AMEX Offers Rocket Into Orbit Rewards; Is a Trip to Mars Close Behind?

American Express today announced last week that cardmembers enrolled in its Membership Rewards program can now redeem points with Space Adventures Ltd., the world’s leading space flight experiences and space tourism company. For the first time, cardmembers can touch the edge of space and revel in the weightlessness of Earth’s orbit by using points to get there, adding to the universe of already abundant experiences Membership Rewards enrollees can enjoy.

"Space Adventures is the latest of many unique experiences we offer to fuel our enrollees’ imaginations and prompt our cardmembers to ask not just what they can do with points, but how far they can go with them," said Chris Lynch, vice president, Rewards Management at American Express. "Without dipping into their wallets, cardmembers can redeem for an almost limitless number of things — like a journey to the cusp of space or a rejuvenating day at a luxurious spa — and use points to cover the costs."

American Express is offering three Space Adventures packages to enrollees who wish to experience the sights and sensations of space travel:

  • Zero-Gravity Flight (1,000,000 points): Experience weightlessness by traveling in a specially outfitted jet aircraft that is used to train astronauts to work and test equipment in a weightless environment.
  • Edge of Space Flight (3,000,000 points): Fly in a MiG-25 supersonic jet at up to two-and-one-half times the speed of sound (Mach 2.5) and above 80,000 feet, where one can see the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space.
  • Sub-Orbital Space Flight (20,000,000 points): Reserve your seat now for a ride aboard a sub-orbital spacecraft that will climb to an altitude of 62 miles, expose you to experience several minutes of weightlessness and treat you to Earth views from space.

Operations are based at various space and aviation facilities around the world, including the formerly top-secret Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Packages include accommodations, as well as tours and onsite training.

"We are very excited to offer our space experiences programs through American Express. Our mission at Space Adventures is to open the space frontier to private citizens. With this partnership, we're doing just that," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. "There are few things that are more exhilarating than the feeling of weightlessness or seeing the curvature of Earth and the blackness of space while traveling at two times the speed of sound.

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