Reaping the Rewards

24 June 2016

Business-class travel and hotel loyalty are often well rewarded but not all schemes are created equal. We break down some of the best across the major airlines and hotel chains in Australia and New Zealand.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Why? It’s the big one – 10 million members and counting – and numerous card/hotel/business partnerships mean you can rack up points doing almost anything.

Earn: Aquire membership – think Frequent Flyer membership for Australian businesses – can earn you equivalent Qantas points (on top of your personal ones) for all sorts of office-based expenditure.

Redeem: Fly for work on Qantas business… then fly yourself on a holiday via Jetstar – 3000 weekly flights to 60 destinations.

Best deal: ANZ Frequent Flyer Black offers the best bang for your buck – 75,000 Qantas points and the $425 annual fee waived.[1]

Emirates Skywards

Why? Achieve Gold status and they’ll even serve you your favourite drink in-flight, without needing to be asked.[2].

Earn: A return trip from Sydney to Dubai will net a total of 30,100 Skywards Miles on a flexible business fare, but just 8600 in the cheaper seats.

Redeem: Make sure you do – Skywards miles have an expiration date of three years.

Best deal: 40,000 Skywards miles bonus and a halved annual fee on the Emirates Citi World Mastercard[3] 

Virgin Australia Velocity

Why? Virgin Australia’s answer to competing (read: bigger) international networks is to forge alliances with airlines that will take VA flyers wherever they might want to go.

Earn: Score two Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for every litre of BP fuel purchased, up to 150 litres, and another two for every dollar spent in-store.

Redeem: Unlike other airlines, the best way to redeem points is by actually using them to fly. Lots of seats and dates mean you don’t have to book a year in advance – and low-cost carrier Tigerair Australia, which Virgin owns, was recently added to the scheme.

Best deal: Net 50,000 Velocity Points with Virgin Money High Flyer Visa, and score one of the highest Visa earn rates for Velocity Points (1:1) to boot. [4]

Air NZ Star Alliance Airpoints

Why? Air New Zealand is a member of the Star Alliance group, a stronghold of 29 airlines always looking for ways to make transfers as coordinated as possible. So is serko.travel, which handily syncs your flights, accommodation, car hire and airport transfers.

Earn: Did we mention 29 airlines? That’s a lot of earning opportunities.

Redeem: The Airpoints program is being overhauled apparently, but here’s hoping for a stronger redeeming structure, particularly around accommodation. Currently it’s a matter of plugging your dates into a travel aggregate, checking the “Use Airpoints” box and crossing your fingers.

Best deal: Boost your points 20 per cent by signing up with Airpoints™ for Business.

Hilton HHonors

Why? 4000 hotels in 91 countries and no blackout dates.

Earn: Score points depending on room spend, and achieve Silver, Gold or Diamond status (and points boosts for each jump).

Redeem: Cool experiences like tickets to the Diving U.S. Olympic Team Trials[5].

Best deal: HHonours has a status-match offer on that proved so popular, they made the page pretty hard to find. We dug it out here, though.[6]

Hyatt Gold Passport

Why? A pretty generous program, with high-end luxury properties under its umbrella. 

Earn: Book a Double Your Points rate on a stay to, you got it, double your points.[7]

Redeem: Use your points for a table for two, or a massage for one – without even staying the night.[8]

Best deal: Earn 5000 bonus points after your first five eligible nights, 10k for the next 10, and so on up to 25, until June 30[9].

 

[1] http://www.pointhacks.com.au/category/credit-cards/#qantas

[2] http://www.ausbt.com.au/emirates-skywards-frequent-flyer-scheme-for-aussie-travellers

[3] http://www.pointhacks.com.au/credit-cards/emirates-skywards-citibank-world-mastercard/

[4] http://www.ausbt.com.au/the-five-best-credit-cards-for-earning-virgin-australia-frequent-flyer-points

[5] http://auction.hhonors.com/iSynApp/auctionDisplay.action?auctionId=1063665

[6] http://www.ausbt.com.au/hilton-hhonors-offers-silver-gold-diamond-status-match

https://hiltonhhonors.hiltonapps.com/

[7] http://www.hyatt.com/hyatt/specials/offers/offer-details_hotels_20.jsp;jsessionid=E068311B65D1B5C8B52BA0CEBF7BA64D.atg08-ord-atg3?offerId=53918146&icamp=hy_doublepoints_cofi2_regions_en

[8] http://www.hyatt.com/gp/en/awards/diningandspa.jsp

[9] http://hyatthotels.hyatt.com/content/partnerlandingpage/en/INT16.html?icamp=hy_smpm2016_coma_regions_en

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