Where to transfer my Amex points for travel to Europe before the April 2019 devaluation?

I have about 500k MR Ascent points which I’m now looking to transfer to an airline partner before the devaluation kicks in. I would like to redeem them (one day) for business or first travel between SYD-AMS. The problem is I don’t know when I get to redeem them, it could be next year or perhaps the year after. What would be the best program for me to transfer my points to? Asia Miles? With ‘best’ I mean a combination of availability, surcharges and points needed. I’m willing to spend more points for the better cabins.

Some other things about me which may make it easier to answer the above question:

  • I have lots of Qantas points as well but they seem too hard to redeem these days between SYD-AMS unless you book them 360 days or so in advance. I’m happy that they don’t expire when you keep earning points.
  • I have previously redeemed points on MAS and Korean Air and that process was easy enough. I don’t really like the idea of transferring my points into a program where you have to ring a call centre in order to redeem them.
  • I have a 100k balance of Velocity points as well and consolidating points sounds appealing but I don’t think redeeming Velocity points on travel to Europe is the best way?

I would personally suggest KrisFlyer (Singapore Airlines). It does cost slightly more in points than Asia Miles, but in my experience availability is significantly better and the surcharges are low. They expire after 3 years, though – but if you’re travelling “the year after next” at the latest, as you say, that won’t be a problem. It’s also easy to redeem the points online.

The other advantage of KrisFlyer in your situation is that, in a pinch, you could transfer some of your Velocity points to them if you need to top up your points to get the reward you need. Just be aware that you’ll lose 35% the Velocity points you transfer if you do so.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks sixtyeight! And with Singapore Air/KrisFlyer, is it possible to book one leg in premium economy and then a suite on the 2nd leg (on 1 PNR), all on points?

Yes you can. Mixed cabin might have to be booked over the phone though. You pay the rate of the highest cabin for the entire journey. Might be worthwhile comparing it to separate redemptions (but need sufficient time for transfer).