Home to Broadway shows, Times Square, the Met and Wall Street, New York City has something for everybody. And no matter how many times I visit, I always find something new and exciting to explore.

The United States is well and truly open again – and there are some incredible ways to fly there on points. That includes using KrisFlyer miles or Velocity Points to book Business Class on the world’s longest flight!

In this guide to NYC, I’ll take you through some of the many ways to get here using your hard-earned reward points. I’ll also explore your lounge options at the city’s key international airports, JFK and Newark, and how your New York hotel stays can generate their own rewards. And of course, I have a few travel tips and tricks for you as well.

Flying to New York City on points

Until Qantas’ ambitious Project Sunrise plans take off, jetting from Australia to New York requires a stop along the way. Many travellers choose to venture through another city in North America. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu and even Vancouver are all popular choices for a one-stop journey.

But so too is Singapore. With so many routes there from Australia – and the world’s longest flight taking you straight from the Lion City to The Big Apple – it’s a surprisingly practical way to go.

However you get there, here are just some of the paths you could take when spending Qantas Points, Velocity Points or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. I’ve also included an interesting option for those with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, given Flying Club is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards.

Flying Qantas and American Airlines

Qantas offers non-stop flights from Australia to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas/Fort Worth. From each of those cities, travellers can connect onwards to New York on a non-stop American Airlines flight.

These itineraries can be booked using Qantas Points. And with American Airlines on the same ‘reward table’ as Qantas, the rates can be quite favourable when booked as a straight connection. Here’s how many Qantas Points you’d need.

Qantas    American Airlines
using Qantas Airways Logo Qantas Points
EconomyPremium
Economy
BusinessFirst
Australia to Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dallas/Fort Worth (Qantas)
+ onwards to New York City (American Airlines)
55,200 108,400144,600216,900
Qantas Points required are per person, one way. Taxes, fees and charges are also payable and vary by route.

The rates above apply from any Australian city, including domestic connections, where necessary. First and Premium Economy are only available on selected flights and aircraft.

Ways to earn Qantas Points

There are many easy ways to collect Qantas Points, and we’ve outlined most of them in this handy guide. But beyond the ‘everyday’, earning serves of bonus points can beef up your balance, fast.

One easy method is to shop with Qantas Wine. You can often pick up 5,000-10,000 bonus Qantas Points per eligible case – or more, if you really stock your cellar. The other fast-track to bonus points is by successfully applying for a credit card with a sign-up offer, and meeting any minimum spending requirement.

Doing this, the rewards can be great. Just one sign-up bonus could be enough for a Premium Economy or even Business Class ticket to New York. Interested? Then have a browse of these top Qantas Points credit card deals to get started.

Flying United Airlines

United Airlines currently flies directly from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles and San Francisco. That’s four routes from Australia you can book using points. And from these cities, New York is only a domestic flight away.

As Virgin Australia’s newest airline partner in the US, United flights can be booked using Velocity Points. But United is also a member of Star Alliance – meaning you can book using Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer miles too. Here’s a look at both of these options.

Using Velocity Points to book United Airlines to New York City

United Airlines
using Virgin Australia  Velocity Points
EconomyBusiness
Sydney or Melbourne to Los Angeles or San Francisco
+ onwards to New York City
59,800 127,500
Velocity Points required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route.

Just note, United’s New York hub is at Newark. This means you may have more luck in finding reward seats by entering ‘EWR’ – the airport code for Newark – as your US destination. For the time being, Velocity reward bookings in United’s Premium Economy cabin are not possible.

United is also launching Brisbane-San Francisco flights in October 2022. The reward rates above will apply to these Brisbane-San Francisco-New York journeys too.

Ways to earn Velocity Points

Velocity has its own web of partners on the ground, allowing you to grow your balance over time. But as with Qantas, the biggest gains can come from a generous credit card sign-up bonus.

Many offers in the market can easily cover a flight to New York in Economy Class. And some cards may even give you enough points for a Business Class flight from the sign-up offer alone.

This could come in the form of Velocity Points credited directly to your Velocity account. Or as points in a card issuer’s own loyalty program, which can later be converted into Velocity Points. Different banks apply different conversion rates. You can check the latest transfer rates for Velocity-affiliated credit cards here.

Using KrisFlyer miles to book United Airlines to New York City

United Airlines
using   KrisFlyer miles
EconomyBusiness
Sydney or Melbourne to Los Angeles or San Francisco
+ onwards to New York City
66,000 146,500
KrisFlyer miles required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route.

As with Velocity, it’s not possible to book United Airlines flights in Premium Economy using KrisFlyer miles. The rates above will also apply to Brisbane-San Francisco-New York journeys from October.

Ways to earn KrisFlyer miles

In the same way that you can often convert credit card points from a bank’s own loyalty program into Velocity Points, the same can be true for Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. Check out the latest KrisFlyer credit card deals to get started.

Having this flexibility can be very beneficial. As you’ve seen, many flights can be booked using either Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles. When you have access to both of those currencies, you can choose the program that provides the best value for every trip.

Just be aware that KrisFlyer miles expire three years after they’ve appeared in your KrisFlyer account. It’s a good strategy to only convert your points to KrisFlyer when you’re ready to book an award flight. And of course, once you’ve checked that you can indeed book the flight you’re after using KrisFlyer miles.

Flying Singapore Airlines

Flying to New York City via Singapore may not be the first idea that pops into your head. But it can be a surprisingly comfortable way to go. And in fact, Singapore to New York’s JFK Airport is the world’s longest flight. Talk about a great way to spend those hard-earned points!

As with United, you can book this journey using either Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles.

Using Velocity Points to book Singapore Airlines to New York City

In Australia, Singapore Airlines flies to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Cairns. You can jet from any of those cities to Singapore, and then onwards to The Big Apple as below.

Contact us | Singapore Airlines
using Virgin Australia  Velocity Points
Premium
Economy
Business
Australia to Singapore
+ onwards to New York City
112,500*139,000
Velocity Points required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route. *Premium Economy is only available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on selected flights.

You may notice there’s no column for Economy. That’s because the direct Singapore-New York flights only feature Premium Economy and Business. There are no Economy seats at all on that ultra-long leg!

Singapore Airlines does offer Economy Class to New York on its Airbus A380 flights via Frankfurt. However, coming from Australia, that’s a very long trek – and with two stops at that, so not something we’re covering here.

Using KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore Airlines to New York City

The number of KrisFlyer miles needed to fly Singapore Airlines is shown below.

Contact us | Singapore Airlines
using   KrisFlyer miles
Premium
Economy
Business
Perth or Darwin to Singapore
+ onwards to New York City
N/A136,500
Other Australian cities to Singapore
+ onwards to New York City
109,000*145,500
KrisFlyer miles required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route. *Premium Economy is only available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on selected flights.

Again, we’ve not shown rates for Economy as it’s not available on the non-stop Singapore-New York route. Premium Economy is also only available on selected Singapore Airlines flights from Australia.

Flying Air Canada

There’s another practical option for flying to the United States, and that’s Air Canada. From Sydney and Brisbane, the airline runs non-stop flights to Vancouver. And from there, you can jet straight to New York.

In fact, between Brisbane and New York, Air Canada via Vancouver has the shortest overall travel time. From Sydney, it’s also similarly swift. You can book this journey again using Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles.

Air Canada
using Virgin Australia  Velocity Points
EconomyBusiness
Sydney or Brisbane to Vancouver
+ onwards to New York City (Newark Airport)
75,000139,000
Air Canada
using   KrisFlyer miles
EconomyBusiness
Sydney or Brisbane to Vancouver
+ onwards to New York City (Newark Airport)
66,000146,500
Reward points required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route.

As mentioned above, be sure to search for flights into Newark Airport (EWR) when planning to book this itinerary. With KrisFlyer, you may also need to call, as Air Canada award flights don’t typically appear on the Singapore Airlines website.

An added benefit of flying Air Canada via Vancouver is the US Preclearance facility at Vancouver Airport. You’ll clear US Customs and passport control here in Canada when you arrive from Australia. You don’t even need to collect your bag between flights. When you land in New York (or any other US destination), it’s just like landing on a domestic flight – you can walk straight out.

Flying Hawaiian Airlines

Your Velocity Points come with a great deal of flexibility. Joining the options above, flying one-stop between Sydney and New York can also be achieved on Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines
using Virgin Australia  Velocity Points
EconomyBusiness
Sydney to Honolulu
+ Honolulu to New York City
75,000139,000
Velocity Points required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route.

This isn’t the easiest redemption to secure – especially given that flights from Australia to Honolulu itself can be very popular. But if you plan in advance and travel during off-peak times, you may just be in luck.

For this booking, you’ll need to call Velocity, as Hawaiian Airlines reward seats don’t appear on the Velocity website.

Flying Delta Air Lines

Here’s yet another option for a one-stop hop. Delta Air Lines flies between Sydney and Los Angeles. And from there, Delta can take you straight to New York.

Of course, Delta is no longer a partner of Virgin Australia. This means you can’t book Delta flights using Velocity Points anymore. But savvy Australian travellers can still book Delta via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Not to be confused with Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic is the ‘other’ Virgin, based in the United Kingdom. Here’s how many of those points you’d need, and how you can earn them in Australia.

Delta Air Lines  
using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points
EconomyBusiness
Sydney to Los Angeles
+ Los Angeles to New York City
60,000217,500
Flying Club points required are per person, one way. Taxes and fees are also payable and vary by route.

Yes, the redemption rate for Business really is that high. That’s because Flying Club counts each Delta flight separately. It’s 165,000 Flying Club points for Sydney-Los Angeles, plus 52,500 Flying Club points for LA-New York. That’s 217,500 Flying Club points in total, one way.

Given that, it’s a move we’d suggest keeping in your back pocket if you really want to use points to fly in Business but can’t find anything else. Or if you don’t mind flying Economy, and Delta has seats available for booking using Flying Club points.

Availability can be tight, so always check reward seats are available before transferring points to Flying Club.

Ways to earn Flying Club points

Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program certainly doesn’t enjoy the same popularity as Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity or KrisFlyer in Australia. But there are still ways to earn Flying Club points.

That’s easiest from American Express Membership Rewards. For most members, MR points can be converted to Flying Club points at a 2:1 rate. That’s the same conversion rate that Membership Rewards applies to the likes of Velocity and KrisFlyer.

Do note that while Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic are partners, you can’t transfer points directly between the two.

Even more ways of flying to New York City

There are so many other ways you can travel to New York with just one stop. But these may not be as practical. Reward seats may be harder to get, or the journey may be significantly longer.

In some cases, the transit city may also be closed to tourists – which means no stopovers. Still, here are some of those other options if you need a ‘Plan B’:

AirlineBook usingAustralian cities servedTransit pointNew York airport served
Air New ZealandKrisFlyer and other Star Alliance programsSydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart and Sunshine CoastAucklandJFK (from 17 September 2022)
All Nippon Airways (ANA)KrisFlyer and other Star Alliance programsSydney (to Haneda) and Perth (to Narita)Tokyo (Haneda and Narita)JFK
EmiratesQantas Points and Emirates Skywards MilesSydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and PerthDubaiJFK and Newark
Etihad AirwaysVelocity Points and Etihad Guest MilesSydney and MelbourneAbu DhabiJFK
EVA AirKrisFlyer and other Star Alliance programsBrisbaneTaipeiJFK
Japan AirlinesQantas Points, Asia Miles and other oneworld programsSydney (to Haneda) and Melbourne (to Narita)Tokyo (Haneda only)JFK
Korean AirEmirates Skywards Miles and Etihad Guest MilesSydney (Brisbane remains suspended)SeoulJFK
Qatar AirwaysQantas Points, Asia Miles and other oneworld programs*Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra (Canberra from 1 October 2022)DohaJFK
*You’ll also soon be able to book Qatar Airways flights using Velocity Points. Redemption rates are yet to be confirmed.

Keep in mind, reward seat availability on some of these airlines can be very tight. That’s true of Air New Zealand – particularly on the NZ-USA leg.

Also note that with Japan Airlines, it’s not currently possible to transfer between Tokyo airports. This may change as Japan reduces its local restrictions.

Exploring New York’s JFK Airport

Arriving and departing at New York JFK

I’ve had the chance to visit New York many times before – often flying a different way each time. This visit, I flew straight into JFK Airport on Singapore Airlines. Yes, aboard the world’s longest flight.

I’d become accustomed to long lines at US passport control in airports like Los Angeles. But as we pull in at JFK’s Terminal 4, I’m pleasantly surprised to see an empty immigration hall. I wait behind just one person, and I’m quickly through to baggage claim before my suitcase even hits the belt. A great start!

JFK is well connected to transport with its inter-terminal AirTrain offering a handy link to the city’s subway system. But loaded up with nearly three weeks’ worth of baggage, it’s an Uber for me this time.

When I later return to JFK for a Delta domestic flight, I find no queue at check-in over in Terminal 2. Security takes about 10 minutes in the general queue, and boarding takes place in an orderly fashion by group number. Terminal 2 may not be JFK’s newest, but it certainly gets the job done.

In fact, Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 are linked by a handy airside bus. That brings some handy benefits for lounge access…

Lounges at New York JFK

As the flagship international airport of New York, JFK is home to a considerable number of lounges. Those are scattered across six terminals. These are Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 4, Terminal 5, Terminal 7 and Terminal 8. (Terminal 3 and Terminal 6 have been demolished – but the others were never renumbered).

The exact lounges you’ll have access to may vary from one trip to the next. Your choice of airline and departure terminal will play a big role in that. So too will any frequent flyer status, lounge memberships or premium credit cards you might hold.

With the airport being so big, we can’t list every single lounge. Nor do we have space to list the lounges that each of JFK’s many airlines uses by default for their premium cabin passengers. But here are some of the lounges most relevant to Australian travellers, when that access doesn’t come from the ticket itself.

Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge, plus other oneworld Sapphire and Emerald

  • Alaska Airlines Lounge (Terminal 7).
  • American Airlines Flagship Lounge (Terminal 8).
  • British Airways Club Lounge (Terminal 7).
  • British Airways First Lounge (Terminal 7, oneworld Emerald only).
  • Lufthansa Business Lounge (Terminal 1, when flying Japan Airlines only).

Qantas Club and Admirals Club

  • American Airlines Admirals Club (Terminal 8).

Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and Beyond

  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Terminal 4, when flying Etihad Airways and Virgin Atlantic only).

Star Alliance Gold

  • Air India Maharaja Lounge Business Class (Terminal 4).
  • British Airways Club Lounge (Terminal 7, when flying ANA or LOT Polish Airlines only).
  • Lufthansa Business Lounge (Terminal 1).
  • Lufthansa Senator Lounge (Terminal 1).
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Terminal 4, when flying Singapore Airlines only).

American Express Platinum and Centurion

  • American Express Centurion Lounge (Terminal 4).
  • Delta Sky Club (Terminal 2 and Terminal 4, when flying Delta only).
  • Lufthansa Business Lounge (Terminal 1, when flying Austrian, Lufthansa or SWISS only).
  • Lufthansa Senator Lounge (Terminal 1, when flying Business Class on the above airlines only).
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Terminal 4).

Priority Pass

  • Air France Lounge (Terminal 1).
  • Air India Maharaja Lounge (Terminal 4).
  • Alaska Airlines Lounge (Terminal 7).
  • Korean Air Business Lounge (Terminal 1).
  • Lufthansa Business Lounge (Terminal 1).
  • Primeclass Lounge (Terminal 1).
  • Wingtips Lounge (Terminal 4).

Access for some passengers may be subject to capacity constraints on the day. For instance, the Alaska Airlines Lounge is popular and may have a waitlist when using Priority Pass for entry. Some lounges also only welcome Priority Pass guests during certain times.

The other major New York area airport, Newark

Okay, Newark Liberty Airport is technically across state lines and over in New Jersey. (And for the trivia buffs among us, the same is true of the Statue of Liberty!) But Newark Airport is still considered one of the major hubs for travellers heading to and from New York itself.

A slew of rail services connect it to New York City, and the journey typically takes under 30 minutes. In fact, the trains bound for NYC pull in right at New York Penn Station. That’s just below Madison Square Garden, which then also provides easy connections to the New York subway.

Whether you fly into JFK or Newark largely depends on the airline you take, and perhaps, which flights have available award seats.

New York also has a third key airport, and that’s LaGuardia. But local rules restrict its use to shorter flights only. That includes domestic routes and services between the US and Canada – but not long-haul flights. It can be a handy airport to use if you’re later travelling beyond New York, though.

Lounges at Newark Liberty Airport

Along with being the New York area hub for United Airlines, Newark Liberty Airport is home to three terminals. They’re simply named Terminal A, Terminal B and Terminal C.

With a stack of domestic and international airlines flying from Newark, we can’t list the lounge each carrier uses for eligible Business and First Class passengers. And of course, your airline would give you those details at check-in.

But here are the lounges that come as a result of strategy. For instance, having the right frequent flyer status, paid membership, or a particular credit card.

Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge, plus other oneworld Sapphire and Emerald

  • American Airlines Admirals Club (Terminal A).
  • British Airways Club Lounge (Terminal B).

Qantas Club and Admirals Club

  • American Airlines Admirals Club (Terminal A).

Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and Beyond

  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Terminal B, when flying Virgin Atlantic only).

Star Alliance Gold

  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (Terminal A).
  • Lufthansa Business Lounge (Terminal B).
  • Lufthansa Senator Lounge (Terminal B).
  • SAS Business Lounge (Terminal B).
  • United Club (Terminal A and Terminal C).
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Terminal B, when flying Air India and Singapore Airlines only).

American Express Platinum and Centurion

  • Delta Sky Club (Terminal B, when flying Delta only).
  • Lufthansa Business Lounge (Terminal B, when flying Austrian, Lufthansa or SWISS only).
  • Lufthansa Senator Lounge (Terminal B, when flying Business Class on the above airlines only).
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Terminal B).

Priority Pass

  • British Airways Club Lounge (Terminal B).

As you can see, lounge options here at Newark aren’t quite as extensive as at JFK. That’s especially true for Priority Pass holders, with the BA lounge only welcoming Priority Pass members between 8 am and 2 pm each day. Fly outside those times and that Priority Pass card isn’t your ticket to lounge access here.

Earning and using points on hotels in New York City

New York City is a magnet for both global hotel chains and smaller boutique operators. Travellers really are spoiled for choice.

Here’s how you can be rewarded for your time on the ground in America’s financial capital.

Book directly with the hotel

If you’re looking to build points in a hotel’s own loyalty program, booking direct is usually the way to go. The same applies if you have elite status with a particular chain, or hope to earn it from your travels.

That’s because most chains will only award points – and recognise your status – when you book direct. If you book through a third party instead, your shiny loyalty card usually counts for naught.

New York is home to many of the major players. Travellers loyal to key programs such as Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy and Radisson Rewards have many hotel options up their sleeve.

Accor Live Limitless, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, GHA DISCOVERY, World of Hyatt and Wyndham Rewards also have properties across the city.

Book through a third-party provider

Another way to earn points on hotel stays is by booking through a third-party platform. While this isn’t usually the best option for chain hotels, it can be a handy way to earn points where you otherwise couldn’t. For instance, at smaller and independent boutique properties.

There’s no shortage of hotel booking platforms scattered across the internet. But here are a few of the most rewarding for Aussies jetting abroad.

If you want to earn Qantas Points

It should come as no surprise that booking accommodation through Qantas Hotels is a great way to earn Qantas Points. All Qantas Frequent Flyer members can collect at least three Qantas Points per AUD spent. Points Club members earn 25% more points, while those in Points Club Plus get a 50% boost.

From time to time, Qantas Hotels may also offer bonus points. This can apply when you book during promotional periods, travel during certain dates or stay at particular properties. A common offer can be triple points. That’s nine Qantas Points per dollar spent!

You can also use your Qantas Points to book hotel stays. It’s not typically the best use of points, but can prove useful if your priority is to save some coin. Qantas also recently reduced the number of points required for some hotel bookings by 30-45%, to make the option more appealing.

If you want to earn Velocity Points

Prefer to earn Velocity Points instead? Velocity’s partnership with Expedia allows you to earn three Velocity Points per AUD spent. You just need to book through the Velocity-Expedia portal. From time to time, you may be able to earn bonus points in this way, too.

If you want to earn KrisFlyer miles

If your KrisFlyer account is in need of a top-up, Rocketmiles can be a great way to go. Through the Rocketmiles portal, you can earn reward points on your accommodation bookings. These can be converted into KrisFlyer miles or frequent flyer points with over 50 other programs.

As an alternative, you can also earn KrisFlyer miles by booking hotels through Kaligo. More on that below, with a double-dip available to certain CBA credit card holders.

If you want to earn bonus Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles

This trick is for travellers with a Commonwealth Bank credit card attached to the CBA Awards program. Use that card to pay for accommodation with Kaligo and you could pocket up to 15 Commbank Award Points per dollar spent. You could then convert those rewards into Velocity Points at a 2:1 rate (applicable to Platinum, Diamond and Ultimate cardholders), or to KrisFlyer miles at a 3:1 rate.

If you want exclusive benefits at luxury hotels

Another avenue not to be overlooked is American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR) program. Available exclusively to those with an Amex Platinum Card or Centurion Card, each FHR hotel booking provides a host of extra value. Think free daily breakfast, guaranteed 4 pm check-out, a property credit (typically US$100-200 in New York), room upgrades and more.

And by paying for your stay using those American Express cards, you can also earn Membership Rewards points. At the lofty Ascent Premium tier, those can be transferred into frequent flyer points with 10 partner airlines, including Qantas. They can also be converted into Hilton Honors and Marriot Bonvoy points.

If you want to save on the cost of accommodation

Some American Express cards provide an annual travel credit. This credit can be redeemed through American Express Travel, such as towards a hotel stay. Depending on the reservation price, you could use this credit to pay for your entire stay. Alternatively, use it to reduce the price of a more expensive booking.

Currently, the following American Express Cards offer an annual travel credit:

Point Hacker’s tips and tricks

Planning your own New York adventure? Here are some tips and tricks to travel more comfortably, get better value from your points and maximise your rewards.

Getting to New York

  • Finding flights to New York using points can be trickier than some other destinations. That’s because you need to secure seats on at least two flights, not just one. Being flexible with travel dates can make this much easier.
  • If you plan to book Singapore Airlines using Velocity Points, aim to make your reservation before 5 October 2022. That’s when Velocity is introducing ‘carrier charges’ on all Singapore Airlines reward bookings. In Business Class, this will add US$480 to the cost of a return reward booking between Australia and New York. That’s almost AU$700 per person, alongside the points you’ll redeem.
  • Using KrisFlyer miles? Book a return Saver award and you can break the journey in Singapore in one direction (a ‘stopover’), without paying extra miles.

Once you’re here

  • Tipping is customary in the United States, especially at bars and restaurants. But rather than tipping in cash, you can usually tip by credit card when paying your bill. And when that’s a points-earning credit card, you’ll generally earn points on the entire transaction amount: including the tip.
  • Riding public transport in New York? You no longer need a MetroCard. You can simply tap your Australian contactless credit card on the reader as you ride. Fares will be automatically billed to your card. By creating an OMNY account, you can easily check your journey history and obtain receipts.
  • Speaking of credit cards, don’t forget about international transaction fees. They can be hard to avoid, so if you’re going to pay them, consider using a card that at least provides bonus points overseas. For instance, the Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard delivers 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent abroad (with a 3% overseas transaction fee), versus 1/0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent in Australia. Or consider the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card, which provides points but with no international transaction fees.
  • Flying from Terminal 2 at JFK? If you’re through security with time to spare, take the free JFK Jitney bus to Terminal 4. That’s where you’ll find much better lounges – including the Centurion Lounge.
  • Consider all your lounge options. While an airline might direct you to one lounge, you may also be eligible to visit another. That alternative could be quieter than the ‘default’, providing a more comfortable start to your journey.
  • If you plan to use Uber, don’t forget to enrol in Uber Rewards beforehand. Points earned by Australian members can be converted into Qantas Points, among other uses.

And there you have it! Your New York adventure awaits.

Chris Chamberlin travelled to New York as a guest of Singapore Airlines. Featured image courtesy of Colton Duke/Unsplash.

The Point Hacker’s pocket guide to New York City was last modified: July 28th, 2022 by Chris Chamberlin