The Simple Trick My Friend Used to Book a Lie-Flat Seat to New York Using AMEX Membership Rewards Points
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
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!
We have a terrific guide explaining why Singapore Airlines is such a valuable airline transfer partner. Here it is:
- Don’t Waste Miles: Transfer Flexible Points (Including Chase Ultimate Rewards) to Singapore Airlines and Book United Flights for Less
As a reminder, Singapore Airlines is a direct transfer partner of the 5 major transferable point programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, Capital One, and Marriott Rewards.
You can find tips on how to earn points within each program right here:
- All the Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- All the Ways to Earn AMEX Membership Rewards Points
- Citi ThankYou Premier Review
- Now Available: Capital One Transfer Partners
- All the Ways to Earn Marriott Points
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.
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!
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressAPPLY NOW
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
$550 annual fee.
See Pay Over Time APR
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! :)