The Simple Trick My Friend Used to Book a Lie-Flat Seat to New York Using AMEX Membership Rewards Points

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My buddy only has one premium credit card – The Platinum Card® from American Express.  He loves the flexibility of being able to transfer points to Delta to book award flights.  Check out our full review of the AMEX Platinum card to learn about all of the card’s perks.

One award booking trick my friend wasn’t familiar with is the ability to transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to certain airline partners to book award flights on a completely different airline.  His mind was blown when I showed him how to transfer AMEX points to Singapore Airlines to book 2 seats on a United Airlines Business Class flight from Los Angeles to Newark using only 20,000 points.  That’s right – transcontinental Business Class for only 20,000 points!  That’s cheaper than coach award flights on many airlines.  Plus, booking the same exact Business Class ticket through United Airlines costs 35,000 miles!

Here’s My Wife Enjoying the Same Comfortable Lie-Flat United Airlines Business Class Seat My Friend and His Son Booked for Cheap Using AMEX Membership Rewards Points

We have a terrific guide explaining why Singapore Airlines is such a valuable airline transfer partner.  Here it is:

As a reminder, Singapore Airlines is a direct transfer partner of the 5 major transferable point programs:   Chase Ultimate RewardsAMEX Membership RewardsCiti ThankYouCapital One, and Marriott Rewards.

You can find tips on how to earn points within each program right here:

Here’s a real life example of how useful Singapore Airlines can be as a transfer partner.

20,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Business Class Flight to New York

Singapore Airlines has a zone-based award chart, meaning the miles required for an award flight depend on the regions you’re flying between (or within).  When you fly within North America, you can book a one-way Business Class flight on a Star Alliance partner airline, like United Airlines, for 20,000 miles each way.

The trick is a Saver award seat must be available in order to book a ticket using Singapore Airlines miles.

Here’s an example.  I searched on United Airlines website for a one-way flight from Newark to Los Angeles.  I found a Saver award seat is available for 35,000 United Airlines miles.  Side note, this is for a seat on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which United Airlines just recently started using daily on this route.

Check United Airlines for Available Saver Award Seats!

After confirming there’s an available Saver award seat in Business Class, I visited the Singapore Airlines site.  And sure enough, you can book the same exact seat for just 20,000 Singapore Airlines miles.  This is exactly what my friend did to book 2 Business Class seats on United Airlines.

These same tickets can sell for more than $1,500.  So using 20,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points is a phenomenal deal!

I’ve followed a similar booking strategy to secure 2 coach award seats to Hawaii.  It’s a great reminder why it’s nice to have a flexible points earning card, like the AMEX Platinum.

Have you booked a United Airlines flight using Singapore Airlines miles?  Let me know which points you transferred to make it happen!

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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