While you are collecting your points/miles from credit card spend I hope you are thinking of the best way to use Frequent Flyer points for International Flights. It is a cardinal sin to be using your points for domestic flights or a gift voucher. The redemption value with redeeming your points for a gift card compared to redeeming it for an international First class flight from Sydney to London is possibly at least 100 times worse.

Treat your credit card and frequent flyer points as a currency that is valuable. If you value it – then you will treat it with the respect it deserves and only redeem it for international business or first class flights. If you do not value it or are not educated about it – then you will redeem it on gift cards, toasters etc.

Now in terms of an international flight – what is the best way to get the most value out of it? Is it to fly from Sydney to Singapore (7 hour trip) or Sydney to New York via Singapore  (24 hours flight). The rule of thumb in my opinion is that the further you fly – the better value you get out of it.…

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:

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.…

I started to understand more about elite status for hotels on my first stay in the Hilton Tokyo hotel back in 2007. We were staying 10 nights in Tokyo and I wanted the stay there to be comfortable as possible for myself and my wife as it was a “baby moon” before our first child was born in 2008 and also because it was the start of our first world trip.

I researched the hotels – not knowing anything about status, benefits etc – and found the Hilton Tokyo hotel in the CBD. During that time I found the price to be $300 AUD per night. This was actually quite expensive and if you multiple it by 10 – then it costed us $3000 for those 10 nights. Plus I had no benefits – so I made sure that breakfast was included in the package.

Now roughly for 10 nights – I spent $3000 – so with Hilton you each 10x points per dollar you spend. So I received about 30,000 points. This would also lift me up from the basic Hilton level (Blue) to the Silver level. Not much benefits with the Silver – but I did get 30K Hilton HHonors points. During that time you needed 40,000 Hilton points to stay at the Conrad Hong Kong hotel. So my initial thought was – stay at least 10 nights and I would get one free stay at a nice hotel.…

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.…