UPDATE! 422 Million Amex Points for $36M Purchase…First Redemption Is…

by Adam

You may remember back in July when a Hong Kong based collector used his AMEX Centurion Card to purchase an ancient Chinese ceramic cup for $36 million USD…without even realizing he would earn any points for the purchase…422 million to be exact. Bloomberg reported that:

Liu Yiqian, who used his Centurion Card to pay for the cup from Sotheby’s (BID) Hong Kong, hadn’t even thought about the rewards until he was contacted by Bloomberg News. “He didn’t even know,” his daughter Betty said by telephone, as her father doesn’t speak English. “He is checking now to find out about how many points he can get.” Liu’s daughter said he used his credit card, which is denominated in yuan, because currency restrictions won’t allow him to transfer that much money directly from China to Hong Kong. Individuals are limited to moving $50,000 per year outside the country because of capital controls.

Of course, 422 million Amex points is the equivalent of about 28 million frequent flyer miles depending on your transfer partner. So where’s his first destination on points? ABC GMA reported this morning that his first redemption isn’t all that exciting, it’s a flight to Singapore. He’ll be using 75K AMEX points to fly Singapore Airlines roundtrip in First from Hong Kong.

Hmm, I think the BoardingArea community might need to provide some more creative suggestions!

Pottery Points

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Kris December 1, 2014 - 10:00 am

Something tells me if he can afford $36 million on a cup he doesn’t care about the points, but then again, people rarely complain about free money, and that is a ton.

Randall December 1, 2014 - 3:49 pm

He should have used his Radisson card. He would have earned 180 million Gold Points which, if using at a 50k point per night rate with the 2nd night free, would allow him to stay at Radisson’s for free, for nearly 20 years. Haha

KevininRI December 1, 2014 - 5:57 pm

Not to be picky but they got the math wrong in a couple ways. First, if he’s a member of the HK Amex program he only gets double points on the first HK$160,000 of spending per year, so he only received about 279 million HK Amex points which can be redeemed for about 18.6 million airline miles. And it’s not 75K HK Amex points to redeem for a first class RT ticket from Hong Kong to Singapore, it’s 75,000 Krisflyer miles which would “cost” 1.1 million of those 18.6 million AMEX points, which is a little less of a score than the article leads you to believe.

yong December 2, 2014 - 10:48 am

you mean 1.1 million of those 279 million AMEX points, right? 😀


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