Best Way to Spend my 500K of Altitude Points

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Gareth

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Hi Guys, Looking at advice on how best to spend my gradually increasing number of points.

I've been trying to use only one card (Black MC and Amex) program to maximise my points in one program thus accumulated about 500K now.

I fly semi frequently domestic (usually Virgin) maybe 12 times a year and try for one to two international trips (can be Europe, SE Asia or maybe the USA) a year.

I have used my velocity points for the odd domestic trip - esp when the fares seemed quite expensive or non tax deductable trip - but not used my Altitude points as yet.

Do members at AFF use their Altitude points for flights or benefits - it's a pain they don't have Coles vouchers like the other programs - do the Westfield ones work, if the Coles is in a Westfields? And I'm not sure if they are the best bang for point either.

Can I upgrade a international flight that I buy with Cash to business with altitude points?

The other memberships I have are:

- Gold member with Velocity.
- Gold Hilton (comes with Velocity Gold)
- Gold Accor
- members of QF (Bronze) (my partner is Gold)
- KrisFlyer, Starwood

thanks in advance for any advice - it seems that this loyalty program doesn't seem to be the most popular.

Gareth
 

deluxeflyer

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Hi Guys, Looking at advice on how best to spend my gradually increasing number of points.

I've been trying to use only one card (Black MC and Amex) program to maximise my points in one program thus accumulated about 500K now.

I fly semi frequently domestic (usually Virgin) maybe 12 times a year and try for one to two international trips (can be Europe, SE Asia or maybe the USA) a year.

I have used my velocity points for the odd domestic trip - esp when the fares seemed quite expensive or non tax deductable trip - but not used my Altitude points as yet.

Do members at AFF use their Altitude points for flights or benefits - it's a pain they don't have Coles vouchers like the other programs - do the Westfield ones work, if the Coles is in a Westfields? And I'm not sure if they are the best bang for point either.

Can I upgrade a international flight that I buy with Cash to business with altitude points?

The other memberships I have are:

- Gold member with Velocity.
- Gold Hilton (comes with Velocity Gold)
- Gold Accor
- members of QF (Bronze) (my partner is Gold)
- KrisFlyer, Starwood

thanks in advance for any advice - it seems that this loyalty program doesn't seem to be the most popular.

Gareth

Gareth,

Actually Altitude Rewards is quite popular as there are numerous FF programs you can transfer your points to: SQ,MH,CX,NZ,Virgin (but not QF).

I would say almost all of us here would transfer Alt points to a FF program not for gift cards - for maximum bang for your buck.

You can most definitely upgrade a cash fare (if the T & C of the fare allow) using Alt points, but you need to transfer your Alt points first to the relevant FF program. (Velocity, SQ would be applicable to you)

cheers
 
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Solid

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One thing to be aware of is that if your thinking of transferring to VA they seem to have bonus offers on transfers at least once a year, last one a 30% bonus from memory.
 

Gareth

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Thanks Solid for the tip - hopefully I will know when they have the bonus offer - how do you find out, or get notified?

And deluxeflyer - thanks for that too - I think that upgrading a paid (with cash) economy flight is best bang for buck for points, but maybe only makes sense if it's not tax deductible. Next best option is to buy flight with points?
 

deluxeflyer

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I think that upgrading a paid (with cash) economy flight is best bang for buck for points, but maybe only makes sense if it's not tax deductible. Next best option is to buy flight with points?

Usually the best value is to redeem a Bz or F seat,
but if you are looking for or maintaining status then upgrades may be the way to go.
If the fare is tax deductible, then upgrades may be more attractive than the alternative.
 

Gareth

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Thanks DF for your view, I will be certainly looking forward to those flights if I can bear to part with those hoard of points!
 

bass_ke

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My mother inlaw uses westpac altitude,
And as mentioned above there does always seem to be a bonus with VA once a year.

I'm telling her ill take VA points for Xmas but she wants a Europe return in J!
 
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Gareth

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Thanks have to keep an eye out for the bonus - never recalls seeing it in the past years. Maybe wasn't taking notice? or not advertised well?

Toaster - agh :D I have two already.....
 

cove

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I think you might like the SQ Suites run out of Singapore. On Saver it is 91,375 on line for a ride to London. I think that beats a couple of extra toasters.
Your Altitude points halve so you will have 250k points in Kris Flyer. Enough for a two way tester of champagnes and caviar.
 

Pushka

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I'm generally not impressed with the flight rewards. I've exchanged for items. Wine. Coffee maker. Champagne. Watch. Gift cards.
 

Gareth

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Pushka, not impressed you as in too many points for the items (poor value) or poor quality?
 

Pushka

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Pushka, not impressed you as in too many points for the items (poor value) or poor quality?

I usually check.on the prices of items.And the points required to redeem. I think that gift certificates might actually be a good way to go.assuming you find the goods in the store you choose. Alcohol isn't too bad but then, neither is Dan Murphy's!
 

k_sheep

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I have to admit I've always traded mine in for gift vouchers. But I'm stockpiling now and will see what I can get with MH points or similar.
 

newbieflyer22

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Hi all....

Lurking I found this link, and wondered whether you guys could help me...

I have hoarded Altitude points, and now have about 1.4 million....

Next year we need to get 4 adults (shame...the youngest will be 12) from Melbourne to Amsterdam, and then Prague to Melbourne.....leaving in June and returning late July....So cannot book yet....

We want to accrue qantas status credits....Hubby may just about be QFF platinum, so we want to get that up and running too..... I would like to keep my QFF Gold and had despaired of it, seeing how little Altitude points were able to buy with a direct flight purchase (ie not using FF points). I do not have enough QFF points....

I wondered about whether it would be possible to transfer Altitude points to Asiamiles, then book the flights on Qantas, even potentially business????

Would this earn Qantas status credits?!?

This would get Hubby his platinum (and maybe maintain my gold status)....

We would be pushing nearly enough points, by my reckoning, as we would have 750000 Asiamiles points, and a return flight to Amsterdam on Qantas, booked using Asiamiles in business would be 220,000 maximum each for a multicarrier multi stop over type trip... As Hubby may have to pay for his with $...so we will have enough for 3 of us.....If he does not we will be a bit short, but probably workable.......

What are the problems I have not seen?

Have I got it right?

Newbieflyer22.....
 

Beta4Me

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You can't earn status credits in Qantas unless booking an Any Seat Award (and these are ending in the not too distant future) but you can only book them using Qantas points. So, the decision is: revenue fares so you can get elite status or points so you can fly for 'free.' What you suggested, i.e. 3 of you on awards and husband on revenue ticket could work quite well.
 

Jack_OC

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You can't earn status credits in Qantas unless booking an Any Seat Award (and these are ending in the not too distant future) but you can only book them using Qantas points. So, the decision is: revenue fares so you can get elite status or points so you can fly for 'free.' What you suggested, i.e. 3 of you on awards and husband on revenue ticket could work quite well.

And since you can't earn Qantas SCs, I would suggest looking at other airline options. For example, 1.4 million Altitude points = 700,000 KrisFlyer miles (Singapore Airlines). For a total of 272,000 KrisFlyer miles you could get 4 x Business Class one way fares to Amsterdam*. I don't think SQ fly to/from Prague, but you could fly back from Frankfurt for a total of 323,000 KrisFlyer miles. There would also be taxes and charges, which I'd estimate at about $3,600 in total (about $900 each rtn).

*availability to AMS can be a big challenge, but I have successfully booked 4 x Business Class award fares on the same flights between MEL-SIN-FRA without any difficulty, and the good news is you can search for availability on the SQ website before transferring your Altitude points. There also seems to be reasonably good availability to London, Zurich and Paris, and if you don't mind having to add on cheap connecting flights (or trains) in Europe, any of those options might work.

The fact is, you'd be doing very well to get more than one Business award seat on the same flight with QF, so I'd forget about that. There is one other option though - you can book through Altitude Travel and use your Altitude Points directly with them plus cash. The downside is, it's very poor value compared to transferring to KrisFlyer - I believe you get 1c per point, so in your case you'd get about $14k towards your trip. 4 business fares with QF will probably cost close to $40k, so you'd still have to stump up >$25k (relative to <$4k with SQ). The upside is (I think) tickets booked in this way are treated as revenue fares, so they earn points and SCs as normal. I wouldn't pay an extra $20k to retain status though!

PS: IMHO SQ's Business Class is way better than QF's.
 

ij05

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For 102k points each return (or 204k Altitude) you can get business class on Malaysia Airlines, to Amsterdam admittedly the business class is lie flat angled not fully flat unless you go on the A380 to London or Paris.

Not bad value for 408k MH points or 816k Altitude points for 4 people. Availability is also very very good.
 

Beta4Me

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For 102k points each return (or 204k Altitude) you can get business class on Malaysia Airlines, to Amsterdam admittedly the business class is lie flat angled not fully flat unless you go on the A380 to London or Paris.

Not bad value for 408k MH points or 816k Altitude points for 4 people. Availability is also very very good.
But, let's be honest, Malaysia Airlines business class is essentially a premium economy product and you could even end up disappearing into the ocean never to be seen again :D
 
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