How to fly from Melbourne to Europe using Amex points?

Hi all,

I have approx 325k at the moment ascent premium AMEX points and am wanting to travel to Europe at some stage this year.

Ideally I’d like to go business without costing an arm and a leg. Is it possible for us both to go business one way to Europe and pay for a flight back? Or do a return ticket for one of us and purchase the second ticket for cash?

Looking at Italy or France departure / arrival

I do not have any major alliances to any particular airline, I am most interested in the best value.

Open to any and all suggestions please!



Hi Thomas,

Yes, it’s possible to go one-way using points and the other way using money, or to use points for one return ticket and to pay for the other.

Your 325k AmEx points will get you 162,500 frequent flyer points. Probably your best value option is Asia Miles. Using Asia Miles points to fly Cathay Pacific, you’ll need 170,000 points for two one-way flights to Europe (or one return flight). It’ll cost 180,000 Asia Miles points to fly on other Oneworld airlines such as Qantas or Qatar. Other frequent flyer programmes require a lot more points (eg. KrisFlyer: 232000 points, Qantas: over 250,000 points). So Asia Miles is your best/only option with the points you’ve got. You can purchase points from Asia Miles if you don’t quite have enough.

The challenge is that Asia Miles availability out of Australia is generally pretty awful unless you book a full year in advance. Spend some time on the Cathay Pacific website, be willing to be flexible with dates, destinations, and (if necessary) departure cities, and you might get lucky.

If you can’t find a suitable reward flight, your options are to delay your trip until next year, save up more points so you could use something like KrisFlyer (whose availability is generally better), or pay for a flight to somewhere in Asia and use your points from there.

Let us know how you go!

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Thank you for the reply @sixtyeight I really appreciate it.

So approx 750k amex points is really the sweet spot for two business class flights. That does seem like a lot of points to accrue. I’ve seen some brilliant hacks for use of points but maybe those days are over. Unless there are better uses that can be suggested. Really open to any destinations at the moment leaving from Melbourne/ Sydney.

What is the best utilisation of the points transferring to Asia Miles and purchasing the flights through where ??.. How does one use them through Qatar airways as I know their business class is amazing!

Thank you in advanced!

Yes, 750k AmEx points is a lot, unless you’re very wealthy and/or a business owner who can put your corporate spending on the card. The strategy with point hacking is to accumulate your points via multiple sources: credit card spending, sign-up bonuses, everyday spending, flights, etc etc. If you rely on multiple sources, accumulating enough points for two business return flights to anywhere in the world is definitely doable. It might take a year or two, though.

To purchase a flight on a partner airline using Asia Miles, search for a redemption flight on the Cathay Pacific website. Flights on partner airlines such as Qatar will come up from your search. A more advanced method is to search for a reward flight on another Oneworld website (eg. Qantas, American Airlines, British etc) and then, if it doesn’t turn up on the Cathay Pacific website, give Asia Miles a call with the flight dates and details.

All the best!

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