Best Way To Use Points - Buy Economy and upgrade, or redeem oints for whole airfare ?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by xetsof, Sep 28, 2007.

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  1. xetsof

    xetsof Newbie

    Jan 11, 2007

    Would appreciate some advice on what is the best way to redeem points ?
    Do I pay for the ticket using points only, or
    pay for an economy ticket and then upgrade using points ?

    I have nearly a million points on hand.

    Would prefer to fly a Star Alliance carrier, but am open to Cathay Pacific as an option. Am unsure if Virgin Atlantic is part of the Star Alliance network but would consider using them as well.

    Want to fly a round trip from Melbourne to UK and include a flight to Germany, going business class all the way.

    Any help from the group is sincerely appreciated.

    Cheers !

  2. straitman


    Apr 27, 2003
    SE Oz (Sale)
    Flight Map:
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    Re: Best Way To Use Points - Buy Economy and upgrade, or redeem oints for whole airfa


    First things first. Welcome to AFF. :D

    Secondly, who are the points with as you mention quite a mix of Star Alliance and One World carriers :?:
  3. xetsof

    xetsof Newbie

    Jan 11, 2007
    Re: Best Way To Use Points - Buy Economy and upgrade, or redeem oints for whole airfa

    HI Bill,

    Thanks for the welcome & the reply.

    Most points are parked with Amex at present, and I can transfer them to Singapore, Virgin Atlantic, Qantas & Cathay. Am not a member of any other FF scheme. Have 240000 with Velocity which I can move to Virgin Atlantic.


  4. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    G'day xetsof, welcome to AFF.

    With Qantas FF, you can only upgrade when booked on the QF flight number of the Qantas aircraft. You need to book WHY in upgradeable classes, but without status, program elites will be the first to be upgraded, making your chances of travelling in the 'pointy end' a lot less.

    IMHO, and assuming you have no status; with a mega point balance, your best bet would be to directly book award J/F travel.

    For your intended routing, this will almost certainly need to be done 11 months in advance.
  5. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005

    The best way to use points is in a manner where you feel that you have got the best value; what other people would do doesn't matter

    If you can get a business award, you will be booked in business class and guaranteed business class, however this will cost around 280,000 points plus fuel fines from QF per person; if you book economy and try to upgrade (1) you will be only be able to fly in business class on the QF sectors and (2) it is a gamble where you would only know if you were successful on the day of travel and (3) it would still cost 192,000 points plus the cost of a ticket

    Personally I would be going for the award business flight and be guaranteed business class

    Given that your points are currently sat in AMEX, I would consider getting an award from AA.

    a round trip award to UK would cost 120,000 AA points in business or 160,000 in 1st class. It would require approx 303,000 AMEX points to get 120,000 AA points , so 23,000 more than would be needed to transfer to QF, however you would avoid approx $400 in fuel surcharges that would be levied by QF. The 23k to save $400 seems a good exchange of points to me :) . Also , AA allows changes to be made free of charge as long as the origin and destination remain the same whereas QF will charge $2500 to change. The only minus is that AA will charge a USD100 penalty to redeposit the miles if you decide to cancel the booking after ticketing

    I am not up on transferring miles from AMEX to a Star Alliance partner to compare against


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