Brex Cash is offering one of the best deals in miles & points right now. You can sign up for a free account, with no credit pull, and earn 110,000 transferable points after $3K spend. That’s phenomenal. The only catch is that you need to own a business that is registered in the U.S. as an LLC, LLP, C-corp, or S-corp. For details about the deal, see: Brex Bonus – 110K transferable points without a credit inquiry. And, if you’re considering setting up your own LLC (hopefully for other reasons, not just this), see: Nick’s experience setting up a new LLC.
If Brex approves your account and you complete the bonus requirements, you’ll end up with at least 113,000 Brex points. If you’re only interested in cash, you can redeem those points for $1,130 and call it a day. If you’re interested in travel, though, you should pay attention to Brex’s option to transfer points to airline programs. In some cases, it’s possible to get far more than $1,130 in value from your points that way.
At the time of this writing, Brex points can be transferred 1 to 1 to the following programs:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca Lifemiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
In a recent Ask Us Anything episode, a participant asked me what I planned to do with my Brex points. While I don’t have a set plan, I thought it would be fun to lay out some ways in which I’d love to use my points. These aren’t necessarily the most practical uses of miles, but they’d be awfully fun…
Emirates 1st Class, Newark to Athens or JFK to Milan
85K one-way or 135K round-trip with Emirates Skywards miles
This would be an awesome way to fly to Europe! While Nick has flown Emirates first class, I haven’t yet. Fortunately, Emirates no longer charges exorbitant fuel surcharges and so booking flights like these with Emirates miles is a very good deal. I could fly one-way to Europe for only 85,000 miles, but round trip for 135,000 miles is an even better deal. To make up for the extra miles needed for this round-trip flight, I could transfer 1 to 1 from Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, or Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Another great option is to fly the same routes on Emirates business class for only 90,000 miles round-trip. Business class passengers also get access to Emirates’ famous on-board lounge:
Lufthansa First Class to South Africa (One-Way)
105K miles with Avianca Lifemiles
Lufthansa offers an excellent first class in-flight product (no suites though) and fantastic ground services when transiting Frankfurt. Normally when booking Lufthansa with airline miles, you’ll pay exorbitant fuel surcharges. Fortunately, Avianca Lifemiles doesn’t pass along these surcharges for award flights.
Flying from Detroit, I could get to South Africa on Lufthansa with just one stop in Frankfurt. Sometimes Lufthansa offers first class on the leg between Detroit and Frankfurt, but not always. Fortunately, if I fly that leg in business class, the entire flight gets cheaper. See: Avianca LifeMiles’ awesome mixed-cabin award pricing. First Class for less.
If I did my math correctly, it would cost 105,000 miles to fly the entire trip in first class, or about 93,000 miles to fly to Frankfurt in business class and then to South Africa in first class.
The hard part about booking this trip is that Lufthansa usually only releases first class award space to partners about two weeks before the flight. If I was serious about booking this, I would use a fully refundable award currency to book another flight just in case Lufthansa first class awards didn’t materialize when needed.
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class to South Africa (One-Way)
107K miles with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Cathay Pacific is known to have one of the best first class products available and so I’d love to try them out. One great use of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is to fly a very long distance with one leg in first class and another leg in business or economy. By adding that less-than-first-class segment, you can actually lower the total cost of the ticket vs. flying the one first class segment alone. See: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles mixed cabin award pricing. First class for less.
Cathay Pacific no longer flies first class between Hong Kong and South Africa and so, a great option is to fly U.S. to Hong Kong in first class and then onward in business class to South Africa. The total cost for this mixed cabin award: 107K miles.
Singapore Suites: JFK to Frankfurt (One-Way)
86K miles with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles
Singapore Suites are awesome. I know because I once flew Singapore Suites from Hong Kong to San Francisco and I loved everything about it. The flight attendant practically had to drag me off the plane kicking and screaming when we arrived in San Francisco. Singapore Airlines no longer offers suites class on that route, but they still offer it for their New York to Frankfurt, Germany flight.