What is the recommended strategy for accumulating point as a business owner for flying business class to Europe?

Hi All, bit of a newbie here.
I’ve been reading lots of forums and trying to educate myself on this - given the volume of info to learn I’m now a little overwhelmed… so advice is greatly appreciated (links to articles that answer these questions is also welcome)!
I am a small business owner, using an Amex Explorer card that now has about 400k points. I’d like to boost this as much as possible to allow my family to fly business/first class to Europe in 2023 (my reckoning is I’d need about 1.3m points?). I’m not sure that I’ll have enough points by the time I need to book? I can use Rewardpay (or similar) to top up points - if my sums are right we’ll earn about 40k points per BAS/IAS each quarter.
Should I change credit cards? I’ve had the Amex for a couple of years (never used the lounge passes that it came with - can these be saved?) I understand I’d need to transfer points from Amex to QFF (or should i send them elsewhere?) before closing this card and re-applying for another.
We are looking at a shorter trip this coming June (say Fiji) where I’d pay with the Amex (or additional card) to gather some more points. Although the Amex is a business card, and the trip would be personal…
I think I’ll leave it there - thanks for reading this far, and thank you in advance if you choose to offer some advice!

Hi Sven!

Firstly, you can’t transfer Amex Explorer points to Qantas (only the Amex Platinum and Centurion cards can). But the good news is you can transfer to Asia Miles or KrisFlyer, both of which offer good value Business Class redemptions.

KrisFlyer needs 232,000 miles for a return business ticket, whereas with Asia Miles it’s 180,000 miles.

So going with Asia Miles, you’ll need 360,000 Amex MR points per person for return Business. You don’t mention how many people are travelling, but for four, that would be 1.44 million points.

Changing Amex cards can be a good strategy in the long term, but you’ll need to wait 18 months from closing before you can get a sign-up bonus again. Can anyone else in your family apply?

Your annual lounge passes on the card don’t carry over, unfortunately.


Hi @sven

@BrandonLoo is a genuine Frequent Flyer guru and he obviously knows way, way more than I ever will … but I just thought I’d add my two cents’ as well…

First, in the current climate I’d personally choose to accumulate KrisFlyer points over Asia Miles, for two reasons.

  • Cathay Pacific is in a precarious position at the moment and it’s not totally unlikely that at some stage we’ll find that Asia Miles are suspended, or not accepted by other airlines, or worse (along the lines of what happened with Velocity when Virgin Australia went into administration). I’d hate for you to have over a million Asia Miles points but not be able to use them!

  • Reward flights on Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance are simply easier to come by at the moment, and to be honest I don’t see that changing any time soon (though of course I may be wrong). I used points to fly Business to Europe and back in December/January, and I’ll be doing the same in April. Of the four flights to/from Europe, I’ve only managed to book one on a OneWorld airline (Qatar). The other three are/were on Singapore, simply because that’s all that was available.

I understand that KrisFlyer points expire after 3 years (Asia Miles don’t expire), and that you’ll need more points with KrisFlyer than Asia Miles. But the way I see it, Asia Miles is just a little too risky for my liking.

My second thought is that to accumulate the points you need in the timeframe you have, you should seriously consider credit card sign-up bonuses. I’m also wondering whether @BrandonLoo 's point about AmEx is correct … you currently have a business card; does that stop you from receiving a sign-up bonus for a personal card? Anyone know?

Anyway, I hope this helps.

1 Like

Hi @sixtyeight and @sven

I can confirm that if you have a Business AmEx card where you are the primary applicant, you will not be eligible for a sign-up bonus on the personal cards. Although, you will be eligible for a sign-up bonus on the AmEx DJ cards. You can also consider earning AmEx points by referring your family/friends - but Business cards are not eligible for referral points when the new applicant applies for personal cards etc etc, so your best bet would be to get a personal card and then refer.

I agree with @sixtyeight in saying that Krisflyer points are a better option at this time and that you should seriously consider credit card sign-up bonuses. You can either choose to go for the flexible points cards (ANZ Rewards/ Westpac Altitude Rewards/Amplify Rewards etc) which you can convert to Krisflyer or go for the Qantas cards (heaps of options). If you tend to go with Qantas cards, you might use your AmEx points one-way for the whole family and then Qantas points for the return, vice-versa. As always, you should consult your account/financial-advisor before applying for any credit cards.

All the best.

Many thanks @BrandonLoo! It seems i’ve got some learning to do on Asia Miles or Krisflyer Miles then… Maybe i’ll transfer my Amex points to one of these, then apply for a new Master/Visa to earn a sign up bonus and hopefully a good swag of points over the coming 12 months… thanks again for your advice!

This is great @sixtyeight - thank you very much… turning my attention to Krisflyer!

good thinking @ck009, thank you for your time and insight. I hadn’t considered separating the outbound and inbound journeys for different carriers. I think in my head i had a RTW ticket in mind, as it seemed to be better value than a return… but as i said as the start - i’m a bit of a newbie with all of this! Thanks again for your time and helping guide me.

Just to add to the above tips…Why stop in Europe. You could get a Kris Flyer Round the world for 240,000. Check Pointhacks article on Round the world with Kris Flyer.
Do you have a partner and are they part of the business. Can your partner get a card. If the answer is yes, you are in for a treat.
If I were you with a partner, I would get the Amex Plat Charge Card. You can refer your partner to get referral points and currently Amex has 250k Sign up points. You get 2.25 points Amex points per $ spend.

Thanks larvaman, awesome tips. So to be clear, I would be switching my Amex Explorer business card to the Amex Platinum Card and in doing so I can keep the points I already have? and then I would refer my wife to the Platinum Card also? The KrisFlyer option is definitely on my radar too - thank you.

Hi Sven,
I dont think you can switch from a Biz to personal card. Amex can guide u on it. The explorer MR points are called Ascent and the Platinum Charge card are called Ascent Premium. In the US, it is just MR points.You can refer your wife now to get the Personal/ Biz Platinum Card (It is money worth if you focus on the big picture). I get 55k Points for referring anyone on my Amex Plat Charge Personal Card (Refer family). You might have a different referral option. The Amex Plat Personal/Biz - need to check your Mrs income qualification. If I were you,

  1. Refer my Mrs ASAP, get the referal bonus (Amex is pretty quick).
  2. Dump my Amex Biz points to Kris to become Kris FLyer Gold for 2 years (Do it ASAP as their promotion ends 28 Feb). or atleast silver since you need 500k Oz Amex MR points for Kris Gold
  3. Close my Amex Explorer
  4. I would Apply for DJ Platinum when the promotion allows MR points (Currently Cash till 6 April) since they are different product
  5. wait for 18months and then apply for the Plat Charge Paersonal Or Biz

Hi @sven

Before you refer you wife with your existing Explorer Business card, please check with AmEx CS as I vaguely remember that business cards don’t qualify for referral bonus when the applicant chooses a personal card.

Also, you will not be eligible for any referral bonus when the applicant chooses a business card.