The very old and very, very valuable "chicken cup" at auction. Tea sold separately. (Reuters/APR)

Earlier this year, Chinese almost-billionaire Liu Yiqian purchased a Chenghua Meiyintang "chicken cup" at an auction in Hong Kong, reportedly paying more than $30 million for the 500-year-old piece. The sale made headlines for several reasons:

• The cup is super old and precious.
• He paid more than $30 million!
• Liu Yiqian drank out of it.

Yeah, that happened. When Liu Yiqian bought the cup earlier this month, he sipped tea from it, and the pictures caused a bit of a commotion.

When asked about it, he told China Real Time that taking the drink was a bit of an impulse decision, according to the Wall Street Journal:

"It happened when I was paying," said Mr. Liu, who made his fortune in finance. "A Sotheby's staffer poured me some tea. I saw the [chicken cup] and excitedly poured some of that tea into the cup and drank a little," he said. "Such a simple thing — what's so crazy about that?"

But we're not here to talk about that controversy. We'd rather focus on the other piece of news from earlier this month, which the Telegraph covers in the last sentence of its report: "In order to purchase it at auction, Liu reportedly had to swipe his American Express card 24 times."

Yep, Liu Yiqian put it on his card. It was a decision that earned him nearly 422 million American Express points, Bloomberg News reported.

What do you even do with (nearly) 422 million American Express points?

We looked at the American Express Web site and now have some suggestions:

Cufflinks Mascots Cheval

(Screenshot/American Express)

Looking to regain the "cool guy" status you lost while paying more than $30 million for a used ceramic teacup? You might consider investing 540,000 points in cufflinks that are described like so: "Symbolizing strength and speed, this beautiful horse has become a major inspiration of LALIQUE."

That sentence includes the words "strength," "speed" and "beautiful," then ends in all-caps. Also, these cufflinks are in the shape of horse heads, which basically means they are a classy version of this.

Balance Chair (Regular)

(Screenshot/American Express)

This chair looks only slightly more comfortable than this, but for 240,000 points, there's a solid chance you also get the outfit our model is wearing above.

Single Scoop Voucher

I would like all the single scoop vouchers, please.

AC/DC Thermoelectric Cooler

(Screenshot/American Express)

This cooler (400,000 points) was mostly selected because it has a little spot on top to keep the teacup. But as the description notes, "with its 34 litres in size, it can hold up to 60 cans of 330ml drinks or 12 bottles of regular red or white wine bottles." Red or white!


Since Liu Yiqian cannot use his teacup anymore without taking considerable amounts of grief, we submit the Lollacup as a viable alternative. It looks like a bird, so it's basically just a plastic "chicken cup," right? Right.