6 ways I could use my Malaysia Airlines Enrich points before they expire
In late 2018, I noticed a Malaysia Enrich Triple Everything promotion. After reading the promotion terms and conditions carefully, I realized I could earn Oneworld Sapphire status for over two years for less than $500. I already had plans to be in Southeast Asia, so my husband and I hopped over to Medan, Indonesia, in early 2019 to start a series of 18 Malaysia Airlines flights in 16 days.
After the 18 flights, we each earned Enrich Gold status through March 2021 and 12,189 Enrich points. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Malaysia then extended elite status through March 2023. And although Enrich points typically expire after three years, Malaysia recently extended our points through Dec. 31, 2022.
I hope we'll be able to use our points to book Enrich Base fares within Malaysia for just 2,100 points per flight. But Malaysia is still closed to U.S. tourists and availability is often limited on these fares.
Today I'll discuss all of our best options for redeeming our modest balances of Malaysia Airlines Enrich points.
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I'd ideally like to redeem these points for award flights. Since Malaysia Enrich is a transfer partner of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program, I could transfer Citi ThankYou points to Malaysia to top off my account if needed. So, in this section, I'll discuss how I could redeem our Enrich points for Malaysia Airlines, Oneworld or Firefly flights.
Malaysia Airlines flights
If you want to redeem points for Malaysia-operated flights, the award chart for Enrich Base fares indicates the lowest rates you'll find. As such, I could redeem 12,189 Enrich points and transfer in an additional 1,000 Citi ThankYou points to book up to three round-trip flights within Malaysia.
I found decent availability for Enrich Base fares at these rates for nonstop flights. So, we could do three round-trips each from Kuala Lumpur to destinations like Kuantan, Langkawi and Penang if we found Base fares on our dates.
While I found some months with awards starting at 2,100 points each way on most dates between Kuala Lumpur and these cities, I don't want to book these awards yet since these Enrich Base fares are nonrefundable and carry a change fee.
Round-trip pricing for these flights starts at around $51. So, if your round-trip flights cost 4,200 points or $51, you'd get a redemption rate of 1.21 cents per point. However, paid rates and award rates vary, so redemption rates also vary.
Oneworld and partner flights
Malaysia Airlines is part of the Oneworld alliance but also has several non-Oneworld partners. Here's the award chart for awards solely operated by partners:
And here's the award chart for awards consisting of both Malaysia-operated and partner-operated flights:
Interestingly, you'll need to redeem more points when Malaysia operates part of your award — however, these rates aren't all that competitive and you'd need to call Malaysia Airlines to book these flights. Because of that, I don't expect I'll want to transfer in enough rewards to book any Oneworld or partner flights.
Related: What are airline alliances, and who’s in them?
Firefly is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines with hubs in Penang and Subang. You can see where Firefly flies here, and you can redeem Malaysia points on Firefly flights as follows:
However, I rarely found awards in the least-expensive fare class when I searched, and even the least expensive awards are a good bit more expensive than the Enrich Base fares I found for Malaysia-operated intra-Malaysia flights. However, I'll keep this option in mind if Malaysia reopens before I redeem my points — especially if I plan a trip that involves Penang or Subang.
Related: Why you should take your family on a vacation to Malaysia
You can redeem Malaysia Enrich points for lounge access vouchers at the following locations:
- International Golden Lounge in Kuala Lumpur: 10,000 points.
- Domestic Golden Lounge in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu or Kuching: 7,000 points.
Each voucher allows one traveler on a Malaysia-operated flight one-time access to the business-class section of the Golden Lounge before departure. Most Golden Lounges besides the domestic lounge in Kuala Lumpur are still closed, but the vouchers are good for six months once you redeem.
Through Dec. 31, 2021, you can get a 10% discount on domestic lounge vouchers. This drops the cost to 6,300 points. But since it's difficult to say whether U.S. tourists will be able to travel to Malaysia easily within the next six months, I don't recommend redeeming for discounted vouchers unless you currently reside in Malaysia. I don't plan to redeem for vouchers since I already get lounge access thanks to my American Airlines Executive Platinum elite status.
Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access
You can redeem Malaysia Enrich points to book hotel stays worldwide through Enrich Hotels. Of course, since RocketMiles powers Enrich Hotels, you won't get elite benefits or earnings on your stay. But, especially if you don't have any plans to travel to Malaysia before your points expire, booking one or more hotel stays through Enrich Hotels might be your best option.
I checked prices for a sample one-night stay in Bogota, Colombia, to determine how much value you can get from your Malaysia points through Enrich Hotels. Here are the prices for two Hilton DoubleTree properties using points:
And here are paid rates through Enrich Hotels (through which you'd earn Malaysia points on your stay) for that same one-night stay:
This sample one-night stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bogota Salitre AR becomes $72.10 after taxes and fees. But as a Gold member, I'd earn 1,000 points on my stay. Alternatively, I could redeem 9,000 points as a Gold member (this includes taxes and fees), so I'd get 0.9 cents per point on this redemption.
Related: Online travel agency vs. booking direct: Your guide to the best way to book your next hotel
Shop Malaysia Airlines Temptations
Another option for redeeming your Malaysia Enrich points is Malaysia Airlines Temptations. Here's a look at the rates for some bestselling items:
Each of these redemption options provides 1.25 MYR cents per point, equating to 0.3 cents per point in U.S. dollars. Especially once you consider shipping costs, Malaysia Airlines Temptations won't offer good value for your Enrich points.
Related: Why I’m not going to ‘burn’ my miles for merchandise
Pay to extend
Finally, if you cannot use your Enrich points and their expiration date is approaching, you can pay to extend your points. Specifically, you can extend points set to expire within the next three months by paying 0.085 MYR (about 2 cents) per point. When you do so, Enrich will extend the expiration date on your points 12 months from the original expiration date.
So, if I wanted to extend my 12,189 Enrich point in late 2022, I'd need to pay 1,036.07 MYR (about $246.39). Frankly, I don't think it would be worth doing so. However, there isn't a minimum number of points required for extension. So, if I had a few points set to expire and I planned to earn more points within a year, I might extend a minimal number of points.
Related: How to keep your points and miles from expiring
I'll likely redeem our Malaysia Airlines Enrich points for either intra-Malaysia Enrich Base fares on short-haul Malaysia-operated flights or for Firefly-operated flights. However, budget carriers like AirAsia also operate flights on many of these routes. If you're willing to fly AirAsia with minimal baggage, you may not get much value from redeeming Malaysia Airlines points on these routes.
Personally, I'll enjoy flying Malaysia Airlines since I have lounge access and complimentary checked bags due to my elite status. So, I hope to redeem my points for Enrich Base fares and do three round-trips from Kuala Lumpur. After all, I'd enjoy going back to the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort and The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. If I cannot make it to Malaysia before my points expire, I'll redeem them for a couple of hotel nights through Enrich Hotels.
Finally, I should note that Malaysia Enrich offers many types of redemptions that are either explicitly limited to members living in Malaysia (such as converting points to GrabRewards) or are only valuable for members residing in Malaysia (such as redeeming for a restaurant voucher valid at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Kuala Lumpur). So, if you live in Malaysia, you may want to consider redemptions options that I haven't discussed in this guide.