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Can 50K Amex Membership Rewards Points Get a Roundtrip Ticket from Philadelphia to Prague?

by on June 30, 2013 · 6 comments

in American Express, Sunday Reader Questions, US Airways, Video Blog Post

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TPG reader Mia asked:

“Can 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points get a roundtrip ticket from Philadelphia to Europe, specifically to Prague? I am having a very tough time finding the answer!”

The easy answer is yes, you can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to All Nippon Airways and have 7,000 left over. That’s right, it is only 43,000 points to go from Philadelphia to Prague via Frankfurt on Star Alliance carriers.

If you book with Lufthansa, you will have to pay $465 in fees.

If you book with Lufthansa, you will have to pay $496 in fees plus your 43,000 miles.

However, whenever you fly Lufthansa or Austria or SWISS, you are going to get slammed with big fuel surcharges, even if your over-water segments are on US Airways and you are only just going into Europe, you’re looking at $496 in fees and 43,000 miles to fly roundtrip economy (ANA’s award chart is distance-based, so awards within certain distance bands can be better priced than competitors).

However, one thing you could do is fly just US Airways from Philadelphia to Frankfurt. It is going to be the same 43,000 but only $125 in fees.

A train from Frankfurt to Prague will cost $64-$125.

A train from Frankfurt to Prague will cost $64-$125.

Then you may be able to take a cheap flight from Frankfurt to Prague or take a train, rent a car or take a bus to keep your costs down. A one-way train ticket from Frankfurt to Prague ranges from 49 EUR ($63) to 97 EUR ($126) and takes around six hours. For the DB Bahn timetable, click here.

The bottom line is, it is possible to use your points to Prague, but could cost you depending on the route you decide to go. To help you decide, have a look at my series on transferring Amex points to both ANA and Aeroplan.

Aeroplan: Overview of Star Alliance taxes and fees using Aeroplan miles.

ANA: ANA Award Taxes and Fees Partner Airline Roundup.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • LauraSF

    Trying to use ANA miles to book to europe. Only optiona available from
    JFK are showing Japan, Asia and India. How do you use the ANA mile to book to europe.?

  • Mileswhore

    As the Points guy points out (lol), watch out for crazy fuel surcharges using ANA miles – you have to have the miles already to really play around with the airline and see what the cheapest route to go is.

  • jimmyb

    So for the US airways option, do you go AMEX –> ANA, then book US Airways through ANA website? Or do you go AMEX –> Aeroplan then book US Airways through Aeroplan website? For starwood would it be better to just go starwood –> US Airways, or is it worth it to go through ANA/Aeroplan?

  • no2rain

    I think you made a mistake indicating high fuel surcharges on Swiss. I booked Swiss from Montreal to Barcelona with no surcharges. Even your blog inidicates long haul international on Swiss Business is about $100.
    Alan

  • pcg

    The most straightforward way to get rt PHL-PRG on MR points is probably with Air France. It’s not the sexiest routing, but 50k points + ~$130 sure is nice. (And by straightforward, I mean not having to deal with the ANA search engine, not having to advine which carriers have high surcharges, etc. There are def. BETTER deals possible with Amex MR points, but probably not for the occasional redeemer.)

  • yarek

    You can try using lufthansa miles (miles and more) on Polish LOT (via Warsaw), they charge much less then Lufthansa on taxes, and have new Dreamliners (assuming they are flying again)

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