10 Best Ways to Redeem 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points

brussels airlines business class

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American Express Membership Rewards points are 1 of the 4 major transferable points programs. Amex has a multitude of both Membership Rewards and non-Membership Rewards-earning cards that are currently available on the market.

Similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Citi ThankYou Rewards, I recommend checking out Amex’s Membership Rewards cards to help get you to your next destination using miles and points. Today we’ll discuss the 10 best ways to use Amex points if you’ve collected 60,000 and are ready to travel!

How to Earn Membership Rewards Points

The best way to take advantage of the redemptions below is to focus on Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards, as well as cards that have high introductory bonuses. By applying for personal or business cards that align with your spending habits, you can easily collect Membership Rewards points in a hurry.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
💳 The Platinum Card® from American Express

Love Special Perks & Travel Benefits?

> This Card Gets You Access To 18 of Them!


  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
💳 Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
💳 The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
💳 The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Love Special Perks & Exclusive Benefits?
> Here's 41 Benefits You Get With This Card!
  • Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450
💳 The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

More Info?
> Small Biz Owners Love These 11 Card Benefits
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
💳 The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0

The 10 Best Ways to Use 60,000 Amex Points

If you’re ready to travel the world in style, you’ve come to the right place. From Asia to South America to Hawaii, Membership Rewards points will have you covered!

Amex allows you to redeem points with 12 airline and 3 hotel partners. Many of the airline partners (like Singapore Airlines) also partner with other transferable points programs. If you’re short on Amex points for a particular redemption, consider an airline partner that has multiple transferable point options.

1. Fly to Europe in Business Class From East/Central U.S. (45,000 Asia Miles)

British Airways 747 Business Class Upper Deck
Enjoy the spacious Upper Deck on a British Airways 747 in business class!

Cathay Pacific prices one-way business class flights on Oneworld partners to Europe at competitive rates. The Asia Miles program has multiple award charts, so you’ll want to focus on the “Asia Miles award chart” for this redemption.

This chart’s terms state that award travel is for single- or mixed-carrier awards, but note that if you’re flying mixed carriers, 1 of the flights must be on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon. However, that won’t apply to redemptions in this category, since Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon don’t have non-stop flights between the U.S. and Europe.

The Asia Miles award chart is zone-based, and I recommend using gcmap.com to calculate your one-way mileage for this redemption. (The award zone is determined by the total distance flown in your itinerary, so understanding actual distance is helpful!)

One of the many highlights of this award chart is that it allows for up to 5 stopovers, 2 airport transfers, and 2 open-jaws at the origin, along your route, or at the destination. Each airline’s terms and conditions on stopovers, transfers, and open-jaws will apply.

The last items to consider are taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed charges. Asia Miles’ search engine will calculate these costs after conducting an award search; they’ll come up in HKD, so simply convert that amount into USD to determine your out-of-pocket cost.

I recommend searching for Oneworld award availability on British Airways or Qantas. Once you locate the flight you want to book, confirm award availability on asiamiles.com.

Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, and Qatar Airways flights can all be booked via the Asia Miles website. For other Oneworld airlines like American Airlines, a flight request form can be submitted.

Alternatively, you can call the Cathay Pacific U.S. office at 866-892-2598 or the Hong Kong office at 011-852-2747-3838.

Oneworld routes to consider for this redemption include:

  • New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG) – American Airlines
  • Dallas (DFW) – London (LHR) – British Airways
  • Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD) – Iberia

2. Fly to Brussels in Business Class on Brussels Airlines (44,000 Etihad Miles)

brussels airlines business class
Brussels Airlines business class is yet another transatlantic option with your Etihad Miles.

Etihad Guest has a number of interesting redemptions, including one-way business class from the U.S. to Brussels. Similar to Virgin Atlantic, this program has different award charts for each of its partner airlines.

The Brussels award chart lists the destinations for Brussels Airlines, which are primarily in Europe. North America has 3 non-stop flights on Brussels Airlines (New York, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.).

Etihad prices Brussels flights by destination, with the 3 North America stops requiring the same amount of points.

While the chart is limited in terms of North American destinations, at just 44,000 miles one-way, this redemption pairs extremely well with a cheap intra-Europe flight on a low-cost carrier to get to your final destination.

A couple notes on the Brussels Airlines Terms and Conditions:

  • One-way award tickets are allowed
  • Stopovers and open-jaws are not allowed

I recommend using United, Aeroplan, or ANA for your award search. Once you locate the flight(s) you want to book, a phone call to Etihad is required.

Brussels Airlines flights can be redeemed with Etihad miles by contacting the Etihad Guest Service Center at +1 (0) 877-690-0767; they’re open 24 hours a day.

Brussels Airlines serves North America with the following nonstop flights:

  • New York (JFK) – Brussels (BRU)
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Brussels (BRU)
  • Washington (IAD) – Brussels (BRU)

3. Fly to Europe in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic (50,000 KrisFlyer Miles)

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
Have direct aisle access in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class! Image courtesy of AusBT.

Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program KrisFlyer is typically known (and rightfully so!) for their premium cabin redemptions. What you may not know is that KrisFlyer also has a few other high-value redemptions, including business class from the U.S. to Europe in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Cabin.

Virgin Atlantic is not a member of an alliance, so Singapore Airlines has a separate chart solely for the airline. Singapore Airlines also has separate award charts for Alaska Airlines, Virgin Australia, and Star Alliance partners.

The Virgin Atlantic award chart is zoned-based with 7 zones:

  • North Asia (China, Hong Kong)
  • Africa (Nigeria, South Africa)
  • North America (USA)
  • Central, South Asia (India)
  • Central America (Mexico, Caribbean)
  • Middle East (United Arab Emirates)
  • Europe (United Kingdom)

The major highlight for premium cabin travelers is the low amount of miles required for Upper Class. If economy is more in line with your goals, KrisFlyer prices round-trip Virgin Atlantic economy flights at just 50,000 miles.

There are 2 potential downsides to consider here:

  1. No stopovers are allowed on a one-way award flight
  2. Taxes, surcharges, and fees will be added to the mileage required (keep the carrier-imposed surcharges in mind, particularly for the Upper Class cabin!)

Search for Virgin Atlantic availability on virginatlantic.com first, and then call Singapore Airlines at 213-404-0301 to book the award ticket.

Examples of Virgin Atlantic nonstop flights from London to the U.S. include:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – London (LHR)
  • New York (JFK) – London (LHR)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – London (LHR)

Need help booking? Read our in-depth guide on how to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class.

4. Fly to Hong Kong and China in Business Class on American (55,000 Etihad Miles)

As mentioned earlier, Etihad has an award chart for each of their 24 airline partners. American Airlines is one of those partners with particularly solid redemptions for U.S.-based travelers.

The American Airlines award chart is broken down into 8 different regions. North America includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, while Asia Zone 1 includes Japan, Korea, and Mongolia.

American Airlines’ chart is zone-based, meaning award flights traveling from any country in your departing zone to any country in your arriving zone will be the same. As an example: all flights from North America to Hong Kong cost 50,000 Etihad miles one-way in business class and 25,000 miles one-way in economy.

In addition to the low amount of miles required, there are a couple other highlights of an American Airlines award: one-way award travel is permitted, and a stopover is allowed as well.

As with other Etihad redemptions, taxes and surcharges are required. I recommend using the ITA Flight Matrix to determine the approximate cost of the taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges prior to booking.

British Airways and Qantas will provide the best search engine for this redemption. Similar to Brussels Airlines, a phone call to Etihad is required to book American Airlines award flights.

You can contact the Etihad Guest Service Center 24 hours a day at +1 (0) 877-690-0767.

Examples of American Airlines nonstop flights to Hong Kong and China include:

  • Dallas (DFW) – Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Shanghai (PVG)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Beijing (PEK)

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide on booking AA business class.

5. Fly to Morocco in Business Class on Royal Air Maroc (44,000 Etihad Miles)

Royal Air Maroc Dreamliner Business Class
What better way to fly to Morocco than in Royal Air Maroc’s business class on a flight from New York City (JFK)!

Another high-value Etihad redemption to consider is Royal Air Maroc from the U.S. to Morocco. Mirroring Etihad’s other airline partners, Royal Air Maroc uses its own award chart.

The Royal Air Maroc award chart is driven by distance and class of your cabin. Once again, I recommend using gcmap.com to determine the distance of your award. For U.S. to Morocco flights, use the 2001 and above portion of the award chart.

Royal Air Maroc requires a low amount of miles for both economy and business class redemptions. A couple of additional positives about this partnership include the ability to book one-way flights as well as a stopover.

When utilizing this redemption, keep in mind 3 items:

  1. Taxes, fees, and surcharges will have to be paid at the time of award ticketing. Based on a recent search, the fuel surcharges will be ~$230 for both economy and business class round-trip flights
  2. Open jaws are not allowed
  3. Royal Air Maroc availability cannot be searched online

To find award availability and book a Royal Air Maroc flight, you will need to contact the Etihad Guest Service Center at +1 (0) 877-690-0767.

Royal Air Maroc has 2 nonstop flights between Morocco the U.S.:

  • New York (JFK) – Casablanca (CMN)
  • Washington (IAD) – Casablanca (CMN)

6. Fly to Japan and Korea in Business Class on American Airlines (50,000 Etihad Miles)

It’s time for yet another Etihad redemption: American Airlines flights to Asia. Similar to American Airlines flights to Hong Kong and China, the airline also has nonstop flights to both Japan and Korea at competitive rates.

As a reminder, the American Airlines chart is zoned-based, meaning any flight from the U.S. to either country will require the same number of miles. The highlight of this chart is that you are looking at a 12-13 hour flight for only 50,000 Membership Rewards points transferred directly to Etihad!

You can head to both British Airways and Qantas to find award availability for American Airlines flights to Asia.

Once you locate American Airlines award availability, call the Etihad Guest Service Center at +1 (0) 877-690-0767 to redeem miles for your award flight. Taxes, fees, and surcharges will need to be paid at the time of booking.

Examples of American Airlines flights to Japan and Korea include:

  • Dallas (DFW) – Seoul (ICN)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Narita (NRT)

7. Fly Between Prague and Seoul in Business Class on Czech Airlines (25,610 Etihad Miles)

czech airlines business class
Czech Airlines business class is great way to enjoy the long-haul flight from Prague to Seoul. Image courtesy of czechairlines.com.

When I first heard about this redemption, I was extremely skeptical — less than 30,000 Membership Rewards for a nearly 10-hour flight?!

The Czech Airlines award chart prices are based on the city you’re flying to. Most of the cities in the chart are in Europe, making it extremely easy to miss the last city on the list: Seoul.

This redemption’s obvious highlight is the price compared to other long-haul flights in business class. If economy is more your style, you’re only looking at 12,805 miles one-way to fly from Prague to Seoul!!

Another positive within the Czech Airlines award chart is that one-way flights are allowed.

Even with a low mileage requirement, the chart does have a downside to consider. The taxes, fees, and surcharges are required at the time of booking, and can be substantial. Based on a recent search, business class surcharges are ~$394, while economy surcharges are $270.

Czech Airlines is a SkyTeam member, and availability can be searched on klm.com or airfrance.com. When you are ready to book your flight, call the Etihad Guest Service Center at +1 (0) 877-690-0767 to redeem your miles.

Czech Airlines flies nonstop to Seoul on the following route:

  • Prague (PRG) – Seoul (ICN)

8. Fly to Japan in Business Class on ANA (63,000 Etihad Miles)

ANA Business Class
Wake up well-rested in Japan after your flight in ANA’s business class.

Another great redemption to get to Asia is the ANA business class redemption from the U.S. to Japan.

ANA’s award chart is based on distance and class of service. For these types of charts, I always use gcmap.com to calculate the distance of my itinerary.

The ANA award chart has a couple of important highlights:

  1. Stopovers are allowed
  2. One-way tickets are permitted

In addition to the positives mentioned above, there are 2 more key points to remember:

  1. ANA flights from Seattle to Japan are less than 5,000 miles long, which drops the award miles required from 63,000 to 54,000. If you can affordably fly to Seattle, you will save even more miles.
  2. The fuel surcharges you’ll be required to pay at ticket issuance are low. One-way business class fuel surcharges from several West Coast cities were $172.

As with most Star Alliance flights, I recommend searching for ANA award availability on both ana.com and united.com. Also consider aeroplan.com for Star Alliance award availability.

When you are able to track down ANA award availability, call the Etihad Guest Service Center to book this award flight.

Examples of non-stop ANA flights for this redemption include:

  1. Seattle (SEA) – Japan (NRT)
  2. San Francisco (SFO) – Japan (NRT)
  3. Los Angeles (LAX) – Japan (NRT)

Need help booking? Dive into our in-depth guide on booking ANA business class.

9. Fly to Hawaii in Business Class on United (60,000 KrisFlyer Miles)

United Polaris Lie-Flat Seat
Arrive relaxed even before you hit the beaches in Hawaii! Image courtesy of United.

Singapore Airlines has a solid redemption for United flights to Hawaii with their KrisFlyer program. The North America region includes the U.S. and Canada, but it excludes Hawaii (it’s part of the Hawaii, Central America region). All United flights from the North America region to Hawaii require the same number of points in either business class or economy.

The KrisFlyer Star Alliance award chart is zone-based with 12 zones, and prices are driven by the destination, origin, and class of service you’re flying.

One highlight of the Star Alliance chart is the ability to book one-way flights. When flying United to Hawaii, the main benefit is the fact the taxes, fees, and surcharges should be low, since United doesn’t levy fuel surcharges like other airlines.

Award availability for these flights can be found on united.com. Once you locate United award availability, search for that same flight on singaporeairlines.com and book the flight online. If the flight doesn’t show on Singapore Airlines, call Singapore Airlines‘ Houston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco offices to book the award.

Examples of nonstop United flights include:

  • Newark (EWR) – Honolulu (HNL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Kona (KOA)
  • Chicago (ORD – Maui (OGG)

Need help booking? Read our step-by-step guide on how to book United business class flights.

10. Fly to South America in Business Class on American Airlines (50,000 Etihad Miles)

Another American Airlines redemption to consider with Etihad is an award flight to South America. The American Airlines award chart breaks South America into 2 zones, with 20,000 additional Etihad miles required between Zone 1 and Zone 2.

South America Zone 2 includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile (excluding Easter Island), Paraguay, and Uruguay. South America Zone 1 is combined with Central America and includes countries within the northern half of the continent.

The highlights of this redemption are threefold:

  1. One-way flights are allowed
  2. Taxes, fees, and surcharges are reasonable
  3. Stopovers are permitted

For one-way flights from the U.S., the taxes and fees will be ~$30 (based on a recent search from multiple U.S. departure cities and South American arrival cities).

Use the search engines at AA.com, britishairways.com, and qantas.com to find award availability, and then call the Etihad Guest Service Center to book your flight.

Examples of American Airlines flights to South America include:

  • Dallas (DFW) – Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – São Paulo (GRU)

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide on booking AA business class.

List of Airline Partners

Amex Airline Transfer Partners
Choose one of Amex’s airline transfer partners to begin the process.

 

Amex Airline Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
AeroMexico
1:1.62-12 days
Air Canada1:1Almost Instant
Alitalia1:1Almost Instant
ANA
1:1
2-3 days
British Airways
1:1Almost Instant
Cathay Pacific1:1Up to 1 Week
Delta Air Lines1:1Almost Instant
EL AL50:1Almost Instant
Emirates1:1Almost Instant
Etihad Airways1:1Almost Instant
FlyingBlue AirFrance/KLM1:1Almost Instant
Hawaiian1:1Almost Instant
Iberia1.25:11-3 days
JetBlue1.25:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines1:11-2 days
Virgin Atlantic2:11-2 days

List of Hotel Partners

Amex Hotel Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
Choice Privileges1:1Almost Instant
Hilton Honors1:1.5Almost Instant
Starwood Preferred Guest3:1Almost Instant

Final Thoughts

American Express Membership Rewards is a program to consider if you’re looking for great award opportunities, as the value of some of these redemptions is impressive.

Earning transferable Membership Rewards points from both welcome offers and everyday spending will enable you to reach many of these destinations in style. 

We’re also huge fans of collecting Membership Rewards points because the transfer to most airlines is instant and at a 1:1 ratio. Happy redeeming!

FAQ

How do Amex points work?

American Express Membership Rewards points can be used to to pay for purchases, redeemed for gift cards, cover charges as a statement credit, book travel, transfer to partners (recommended), or shop for experiences/products.

When do my Amex points expire?

Membership Rewards points do not expire as long as you have an Amex Membership Rewards credit card open.

Which airlines use Amex points?

Membership Rewards points can be transferred to 12 airlines. The airlines include: Aeromexico, Aeroplan, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

How many Amex points do I need for a flight?

The number of Membership Rewards points will vary depending on the route, cabin, and transfer partner you are using.

Are Amex points worth it?

No question! The ability to fly in a premium cabin to many destinations around the world makes Membership Rewards points extremely valuable.

Are Amex points transferrable?

Yes. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to 12 airlines (see above) and 3 hotels. The hotel transfer partners include Choice Hotels, Hilton, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for writing up all the useful Etihad Guest redemptions using the MR points. You gave me several travel ideas for the coming year.

  2. KrisFlyer almost never sees Virgin Atlantic availability, so I would certainly not call it a useful transfer of member rewards if that is your goal. Their availability does *not* match delta.com or virginatlantic.com.

    1. You are correct dijbouti in that Virgin Atlantic availability shown on Singapore Airlines site is limited relative to the Virgin Atlantic and Delta search engines. We recommend searching for Virgin Atlantic availability on Virgin Atlantic or Delta, and then calling Singapore Airlines to book your award ticket.

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