When should you use points vs cash at Starwood hotels across Australia & the Pacific?

Starpoints are at the top of our list of favourite points currencies due to the relative difficulty of obtaining them (meaning they are less popular) and their excellent versatility in redemption options at Starwood, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton properties, as well as transferring to a wide range of airline partners for flight redemptions.

If you haven’t read up on the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, here is a good place to start.

In this guide, we identify all Starwood properties in Australia and the Pacific Islands and analyse when it makes sense to use your Starpoints and when to use cold hard cash. Continue reading…

Changes to Hilton Honors: points pooling + status extensions good; but not so sure on the new points+pay option

Hilton Honors is this month dramatically altering its redemption pricing model, as well as introducing some other changes – including a change from HHonors to just Honors – and this is our take on how they may affect your travel plans.

Hilton Honors points are a useful major points currency to consider if you have an affinity for the Hilton Hotels chain.

In this guide, we cover key hotel locations, status benefits, transferring points between programs, and how to get the best value from earning and redeeming Honors points. Continue reading…

An introduction to the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program and which credit cards earn Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program is a useful frequent flyer program for Australian travellers. With Cathay Pacific a member of oneworld, Asia Miles partners with Qantas for points earn and redemption, and Asia Miles is a transfer partner of several bank rewards programs in Australia.

It’s harder to earn Asia Miles from day-to-day activities outside of credit card spend in Australia, but Asia Miles redemption rates are cheaper than Qantas Frequent Flyer, and as such it deserves your attention. Continue reading…

Introduction to ‘1865’, Langham’s loyalty program with good points earn rates and easy to attain status

Langham Hotels is a small hotel chain with 22 hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, London, Hong Kong and beyond.

When booking directly with Langham, or via a travel agent (such as Amex Travel via FHR), you can earn points in your preferred frequent flyer currency via their 1865 loyalty program.

Given their footprint in the region, a reputation for high-end hotels with good service, and the ability to earn points, I thought I’d take a look at 1865 and see what’s on offer.
Continue reading…

How to redeem Malaysia Airlines Enrich Miles for great-value long-haul Business travel on Emirates

A relatively new partnership between Malaysia Airlines and Emirates opens up more award space between Australia and the US (via Dubai) and offers cheaper redemptions on long-haul Emirates flights to North America and Europe compared to using Qantas Points.

Enrich Miles are very accessible through a range of Australian credit card programs, but you need to be sure you want these flights if transferring points to Enrich, as there is a no cancellation policy on award tickets and poor redemption rates on other carriers. Continue reading…