Tips for using points2018-01-15T12:12:02+10:00

Tips for using points

The best way to book ultra-luxurious hotels and resorts using points

Here at The High Life, we usually focus on using points to fly at the 'pointy end' of the plane - in a comfy seat, with good service and dining, and lots of free-flowing champagne, of course! As you probably already know, this is one of the best ways to maximise value from your hard-earned points. Booking a business or first class award seat gets you so much more value than redeeming points to fly economy. But luxury travel [...]

How good a deal are Qantas economy reward seats now?

Here at The High Life we mostly focus on using points to fly at the ‘pointy’ end of the plane, and for good reason: it’s how you get the most ‘bang’ for your points ‘buck’, plus it’s obviously a much more fun way to travel than economy! Still, we do know that lots of readers use points to fly economy, and that’s fine of course. For many people, points are the gateway to travelling more often, and if that [...]

How to minimise taxes and fees on Qantas Points award bookings

Qantas reward seat bookings are never “free” since you always need to fork out cash to cover government taxes and the "fees" imposed by airlines and airports, which can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. While these costs are unavoidable, they do vary depending on the airline and route you're flying, which means it's possible to minimise them by comparing your options. The first factor to consider is the fees imposed by the airline itself. Some carriers (eg. [...]

The ultimate use of Qantas Points – fly round-the-world in business class with the oneworld award

Many people dream about flying round-the-world in business class but dismiss it as a lofty goal that'll forever be out of reach. In fact, this 'bucket list' experience is more attainable than you may realise, thanks to a unique and highly rewarding way of using Qantas Points. The 'oneworld award' is a special type of booking that allows you to fly with oneworld airlines up to 35,000 miles with up to five stopovers - which is enough for a [...]

Qantas unveils sweeping changes to frequent flyer program

Qantas has unveiled sweeping changes to its frequent flyer program in a move it claims will make it easier for members to book reward seats when they want to travel, while often paying less to do so - though unfortunately not at the pointy end. Central to the change is the promise of a million extra reward seats each year, most of which will cost fewer points in economy but more in other cabins - and upgrades will cost [...]

You can now use Qantas Points to fly with Taipei-based China Airlines

A few weeks ago, while searching for award seats to Taiwan using Qantas Points, I saw that there was pretty good availability flying direct from Australia's east coast capitals to Taipei with China Airlines. Since I'd never searched for award seats on this route before, I didn't realise (until today) that this was actually a brand new feature of Qantas and China Airlines' partnership - and it's good news for Qantas frequent flyer members looking for somewhere new to [...]

How to use Velocity Points to fly Singapore Airlines business and first class

One of the best uses of Virgin Australia Velocity Points is flying business or first class with Singapore Airlines: a top-rated airline with an excellent international network and convenient flight options for Australians travelling to Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Singapore Airlines' business and first class products are among the best in the world. Passengers not only enjoy comfortable and spacious seats (or first class "suites"), but the airline is also renowned for its excellent dining and customer service. Singapore [...]

Qantas members earned and redeemed BILLIONS of points on hotel stays this year. Was it a good idea?

Information released by Qantas today shows that Qantas Frequent Flyer members love to earn and redeem points on hotel stays. The Qantas Hotels portal allows members to earn points when making a paid hotel booking, or they can opt to redeem their existing points to cover the cost of a stay. In 2018 alone, Qantas members earned more than 920 million points and redeemed a massive 4.7 billion points though Qantas Hotels. The top ‘hotel booker’ earned more than 230,000 points, and this [...]

My latest oneworld award booking: one of my favourite uses of Qantas Points

Out of all the high value uses of Qantas Points I write about, my favourite is probably the 'oneworld award'. It allows you to fly up to a whopping 35,000 miles with 5 stopovers, which is enough to take you round the world, at a cost of 280,000 Qantas Points in business class. Since you can spend almost 280k points on a return business class fare to London or New York, flying much longer with 5 stopovers represents excellent value. [...]

The best uses of Velocity Points

Velocity Points are one of Australia’s most popular rewards currencies, giving travellers access to top-notch flight experiences with Virgin Australia and partners like Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways. I often get asked about the best uses of Velocity Points. My answer is always that you get the best value and experiences by redeeming them for business and first class flights. While it can be tricky sometimes to find a premium award seat, if you figure out how the system [...]

When does Qantas release premium award seats?

Qantas award seats can be hard to snag - especially in premium cabins on popular long-haul routes - which is why I always advise travellers to book them as early as possible. It used to be the case that all Qantas frequent flyer members had equal access to premium economy, business class and first class award seats on Qantas flights when they were added to the schedule, which was 353 days out from departure at midnight GMT (that's 8 [...]

Why I’m increasingly choosing to fly with Singapore Airlines (thanks to Amex and Velocity points)

I was recently reviewing my flight bookings for the months ahead and it struck me that most will be with Singapore Airlines. It's quickly become my carrier of choice, which isn't surprising given it offers excellent experiences on the ground and in the air, a large international network, and very good award seat availability. Singapore Airlines is also a member of Star Alliance, the world's biggest airline partnership, which gives me access to carriers around the globe - and [...]

Qantas enables online award seat bookings with partner China Eastern Airlines

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now book award seats with China Eastern Airlines via the Qantas website, whereas until now you had to call Qantas to book. This is the last major airline partner to be added to Qantas' online award booking engine. China Eastern flies from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to its hub in Shanghai, and onward to destinations in Asia, Europe and North America. Depending on where you want to go, it could be a useful alternative [...]

You can now use Qantas Points to book with Luxury Escapes, but don’t: it’s a bad deal

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now use their Qantas Points to pay for accommodation, tours, flights and more with the popular travel firm Luxury Escapes. This news comes on the heels of the announcement in February that Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn points on Luxury Escapes bookings, and it represents a deepening of the partnership between the two companies. Under the arrangement, you can cover part or all of the cost of a Luxury Escapes booking using Qantas Points, with [...]

How to use Qantas Points to fly Emirates A380 business and first class

Have you ever wanted to sip a cocktail at a bar while flying at 40,000 feet? Or take a hot, relaxing shower during a long flight? You may think these kinds of experiences are out of reach, but that's not the case if you're a Qantas Frequent Flyer member. Qantas Points can be used to fly business and first class with Emirates (which is where you'll find such luxuries) and this is easily one of the best uses of [...]

Don’t rely on the Velocity website to show correct Etihad award seat availability

Twice in the past few months I’ve used Velocity Points to book business class seats with Etihad - a great use of points - but both times my search for seats on the Velocity website came up empty, despite the fact many were available. I always double check online search results for precisely this reason. You simply can’t rely on the Velocity website (and sometimes other airlines' websites) to be accurate. I'm sure many Velocity Frequent Flyers who tried [...]

Qantas enables online reward seat bookings with Japan Airlines

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now use their Qantas Points to make redemption bookings online with all oneworld partners through qantas.com. Previously, Qantas Frequent Flyers had to make reward seat bookings with Japan Airlines (JAL) by phoning the Qantas contact centre, but now they can do so online. This capability was already in place for all other oneworld partners. JAL flies from Tokyo to Sydney and Melbourne, with comfortable seats and top-notch service in business class, which I've reviewed. [...]

How I’m spending over a million points on flights in 2018

Earlier this month I wrote about how I earned over a million frequent flyer points in 2017 - my biggest year ever - and that I was excited about all the travel experiences those points will bring. I’ve actually already spent all those points on flights in 2018, putting in practice what I preach and using them for business and first class travel  (which is how you get the most value out of points). To illustrate this principle - and [...]

The best uses of Qantas Points

There are so many ways to spend Qantas Points these days: on flights, gift vouchers, hotel stays, household goods, movie tickets, insurance, car hire … the list goes on. By giving members so many choices, Qantas ensures that its loyalty program remains very popular - and profitable. But one of the downsides of so much choice is that it can be hard to compare and decide on which points redemption gets you the most value. And as a general rule [...]

Can’t find a premium Qantas award seat? Get a family member with gold or higher status to book

About a year ago, Qantas started giving its elite frequent flyers (those with gold status and above) priority access to award seats on Qantas flights. While Qantas had always said that elite members had priority access to award seats, it didn't meaningfully implement this policy, since it was obvious that a person's status rarely provided an advantage. Then, early last year, I and some other gold and platinum frequent flyers started noticing that we could see many more award seats [...]