HSBC has now joined American Express and ANZ as one of only three big institutions offering this quite secure and convenient method of payment in Australia.
A perfectly serviceable hotel if you can score a reasonable room rate, and want to earn Starpoints and/or stay credits towards status. However, Starwood aficionados need to choose between staying loyal but down-scale, or looking for more luxurious accommodation elsewhere.
NAB Rewards allows you to transfer points to Velocity, Asia Miles and Air NZ Airpoints, and offers bonus points for overseas spend and purchases at major department and hardware stores.
ANZ Rewards are offering a 50% bonus on Velocity Point transfers in May, and for ANZ Business Rewards cardholders too. This is a great deal, and the highest transfer bonus we have seen from ANZ to Velocity to date.
This offer represents good value for topping up points balances for specific redemptions. It’s good for the extremes: low- and high-category hotels.
Round-the-world trips with Virgin brand airlines are historically hard to come by but this deal gets you stopovers in LA, London and Hong Kong and earns all the benefits of Velocity Gold status in one hit.
RewardPay allows business owners to take advantage of credit card points earn opportunities for making business payments they could have made by EFT. There’s a fee – but the cost can make sense to earn points and boost your cashflow.
Etihad has cut its losses with low load factors to Melbourne by shifting its largest aircraft to Sydney. Etihad Business & First Class is one of the best ways to fly, and Australians have access to Etihad redemptions thanks to their partnership with Velocity.
The inclusion of a number of Design Hotels in the Starwood portfolio allows SPG members to receive some of the benefits of a loyalty program while also enjoying unique and independent accommodation not usually seen in generic hotel chains.
The Old Clare Hotel is the only Design Hotels property in Australia that’s linked to Starwood, allowing you to use/earn points or status. It’s a unique place and definitely recommended for those looking for a different Sydney experience.
While the rooms are clean and fairly spacious, the staff are friendly and there’s nothing particularly wrong with the place, there’s also nothing to get you coming back here when Melbourne’s hotel scene is pretty competitive.
We’ve updated our guide with links to new reviews of Starwood properties in Australia. Plus, we analyse when it makes sense to use your Starpoints and when to use cold hard cash.
Some of the best value to be had from IHG Rewards is the quarterly PointBreaks promotion, where a number of hotels globally of the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands are made available for 5,000 points per night – that’s up to a 90% discount.