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As a frequent flyer it is no secret that flying on one airline or alliance will increase the number of points/miles significantly and the status that you earn will provide benefits such as lounge access, priority boarding and upgrade to premium cabins.

But does it make sense to be loyal to one airline when you only fly once or twice a year on points? I would say with 100% certainty it makes no sense as you would not fly enough to gain any status or benefit. Maybe they throw in some frequent flyer points – but that’s about it.

It’s better to look for deals with the huge range of airlines these days to see who can give you the best price, value and also if there is a promotion during that time to double or triple your points. Remember that is not always about price. Paying for budget airlines is probably also a way to go. For example when I recently flew Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur – I purchased the ticket using my Amex card which had a promotion of 10x more bonus points per dollar that I spent. So spending $2000 for 4 tickets provided me with 22,000 Amex points in total. So if I value each point to be 5c – then this would equate to receiving $1100 value back if I were to redeem a business class flight.…

As we are already a week into the new year of 2015 one of my new years resolution is to spend more wisely and earn more points than ever before using different techniques. This year will be devoted to the best use of frequent flyer points. I will share a couple of them best use of frequent flyer points that anyone could use. By getting into the habit of spending at the right shops with the right credit card will reap huge rewards by the end of the year.

Online Shopping Portals

Many airlines around the world have introduced online shopping portals through a subset of their websites. This enables shoppers to earn at least two bonus point per dollar.

Qantas has an online shopping portal:

https://onlinemall.qantaspoints.com/

So currently if you click through the Ebay link through this website – it takes you straight to Ebay. But it will remember when you came from (so think of this as a referral commission).

Every dollar you spend at Ebay earns you two Qantas Frequent Flyer points on top of the credit card points you would pay for the item.…

As I have begun the new year of 2015 – my mind starts thinking about what my strategy for points and miles accumulation is. The last year had been incredible as I started to really understand how to really utilise credit card points and discovering the different frequent flyer programs around the world that anyone could register for.

For 2014 – it was the year that I travelled far and wide – much more than I had ever travelled before. It was all using points for business and first class premium cabins. The year started off with Virgin Atlantic Upper Class with my family from Sydney to Hong Kong. I loved this flight especially since it allows you to bring 3 x 32 Kgs of luggage! Hong Kong has always been my go-to shopping destination. My family stayed at The Conrad Hong Kong – we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a 1 bed-room Harbour View suite from a basic room. This was on points plus cash before the massive devaluation that occurred in the beginning of 2013.

We also stayed at possibly our favourite hotel in the world – the Langham Place in Mongkok. I was extremely fortunate to win 2 nights free at a 1 bedroom Residence. We paid for the other four nights – but always an incredible treat to stay there. One highlight was having buffet lunch at the Shangri-La Island in Hong Kong. There was a promotion where if you downloaded the App for Golden Circle (Shangri-La’s loyalty programme) – and played their games for 6 weeks – you were given a $100 USD voucher. So both myself and my wife played the game and were given 2 vouchers. The buffet was incredible – possibly the largest one I have seen – there were 7 cooking stations – the most variety of food I had ever seen in my life. The quality and service was impeccable – this itself tempted me to want to stay at this hotel!…

What is the best value frequent flyer program out there in the market? In terms of the number of credit cards that you can transfer to at a good rate – I would have to say the Krisflyer program from Singapore Airlines is a great program where you can aim to accumulate and transfer your points to.

To fly from Sydney to Singapore on Economy return is 40,000 Krisflyer points. Now compare that to Cathay Pacific which requires 45,000 points and Qantas which needs 60,000 points – assuming you have a transfer ratio of 1:1 – then you can see that Singapore Airlines is a great redemption partner for your credit cards. Of course not all credit cards provide a one to one transfer ratio – so just be wary of this. Singapore airlines also provides a great economy product with the incredible service that the provide.…

So how does one actually get free frequent flyer points? This means receiving points for not doing anything such as spending on credit cards, flying on airlines and promotions. Well if you think about it – the difference between a person that uses cash for all their purchases and doesn’t receive any reward points compared to someone such as myself who uses credit card everywhere possible – pays nothing or minimal annual fee costs – and receives an accelerated points amount is vastly different at the end.

In terms of perception – anyone who receives free frequent flyer points from credit card spending is thought of as receiving something for nothing nearly. Had I not been using my credit card – then flying in first and business class will always be a dream – never attainable unless your are really wealthy. Luckily there is a reward system out there with all the banks, airlines and shops that the average Joe such as myself are able to take advantage of the numerous options for luxury travel.

If you live in Australia – as Qantas is the national carrier – a lot of the spending that we do is attached to the Qantas rewards points either directly or indirectly. The majority of banks have credit cards which allow you to convert the reward points to Qantas frequent flyer points as well as one of the major supermarkets – Woolworths.…

Does booking multi destination flights work when you are using points? Or is it better to have just one destination to avoid any complexities? This will ultimately depends on two points – the first being how many points you have and secondly how travel-savvy you are with creating multi stops with your points.

If I am an average Australian who has accumulated 60,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points but don’t know really where I can go – I go directly to the Qantas website and start doing some research and calculations. The site may tell you to fly from Sydney to Hong Kong costs 60,000 points on an economy return flight. Great you think! You then go searching for availability and find that there is no award seat available during the time frames you want to go. But you then see there are some flights that either fly via Melbourne or Brisbane.

You select those flights and find that it flies Cathay Pacific instead of Qantas. OK – you look at the points total and it comes out as 70,000 or even 80,000 points! Why? Well – you are not taking a direct flight so Qantas charges you – and then you are also not travelling on Qantas metal but a code-share – so you get slugged another few thousand points you don’t have! You could possibly use points + cash – but then find that the cash component and then adding tax may cost you $700 AUD!!!! When on special Qantas sells actual airfares from Sydney to Hong Kong for $788 AUD when on special! So therefore that means your 60,000 points are only worth $88!…