I’m a points newbie (only one card and never have redeemed any points) and for the past few month’s I’ve been trying to find a way to use points to travel business from Perth to Tokyo for me and my wife.
I seem to have found a relatively cheap way, but I’m afraid I might be missing some additional fees or T&C’s that would destroy my plan.
I currently have an Explorer Amex card. I got 100k signup bonus and after almost a year using it I’m currently at 165k points.
I was thinking for me and my wife to sign up for the DJ Amex Card to get 50k each if we go via a referral. My wife doesn’t earn enough to meet the Explorer criteria and apparently I could still get the bonus points even if I already have an Explorer card.
I would need to transfer my wife’s 50k to my account at a cost of $250 ($5 per every thousand points) and that would bring my total to 265k points.
Use 180k points to get the Marriot Hotel + Airline Travel package as per this guide
That would leave me with 85k Amex points, 120k AA Miles and the 7 nights Marriot voucher.
Business tickets to Tokyo are 40k AA miles each way (160k for return tickets for two). At this point I’m 40k aa miles short. I can transfer 80k Amex points to SPG for 40k SPG points which I can then turn into 50K AA miles to get me to 170k AA miles.
There are no Category 5 Marriott hotels in Tokyo but there is a Category 6. According to this table I would need 30k Marriot points to upgrade. I could get that with 10k SPG points which I can get from 20k Amex points. At this point I would only have 5k Amex points left, so I was thinking of buying the other 15k for 1c per point at some Classifieds website. That would be $150 total.
In the end, I would be spending:
- $99 fee for the DJ Amex Card x 2 = $198
- Transfer fee to get my wife’s points = $250
- Buying 15k points at 1c per point = $150
- Transfer fee for the 15k points = $75
- Taxes for the AA flights = around $400
Considering that economy return flights to Tokyo are around $600 each when on sale, this seems like a decent deal since I’m getting business tickets and a hotel for a week for $100 less.
Some of the things that worry me is that the Explorer points are Gateway ones, so I don’t know if that would affect me. Also, the 40k miles per ticket seems to be for the MileSAAver program and I don’t know if I need to get a specific card in order to be considered.
Anyway, it’s quite a long post, so any help would be greatly appreciated.