Beginner’s guide: how to decide where to credit your frequent flyer points to

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: January 12, 2018
UPDATED: January 12, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Relevant to Multiple Programs

When booking a flight, have you ever wondered which airline’s frequent flyer program you can get the most benefit from crediting that flight’s miles? It is a difficult one because often we don’t have the time to trawl through each airline’s website to compare 25% vs 125% vs 0% earn rates.

We get numerous questions like this one each week:

My partner and I are both Qantas members and will be travelling to South America pretty soon.

We are flying with LATAM on seven international flights and I was wondering if there was any benefit in earning through LATAM’s frequent flyer program LATAM Pass rather than Qantas.

Well, a genius has collated information from a lot of different frequent flyer programs into an easy-to-use calculator and Chrome extension called wheretocredit.com. This is a godsend for those of us wanting to save time and also get the most out of a paid flight (P.S. you won’t earn points on flights booked with points).

Three important notes

  1. If you are chasing a status goal, then you are probably more likely to credit to Qantas or Velocity Frequent Flyer, even if their points earn rate on your flight/s are lower than other programs

  2. Unfortunately, wheretocredit.com does not include results for Qantas, so you will need to use the earning points calculator on the Qantas website

    or another tool mentioned later in this guide

  3. The site’s author is quite open to the fact that earning rules change frequently, so a calculation could be incorrect and is best verified on the airline’s official website

How to use the Mileage Calculator

Option 1: Calculate exact miles earned

  1. Go to the Mileage Calculator
  2. Enter in your origin, destination, airline and exact fare class (found on your e-ticket). In this case, the search is for a one-way ticket from Sydney (SYD) to London Heathrow (LHR) on Qatar Airways flying in L (Economy) classwheretocredit Calc 1:2
  3. The calculator will show you your different earning opportunities for various airlines, from most to least miles

wheretocredit Calc 2:2

For this flight, Qatar Airways credits 75% of the miles flown, the majority of airlines 50%, and the bottom three between 25% and 30%. How can you find the percentage out?

Option 2: Calculate miles earned percentages

If you just want to know the percentages earned for all flights regardless of the route, rather than the exact miles:

  1. Go to the wheretocredit.com home page
  2. Enter in the airline and fare/booking class, i.e. Aeromexico in J (Business) classwheretocredit percentage calc
  3. Your earning capabilities with different airlines is listed alphabeticallywheretocredit percentage calc Aeromexico
  4. If you are interested in making the calculation yourself, you can use a tool like WebFlyer’s Mileage Calculator or Great Circle Mapper to find out the actual miles flown—then divide that number by the miles earned percentage

WebFlyer Mileage Calc

How to use the Chrome extension

wheretocredit.com also has an extension for those Internet users with Google Chrome browser, which is very useful when using comparison booking sites.

  1. Download the wheretocredit.com Chrome extension
  2. Use a participating flight (e.g. Expedia), hotel (Hotels.com) or rail (SNCF) booking site to search for a ticket
  3. The extension will show up on the right-hand side with a comparison of your different earning possibilities

I have combined the strength of two Chrome extensions in the result above—read more about the 30K tool later on

As you can see, this Qantas flight would earn the most miles with either Qantas itself (800 points) or Alaska Airlines (500 miles), with earn rates through other programs much lower.

An example

My partner is travelling on a paid Business Class ticket with Emirates from Orlando to Johannesburg, returning from Cape Town, all via Dubai.

When deciding where to credit his flights to, my first intuition was to suggest Qantas, which upon consulting the Qantas website, would earn him only ~18,000 Qantas Points—that’s enough for a one-way Qantas Business Class flight between Melbourne and Sydney.

However, using wheretocredit.com and confirming on the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan website, if he decided to credit to that program, he would earn over 54,000 miles—three times more than with Qantas!

Plus, Alaska miles are more valuable than Qantas Points. By topping up his balance with 6,000 miles through a buy miles promotion, he would have the 60,000 required miles to redeem a one-way Business Class ticket from Australia to the US—with a free stopover in Hong Kong!

You choose: this Qantas recliner Business Class seat for 90 minutes to Sydney…

…or this lie-flat Cathay Pacific Business Class seat to Hong Kong and onward to the US?!

The map speaks for itself!

Other resources

The 30K Frequent Flyer Miles plugin includes Qantas but only works when searching on Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Wotif, Orbitz or Cheaptickets using the Google Chrome browser.

Please share in the comments if you have a favourite mileage earn calculator that we haven’t mentioned here and we’ll add it in.

Summing up

While wheretocredit.com is a fantastic tool, just remember to choose carefully which program to credit your miles to.

After all, if you earn the most miles on, say, SriLankan Airlines but your redemption possibilities are limited with that airline, then you may want to consider a program that will give you a smaller return on your miles, but which you are more likely to use to redeem a flight, like Qantas or British Airways.

If you have the time, it is worth confirming wheretocredit.com’s results for your flight/s with the official word from the frequent flyer program you aim to credit to by Googling something like ‘Alaska Airlines earn rate Qantas’.

Happy earning!


Do you have a points-related question?

  1. Search the Point Hacks website using the Looking For Something? box (located to the right-hand side of any post) to see if we have already answered your question in a previous post.

  2. You can submit your question in the Questions & Answers section of our website and someone from the Point Hacks Community, whether another reader or one of our team members, will hopefully be able to help you out.

Beginner’s guide: how to decide where to credit your frequent flyer points to was last modified: January 12th, 2018 by Matt Moffitt