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5 ways you can fly International First Class for 75k Amex Points or less.

Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Dallas

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An American Express card that earns Membership Rewards should be in your wallet. It’s a no brainer. If you don’t have one, get one, those points are the gateway to flying you like the baller you were born to be. I thought I’d throw together a quick list of options that you can exercise to blow your Instagram out of the water and get a flood of doubletaps flowing your way…International First Class. I mean…who doesn’t want to luxuriate in the finest commercial aviation has to offer? I know this monkey does. Here’s 5 ways you can fly International First Class for 75k Amex Points or less.

American Express airline transfer partners: the key is finding the sweet spots.

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Aeroplan 70k USA to Western Europe.

a plane with seats and windows

Virgin Atlantic 75k ROUNDTRIP, LHR to PEK on Air China

  • London to Beijing on Air China
    • This is the only route you can make this redemption
  • Air China doesn’t have the BEST of reputatiosn when it comes to service, but 75k miles roundtrip can’t be beat.
    • Even better…Amex routinely has transfer bonuses. Last year it got to 30% – that meant you could nab this for just 58k miles. An amazing deal to get into Asia in comfort.

a room with seats and partitions

Singapore Airlines, Singapore Suites 76k miles East Coast to Europe

a stuffed animal on a seat
Miles in Singapore Suites

Etihad GuestMiles 62.5k and 67.5k on American Airlines

  • Redeem from Asia 2 on American for 67.5k
  • Asia 1 on American for just 62.5k
  • South America 2 for just 62.5k

a seat in a plane

British Airways Avios 68k

  • between 3k and 4k miles you can fly in First Class during off peak travel for just 68k points
    • routes like ORD, BOS, JFK to London
    • Singapore to Sydney on a fifth freedom route
  • downside is high taxes and fees

a man sitting in a chair with a stuffed animal

For some more points, here are two other options for getting an amazing experience out of your points.

Emirates First Class 85k

  • Milan to New York is a fifth freedom route
  • taxes and fees are roughly 250 Euros
a woman lying on a bed reading a book
courtesy of Emirates.com

Virgin Atlantic 110k RoundTrip on ANA First Class

  • comes out to just 55k miles each way
  • 9001 miles to 11000 ( enough to fly LAX to Tokyo)
  • can shore up the account with Citi or Chase as well.

Keep an eye out of Amex to Virgin transfer bonuses. Last year it got to a 30% bonus which meant all you’d need was 85k points to fly roundtrip to Tokyo in one of the world’s finest first class cabins. This is when I’d make the transfer.

a chair in an office

If you have a Business you can get 75k Bonus points with an American Express Business Platinum. After hitting the minimum spend it’s enough points to take just any of these flights.

a stuffed animal holding a credit card

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 Comments

  • Jon W March 29, 2018

    Hey Miles,

    Regarding #2, it is for Air China (CA, Star Alliance, China) but your headline mentions China Airlines (CI, Skyteam, Taiwan).

    Happy Travels,

    Jon

    • Miles March 29, 2018

      Ahhhh – thanks for catching that! Amended 🙂

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