Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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  • RSC 220 4 posts

    Hi all, hoping for some help.

    I’ve amassed quite a few Amex points now sitting at just over 1.2m points.

    I’ve decided to take my family of 5 for a holiday in October and looking at my best use of points. Was thinking Dubai using emirates, but I really am flexible, would just like to make points go the longest way and have a good trip.

    Can I use my points for flights and hotels ie for a total package. Am I better to take the points and use them for flights with Emirates and then book a hotel through Marriott, Hilton, Radisson in Dubai directly with the hotel group using points or cash?

    alternatively can I cash in my Amex points for a total package deal with say Virgin and go to the Caribbean ( or elsewhere). I have attempted to book this holiday 5/6 times now and end up busy with work, get frustrated with the points systems and conversions and quite the minefield online with various bits of info.

    Truly appreciate any help.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    “ Am I better to take the points and use them for flights with Emirates and then book a hotel through Marriott, Hilton, Radisson in Dubai directly with the hotel group using points or cash?”

    This is what I would do. Gives you maximum flex. You’ve missed the heyday of Emirates award flight redemptions alas. But for a family of 5 it may still be worth it rather than doing a connecting itinerary with another airline. Generally availability will be there but not always at the lowest possible points price.

    Overall and not to sound like a know it all but that’s a lot of Amex points you have and I think you should carefully educate yourself on the pros and cons of various options before tranaferring any points out. This site is a great place to start but make sure you’re clear on the concepts before doing anything costly with the points. I probably spent 18 months reading my way in before I used Amex points for anything.

    KevinC 69 posts

    If you are going to make a large redemption on Emirates I would consider taking out a Skywards Plus Classic membership for £259 which will get you a 20% reduction in the the point price. But see if it is worth it for you.

    meta 1,408 posts

    Why not do Etihad outbound to Abu Dhabi and back with Emirates from Dubai?

    RSC 220 4 posts

    Thank you to those who have taken the time to answer and made suggestions.

    Abu Dhabi is now a contender, Ethihad flights seem to be more economical as can go business class and with young kids I strongly suspect will mainly be a pool and beach at the hotel type holiday.

    I did think the points would safely get us all upgraded business class or even first class flights but looks to be around 350/380k points return economy and then 750/800k points for business. I would sooner be able to fly out 2/3 times and just pay for hotels.

    zapato1060 557 posts

    Thats a great haul. Consider the 241 to make them go further.

    As for hotel usage, the usage can easily be beaten by paying cash. Competition in UAE is so strong that youd be wasting MR points even on a Marriott redemption thatll be £40-50 to pay for in cash pn and like 30k-40k points at the low end. At the higher end 50k-80k Marriott points is much more beneficial. Just my 2 cents from my upcoming trips to UAE and something to consider.

    RSC 220 4 posts

    Whats the 241 offer? I think I will just use points for the flights and pay for the hotel directly.

    Looking at a late flight, whats the easiest way to get into a business class flight? They show as being about £9k outright, If I hold out will the prices drop or is it only going to go higher?

    Many thanks,

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