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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.
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.
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.