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AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

Hey All - been a while, hope everyone is well!

 

I've been doing a bunch of research on best way to redeem UR and MR points for domestic US travel using travel partners, etc. 

 

Curious if anyone knows of a sweet spot to hit economy flights with MR. Best I can find so far is MR -> BA - and book on BA for an AA flight. 

 

Open to other ideas as well.

 

Before anyone says anything...yes I'm aware there is outsized value to have with biz class intl, but looking at domestic economy flights atm.

 

Thanks all!

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600 -- PenFed Pathfinder | $10,000 -- MS Plat | NSL

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 1 of 14
13 REPLIES 13
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

I still have a bunch of miles with BA for AA flights, and Virgin Atlantic for Delta flights. But with other people being ambiguous about their schedules, my travel has been opportunistic and often on short notice, so partner award space is hard to find.

 

I like the simplicity of the 35% of points back with Business Platinum for my chosen airline (Delta). ~1.5 cpp on any Delta flight.

Personal spend: Amex Gold, Amex Schwab Plat., BofA PR+CCR, Costco
Business use: Amex Bus. Plat., BBP, Lowes Amex AU, CFU AU
Perks: Delta Plat., IHG49, Hyatt, "Old SPG"
Mostly SD: Freedom Flex, Freedom, Arrival
Upgrade/Downgrade games: EDP, BCP
Closing soon: Discover

Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 2 of 14
Youknowwho
New Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

When I want to use my points  and I don't want to work that hard at it, I use my plat. card book through Amex travel and when the fee post I use the points to pay for the flight then I get 35% of point back... rinse and repeat. 

Message 3 of 14
CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?


@wasCB14 wrote:

I still have a bunch of miles with BA for AA flights, and Virgin Atlantic for Delta flights. But with other people being ambiguous about their schedules, my travel has been opportunistic and often on short notice, so partner award space is hard to find.

 

I like the simplicity of the 35% of points back with Business Platinum for my chosen airline (Delta). ~1.5 cpp on any Delta flight.


Award availability is a good point, I've definitely noticed AA flights be slim pickens on the routes Ive been looking at on BA. 

 

Thank you!

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600 -- PenFed Pathfinder | $10,000 -- MS Plat | NSL

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 4 of 14
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

I've been booking Delta flights with as few as 3500 SkyMiles one way. Even with a transfer fee of a few bucks that's a pretty good deal for a $60-70 cash fare.

 

I'm actually coming home from Puerto Vallarta next winter on a AA/DL combo that ran me about 13,000 Avios and SkyMiles combined, plus $80 in inescapable taxes, complete with a dinner at the PHX T3 SkyClub or Centurion Studio, whichever is better.

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k | AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 15k | Bilt Rewards MC 14k | Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k | Capital One Venture X 11k | AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k | Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL | Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL | Amex Green NPSL | SoFi MC World Elite 8k | Petal2 VISA 7.8k | Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k | PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k | Citi AA Mileup 6.9k | DiscoverIt Cashback 5k | Amazon/Synchrony 5k | Hotels.com 5k | Capital One SavorOne 5k | AMEX Delta Gold 3k | Target 800 | Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 5 of 14
Citylights18
Valued Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

You might want to look at fare sales and see if they apply to any AMEX travel partners. 

 

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/sweet-spots-delta-skymiles/

 

This one has the Delta sweet spots listed.

Official travel point totals as of 4/17/22 (751,998 Total Points)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 289,441 | AMEX Membership Rewards 142,038 | World of Hyatt 91,479 | Citi Thank You 90,313 | Marriott Bonvoy 84,039 | AA Advantage 15,244 | United MileagePlus 13,316 | British Airways Avios 11,333 | Jet Blue TrueBlue 8,277 | Hilton Honors 2,267 | NASA Platinum Rewards 1883 | Navy Federal Rewards 792 | Southwest Rapid Rewards 762 | Expedia Points 529 | Delta Sky Miles 175 | Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100 | Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)
Message 6 of 14
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

Since award fares are earning elite qualifying miles (MQMs) at Delta again this year, I've been using SkyMiles for 1.5 to 2.1 cents per mile.  The floor for Main Cabin is 1.2 cents, but if you buy at the right time and on the right routes it's pretty easy to do better, and often much better with sales.  For Delta, FlyingBlue (KLM/Air France) and Virgin Atlantic often have transfer bonuses and can have great values for domestic flights.

Message 7 of 14
EAJuggalo
Established Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

I got 2.5cpp on a trip to MCO in October with Delta.  Of course the cash price was completely obscene but I was flying from a small outstation so some graft is to be expected.

EX700 TU 704 EQ 694 4/03/22
Cap1 QS-$4,500 Chase Freedom Flex- $800 Chase Freedom Unlimited- $1,000 Victoria's Secret- $1,200 Citi DC- $800 Amazon Store Card- $3,500 AMEX Hilton Honors-$1,000 Discover It-$1,000 Wal-Mart MC $290 Chase Sapphire Preferred-$5,000 NFCU Flagship $13,800 AMEX BCE-$1,000 AMEX Gold-$5,000 AMEX Delta Blue $1,000 Lowe's $5,000 Navy Platinum $17,000 AMEX BBP $2,000
Message 8 of 14
jcooks
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?

 


@Youknowwho wrote:

When I want to use my points  and I don't want to work that hard at it, I use my plat. card book through Amex travel and when the fee post I use the points to pay for the flight then I get 35% of point back... rinse and repeat. 


You get the 35% back if you use points to pay for charges from the travel portal?  I thought it was only points back if you use points to book all or part of the fare through the portal. 

 

Regardless wouldnt it be a better redemption if you just use points to book the flight directly from the travel portal and get 1c per point?  Using points for charges is much less than 1c per point.  All that is before the 35% bonus back.

Message 9 of 14
CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

Re: AMEX MR for Domestic US Economy?


@K-in-Boston wrote:

Since award fares are earning elite qualifying miles (MQMs) at Delta again this year, I've been using SkyMiles for 1.5 to 2.1 cents per mile.  The floor for Main Cabin is 1.2 cents, but if you buy at the right time and on the right routes it's pretty easy to do better, and often much better with sales.  For Delta, FlyingBlue (KLM/Air France) and Virgin Atlantic often have transfer bonuses and can have great values for domestic flights.


Thanks @K-in-Boston ! 

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600 -- PenFed Pathfinder | $10,000 -- MS Plat | NSL

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 10 of 14
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