How To Use Your Stash Of Amex Platinum Points For A Summer Vacation

If you’re sitting on a stash of American Express points from your Platinum Card® from American Express, this summer is the perfect time to use them. Whether you’re organizing a family vacation, upgrading your honeymoon or simply jetting off to a new destination, knowing how to redeem your Amex points can give you exciting summer getaway opportunities.

Here are some of the best ways to use your American Express Membership Rewards and take advantage of key Platinum perks for an unforgettable summer vacation.

Transfer Amex reward points to partners for flights

With a myriad of airline transfer partners, it’s easy to get the maximum value out of your Amex points by transferring them to airline loyalty programs.

Here is the full list of Amex airline transfer partners: Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France/KLM, ANA, Avianca, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, Qantas, Singapore and Virgin Atlantic. Keep an eye out for transfer bonuses which offer an additional percentage of points when you move them to a specific partner.

Remember, once you’ve transferred your points, you can’t turn them back into Amex Membership Rewards points, so make sure to have a strategy before moving them.

Choose best-value transfers

Being strategic about transferring your Amex points can get you more bang for your buck. If you’re willing to explore several options for booking the same trip, you may save big.

  • For international flights to Europe in style, transfer points to Virgin Atlantic to fly Delta, which can offer a higher value than transferring them directly to Delta SkyMiles. If you travel during Virgin’s off-peak, standard dates (June 6-17), you’ll pay just 47,500 Virgin points for Delta One business class from the central U.S. or east coast to the U.K. one way. Routes to other European destinations cost 50,000 points in Delta One business one-way. For short-haul economy Delta flights within the U.S., 500-mile routes start at 7,500 Virgin points and 8,500 for 10,000-mile routes.

  • If you’ve got your eye on Hawaii, skip transfers to Hawaiian Airlines. Instead, transfer Amex points to British Airways and use BA Avios to fly to the islands from the West Coast on American or Alaska Airlines for as low as 13,000 Avios one-way in economy.
  • If you’d prefer a summer escape to Africa, transfer points to Etihad to fly from New York (JFK) to Casablanca (CMN) for 22,000 miles one-way in economy/44,000 miles one-way in business on Royal Air Maroc.
  • If you’ve got your eye on Asia, transfer points to ANA to fly from Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo for 30,000 points in economy or 54,000 points in business one-way for a summer vacation in Asia.

Use Insider Fares on Amex Travel to book flights

You can always use your points to book fares via Amex Travel. Although it may not provide the best value, it’s easier than understanding the ins and outs of transfer partners, especially for beginners.

And, Platinum cardholders have access to special Insider Fares when paying with points. Use the booking tool to search for flights, then use the filter to the left of the search results to highlight “Insider Fares.” Don’t forget that you can earn frequent flyer miles on tickets purchased with points via the Amex Travel Portal.

Finally, Platinum cardholders can select a U.S.-based airline (Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest or United) within their Amex account to get up to a $200 statement credit to offset charges like baggage fees, seat fees, lounge day passes or inflight amenity/food/beverage fees when paying with your Amex Platinum card.

Ritz-Carlton Maui Kapalua by May 31, 2022 for five-night (or more) stays through Dec. 17, 2022, get a $500 property credit in addition to the regular Fine Hotels & Resorts perks.

 

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Use Amex travel to book cruises and car rentals

Cruises

Booking cruises using the ‘Pay With Points’ feature of Amex Travel isn’t the most lucrative option. You’ll get a fixed value of .7 cents per point, and it’s best to extract a value of at least 1 or 2 cents per point. But, you may earn perks like statement credits or discounts depending on current promotions, which vary by cruise and cruise line.

Car rentals

You can use the Pay with Points feature when booking prepaid car rentals through Amex Travel, though it’s not the best-value use of your points. The Platinum card also gives cardholders Hertz Gold Plus Reward status, which offers discounts and upgrades.

upgrades. Upgrade your flight by logging into Amex, then clicking in the upper left-hand corner on the menu button. Look for Rewards and then Membership Rewards Home. Then, click ‘Book or Upgrade Travel.’ On the next screen, click ‘Explore Upgrades.’ Enter your booking code and last name to see if your booking is eligible (some flights might not be).

upgrading a flight

Lounge access

The Amex Platinum offers cardholders access to the Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion Lounges and the Priority Pass Lounge network, among others, when traveling.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck

Make your trip even easier by using your $100 statement credit when applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

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