This Credit Card Gives You A Business Class Flight To Europe Or The US


Immanuel Debeer | 01/11/2021

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This deal has now ended but you can use this guide as a reference for redeeming your points!

No, the title isn’t clickbait, and yes, I’m going to show you exactly how one new credit card promotion gets you a business class flight to Europe, the US, or pretty much anywhere for that matter. To avoid overcomplicating things, I will show you how it works for flights to Europe and the US in the examples below.

What’s the deal?

American Express has just launched a brand new offer for the Explorer Credit card. It’s rare these days to find a card that is essentially “free” (more on that in a bit) that offers enough points as a welcome gift to get you all the way from Australia to Europe/US in business. By my rough estimates, that’s a value proposition of at least $3,000!

Here’s what you can get when you sign up to the Amex Explorer from now until Tuesday 30 November 2021:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 240,000 Membership Rewards Points (biggest bonus ever on this Card) when you are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only
  • $400 travel credit each year you hold the Card (spend it on hotels, flights, car hire or experiences)
  • High earn rate of 2 points per dollar (excluding government bodies which earns 1 point)
  • Smartphone screen insurance + much more.

To learn more about eligibility criteria, check out the offer here.

What’s the catch?

What’s the catch, you ask? Well, for starters, there’s the minimum spend requirement. In this case, it’s only $3,000 within 3 months. This works out to $1,000 a month, which is easily done if you put all your expenses through your Card (groceries, insurance, bills, dining, travel etc.).

The second “catch” is, of course, the annual fee. It’s by no means high (Amex Platinum is $1450, for example), but it’s not low either. Coming in at $395, the annual fee is entirely offset by the $400 travel credit which you also receive. Considering that this Card is called “Explorer” and targeted to travel enthusiasts, it is highly likely you will spend $400 on travel in the next 12 months (if not, this Card is probably not for you!). I see this as a “pre-paid” travel expense which I can then redeem at any stage during the following year. This is why in my personal opinion, the Card is pretty much free.

Lastly, this offer is for new cardmembers only! By Amex’s definition, a new cardmember is someone who hasn’t held an American Express card in the last 18 months. However, if you had an Amex card more than 18 months ago, you will be eligible for the sign up bonus! Same applies if you have a David Jones Amex or a Corporate Amex. If you hold a supplementary card under someone else’s account, you would still be eligible for the bonus when you sign up.

Ok, so tell me about that business class flight?!

Now for the fun part, maximising those bonus points for a business class flight to Europe, the US, Asia or anywhere you please! Travel will be huge in 2022, so why not do it in style? Planning now for Euro/US summer holidays is the smart play unless you want to miss out.

As you might have noticed, 240,000 bonus points is huge! I’ve never seen this kind of offer before, and in fact, it’s the highest offer in the history of the Amex Explorer.

Since the Amex Explorer earns Membership Rewards (my favourite rewards program — and no, I’m not sponsored to say that!), you will have a LOT of choices when it comes to using your points.

Amex Transfer partners

In short, Membership Rewards is a flexible program which means you can send your points to a huge range of airline partners. Some of my favourites are: Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer (great for Star Alliance redemptions), Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (perfect for One World Flights), Emirates Skywards and many more!

Example 1: Sydney to Europe Business Class With Singapore Airlines

Once you receive your Amex welcome bonus of 240,000 (from personal experience, they will credit as soon as you hit the minimum spend requirement; however it can take up to 3 months to get them), you can then transfer those points to Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer.

From Sydney to anywhere in Europe, you only need 116,000 KrisFlyer miles. The 240,000 points you get will convert into 120,000 KrisFlyer (you’ll have 4k left, not factoring in the points you earned from your everyday expenses).

On top of the points, you will also need to pay taxes to Singapore Airlines, which come in at $124.7 for this particular route. This means you just got a business class flight to Europe for $124.7!

Step by step:

  • Sign up for the Amex Explorer — click here to get started.
  • Wait until you get the 240,000 bonus points credited (after you meet the min. spend)
  • Sign up for a free KrisFlyer membership number here
  • Visit your Amex online account and locate the transfer page.
  • Select the number of miles you wish to transfer (in this case 232,000 points)
  • Verify your card information and press send.
  • The points should show up in your KrisFlyer account a day or so later.
  • Once you have the points in your KrisFlyer account, visit Singapore Airlines’s website and log in.
  • On the home page, click on “redeem flights.”
  • Enter your departure city and destination
  • Change travel class to business
  • Press search and look out for “saver” awards — those are the cheapest
  • Once you find your availability, proceed to the checkout and book the seat!

That’s it! You’ve now locked in a business class seat for just $124.7 with little to no effort. Welcome to the world of travel hacking!

Example 2: Sydney to LA Business Class With Qantas or Fiji Airways

While the Explorer doesn’t transfer points directly to Qantas Frequent Flyer, that’s not a problem! Luckily for us, Asia Miles is a One World frequent flyer program. This means you can use AsiaMiles to redeem flights with Qantas (or any other OneWorld partner, for that matter). Sounds complicated? Well, it isn’t; let me guide you through the process!

The cool thing about Asia Miles is that it’s much cheaper than booking Qantas Flights using Qantas points! In fact, you only need 75,000 Asia Miles for a one-way business class flight from Sydney to LA! That means you can almost get a return flight thanks to the Explorer sign up bonus since 75,000 Asia Miles equates to 150,000 Membership Rewards.

Bonus: if you can’t find seats with Qantas or Fiji Airways, you will definitely find something with Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines. These options are 85,000 AsiaMiles (170,000 Membership Rewards) and include a stop in Hong Kong or Haneda, Japan.

Step by step:

  • Sign up for the Amex Explorer — click here to get started.
  • Wait until you get the 240,000 bonus points credited
  • Sign up for a free AsiaMiles membership here.
  • Visit your Amex online account and locate the transfer page.
  • Select the number of miles you wish to transfer (in this case 150,000 or 170,000 points)
  • Verify your card information and press send.
  • The points should show up in your AsiaMiles between 48-72h.
  • Once you have the points in your AsiaMiles account, visit the AsiaMiles website and log in.
  • On the home page, click on “redeem awards”, then “flight awards”, and choose “miles only?
  • Enter your departure city and destination
  • Once you find your availability, proceed to the checkout and book the seat!

Taxes on AsiaMiles redemptions for this route range are around $176, which is an absolute bargain for a one-way business class ticket!

Example 3: Qatar Airways Qsuite Or Cathay Business To Europe

Qatar Airways is one of my favourite airlines, and they happen to have one of the best business class products around! But did you know you only need 90,000 Asia Miles to fly one way from Sydney to Europe in business? If you prefer to save an extra 5,000 points, you can also book Cathay Pacific for just 85,000 AsiaMiles in business.


And since we know 90,000 AsiaMiles = 180,000 Amex Membership Rewards, we know that we still have 60,000 MR left from the Explorer sign up bonus of 240,000 miles! (60k points should get you a sneaky side trip to NZ in business as an added bonus).

Since AsiaMiles is a One World program and since Qatar Airways is a One World airline, you can redeem your Asia Miles for flights with Qatar Airways! Here’s how to do it:

  • Sign up for the Amex Explorer — click here to get started.
  • Wait until you get the 240,000 bonus points credited
  • Sign up for a free AsiaMiles membership here.
  • Visit your Amex online account and locate the transfer page.
  • Select the number of miles you wish to transfer (in this case 180,000 or 170,000 points)
  • Verify your card information and press send.
  • The points should show up in your AsiaMiles between 48-72h.
  • Once you have the points in your AsiaMiles account, visit the AsiaMiles website and log in.
  • On the home page, click on “redeem awards”, then “flight awards”, and choose “miles only?
  • Enter your departure city and destination
  • Once you find your availability, proceed to the checkout and book the seat!

The taxes on Qatar Airways are slightly higher and come in at $619, which is still cheaper than flying to Europe in Economy, mind you!

Summing Up – Is This A Deal?

If by now you’re still not convinced the Amex Explorer is a no-brainer…let me give you a last value proposition for a return trip to Hong Kong using AsiaMiles. This will cost you 45,000 miles each way or 90k return. This means you can fly from Sydney to Hong Kong return for 180,000 Amex Membership Rewards and $361 in taxes. The same ticket with Cathay Pacific, when paid in cash, would cost you around AU$5898!

In conclusion, the Amex Explorer offers new members one of the best incentives ever! But don’t sleep on it because this promotion ends on 30 November 2021!

If you enjoyed this content and found some value in it, consider using our American Express partner link when you apply! It comes at no cost to you, and it helps us produce more content like this in the future.

It also goes without saying that if you use the Flight Hacks link to apply, we will be more than happy to help you find the flights once you get your points! Just send me a message via email or Instagram if you get stuck or are unsure about the process!


Note: This content is for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Although we have a financial license, we are not your financial advicer. For further info, refer to our disclaimer policy.


Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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  1. Noob Q here: I’m keen to use the card to buy 2022 flights but it could take up to 6months for the points to come through (e.g. 3months to meet the req and then up to 3 months for the points to arrive). So to meet the 3k minimum spend requirement really quickly, are you able to Coles gift cards and the like? I’ve heard for some credit cards, those kind of purchases don’t count as they’re considered like cash.

    • From personal experience, Amex points credit as soon as you meet the minimum spend requirement. And yes, buying gift cards from the supermarket counts, I don’t know any card that treats that as a cash advance. Essentially you’re pre-paying goods & services and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cheers, Immanuel.

    • Hi Sara, you can cancel the card whenever you want, there’s no minimum period. Just note that you won’t be able to use the insurance benefits (cellphone screen insurance, travel insurance etc) when you do. Cheers, Immanuel.

    • Hi Sharon, officially, Amex says it can take between 8-10 weeks. However, from personal experience and based on other people’s feedback, points are credited as soon as you meet the minimum spend.

  2. Again, this is likely in the noob category.. In your expert opinion, would it be too risky to attempt to use this for a Boxing Day flight? Risks:

    – How to check availability of points flights if not a member of a FF programme (e.g. Krisflyer)?
    – Related to above, can the FF prog be joined 1st to make this work, or do the steps “to fly business to Europe” need to be followed in exact order?

    – Points “should” be credited immediately after the $3k spend requirement is met, but the T&Cs state: “Please allow 8-10 weeks for the bonus points to be credited”

    – Do you think the points be able to be able to be used in this fashion (i.e. bus flight to EU) this time next year?

    Would hate to go to all this trouble and burn $400 in annual fees only to find there are no points flights available for the desired dates (e.g. some folk are only granted leave for two weeks X-mas/new year!)

    • Hi Captain, let me answer your questions:

      — You can join the frequent flyer programs mentioned, it’s free to do so and you don’t need to have miles/points to research flights (and yes, you can do this before applying for this card or any card for that matter). Keep in mind, once you find a flight, there’s no guarantee it will still be there later. Reward flights are always limited and booked on a first in best-dressed policy. That said, reward flight availability can open up at any time. Therefore, the lazy way is to use a tool like Expert Flyer and monitor the dates you want. We have a guide on how to use this tool here:

      — Boxing day this year? Very unlikely! If you haven’t already booked now, it is safe to assume that the rest of Australia has beaten you to the punch and snapped most of not all seats. I would be aiming for travel between May and November next year in which case there’s plenty of availability.

      — Yes, official terms and conditions state 8-10 weeks. However, from personal experience and based on others’ experience, I find that points credit as soon as the minimum spend is met. I can’t guarantee this will be the case for you, but it’s been the case for me and everyone I know who has an Amex card.

      — Yes. Although there’s no guarantee, those who are patient and put in the work finding flights will be rewarded! Considering there are so many options, I would be surprised if you didn’t find a flight. Of course, keep in mind that being flexible is the most powerful benefit! That means, don’t just settle for 1 specific destination city. Be open-minded about how you will get to your final destination. For example, if you are planning to go to Athens but you can’t find a flight… check Amsterdam, Paris, London instead. From those cities, a quick hop in economy to your final destination is very feasible.

      — Saving points isn’t usually a “quick fix”, although this specific offer is rare because it allows you to do exactly what I’ve outlined in this article, don’t apply if you expect to simply find a flight 2 days before Christmas. Once you have the points, they will be yours so there’s plenty of time to use them. FYI, I’m trying to set your expectations low so you are pleasantly surprised! With points, planning in advance is the best strategy unless you are extremely flexible in which case you will never have a problem finding the flights you want.

      — As always, I’m here for those that take the effort to apply for these cards via my links. Just holla at [email protected] and I will do my best to help where I can.

  3. Hi Immanuel,

    Could my wife and I use the points for a economy return from Australia to Europe?? Or is the deal just for business class 1 way?


    • Hi Paul, you could but it’s not a great use of points (in my personal opinion). For example, you only need 85,000 points to Fly AU-EU with Cathay Pacific using Asia Miles in business. In economy, you would need 42,000 miles. Roughly halve. However, when valuing points, we need to compare them to the retail fares. Sydney to Europe in economy can be had for around $1200 return, while business would start around $5600 return. This means when we use points to fly business, we get a value of 6c per airline mile, in economy the value per mile drops down to 2c (without factoring in airline taxes). Of course, this all comes down to you personally and what your objectives are. If you’re simply trying to save money, redeeming points for economy could be the way to go, but I think it’s more rewarding when you score a business class flight for less than the price of economy. With all that in mind, you won’t have any trouble redeeming points for economy seats since there’s always plenty of availability.

  4. Thanks Immanuel. This looks like a terrific deal and I’m going to apply. One point to note for the many Qantas Frequent Flyers out there – I think the graphic you have above showing Frequent Flyer as a travel partner may have been superseded. On clicking through, the AMEX offer states that there are 9 Airline partners and QFF is not included (Includes Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air New Zealand AirpointsTM , THAI Royal Orchid Plus, Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Cathay Pacific Asia MilesT). As you say though, a lot of the same benefits can be obtained via AsiaMiles and Emirates. Keep up the great work!

    • Hi Brett, thanks! As for the transfer partners, that’s my bad. The screenshot is from my personal account, I should mention that I personally hold Amex Platinum & Amex Platinum Business, both these cards allow me to transfer to Qantas, unlike the Explorer which doesn’t include transfer to Qantas. That said, sending Amex MR points to Qantas would be a terrible redemption because Asia Miles has far superior pricing (even on Qantas operated flights). Cheers, Immanuel.

  5. Hi…when is amex going to reward existing customers. Been with them for years but never had these offers offered. Feels like I am subsidising the amex marketing expenses.

    • Hi, Lance did you sign up without receiving a bonus? Personally, I haven’t closed my Amex account for a long time because the points I earn throughout the year outweigh the one time sign up bonus. If you close your account for 18 months you can sign up again and get a bonus.

  6. Hi Immanuel

    Really appreciate your knowledge in this space. I applied for and received this offer and have collected the points.

    I am thinking of a Bali trip with my wife in November for our 20th wedding anniversary, what would your suggestions be on the best way to use the points ex Melbourne?


    • Hey Paul, sounds like a great plan! Your options would be: Qantas direct, Virgin Direct or Singapore Airlines via Singapore. Option 1 and 2 won’t be that exciting considering they are currently scheduled on a B737 which only has recliner seats, however, it would be the most cost effective option.

      If you were to go for Qantas, don’t send your points to Qantas; instead, transfer them to Asia Miles. The cost in business is 30k when using Asia Miles to book Qantas or 57k when using Qantas Frequent Flyer to book Qantas.
      This option would require 120k Asia Miles in total (+ taxes) which is exactly 240k Amex Points. While Singapore Airlines has the flat bed seats, the cost for a one-way ticket in business would be 62k KrisFlyer miles. Another option worth considering is a cash fare. Currently Virgin has a sale on for $1411 return in business, you could book this via Amex Platinum travel and use your $450 travel credit to bring down the cost. Hope that gives you some ideas!

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