on ANA often need to be booked well in advance (think nearly one year in advance), but seats may pop-up here and there. And you’ll always get the best availability when you transfer your points to ANA’s own program rather than partner airlines. These First Class flights can sell for nearly $20,000 when paying cash so you’ll really get some bang for your points when redeeming for First Class tickets. It may be worth it to position yourself to a major hub city to take advantage of these deals.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to Korea

  • Recommended transfer partner: ANA Mileage Club
  • Points needed for First Class: 180,000
  • Operating airlines: ANA, Asiana, Ethiopian

Business Class on American Airlines to Europe 100K Points Round-Trip, per person

Bridge to the Vatican in Rome, Italy

American Airlines may not have the best reputation compared to international airlines, but it can sometimes be the most convenient way to fly if you’re more interested in a streamlined flight schedule. Its own frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, sometimes has web specials where it usually only dips as low as 57.5K miles each way for Business Class seats to Europe, but by using Amex transfer partner Etihad Guest Miles, you can fly the same flights for only 50K points each way — and you don’t need any AA miles.

Etihad’s partner award chart has some great redemption value for booking American Airlines flights, especially because you’re unable to transfer points from any of the major credit card currencies to AA’s own frequent flyer program. To book, you’ll need to search for possible availability using a Oneworld search engine such as British Airways or American’s own award search tool, note down the flight numbers, and then call Etihad to complete the booking. For 200K Amex points, you’ll have enough for two passengers flying round-trip in Business Class to Europe.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to Europe

  • Recommended transfer partner: Etihad Guest Miles
  • Points needed for Business Class: 100,000 per person (200K for 2)
  • Operating airline: American Airlines

Related: Top 10 Business Class Destinations for Under 180,000 Points

Business Class to India 170K Points Round-Trip

Taj Majal near Agra, India with women in local dress

Flying to India is a great way to maximize Air Canada Aeroplan’s new regional distance-based award chart. India is included in the far eastern end of the Atlantic zone and you can max out your distance by finding routes from certain Eastern U.S. and Canadian cities to India for only 85K points each way. And if you wanted to add a stopover in, say, Istanbul, on the way, it’s only an extra 5K points. Wanna stop for a few days in Germany as well? Just add another 5K. Aeroplan’s flexible stopover rules are one of the best perks of the program.

Of course, not all routes will fall into that lower mileage redemption threshold. If your total distance flown for all segments is more than 8,000 miles, it’ll be 100K points each way. Still a great deal, and it allows you to travel round-trip to India for 200K Amex points or less. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about the high fuel surcharges other programs impose when flying airlines like Lufthansa, Swiss, or Turkish Airlines. Aeroplan doesn’t charge these hefty fees, so you’ll keep your overall cost down. Transfer as few as 170K Amex points to Air Canada’s Aeroplan for round-trip Business Class flights to India.

How to Redeem Amex Points for Flights to India

  • Recommended transfer partner: Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Points needed for Business Class: 170,000 – 200,000
  • Operating airlines: Several Star Alliance Carriers (Turkish, Lufthansa, Swiss, United, Air India, etc.)

Related: Miles Redemption with Air Canada Aeroplan: A Step-by-Step Guide

Need Help Booking Award Flights? There’s an App for That

These examples are just a drop in the bucket of the many superb redemption possibilities available with your Amex points. Seeking out these high-value redemption opportunities can be time consuming — especially when it comes to finding availability. The key to finding the best deals is always to be fairly flexible with travel dates and even departure cities or destinations. If trying to figure out the best way to use your American Express Membership Rewards points is making your head spin, we’re just a chat away if you’d like some help. At Chatflights, we’d be glad to take the burden off your shoulder and find the best flights for your trip.

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