Case study: How I used a mix of earned and purchased points to fund our Business Class honeymoon (Part 1)

A case study in purchased points redemptions

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 2 minutes
POSTED: May 7, 2018
UPDATED: May 11, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, American Airlines AAdvantage

Brisbane-based Point Hacks Community Manager Warren Hiew is an avid point-hacker and he spent six weeks travelling in a loop around the Pacific on his honeymoon with his wife.

A loop around the Pacific


Case study: Warren’s Business Class honeymoon to Tahiti, the US and Japan

Part 1: How my point-hacking journey started
Part 2: How I bought my airline points and booked my flights
Part 3: My experience of the flights and lounges


Why I planned this trip the way I did

As I was in the early stages of my point-hacking journey, I used a mix of Qantas Points, Velocity points and purchased American AAdvantage miles to fly Business Class the whole way.

In terms of out-of-pocket costs, I paid ~$4,300 AUD per person for the international flights, including costs of purchasing AA miles and ignoring the value of the Qantas & Velocity points used.

For comparison purposes, the cheapest Economy Class seats I could have booked with cash for the same routes and dates cost around ~$5,000 per person, and the cheapest Business Class seats ~$17,000.

In this series, I wanted to share how I got hold of the points in the first place, how I booked the flights, and what I thought of some of the flights and lounges.

Four Seasons Bora Bora

How did this all start?

In December 2015, my wife and I were daydreaming/planning our honeymoon as a form of procrastination while working on what seemed to be an endless to-do-list for our wedding in March 2016.

At that time, I had a grand plan to do all flights on our honeymoon in Business Class because my wife does not enjoy flying long-haul in Economy (who does?!) and I secretly wanted her to love travelling as much as I do.

I googled cheap Business Class travel and stumbled upon Point Hacks—and that was how my point-hacking journey started.

We decided that our honeymoon would fall on March 2017, our first-year wedding anniversary. We also decided that we wanted to tick off Bora Bora, the US and Japan, where we also had to be to attend a friends’ wedding.

What were the challenges?

As we did not have a very flexible schedule due to the need to be in Japan for our friends’ wedding, I wanted to secure the award seats 11-12 months in advance to increase my chances of getting award seats. However, as I had only started point-hacking four months prior, I did not have enough points/miles to fund all our Business Class flights.

I was not and am not in the financial position to pay full price for Business Class seats and being a point-hacker, it would seem that I did not try hard enough if I did just that.

How did I overcome my challenges?

This is where buying points come into play—I decided to purchase points to reduce the cost of the Business Class seats.

Case study: How I used a mix of earned and purchased points to fund our Business Class honeymoon (Part 1) was last modified: May 11th, 2018 by Warren Hiew

Summing up

In Part 2, I detail exactly how I went about buying my additional frequent flyer points, and researching and booking our individual flights.

Case study: How I used a mix of earned and purchased points to fund our Business Class honeymoon (Part 1) was last modified: May 11th, 2018 by Warren Hiew