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Gently Used: Buy a Blinged-Out Boeing 747-8 From the Qatari Royal Family

Aug. 19, 2018
5 min read
Gently Used: Buy a Blinged-Out Boeing 747-8 From the Qatari Royal Family
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On the market for a lightly used Boeing 747-8? Well, you're in luck. The Qatari royal family has decided that two 747-8 Boeing Business Jets is one too many, and they're putting their newest "BBJ" (registration VQ-BSK) on the market.

Built at the end of 2012, the jumbo jet underwent a multi-year "VVIP" interior installation before entering service with the Qatari royal family in 2015. According to the listing, the aircraft has only been flown 403.2 hours over 181 cycles (a cycle is a takeoff and a landing) — making the aircraft practically brand new.

While the 747-8 is certified to carry up to 467 passengers, this aircraft is fitted with just 76 passenger seats and 18 crew seats. And a look inside the luxury cabins shows why. For starters, there's an incredible dining room / boardroom:

Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

You and your friends will have plenty of space to spread out in the aircraft's various lounges:

Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

You'll have to work out who gets to claim the even more exclusive upper-deck lounge:

Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

That said, there are plenty of lounges and offices across the massive aircraft.

Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

However, photos released from the interior reveal only one truly royal suite:

Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

With 10 lavatories on-board (2 forward, 2 mid, 4 aft, 2 upper deck) for the maximum 94 people on-board, there should never be much of a line.

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Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

And since this aircraft is designed for "VVIP"s, there's even a medical suite on-board:

Image from Controller.com aircraft listing.

The aircraft is powered by four GE GEnx-2B67 engines — serial numbers 959424, 959114, 959427, 959428 OR 959429, 959424, 959427, 959428 depending on which listing you check. These practically-new engines have a list price of $22.5 million each, making this aircraft a tempting purchase for any airline looking to pick up a few spares for cheap.

How To Purchase

How much are you going to have to shell out for the blinged-out bird? Well, there's no asking price. Instead, interested buyers are directed to call the AMAC Aerospace Switzerland AG airline broker Mohamad Badran at +41 58 310 32 58 to make an offer.

No word yet if they will take a credit card for the purchase. If so, the purchase is unlikely to code as travel, so you'd want to put the purchase on a card that earns points on general spend. With the demise of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earning rates (now 2x Marriott points = 1.8% return instead of 1x Starpoint = 2.7% return), we'd recommend using the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card (up to 2.625% cash back), Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard (2x miles per dollar towards travel with a 5% redemption rebate) or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (2x miles).

While the The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express is generally a great everyday spend card, the 2x Membership Rewards points earnings are limited to only the first $50,000 in purchases (then 1x thereafter). If you haven't hit this limit yet, there's a possibility that a large purchase would all earn 2x points — but it's not worth risking on such a massive purchase.

Unless you can get the broker to process the charge in the US, you'd want to steer clear of the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card 1.5% cash back (or 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) and the Citi® Double Cash Card (2% cashback; 1% back when you buy and 1% back when you pay), as these charge 3% foreign transaction fees.

Make sure to give the bank a heads-up about the large purchase before running the card.

The aircraft has capacity for 225,486 liters (59,567 gallons) of fuel. With the current price of Jet A fuel in the US around $4.69 per gallon, you're going to want to use a card that maximizes earnings on that nearly $280,000 fill-up. If the fueling service codes as a "gas station," our recommendation would be to use the Citi Premier® Card, which earns 3x points on purchases at gas stations.

H/T: The Drive

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023