I don’t know why I didn’t come across the travel-hacking scheme sooner while we were still living in Melbourne.
We spent a wonderful 14 years living down under and the only time I made a good use of my Qantas Frequent Flyer points was to upgrade from Economy to Business Class on a Melbourne to Los Angeles flight.
The 15-hour journey was heavenly and definitely worth the redemption. These points were collected over a period of 3 non-ambitious years without flying Qantas, solely from credit card usage with ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Rewards.
When I say non-ambitious it means that during those years I was still using a lot of Debit Card purchases instead of Credit Card. Later I find out after living in the US that there are more to the points game and after experiencing multiple luxury cabins, it has become a little addictive.
Even though I cannot focus my entire blog for Australian readers because only a small percentage of this blog’s readers are based in Australia, I still feel it is worth-sharing on what are the options out there so you can have a rough idea on where to start maximizing your frequent flyer points so you too can have a taste of flying on a flat-bed seat without paying a ludicrous price tag.
wanderlustmamas.com readers by country (updated: 19 Feb 2016)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
One of the few frequent flyer programs available for Australians next to Virgin Australia’s Velocity is Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF).
Technically, you can become a frequent flyer of any airline in the world -for example I currently have 8 frequent flyer memberships from 4 different continents (none of them are costing me anything)… but it is always more beneficial if you are at least a member of your home-airline just because they would have more routes available originating from your hometown and you can benefit from the credit card deals and rewards from your local bank.
Qantas Business Class on A380 (photo credit: Qantas) – available on routes to USA
Qantas is part of the One World Alliance which includes Cathay Pacific, British Airways, American Airlines, Air Berlin, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways, just to name a few.
Which means you will be able to redeem your QFF Points to fly with any of the partner airlines with addition to Emirates (who’s not a part of any alliance), Jetstar and Fiji Air – all are bookable via Qantas.com using your QFF points.
Qantas New Business Class on A330 (photo credit: Qantas) – Available on routes to Asia
Award redemption for routes between Australia and Asia (i.e. Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong) starts from:
20,000 points – Economy Class
60,000 points – Business Class
90,000 points – First Class.
Upgrade Economy to Business Class for 40,000 Points Experience flying Emirates First Class (A380) between Melbourne – Singapore for 90,000 QFF points
Award Availability for Emirates First Class (A380) Melbourne – Singapore from Qantas Website Search
Or Emirates Business Class (A380) between Melbourne – Singapore for 60,000 QFF points
Award redemption for routes between Australia and USA (West Coast) starts from:
45,000 points – Economy Class
96,000 points – Business Class
144,000 points – First Class
These are one-way award flights only and depending on which airline / aircraft / route is operating the points required can be varied and I’d also pay attention on the aircraft to make sure you will get the best hard product when it comes to premium cabin.
You can easily search for award flights availability at Qantas Website and select ‘Search Classic Flights Rewards’, if you choose ‘Flexible with Dates’ the result will show you a full calendar of availability – which is much more convenient.
Award Availability Calendar Melbourne to Los Angeles
Please note that other than the required points to redeem flights, there will also be taxes & surcharges applied (varied depending on routes & airline). Some of the credit cards with great sign-up bonuses for QFF Points are:
Virgin Australia Velocity
Virgin Australia New Business Class on A330 (photo credit: ausbt.com.au)
With Virgin Australia Velocity, redeemable flights with partner airlines include Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
Etihad Airways on A380 and Air New Zealand have one of the best business class cabins in air travel, they can be your alternative airlines if you plan on flying long-haul flights to USA or Europe.
Etihad New Business Class on A380 – available route from Sydney – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi – London. (photo credit: Etihad)
Virgin Australia Business Class on Boeing 777 (photo credit: Virgin Australia)
One notable partnership is between Virgin Australia Velocity and Singapore Airlines where they allow both Krisflyer members and Velocity members to convert miles and points between the two frequent flyer programmes.
Generally frequent flyer members are not allowed to transfer points with another frequent flyer programmes, so this is the first time I’ve ever heard it.
This opens up a great benefit for Velocity members to be able to experience flying Singapore Airlines premium cabins, as they are undoubtedly exceptional. Singapore Airlines service many routes to major cities in Asia, US and Europe.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class on A380
Singapore Airlines Business Class on A380
NAB Velocity is offering 60,000 sign-up bonus points
For guides on which Australian credit cards is best for you, please visit Credit Card Finders.