AMEX...which FF program achieves best result..

Discussion in 'American Express Rewards' started by lovetravellingoz, Feb 10, 2007.

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  1. lovetravellingoz

    lovetravellingoz Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    With AMEX...which FF program achieves the best result in terms of flights earned for Australian based card-holders?

    You may seek to maximise point earning by crediting to different programs, particularly if you run multiple cards...or you may just pool it all in the one program.

    Depending on your AMEX you have an earn initial earn rate of 1.0, 1.25 or 1.5. For the numbers below you will need to factor them up depending on what your initial earn rate is.

    Some like the QANTAS card boost this by 1.0 for QANTAS $ spend.

    Another factor here is that some AMEX's can be free (ie I have a free Westpac AMEX with an earn rate of 1.0..which I am keeping but not currently using) or free for the first year (ie Maximiser, QANTAS Premium etc...). If it is not free..then you should factor in the cost of the card....ie $195/year may be the equiavlent of say 10/20000 points depending on what value points are worth to you.

    The two favourite programs on this site seem to be QFF & AA.

    AA has the advantage of a great burn rate...and low fuelfines/taxes BUT as the points need to go through SPG the earn rate is poor (your points by 0.33)...even if you gain the 25% bonus for transferring in 20,000 point lumps..
    (For those going the AA route....evidently Diners achieves a better transfer rate)
    For AMEX earn AA in itself does not appear to be that attractive but may of course be a useful addition for flight earn which is very good on many flights.

    A good extra perk is also that for lifetime status...the 1,000,000 point mark and beyond that all earn counts...whereas with QFF it is only flights that count.

    QFF gets a good earn rate of 1/1.....but then a lousy burn rate with high fuel fines. However one sweetener is that there are sign-on bonuses of 15,000 to 20,000 points. Remains to be seen if you can go to the well repeatedly on this...

    An extra advantage of the QFF approach is that you can combine with VISA earn (ie I have a free for life Citibank with an earn rate of 1.0 & transfer rate of 1.0) for the many occassions where AMEX is either not accepted or has a punitive use fee attached. Presently I would estimate that of my CC spend about 60% is AMEX and 40% is VISA.

    Nw if you have a very high CC spend and /or fly a lot the ability to pool may not be important...but for my situation I really need to pool all my earn..CC, Flights and other in the one program in order to get flight redemptions without waiting years.


    BUT there are obviously other prgrams such Virgin Atlantic that I understand you can redeem too.
    maybe there are other programs too which are better for this purpse..


    So I my question is.....which FF programs generate the most flights (factoring in fuel fines) for $$ earnt?

    I ask this question broadly...so that all readers can work out what is best for them..
    Irelease it may be influenced by where you want to fly....


    In my personal case....I wil say speand $100/120,000 on CC in the next 12 months @ say 60% Amex/40% VISA.
    Flight redemptions would most likely be to SEA..but maybe Europe.



    PS...my AMEX points currently go to QFF via the QANTAS premium card......which has been free for the last 7 months..I have just gained another card...and so haveanother free 12 months (and I hope another 17500 points). But maybe..just maybe I should havea Maximiser instead and be stockpiling for Virgin Atlantic or....???????????
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    It all depends on where you want to go with your award flights. AA is not great value for pure credit card mileage earning. VS is probably one of the best bang for the buck so long as you want to travel to the available destinations (includes SQ flights).
     
  3. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    A question about the AA program, is it hard to redeem AA points for QF domestic flights?
     
  4. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Aside from the fact that QFFers get access a month earlier than AAdvantage members a QF NB accesses the same award availability on QF that AAdvantage does.
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    And for premium cabin awards, AAdvantage members get the exact same availability as all Qantas FF members. Its only economy class awards that QF Gold and Platinum members get access to T fare bucket as well as the X that AAdvantage and lower status QF FF members get.

    Also note that AA allows AAdvantage members to hold award bookings for a few days before payment is required, while QF does not permit this.
     
  6. infoworks

    infoworks Member

    Aug 11, 2002
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    My earn rate is 1.5 and I use points either on QF (1:1) or SQ (2:1). As everything goes on the AX I like the flexibility and it really suits me to be able to put points on SQ, even at a higher burn rate.
     
  7. pksw

    pksw Intern

    Oct 11, 2005
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    infoworks, I'd prefer to fly Singapore over Qantas too, but as you've pointed out the points are halved when transferring. It seems that Virgin Atlantic is a partner airline for SQ, and perhaps it's possible to transfer 1:1 (and taking the 20% bonus on offer) to Virgin, and then trying to redeem SQ flights.

    I'm not sure how difficult this is though.
    Virgin Atlantic Airways - Popup
    They have an example of "spend miles" of Singapore-Australia/NZ as 55k, 85k, 130k for return econ/business/first class.
     
  8. infoworks

    infoworks Member

    Aug 11, 2002
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    Sydney
    I was looking at that, but it means another airline program, which I don't really want at this stage, although I'd like to try them SYD-HKG (and get SQ points anyway).
     
  9. asiaflyer

    asiaflyer Junior Member

    Sep 6, 2006
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    Bumping this thread, I'd appreciate any advice from the experts out there on the best program to transfer points to.

    I have approx 1.5 million amex rewards points. Was hoping to make use of them for premium class travel for a honeymoon in march/april (destination undecided).

    Generally fly OW (Qantas gold) but happy to fly any quality business/first especially if access to frequent flyer seats is better than the Qantas bedlam. For instance I recall reading somewhere that Malaysian points can be used to access any available seat, not just a limited number for points redemption.

    After access to flights, burn rate becomes a factor, but would happily use more points to actually get flights or obtain better dates.

    Would appreciate any advice on which partner airline program will achieve the above priorities best.

    Thanks
     
  10. NM

    NM
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    I would expect the availability of premium cabin award seats is going to be the same for all OneWorld airlines.

    I guess we can assume you are seeking two tickets on the same flights ;). I also assume the travel dates are going to be somewhat inflexible.

    The choice is really going to be determined by the destination choices and that will likely determine which airlines will be likely to have ample premium cabin award availability around the dates you are seeking. Then that will lead to potential airline FF programs that can provide award seats on those flights.

    The other option is to use the Amex MR Concierge service. Having that number of MR points should provide access to the Concierge service and you may be able to use the points to purchase travel on commercial fares rather than FF rewards. However, the points won't go as far as they would with FF awards. But the benefit is that you should have less problems with availability.
     
  11. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    In terms of OW from SYD I think your best bet for premium cabins would be SYD-SIN-SYD on BA. There tends to be a reasonable amount of F availability there.
     
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