What does 25,000 miles get you for a flight? [Honestly!]

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What does 25,000 miles get you for a flight? [Honestly!]

Postby immemorialn » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:00 am

Hi all,

I'm a relatively new AMEX Premier Gold Rewards card holder. I'm eligible to be receiving 25,000 bonus points due to meeting the spending threshold.

However, I have a few questions. Does anybody know roughly what type of flight that might equate to if the points are converted to 25,000 miles on a partner airline? For example, inter-state, international, trans Atlantic?

Secondly... even though I've been spending now for approximately two months (and obviously paying my bill in full), it still displays I have 0 available points. Any reason for that?

Thanks all!

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Postby theanswriz42 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:42 pm

I'm only really familiar with Delta since they're basically the only airline I fly these days but you can check out their mileage chart at http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/skymiles/use-miles/award-travel/airlines-and-mileage-charts/travel-from-the-u-s-canada.html

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Postby takeshi » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:50 pm

OP can also check the web sites of other partner airlines to see.

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Postby cashback » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:42 pm

IME, a domestic coach flight is usually 25K miles.
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Postby nismoZtuner » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:14 pm

I received my points 1 week after meeting the spending requirement. I would say keep waiting.

How long have you had the card for?

If you're new then I would say wait 5-6 week after the date you opened your account.
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Postby jojo » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:39 pm

25K miles usually gets me a one way domestic ticket on United. Sometimes, I'm lucky enough to get one way domestic ticket for 12.5K miles, but these flights are usually red eyes, involve a stop at one of their hubs, or have long layovers.

Amex usually posts their miles one or two statement periods and after you've made the minimum payments.

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Postby tigerhunt2011 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:47 am

Hate to burst any bubbles, but United isn't a direct Amex transfer partner.

For 25,000 mile flights, Delta is your best bet. BUT if you're going to take that route, apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold AMEX too. Then not only will you have roughly 55,000 SkyMiles, but an unstated benefit is that when Delta registers that your SM number is attached to a Delta AMEX, you have better award inventory access, meaning you could actually *find* a 25,000 mile low-level domestic flight on delta.

To answer your question in terms of distance, 25,000 is typically a U.S. domestic flight, if you can find one at low level. You can also use pay with points for roughly $220 towards a flight.
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Postby MB131174 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:58 am

I've used points for flights 3 times. Each and every time SOMETHING was a hassle: schedule, route, days available. The worst was when I booked a flight to the Netherlands to go visit a friend who lives there. On my way over I had to layover in London for 23 hours as the points required for a direct flight were ridiculous. Some people may have enjoyed that, but, not me. I not only had to buy a hotel room for the night, but I've been to London before so it was nothing new. I was more interested in seeing my friend, whom I stay with for free when I visit. Other trips I've had to either return a day earlier than I wanted due to availability or my desired destination wasn't available. Finally I said "F it!" and went to using points for Hyatt stays. If there's a room open, it's yours basically. I understand YMMV, but for me, hotel > flights for rewards.
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Postby SuperKirby » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:30 pm

25K points would get you a domestic roundtrip anywhere in the US in Air Canada'a AeroPlan program (you won't be flying Air Canada, but will be flying one of their partner's like United Airlines or US Airways). Air Canada is a partner of Amex you can transfer your points to.

This wouldn't be such an excellent deal though, usually only a good-to-okay deal. Because sometimes Roundtrips in the US can be cheap, say $300. So $300/25000 points is only a $0.012 per point value, or 1.2 cent per point, or redeeming at 1.2% back. Not really worth it because the PRG AF is $175.

In the US, transferring your points to British Airways is probably the best if you're going short distance. For example, going to San Francisco to Chicago roundtrip would only cost 20K points, much better than 25K points. Once again, of course you won't be flying British Airway's plane, but their partner American Airlines when flying in the US. If that trip is worth $300, then $300/20000 points = 1.5 cent per point or redeeming at 1.5% back. A little better.

In a nut shell, these are only good to okay value deals. In the Amex Membership Rewards world, we know the best value to get from their points is 1 of 2 things:

1. Using points for international flights only or
2. Using points for premium class flights anywhere in the world (domestic & INTL).

For example, it costs 60,000K Air Canada's AeroPlan miles to go from anywhere from the US to EUROPE to two different countries, in economy. Los Angeles to Paris to London back to Los Angeles may cost around $1600 revenue based. So the value would be $1600/60000 = 2.6 cent per point, or redeeming at 2.6% back. The deal is getting better and better!

AeroPlan: Los Angeles to London roundtrip in business class might cost $4000, but with points it's only 100,000K points. Value = 4.0 cents per point or redeeming at 4.0% back.

One of the best bang for your buck would be flying on Singapore Airlines (if you want to go to Asia). A first class suite one-way costs 75,000 points while the real cost if you were to buy would cost $8000. That's a 10.6 cent per point value, or redeeming at 10.6% back. This is more of a aspirational award, but is very well worth it.

In the FT (frequent traveler) world, I can tell you right now we don't ever transfer points to Delta (unless there is a huge transfer bonus) because they require too many points for redemption, and their award availability is not great.
United Airlines (as another poster mentioned), is not a DIRECT partner of Amex's. However, like I stated earlier, you can transfer your points to Air Canada and redeem on United Airline flights. Their availability is excellent.

As far as transferring points into a hotel program, there are no good hotel redemptions with Amex's Membership Rewards unless there is a huge transfer bonus.

Also, remember "Pay With Points" will get you 1 cent per point, the worse deal of all deals (point value wise), however, has better flexibility.

"Pay With Points" is just like shopping on Orbitz.com. Whatever hotel or airline is available at face value, you can book for 1 cent per point, or redeeming at 1.0% back.

Remember, Membership Rewards was created specifically for transferring points to airline programs, this is what makes them unique, special, and getting the best bang for your buck (SPG and Chase Ultimate Rewards does the same thing, but thats a different discussion for a different thread), but really only of good value if you like international awards or in premium class flights. (my British Airways short distance flights is a good example as well)

Those are only a few examples out of a thousand. There are 16 airline partners of Amex's and finding the best deal to which city can be a headache. But if you want the best deal then you gotta do some homework =)

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