Whether you are a regular or an occasional visitor to Point Hacks, it is a good idea to keep up-to-date with all the latest frequent flyer news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals available to our readers.
Let’s keep it short and sweet—here are the most popular articles during the first half of 2018.
Top 10 most-read posts
Earning Qantas Points from credit card spend is one of the key ways that many Qantas Frequent Flyer members earn their points. In this guide, we round up some of the highest Qantas Point-earning cards on the market.
If you have a decent Qantas Point balance of 100,000 points or more and no immediate plans to use them, then this guide is for you. It outlines some of the best-value redemptions using Qantas Points at or around the six-figure mark.
You can redeem your Qantas Points for a First Class award seat on an Emirates A380
With a number of codes available for anyone to use, this post a great resource for you to save ~5-10% on your paid Virgin Australia flight bookings.
These deals usually run a couple of times a year, offering bonuses of 15-60%. The latest offer even had two lounge passes thrown in.
A consistently popular post and understandably so, since booking a oneworld Classic Flight Reward is one of the best ways to maximise the value of your Qantas Points.
You can include a leg on Qatar Airways Business Class on your Qantas RTW redemption
Sometimes timing is key to a successful redemption. In this post, we have compiled the information on how early each frequent flyer program releases award seats.
Buying Starpoints is a great way to save on high-end expensive hotel stays, or you can also transfer them to one of their many partner frequent flyer programs to redeem for flights. Stocking up now before this program is folded into Marriott Rewards in August is a smart strategy.
Redemptions at Al Maha, Dubai will be over 40% cheaper between August and December this year!
A great credit card perk to aim for. With the expansion of eateries at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Airports, the program has become much more attractive for us here in Australia in recent years. Plus, all Rex Lounges are now part of the network.
In this guide, we outline our top eight recommendations for using your Velocity points balance for maximum value, including flights on Virgin Australia and partners like Etihad and Singapore Airlines.
You can redeem your Velocity Points for Virgin’s ‘The Business’
One of the questions often considered by anyone who has to pay tax bills to the ATO: ‘how do I earn the most points on this transaction?’ Hopefully, this guide will help point you toward the card to use for your own circumstances when paying taxes. An update to this guide is coming in July 2018, just in time to pay your taxes.
Keith’s personal top picks
These are the tips and guides that I have found most useful over the last six months as they have aligned with redeeming some points for a future trip.
I have focused on redeeming Qantas Points in the last six months, earned from a mixture of my Platinum Charge card, a mixture of different Visa/Mastercard options, my Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account and some other sources like Qantas Wine. This has led to trips on the cards to the US—flying into San Francisco direct with Qantas and back from San Francisco via Fiji Airways.
Fiji Airways may not have the most cutting-edge Business Class product but they are a good option for using Qantas Points to get to/from North America
The San Francisco direct flight was made possible with increased points redemption availability due to having Qantas Silver status, which I will soon lose—but it seems that Qantas has opened some additional award seats to Silver and above members on that route. The Fiji Airways redemption on the way back was a great way to find seats with low taxes when Qantas weren’t showing any availability to fly direct.
I’ll be booking some of the stays while we’re away using some Starpoints earned from my American Express Explorer and Platinum Charge cards, and potentially some Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings. Nothing’s locked in yet because I want to see how the Starwood-Marriott merger might impact the redemptions we’re planning for later in the year.
Matt’s personal top picks
I started off this year with a three-month trip through Chile, Argentina and Peru, and found that earning 1 Qantas Point per $ spent on Airbnb stays helped me rack up some points that I might not have otherwise accrued.
Cerro Fitz Roy in Argentinian Patagonia is the mountain in the Patagonia logo!
Using British Airways Avios for travel within and between these South American countries, both in Business and Economy Class, helped me avoid high cash fares.
In April, I headed to Europe for three weeks, using 140,000 United MileagePlus miles + ~US$100 in taxes to fly SAS Business Class on the way from the US to Europe and SWISS Business on the way back—which has become my favourite Business Class experience to date. I also got a free sector thrown in as an Excursionist Perk from Stockholm to Vienna, where I was the only passenger in Austrian Airlines’ Business Class cabin and enjoyed a delicious, filling lunch.
SWISS 777 Business Class is sleek!
This month, I used 40,000 Asia Miles + less than US$60 in taxes to try Cathay Pacific First Class for the first time, flying their fifth freedom route from New York JFK to Vancouver. Service was top-notch and the bed was wide and comfortable but the onboard catering left something to be desired. That didn’t matter much as the American Airlines Flagship First Dining experience in the lounge at JFK was one of the top three favourite meals of my life!
Cathay Pacific First Class
Moving forward, I have been stocking up my Starpoints balance in preparation for its merger with Marriott Rewards in August. Prior to the changes, I am planning to redeem my points for a Hotel + Air Package but details on how the hotel certificates will transfer over means I am holding off for a little longer.
Finally, trouble with booking a premium cabin ticket across The Pacific inspired me to write a post on top tips to help fly Business/First Class between Australia and the US. I ended up grabbing a Business Class seat on Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner from San Francisco to Melbourne for 85,000 Asia Miles + ~US$400 in taxes (that’s a lot), which has since jumped to 90,000 following Asia Miles’ award chart changes that came into effect last week.
Qantas 787 Business Class
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