All You Have To Do To Fly Free Forever Is Put A $170M Purchase On Your American Express Card

Are you sick and tired of shelling out money every time you want to fly somewhere? If you’ve got the right credit card and an urge to spend some millions, you’ll be set: a billionaire who won a rare painting at auction for $170 million will never have to pay for a flight again when the sale goes through on the American Express card he plunked down to buy the artwork.

The winning bidder for Amedeo Modigliani’s “Reclining Nude” at a Christie’s auction earlier this month will reportedly be paying for his acquisition with American Express (though he hasn’t confirmed it, and AmEx won’t either, citing privacy reasons). But it can happen.

“In theory, it’s possible to put a ($170 million purchase) on an American Express card,” an American Express spokeswoman told the Associated Press. “It is based on our relationship with that individual card member and these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, based on our knowledge of their spending patterns.”

If he does use his American Express Centurion Card — aka the “black card,” an invitation-only card that only the biggest spenders get — he’ll earn a ton of points for his purchase: based on a one point-per-dollar reward plan, he’ll get 170,400,000 membership points for the painting. He and his wife told the New York Times that all those points will go toward allowing their family to travel for free for the rest of their lives.

It’s not going to be too difficult to achieve that, according to the points pros: Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of the travel rewards site, told the AP that if, the painting’s owner converts his Membership Rewards points into an airline frequent flier program, say, Singapore Airlines, he could fly about 3,000 times between the U.S. and Europe in the ultra-deluxe first class suites at $17,800 round trip. Or if he keeps his points with AmEx, he could still use them for hundreds of first class flights anywhere in the world.

While you’re waiting to build up the buying power to earn an AmEx black card, it might be time to start making best friends with billionaires, eh?

How to fly free forever: Buy a $170 million painting with your AmEx card [Associated Press]

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