The Top 6 First Class Seats You Can Book With American Express Membership Rewards points


Tom Goward | 05/07/2022

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The American Express Membership Rewards® program has always been a favourite among Aussie points nerds, and much loved here at Fight Hacks. As well as being a highly flexible rewards program, American Express Cards come loaded with some of the best Card perks on the market, alongside fantastic signup bonuses on certain Cards. Once you have an American Express Card®, it’s easy to rack up Membership Rewards® points, with industry-leading earn rates on most Cards.

We’ve even seen American Express® Platinum Card offers so good that the signup bonus alone can offer enough points to fly First Class. Yes, that’s from a single Card application!

Typically, extracting the most value out of American Express Membership Rewards Points involves first transferring them to an airline frequent flyer program, before using those airline points to redeem flights. In this article, we take a closer look at some of the best First Class products you can book using American Express Membership Rewards Points, plus some of the best Card deals available in 2022.

Emirates First Class

Qantas price increase Emirates

After a flight with an airline often regarded as one of the best in its field? Look no further than Emirates First Class. Yes, the design is a little ostentatious, but each luxury private suite offers the upmost privacy and comfort. An à la carte dining experience enables passengers to set their desired meal times, with traditional Arabic coffee, a signature touch onboard. Emirates First passengers also enjoy an onboard shower if travelling on the A380, currently the only commercial airline to offer such a luxury. This is truly the ideal experience for a long-haul flight.

Travel from Australia to Dubai with Emirates, with its First Class offered on the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 types. Depart Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth with First Class redemptions available from 115,000 Emirates Skywards Miles. American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Skywards at a 2:1 transfer ratio, meaning you’ll need 230,000 Membership Rewards points.

Singapore Airlines First Class

Flying Singapore Airlines First is always a treat. The outstanding level of service and understated luxury makes for one of the best experiences in the sky. Those lucky enough to snag a seat onboard Singapore Airlines’ A380 First Class Suite can even enjoy a double bed with their travel companion!
First passengers can take advantage of the popular “Book the Cook” service and reserve their favourite meal up to 24 hours before travel. This includes decadent creations by notable chefs, with a full restaurant setting onboard including full table service, and wines to match the food and altitude.

Singapore Airlines offers First Class from Australia to its Singapore Changi hub onboard Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft. While both aircraft operate into Sydney, you’ll only see the 777 in Melbourne (for now).

Saver redemptions for Sydney or Melbourne to Singapore will set you back 93,500 KrisFlyer Miles. With a 2:1 transfer ratio from American Express Membership Rewards points to KrisFlyer Miles, you will need to stockpile 187,000 Membership Rewards points to make this redemption happen.

Qantas First Class

Qantas A380 Refreshed First Class

Qantas’ updated First Class cabin has now been rolled out across many A380 superjumbos. The comfortable suites are popular among travellers with fully lay-flat beds, a premium dining experience, superb Australian wines and, of course, Martin Grant PJs.
Passengers departing Melbourne or Sydney enjoy access to the airline’s top-tier First Class Lounges with a Neil Perry curated à la carte dining menu, fantastic airport views and a spa that offers bespoke pre-travel treatments including hot stone massages and mini facials.

Qantas currently offers First Class on flights from Sydney to Los Angeles and from June will also operate flights between Sydney and London via Singapore. You can book these routes using Qantas Frequent Flyer Points, which convert at a 2:1 transfer ratio from American Express Membership Rewards Points. Here’s how many points you’ll need:

  • Sydney to Los Angeles – 162,800 Qantas Points
  • Sydney to Singapore – 102,600 Qantas Points
  • Sydney to London via Singapore – 216,900 Qantas Points
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer is an airline partner for the American Express Platinum Charge Card only.

Qatar Airways First Class

As one of the world’s best airlines, being renowned for its legendary Qsuite in Business Class, Qatar Airways First Class is a step above. The lie-flat seat boasts enormous legroom, set in an open yet intimate cabin. Expect an excellent beverage list, beautiful table service dining and award-winning service.

Qatar Airways flights can be redeemed via Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program, Asia Miles. You’ll need to transfer 270,000 American Express Membership Rewards points to Cathay at a 2:1 transfer ratio. Then, book your Qatar First Class trip from Sydney to Doha for 135,000 Asia Miles.

Japan Airlines First Class

Japan Airlines First Class is well known to offer impeccable service alongside fabulous food and wine. While the cabin isn’t the most modern flying, the JAL Suite has been specially designed as a peaceful sanctuary that makes you forget you’re sailing high above the clouds.

Japan Airlines First Class from Tokyo to London can be booked via Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program, Asia Miles. Transfer 220,000 American Express Membership Rewards points to Cathay pacific at a 2:1 transfer ratio, where you can redeem Japan Airlines First Class from Tokyo to London for 110,000 Asia Miles.

Etihad Airways First Class

Unfortunately, we recently learned that Etihad Airways plans to retire its Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft (although the Etihad A380 is rumoured to return soon!), meaning only selected Boeing 787 aircraft will feature First Class for now. While the loss of the brilliant First Class Apartment product is disappointing, the 787 experience is still one to savour with spacious suites and closing doors.

Etihad Airways offers First Class from its Abu Dhabi base to London for 88,000 Etihad Guest Miles. For this, transfer 176,000 American Express Membership Rewards points to Etihad, where there is a 2:1 transfer ratio.

The Best American Express Membership Rewards Cards In 2022

American Express Platinum Card

  • Up to 200,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points
  • Up to 2.25 points per $1 spent on Card purchases
  • $450 travel credit each year
  • Want to know more? Check out our American Express Platinum review here!

American Express Explorer® Credit Card

  • Up to 100,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points
  • Up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on Card purchases
  • $400 travel credit each year
  • Want to know more? Check out our American Express Explorer review here!

American Express ®Platinum Edge Credit Card

This article is sponsored by American Express. Opinions expressed in this article solely belong to Flight Hacks. Points redemption rates we’ve published here are correct as at June 8th, 2022 and subject to airline T&Cs and availability. Fees and charges are payable in addition to the points redeemed.
The earning and redemption of Membership Rewards points is subject to the terms and conditions of the American Express Membership Rewards program. To transfer Membership Rewards points into an airline rewards or frequent guest partner program you must be a member of the partner program. Membership of the partner program is the Card Member’s responsibility and is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the applicable program. A joining fee may apply.


Tom Goward

Senior Editor and Chief AvGeek at Flight Hacks

  1. You try and get a Qantas first class flight from Sydney to London for 144,000 points- dreaming!!! Tried recently logging in the minute they opened flights for short of a
    Year ahead and never anything – couldn t even get business

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