Most people have a credit card – and they have either a Visa or Mastercard. A huge number of people though do not have an American Express card though because of the incorrect perception of high surcharges. Read my post on the Amex Platinum Edge card for why I believe everyone should have it.

As every person nearly has either a Visa or Mastercard – my recommendation in regards to value and reward points is the Citibank Visa Signature Card.

The benefits and features are outlined below

  1. The annual fee is $299 per year. There are times when the annual fee is waived for life – just as I signed up for it late last year. This makes it the best credit card for Visa/Mastercard on the market
  2. For every dollar you spend in Australia - you receive 1.5 Reward points.
  3. For every dollar you spend overseas – you receive 4 reward points
  4. You can transfer to either Virgin Australia or Singapore Krisflyer programmes for free. When transferring – for every 1.5 Citibank points you transfer – it equals to 1 points for these airlines. So effectively for every dollar spend domestically you receive one point – and for every dollar you spend overseas you receive 2.67 points.
  5. To transfer points to Qantas – you need to pay an extra $50 per year. I would not recommend this as Qantas requires the most number of points to fly anywhere and can take years to accumulate a decent amount to fly overseas.
  6. Priority Pass – you get membership to Lounges around the world. It provides up to 2 lounge accesses per year. This is a good bonus as staying in an airport lounge before a flight provides you with a light meal and refreshments.
  7. Travel insurance is provided when purchasing air ticket with credit card.

I highly recommend anyone serious about flying business class one day to sign-up for the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card.  

The benefits and features are outlined below:

  1. Cost is $199 per year as the annual fee. If you are part of an association such as a medical field – then the cost could be $99.
  2. You will receive 1 AMEX Membership reward point for each dollar you spend.
  3. If you go to a supermarket (e.g. Woolworths, Coles, IGA) – then you will receive 3 times as many points
  4. If you go to a petrol station (BP, Caltex, Shell or any other major outlets) you will receive double points.
  5. You can transfer your points to 8 different airlines. They include Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, Emirates, Thai airways, Virgin Austalia and Virgin Atlantic
  6. There are monthly promotions to accelerate your points accumulation
  7. Every year you are entitled to 1 domestic Virgin Australia flight. This also included 23Kgs of check-in luggage.
  8. No points capping
  9. Receive 10,000 points on sign-up of the credit card
  10. Travel insurance included when using card to pay for flights.

The Air New Zealand Lounge in Sydney International Airport has good facilities – but the food choices for the morning are quite poor.

Air New Zealand Lounge Entrance

Air New Zeland Lounge Seating Area

The only hot items are scrambled eggs, sausages and baked beans. There is an assortment of cold items as well as shown in the pictures below.…

Today my flight is Asiana Airlines – Flight number OZ602. Flight is from Sydney, Australia to Seoul, South Korea.

Sydney Airport Check-In Information

The flight is on business class to try out the service and food.

The line to check-in was empty – possibly because I arrived at 6.30am in the morning and my flight is not till 9.30am – giving me ample amount of time to walk around and take pictures.

Asiana Airlines Check-In

Check-in with my luggage was the quickest I've been on – under 4 minutes!

As I am flying business – there is a dedicated line for business class passengers as a priority…

That is possibly the question on a lot of people's mind who had collected Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

My personal opinion is that it takes too many points to accumulate to fly anywhere with this program.

An example of this is it takes 60,000 points to fly to South-East Asia on economy for Qantas. Compare it to Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines and it only take 40,000 points.

Unfortunately Qantas promotes their programme effectively within Australia (e.g. Woolworths Everyday Rewards earns Qantas Frequent Flyer points). So the majority of the population only either recognize Qantas and to a slighter extent – Virgin – as the only 2 frequent flyer programmes.

As Qantas knows this is the case – they can make the number of points expensive – so it can take the average flyer who might only fly Qantas once or twice every year a long time before they can accumulate enough points to fly anywhere.

This year – Qantas is going through a major restructure – which has caused redundancies and fear for the demise of the airline. Many people were wondering what would happen to their points?

Qantas haven't increased their classic award chart for at least 6 years – so I suspect they will make some changes before the end of this year.

So if you have enough points to fly international – then I would suggest you use it this year. Otherwise you might kick yourself by not taking up the opportunity before points devalue.

I will always say this – if you have enough points to fly business or first – please take this as the first option before you fly economy. I will explain this later in my posts.…

American Airlines One World Explorer was discontinued today without any notice. This was one of the best deals in regards to award points for business around the world ticket through 16 segments.

This is a major blow to US Dividend Miles holders such as myself who was hoping that this One World Explorer would be available. But all good things come to an end.

The lesson to learn from this is that points or miles will always devalue – so there is no point hoarding it. If you know within one year that you are going to travel – then I encourage to buy the points early and start accumulating – but have the aim to use it. Don't plan to save the points for 5 years (such as Qantas Frequent Flyer points) as award programs change and sometimes with very little notice such as the American Airlines One World Explorer.

The sweet spot for American Airlines Award Chart from my point of view is that it only requires 70,000 miles for a business return flight to South East Asia. As this is One World – you can fly Qantas and Cathay Pacific among others.

American Airlines AAdvantage programme is free to join – but you will not be able to buy any points for 12 days after you have joined.

They regularly have bonus specials such as buy 60,000 miles, get another 30,000 miles as a bonus. There is a limit though of buying 60,000 miles per year – which is one of the limitations of AAdvantage progamme.

Till next time.…