100k Membership Reward points get me nowhere

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by heyfinley, Jan 2, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. heyfinley

    heyfinley Member

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    I'd like to use my Membership Rewards points to buy 2 roundtrip fares from NYC or BOS to a destination in Europe, perhaps DUB, LHR, or CDG. I'm just starting to look into things so I'm flexible on the destination, but I'd like to travel in Business-class service. (As a nice to have, I’d love to travel on a 747 or A380, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

    I have ~100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points and I realize they are having a 1000:1400 sale on British Airways Avios, hypothetically netting me 140,000 Avios.

    But I start having problems when I try to see how far 140k Avios will get me. BA’s Avios Calculator shows one-way BOS to LHR Business Class each costing 40,000 + $0 cash + fees. Awesome, right? But when I click through to book a flight with Avios*, the total comes out to 160,000 Avios + $2,344!

    The point amount checks out to me, but I wasn’t expecting the cash price to be so high. I must be doing something wrong. Can anyone shed some light on this? I really thought the points I have would get me something nice.


    *The hypothetical booking, in case it matters:
    BOS - LHR
    Tuesday 10 February 2015
    BA0212 Business Class

    LHR - BOS
    Tuesday 24 February 2015
    BA0213 Business Class
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Getting two r/t biz tickets for 100k points is going to be quite a feat. Almost impossible, really. Best bet is to find space on the Aer Lingus BOS-DUB non-stop flight and redeem Avios for that in Business Class. That should meet your budget. Otherwise you're hosed. But the 160k number is correct based on 40k each way per person.

    And keep in mind that not all flights have award seats available at the lowest price so getting a ticket at that rate might not work at all.

    Finally, keep in mind that the "fees" BA charges for travel on its own flights are not at all cheap. Flying on partners helps to lighten that burden.
     
  3. astraveln

    astraveln Silver Member

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    Yep....BA fuel surcharges are about 400 each way, per person....... yep.... Wandering Aramean is spot on as usual. You need to look at how "maximize Amex points" there are a couple of blogs out there to help as well... over on AA points right now....
     
  4. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Consider: if you could transfer the points to United (you can't) at 1:1, two round-trip first class domestic tickets would run you 100k. If you're expecting transatlantic premium cabin tickets for the same price, your expectations probably need to be reset. The points you have can indeed get you something nice, but maybe not all that you're dreaming of.

    As Wandering Aramean points out, using BA Avios for Aer Lingus flights Boston-Dublin or Shannon is quite a bargain at 25k per person each way in business class. And minimal fees. It's not the plushiest business class cabin in the air (far from it), but it's more comfortable than economy.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The EI cabin (assuming you an get the A330) should be getting much better soon. No idea what routes it will be on first but those seats are nice.
     
  6. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Redeeming BA points on BA is expensive in cash. You are hit by BA assessing fuel surcharges, plus additionally the departure taxes from LHR are expensive.

    As far as getting you nowhere, you're looking at tickets that are currently 6.3k each in cash to buy, for a total outlay of less than a fifth of that. If that's a deal to you, then flying BA using Avios is a good fit. If it's not, then you will want to redeem your amex points in some other fashion.

    I get more value out of Avios for short flights that are expensive when purchased using cash. 100k membership rewards is, for most partners/situations, not even enough for 1 biz ticket to Europe from the US. There are some corner cases that can do the job, but as you see in many cases these involve significant cash fees also.

    Is London your desired destination, or are you just thinking London because you have access to British Airways points?
     
  7. heyfinley

    heyfinley Member

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    Yeah. Dang. I knew these flights were expensive, but I thought my point balance would go farther than it does.
     
  8. heyfinley

    heyfinley Member

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    If I ended up transferring things over to Avios, is there a site or other tool that can show me how those points will work on other partner flights?

    Just thinking London because I assume most airlines will fly there and it's relatively close to my origin of NYC.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    LauraPDX likes this.
  10. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Keep in mind London has very high departure taxes which are doubled if you are in premium cabins. Since the tax is distance based, flying to DUB or AMS first and then on to the US from there might save you a little cash.
     
    curiousgeorge likes this.
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes, but...if you simply book LHR-DUB-BOS as a single ticket you pay the higher APD. To avoid that you need separate tickets into the connecting point and out from it or you need to stay more than 24 hours.
     
  12. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Or just visit dublin/ireland or base from there.
     
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