Skip to content

TPG Lounge readers’ best American Express Membership Rewards redemptions

Sept. 22, 2019
7 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

We recently asked our TPG Lounge members to share the best redemptions they’ve ever had with the American Express Membership Rewards program. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Epic flights to Europe and the Middle East

Some TPG Lounge members told us how they'd transferred their American Express Membership Rewards points (MR points) to one of the program's partner airlines so they could arrive to their final destinations in style aboard some the best business- and first-class products in the sky.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

"I’m sure there are better ones on this list but I’ve consistently booked the throne seat in business class on Swiss Air from Los Angeles (LAX) to Frankfurt (FRA) for 55,000 Amex MR points and only a $40 fuel charge. My biggest success with Amex MR points is the consistency of getting this flight, even during peak seasons." — Zachary S.

"Back in 2012 when we could book round-trip business-class flights to Europe on Delta for only 100,000 SkyMiles per person, I transferred 200,000 Amex MR points — earned from a targeted 100,000 Business Platinum and 75,000 PRG [welcome offer] as well as spending — to fly Delta between Chicago (ORD) and Paris (CDG)." — Shana G.

"80,000 Amex MR points transferred to Aeroplan, then Lufthansa, to fly first class from Prague (PRG) to Frankfurt (FRA) to Washington, DC (IAD) to Denver (DEN). They picked me up in a Porsche [and took me] to the best lounge ever, then another Porsche to the 747. " — James C.

"Transferred Amex MR points to LifeMiles and booked a round-trip flight in Lufthansa’s first class to Frankfurt three days before departure." — Jose S.

Lufthansa's first-class product was a big hit with our TPG Lounge crowd. (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)
Lufthansa first class was a big hit with our TPG Lounge crowd. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

"Booked Qatar Airways QSuites from Doha (DOH) to Zurich (ZRH) by transferring Amex MR points to British Airways and redeeming just 37,500 Avios plus 112 euros in taxes and fees for seven hours in the world's best business class thanks to Zurich being in a lower mileage band than, say, London. This is now a bit more expensive post-2019 partner devaluation, but still a good deal." — Matthew T.

"46,000 Amex MR points transferred to Virgin Atlantic for a Delta One nonstop flight from New York (JFK) to Tel Aviv (TLV) during the 30% bonus." — Dennis D.

"98,000 Amex MR points to Emirates to fly in first class on the A380. It was everything I ever wanted. The best is flying out of Dubai though, so you can take advantage of the first-class lounge and free a la carte dining." — Johnny Z.G.

Official Application Link: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Adventures in Asia

Continuing that trend, many TPG Lounge readers said they'd used Amex MR points to fly to and from Asia in first and business class on Cathay Pacifc, EVA Air, ANA and Delta.

"I try to wait for the British Airways bonuses and use those to jet around Asia in Cathay Pacific's business class or Cathay Dragon, which has excellent J class seats, too." — Albert G.

"47,000 Amex MR points transferred to Virgin Atlantic for a one-way flight from Beijing (PEK) to Detroit (DTW) in Delta One Suites during the 30% transfer bonus period. It was my second time in the Suites but I loved it so much. It’s the only product I’ve flown where I can actually get some sleep." — Brian M.

"46,000 Amex MR points transferred to Virgin Atlantic during the 30% promotion, redeemed for a one-way flight from Seattle (SEA) to Beijing (PEK) on Delta One (normally 60,000 points). Got it for two people round-trip. That’s 184,000 instead of 240,000. I took the risk of transferring first, then deciding on the exact dates, which was partly due to the low cancellation and change fee of $50 per person per trip. And yes, you can book Delta flights directly on the Virgin Atlantic website if there is available award space." — Shu Y.

"I used 77,000 Amex MR points of the sign-up bonus to snag my return trip in EVA Air business class from Bali (DPS) to Los Angeles (LAX) via Taipei (TPE). It was probably a $3,000 ticket so it was a nice redemption rate via Air Canada's Aeroplan program." — Tom M.

Have you flown in EVA AIr's business class yet? (Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy)
Have you flown in EVA AIr's business class yet? (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

"65,000 Amex MR points round-trip to Tokyo from Columbus (CMH). Paid $59 each way to upgrade to Delta Comfort +." — Tara W.D.

"Used my bonus to redeem flights from New York (JFK) to Seoul (ICN) to Manila (MNL) to Tokyo (NRT) to JFK, all in business class with a cash value of about $12,000." — Gino

"[Transferred] Amex MR points to Virgin Atlantic — with the 30% transfer bonus — to get two ANA first-class tickets from Los Angeles to Japan round-trip, flights that were valued at $35,000." — Jason F.

"Redeemed 170,000 Amex MR points, thanks to 30% transfer bonus, for two round-trip first-class tickets on ANA for next April to visit Japan during cherry blossom season! Best redemption value ever at 23 cents per point!" — Christopher B.C.

"Did the exact same thing for our recent trip to Japan. 85,000 MR points to fly round-trip in ANA first class. Best redemption ever!" — Peter H.

Round-the-world dream trips

Not that we're jealous — okay, we're totally jealous — but a few TPG Lounge members were able to parlay their MR points into epic round-the-world journeys in business class.

"250,000 Amex MR points to fly the family around the world in business class." — Steven L.

"[Using the] Virgin Atlantic 30% bonus to fly round-trip in ANA first class to Japan was the best value. The most interesting was arguably 110,000 points per person for a round-the-world trip in J via ANA to gift our son with seven new countries for his seventh birthday." — Ashley W.H.

"I booked two Star Alliance round-the-world tickets in business class by transferring 115,000 Amex MR points per person to ANA and paying $310 in taxes and fees per person. We saw Tokyo, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Phuket, New Delhi, Dubai, Istanbul and Boston while drinking champagne and enjoying lie-flat seats between stops." — Jo B.

"An ANA around-the-world award from Toronto (YYZ) to Taipei (TPE) to Bali (DPS) to Istanbul (IST) to Athens (ATH) to Zurich (ZRH) to YYZ, all in business class on EVA Air, Turkish Airlines, Swiss Air and Air Canada. 125,000 Amex MR points plus $450 in taxes. You do have to call in to book the award but it only took about 30 minutes." — Kyle M.

Featured image by Asiana offers one of the cheapest ways to book Lufthansa first class, but they do pass on massive fuel surcharges. Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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 Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees