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Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian Liu has put the chasing of Amex Membership Rewards points into a new league – by buying a $170.4m Modigliani painting with his American Express Centurion card.
The “by invitation only” American Express Centurion card of course has no official credit limit, with the amount you are able to spend on it dependent on your relationship with Amex. Clearly the relationship between Amex and Liu is pretty, pretty good.
That said, you can only presume his relationship with Christie’s took a nosedive when they saw the Amex commission.
In paying for the painting with his Amex, Liu will have accrued 170,400,000 Membership Rewards points. To put it into context, 250 Membership Rewards on a US Amex gets you 200 Avios, so that’s a total of 136,320,000 Avios points.
Should he go down this route, Liu will of course condemn himself to a lifetime of struggling with Avios’ notorious reward flight availability issues, he will not be short of points to pay for any reward flights he does find.
By way of example, Mr Liu could fly First Class return from London to Tokyo 568 times (240,000 Avios), or Business Class return from London to Rome 4544 times (30,000 Avios).
Of course, he’ll have to pay taxes and fees (capped at £50 with Reward Flight Saver for the Rome trip), but we think he can probably afford it…