Newbie to point hacking, where do I start with flights/hotels redemption using points?

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Hi,

I am a newbie.

I have so far gotten myself a Velocity points card (2168 points) and an American Express Platinum Edge credit card (16910 points). I have also joined up with most of the major frequent flyer programs and hotel programs.

I would like to go to Brisbane this weekend for 4 days.

Then in Early May I would like to travel from Sydney – Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai) for 3 weeks – Japan 2 weeks – Taiwan 5 days – South Korea min. 3 weeks I won’t need accommodation – (12hour Stopover in Singapore) – Back home to Sydney around Mid July.  I am flexible with dates and the order of places I travel, except I would like to travel to Hawaii first.

What is the best way to use these cards, and earn/spend points? I know how to earn through buying petrol, at Woolies and through the velocity online store, but I’m not sure where to start with buying flights/hotels and using points.

I’m so used to buying the cheapest ticket on Jetstar and finding decent and cheap accommodation without worrying about points!

I appreciate any help. I hope to buy the Brisbane ticket at least today.

Cheers 🙂

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It sounds like you are focusing on Velocity as a main frequent flyer program for now, which is cool. Make sure you compare booking through Virgin Australia (and their partners) for your intended travel to Hawaii and back, so Hawaiian Airlines and Singapore Airlines mainly for your itinerary, to maximise your points earn. And then consider how many points you’ll earn vs just booking cheapest fares and see if that makes sense for you.

Yes, you will earn Velocity points from the flight, and Membership Rewards points by paying for the flight on your Platinum Edge.

From here out you are playing the ‘long game’ when it comes to building up your points balances – there are few easy wins. When I see an easy win though we’ll be sure to post it on Point Hacks of course 🙂

  • Thanks for your response, Keith. Would it have been better for me to get the Velocity Amex Card to combined the two? Are there benefits to combining them, other than just convenience?

  • You mean use Velocity Amex instead of Membership Rewards? Membership Rewards is great and you get access to the 15% transfer bonus when they run that offer a couple of times per year, so no issue in using MR over Velocity cards.

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Thanks for your reply.

I don’t have enough points to pay for a flight. Apparently there is also a minimum amount of Velocity points you need to use them. So yeah, what cards should I use to pay for flights, and for which airlines to maximise how many points I receive…Eg. If I book a Virgin airlines flight, and I use my Amex card to pay for it, do I gain both Amex points and Velocity points? Do I do it through Velocity or Amex website? Any suggestions for better cards?

My velocity card is only a Global Wallet to collect points, not a credit card. For Brisbane, I’m going to try book a complimentary flight that I get with my Amex.

(After this trip to Hawaii and E. Asia, I plan to do a lot more travel, and I am flexible with dates and places so I’ll have many opportunities to collect points. I just want to know how to maximise my points)

 

  • I reckon given how busy/expensive this Easter weekend is for travel, it might be quite good value to use your free Amex flight (assuming there is any availability). Whatever award availability is on Virgin’s website usually matches what Amex can make available for a free flight.

    The Platinum Edge doesn’t have any bonus points for travel spending (only the Platinum Charge does). However, if you book through Amex Travel, you do get a bonus point per $ on top of the normal 1 point per $1. Just make sure the Amex Travel costs are as cheap as you can book elsewhere, as it’s not worth paying lots of extra money for bonus points.

    Yes, if you book a Virgin flight with an Amex card you will receive Velocity points for the actual flying, as well as Amex points for the $ spend.

    In terms of a broader strategy for cards, there is plenty of advice on this website about how/what to do. You need to determine what your goals are, and then plan accordingly.

  • I did end up using the complimentary flight from Amex. Thanks for all the advice!

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I’m a bit confused. Are you asking how you can book your flights to Brisbane and/or Hawaii etc using points? Or are you asking what cards you should use to pay for these flights maximise how many points you receive?

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