How to maximise my mixed points to redeem Roundtrip Business Class flights from Brisbane to Italy?


Fairly new to this, but finding it extremely interesting and fun!

Planning a trip to Europe next year (Apr 2017), specifically Italy. Originating port will be BNE.

By the middle of this year I will qualify QF Gold, and by end of this year should have about 340K QF points. I will also have about 90K Velocity Points. And finally about 160K Amex Membership Rewards.

The decision comes about how to transfer the Amex points and manage to get to Italy Business Return the whole way for two of us.

Ideally I want to get to MXP, however FCO drops a lot of the mileage back to once less zone, so it can make sense to go overland from Rome to Milan (time is not an issue).

Some options:

BNE-PER R/T 155200 Velocity Points
PER-DXB-FCO R/T 384000 QF Points (EK) or 416000 QF Points (QR)

BNE-HKG R/T 240000 QF Points (QF) 260000 QF Points (CX)
HKG-MXP R/T 240000 Asia Miles (CX)

The 2nd option looks nice, but I think I might fall short on points.

Another option is to convert Velocity Points to KrisFlyer Points (0.74 rate), along with some Amex Points to go SIN-MXP with SQ, however, their burn rate is high, and having never done it, the availability sounds like it can be difficult.

Yet a further option is to buy a Discount Y or Flex Y fare with Qantas and rely on my Gold Status in applying for a points upgrade to either HKG or SIN (how likely is a points upgrade with Gold Status? Better ex-SYD than BNE?)

So – I am wondering if anyone has any further suggestions with their wider experience?

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Michael, where do you get 132K for QFF Italy-BNE?



  • Sorry, I was in the middle of something so I didn’t have time to double check and worked based on memory (which can be deceiving). It is in fact 128K for QF and EK (so even better!). For other OW partners it will be 139K.

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Thanks Michael for the response.

I did have a quick look at this option, we have EY 787 service non-stop to AUH each night out of BNE. I believe their J product is fairly nice. (Good to hear that availability is good also.) Indeed a quick check shows 250K for the two of us to MXP with availability booking a fair way out – nice solution!

We have 5 months there, so maybe waiting a while to book the return separately is a good strategy.

Which carrier is KF?




  • KF is Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer miles program.

  • Thanks Darren for clarifying KF.

    Yes, EY 787 studio business class is a very good product, I have been on it and in fact IMO one of the best J product out there, almost like F, especially ex-BNE (I am a poor Brisbanite like you that has been neglected by most other airlines). You also get a chauffeur that will drive you from home to airport.

    The other beauty with VA program is that they don’t charge fuel surcharges. So the fees needed for your redemption will be only about $80 pp, compare to Qantas and KF which will probably charge you $500-600 for the same trip. This extra saving of ~$400 will allow you to have 2 nights worth of accommodation or some extra shopping.

  • Excellent. This is looking like a very good value point burn.

    I did look at at KF (SQ) but was not sure about their ease of availability. From the sounds of things their A330 J/C product is a little inferior, however the prospect of a SIN stopover looked nice (always a great place for a couple of days – I really miss the QF SIN-EUR option). A lot of talk on the forums about SQ/KF availability and high surcharges ex-SIN as well. Also find their different Award Type charts a little confusing – i.e. , is availability restricted because the Saver/Standard/Full will be filled by higher point optioned requests first? Are Saver Awards actually therefore viable?

    Thanks so much for your suggestions.

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Why don’t you convert some of your MR to VA points? Flying Etihad BNE-FCO/MXP (or anywhere in Europe) should be only 125k one way pp. You already have 90k, so you need an extra 160k which you have with your MR. Availability on EY is generally pretty good.

Transferring your MR to KF is another option. AMS/CPH/ATH for some bizarre reason is zoned differently and only requires 68k pp one way in J. So your 160k MR is more than enough without touching your VA. Then just buy a cheap economy ticket within Europe to get to Italy. If you book well in advance (11-12 months out), availability won’t be an issue.

Coming back you can use your QFF points. The rate would be about 132k pp so you have more than enough. Try to fly EK if you can as it minimized stopover and rate is same as QF flights.


  • We faced a similar scenario last year when booking flights to Europe from BNE with a mix of QF, Citibank and MR points.

    Our itinerary ended up as follows:

    BNE-HKG QF Paid economy
    HKG-DXB-ZRH-DXB-SIN EK J 168,000 pts + $110 taxes pp
    SIN-MEL SQ J 46,750 pts + $220 taxes pp

    The primary reason for choosing this itinerary (apart from the lack of A380 redemption availability in J on EK/QF departing BNE) was the relatively low surcharge/taxes for flights departing HKG on EK. Curiously, had we chosen SIN as our departure point for the EK flights, the EK taxes would have been roughly $1000 pp, so whilst those who claim that points redemption on EK requires payment of ridiculously high surcharges/taxes are correct for the most part , this does not apply for flight redemptions departing HKG!

    EK now fly the A380 from DXB to MXP as well, which is a far superior product to their 777 in J Class.

    Hope this helps!

  • Hi Test Opener,

    Great response – thank you!

    Yes, when I did a dummy booking for EK/QF flights from SIN-MXP it was $600 each! Where as out of HKG was only $60. Good tip. I like SIN for a stopover, but HKG/TYO have good availability, so this is looking like a good option. EY connection ex-BNE for MXP is awful, but return is good. So an EY MXP-AUH-BNE itinerary for return will fit the bill nicely. On my trip this year EK have upgraded the 777 from DXB-BCN to an A380 as well – happy days!

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