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What do I foresee with the points and miles game in Australia? From my experience over the last few years our main model for this has been from the US. Our banking system has emulated their points system over the years where any new innovation is then followed by the Australian market.

Take for example credit card sign-ups. Last year there was this great promotion from ANZ where if you applied for any of their Qantas reward cards – you would receive 50,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer free points. The annual fee was free as well for the first year. As you would have guessed many people including myself and my wife signed up for a card each – spent the minimum required to obtain the points which was $1500 and then cancelled the card after receiving this.

Years ago 50,000 points was unheard of! Now it is looking more like the norm. In the States you would have credit card sign-ups which would be like 100,000 AAdvantage miles for example. There are many more banks in America and their credit rating system is different to Australia. The more they signed up for credit cards – the better it was for their credit rating it seemed! But of course this is considering they paid their fees and bills every month in full.…

How to use frequent flyer points for flights? For me it’s a no-brainer – either a business or first class suite. But how about which routes? What is the best value to redeem for the hard-earned points?

If possible I would use the points for the furthest distance possible. A 15 hour flight in business class is definitely going to be more enjoyable than in economy. But say a 7 hour flight in economy for example I would accept as it is tolerable.

So a general rule of thumb if your have frequent flyer points or miles is this especially if you reside in Australia. Never use your points for flights domestically. As the distance is short – usually an hour flight – by redeeming 16,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points between Sydney and Melbourne return but then also paying a hundred dollars or so in tax. In this instance because it is such a short distance – I would use other avenues to fly. For example I could use my free flight per year with American Express Platinum Edge Card in Virgin Australia. Or I wait till Tiger Airways has their super-cheap sales – then get Jetstar to do a price beat guarantee which also lowers the price by 5% and I don’t have to pay a booking fee.…

One of my favourite frequent flyers programs is the US Airways Dividend Miles. It has enabled me to fly first and business class for amazing prices before in terms of buying the points and redeeming it. This programme though will merge with AAdvantage (American Airlines) sometime possible in the second quarter of 2015. Currently there is another promotion in regards to buying points. Over the last year there have been continual promotions for buying points. But I suspect this to be one of the last – if not the last chances you will be able to buy the points and redeem it on a generous routing system in the next 2-3 months.

The promotion is from the 2nd of February to 3rd of March where you can receive up to 30,000 bonus miles when you buy with US Dividend Miles. Also if you buy before 9th of February you also get a 10% discount.

See below the link for this:

US Airways Dividend Miles Website

Now below are some pointers of this programme…

The Krisflyer programme for Singapore Airlines is a favourite for many people. I believe one of the best reasons is because of the superb product especially in the First Class Suites. The other reason - and this is especially for Australians - is the alternative flight choice than Qantas or Virgin Australia. The redemption rates are much more reasonable than both of these airlines and one of my first two redemptions - the other being Cathay Pacific.

Some below are some pointers when redeeming Award seats on Krisflyer

Booking for other people

You are allowed to nominated up to 5 other people on your Krisflyer account to book seats for. There is an online form where you can enter all your details and other people's as well. This is found in your Profile section of the account

Booking Online

When you book online you are given 15% off the total of the award ticket. So when all possible and you don't need assistance from the call centre - use this method. In most cases as far as I know this is only possible when flying on Singapore Airlines metal – not other carriers.…

I’ve had the Hilton HHonors Gold Membership for a number of years now and the benefits I’ve received possibly runs into the thousands of dollars. I am lucky enough to stay enough that I am able to maintain the Gold membership for the last few years.

Below is the link for the Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum Card:

Hilton Macquarie Credit Card

To recap – below are the benefits of Gold Membership

  1. Extra 25% of base points earned
  2. Free Breakfast for 2 people
  3. Upgraded room where available
  4. Executive Lounge Access
  5. Late Check-out when available

Welcome to the first Newsletter for the year for FlyingFirst.com.au!

Below are the current promotions in regards to Points and also updates in regards to my blog. I update my blog 3 times a week so be sure to regularly check it to get the latest tips in accumulating your points!

1. American Express Platinum Edge Promotion

American Express currently have a promotion with their Platinum Edge card. If you sign up and spend $500 in the first 2 months – you will receive 10,000 Amex points through my referral link below. If you did this yourself through the Amex website – then you will only receive 5,000 points. The annual fee is free for the first year during this promotion and remember you get a free domestic flight with Virgin Australia. This is my go-to credit card that has provided me and my family unimaginable amount of points over the last few years. If you wish to sign up please go to the link below:

Amex Platinum Edge Promotion