Top 5 ways to redeem your American Express member rewards points
The time has come. After two years of patiently waiting while our scores quietly skyrocketed, the world has finally opened up. If, like us, you’ve spent most of it throwing yourself into lockdown projects and maximizing new American Express bonus points offers, now’s your chance to redeem your rewards.
A long-haul international flight at the sharp end of the plane might be the first thing that springs to mind, and there’s no doubt that business and first class seating on some of the world’s top airlines is one of the best ways to enjoy your American Express membership rewards Points. But how far can you take your points elsewhere? Even before the wheels have even left the asphalt, you can exchange your hard-earned points for all sorts of goodies, and the perks last long after you’ve reached your final destination.
We sent John to Phuket, Thailand with the American Express Platinum Card to show you Boss Hunting’s top five ways to redeem your American Express Membership Rewards points.
Get new gear
What better excuse to refresh your travel gear than a surplus of Membership Rewards points? From a new set of luggage wheels to noise-cancelling headphones, when you need it, you can almost certainly get it by redeeming your Membership Rewards points one way or another. Of the three essential items we were dying to buy before flying, we quickly discovered that all of these brands can be unlocked through American Express rewards.
John snagged a brand new GoPro Hero 10 (yes, they’re up to 10 somehow now) for all things underwater with a $750 JB HiFi gift card (150,000 points). Around his neck is a pair of AirPods Max, which he received directly from Apple with $900 Apple Gift Cards (180,000 points)and he snagged his new 574s from New Balance via The Iconic $140 gift cards (28,000 points). All the gear without a clue has never been so easy. Discover the full range of retailers that exchange gift cards for American Express Membership Rewards points here.
Redeem on a premium long-haul flight
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that you must seize opportunities to maximize life’s pleasures – and international travel is a great example. Australia has always lost out when it comes to the sheer distance we have to travel to reach the rest of the world. But now, with your excess Membership Rewards points in the account, you can redeem them for premium seating on nine different long-haul airlines, taking you pretty much anywhere in comfort and style.
Redeem at a 2 for 1 redemption rate, John traded 130,000 American Express Membership Rewards points in the form of 65,000 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus miles. That got him a window seat in Thai’s Royal Silk class on the Sydney-to-Phuket direct Boeing 777 service for just $93.48 in taxes and fees. Super convincing. The roughly 9-hour day flight offers two amazing meals, the third-best cabin crew in the sky (according to Skytrax), a reclining seat and all the amenities you could hope for while sampling the sweet life at 36,000 feet.
Indulge in some deluxe digs
In a destination like Phuket, both your money and your points can make a big difference. If you have plenty of Membership Rewards points left in your account, or instead want to redeem the premium airfare for more premium digs, there are a variety of incredible accommodations to book online with American Express Travel or their Fine Hotels & Resorts service .
A night at V Villas Phuket’s palatial ocean view pool villa cost John $1190 for his special date (238,000 points). With high ceilings, sunken baths, walk-in robes larger than most apartments, and direct pool access from your bedroom window, there’s really no place you’d rather be on Phuket’s Panwa Peninsula. Dedicated butler service is always on hand, spa treatments are available whenever you desire, and the incredible rooftop bar is an absolute must-see in itself; Funky tunes spin during prime time and tasty cocktails are well shaken after the sun goes down.
If you’re familiar with American Express Travel’s website and have flexible schedules, you can imagine living in a private poolside oasis like this from $850 a night (170,000 points).
Quench your thirst for adventure
Equipment, flights, hotels – the American Express Membership Rewards program is undoubtedly already very helpful. But of course it doesn’t stop there. With many booking platforms now offering experiences alongside accommodation, the mid-term customer might forget that you can also book a huge range of on-site activities through operators like WebJet and Luxury Escapes.
The redeemable gift cards for each partner give you access to literally thousands of must-do experiences around the world. Just name the city. For John, Phuket has no shortage of wild and magnetic cultural attractions, but the absolute highlight is without a doubt the famous Phi Phi Archipelago.
The notoriously beautiful but equally crowded chain of islands, which has been closed to visitors for the last two years due to the pandemic, has reopened – but as of May 2022 – still without the chaotic tourism to match. As the flow of international visitors gradually shifts from a trickle to a stream, it’s important that you do everything you can to experience the beautiful national park as low-key as it was intended. Simba Sea Trips offers a sunrise tour of the Phi Phi Islands by speedboat that will get you to all the beautiful beaches and crystal clear lagoons before anyone else. John booked it with a $200 WebJet gift card (40,000 points), and didn’t even feel the pinch. A great way to offload smaller amounts of points when you’re not sure what to spend them on.
Enjoy a luxurious stay at home
Well, we’d be remiss not to mention that you don’t even have to pull out your passport to enjoy the benefits of the American Express Membership Rewards program. Book a short weekend away at one of American Express Travel’s many hotels and then treat yourself to a day that’s arguably as beautiful as anywhere in Thailand.
Sydney Seaplanes fly from Rose Bay to a variety of fine restaurants in the Sydney area, but we thought we’d stay a little closer to home with a scenic flight over Sydney Harbor followed by lunch at one of Sydney’s most famous restaurants, Catalina in Rose Bay. Which coincidentally is right next to the seaplane terminal.
The 20 minute flight takes you straight north over Manly before turning around and circling over the world famous Bondi Beach. It then turns west as the crow flies towards the Harbor Bridge and Opera House, offering passengers absolutely incredible views of the port city from just 500 feet, all with just a redeemed pass 100,000 points for two people, which we exchanged for a RedBalloon voucher.
Stop right in front of the restaurant at the pontoon for the biggest Hollywood gig ever, then enjoy a delicious 3-course lunch overlooking the Port of Catalina, also conveniently available from RedBalloon for you to enjoy will set them both back 60,000 points for $300 gift cards.
To explore the full range of American Express Membership Rewards partners, visit the website below and then browse our two most popular American Express cards – the Platinum Card and the Explorer Card.
This article is sponsored by American Express. Opinions expressed in this article solely belong to Boss Hunting. Points redemption rates we’ve published here are correct as at June 20th, 2022 and subject to airline T&Cs and availability. Fees and charges are may be payable in addition to the points redeemed. The earning and redemption of Membership Rewards points is subject to the terms and conditions of the American Express Membership Rewards program. To transfer Membership Rewards points into an airline rewards or frequent guest partner program you must be a member of the partner program. Membership of the partner program is the Card Member’s responsibility and is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the applicable program. A joining fee may apply.