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

Tips for using points

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 [...]

How to minimise taxes and fees on Qantas Points award bookings

Qantas reward seat bookings are never “free”, because in addition to the points cost you always need to fork out cash to cover taxes and "fees", which can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. While these costs are unavoidable, they can vary quite a bit depending on the airline and route, which means there are ways to minimise them. The first factor to consider is the fees imposed by the airline you’re flying with. Some carriers charge much [...]

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 relaxing, hot shower halfway through a long-haul 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 (where you'll find such luxuries) and this is easily one of the best uses of Qantas [...]

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. [...]

The ultimate use of Qantas Points: fly round-the-world in business class

Many people dream about flying round-the-world in business class. It's one of those 'bucket list' type of experiences, and if you're one of the 11 million Australians who earns Qantas Points, it's probably more attainable than you think. One of the best uses of Qantas Points is booking the 'oneworld award', which allows you to fly up to 35,000 miles with five stopovers, including round-the-world if you wish. For the oneworld award you need 140,000 points in economy, 280,000 points in business class and [...]

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 [...]

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. One of the downsides of so much choice, however, is that it can be hard to compare and decide on which points redemption gets you the most value. 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 [...]