We’re travel addicts. From the beginnings of this affliction, we’ve always been on the hunt, looking for ways to travel more.
With every purchase we make, we ask, “how can this help us continue to travel?” Sometimes the answer is not to buy a particular item and put the money into our travel savings bucket instead.
But, there are purchases we can’t do without, like groceries, fuel for the car, the kid’s school fees or paying the electricity bills. And then there are the non-essentials, like concert tickets, so that we can enjoy a slice of the good life too.
So how can we turn those purchases into something that helps us travel?
American Express Membership Rewards points of course.
Through clever management on our everyday spend, they’ve provided us with multiple free flights around the world and helped pay for accommodation and car rental, which leaves us with more money to spend on experiences – the stuff that matters- while exploring each new destination.
If you’re spending the money daily anyway, why not earn travel benefits from it?
Our partners, American Express, are hosting a competition to help you win a million Reward Points. Whether its travel, online shopping or reducing your account balance, you can use your points to spend your way.
We believe there is no better return on your investment than travel, so we’ll encourage you to spend it on your dream holiday.
Where can you travel to with a Million points?
Flights are one of the only travel costs that stay the same for every traveller, no matter your style of travel or budget. Unless you fly business or first class, but for ease let’s stick with economy class.
Flights are also one of your biggest costs, so for that reason, I’m focusing mostly on using American Express Membership Rewards points on flights to the below destinations.
But, you can also use your points to cover the cost of other things like hotels, or through booking agents like helloworld, where 10,000 points gives you $100 worth of travel.
What these extra things cost you in points and money depends on how you like to travel.
The American Express Membership Rewards program gives you multiple opportunities to use points to cover travel costs – you can choose up to nine airline partners to transfer your points to.
And as an extra bonus, other Card Membership benefits include complimentary travel insurance, and lounge access at the airports when you use your American Express Card to book your trip.
With our upcoming America Unplugged trip, we’d be making use of a million points to fly to LA.
We can fly one person return for about 100,000 points on Virgin. For around 400,000 points we could fly the entire family over. We’ve still got more than half our points to use for side trips or on accommodation.
The money we’d save by using these points on our flights to LA would give us a couple of months on the road in the US.
Using a million points, you could easily fly return to Paris. While in Paris, you can take flights between major cities like Barcelona, Rome, Madrid, Milan and Venice and still not use all your points.
To make the most of your trip, you could integrate a car rental to get to other European destinations. Combined with the flights you get using your points, you’ve created a much cheaper European vacation and can travel for longer.
Europe is small enough that you can check off multiple countries on a 4-6 week trip. If you have an eligible card, you can Pay with Points and use your points in your app to pay for charges or part of the charge.
Depending on how savvy you are with using your Amex card whilst travelling, you could possibly even fly home with points left over, or save them for your next holiday.
I have a few travel writing friends currently in South Africa for a conference. I’m jealous! If I had a million points, I could easily fly return to Cape Town on Qantas for around 120,000 points and join them.
Cape Town is my favourite city in the world.
You’d have an amazing time if you just flew there and explored the Cape Town Region. But, with all that money you’re saving in points, you could easily stay longer and road trip around the entire country. Give yourself 4- 6 weeks and take your binoculars for all that animal spotting you’re going to do.
Hong Kong is a great destination to visit from Australia. It’s not too far on a flight (by Aussie standards), it’s very clean and modern and small enough to explore on a shorter holiday.
Or if you have a few weeks off, you could combine it with a longer trip exploring China. It’s just a short train ride away!
If you won a million points, you would easily cover a return flight to Hong Kong, pay off your food expenses and still have some for the must-do sightseeing.
Another great Asian destination to visit for its relative proximity to Australia and size.
You can use your points, not just to fly to Tokyo, but to reduce your accommodation costs and travel around the country either through domestic flights, or pay off your Shinkansen tickets.
You could easily spend a good 2-3 weeks exploring Japan and use all that money you’ve saved to spend on fantastic experiences.
Japan is known as one of the best skiing destinations in the world, so why not put your points towards having that ski trip you’ve always dreamed of?
Or if you’re visiting during summer, visit Tokyo Disneyland, an owl café in Osaka, or take a day trip from Hiroshima to Miyajima to see the famous floating temple.
WIN a Million points with American Express
Now it’s time for you to win those million points with the American Express Be a Points Millionaire giveaway.
I never realised until writing this post just how much travel you can experience with a million points, not just on flights, but on other travel costs as well.
I wish I could enter it!
But, I’m happy for one of you to enter and win. (Just make sure you let us know and share photos with us of the travel you do because of it)
How to enter the American Express Be a Points Millionaire:
- Visit this site to enter to enter if you are an American Express Issued Card Member
- Select which kind of millionaire you’d be
- Gain up to three bonus entries for sharing on social media using the #AmexMillions
Competition closes 11th September 2016. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!
A bit about American Express Membership
Why are we long standing users of American Express Cards?
Because they have an excellent Membership Rewards program and reputation. It’s not necessarily that you earn the most points with American Express, BUT, their reward points take you further, so their ‘burn’ rates are much better.
What I love about the American Express Platinum Edge are the extraordinary travel benefits you get from the card. Some of which include:
- a free domestic flight each year.
- access to the American Express Invites Lounge at select concert stadiums and preferential treatment at Amex events as well as a range of great spend and get offers.
- and upgrades and preferential treatment in luxurious hotels around the world.
With American Express you can continue to enjoy the benefits, outstanding and diverse rewards, and exceptional service. As a customer, I can tell you it’s always exceptional.
We have a Platinum Edge American Express card, which earns us:
- 3 points per $1 spent at major supermarkets in Australia.
- 2 points per $1 spent at major petrol stations in Australia.
- 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
- 0.5 points per $1 spent on utilities, insurance (except insurances offered by American Express), telecommunications providers and government bodies in Australia.
There’s no expiry or cap to the number of Membership Rewards points you can earn as long as your account is current and in good standing.
We love it.