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Frequent flyer programs

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markm

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I am new to travelling. We are looking to travel overseas next year. Just wondering which airline offers the best frequent flyer programs. We may be looking to fly with Emirates

Mark M
 

trooper

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Unfortunately that is a really tough question!!

Various factors will affect the answer.... ranging from what is is you want to get FROM the program and which are MOST important to you...(free flights/upgrades/status benefits etc)

AND.. what travel will you be doing (always cheapest Y fare/ Premium cabins mainly/lots of partner flights/etc etc) as crediting of points/miles varies in generosity from program to program...

Sorry.... But it is a really tough question indeed...

I'll tell you why I went with NZ as an example.

Airpoints (as the NZ program is called) is widely acknowleged to be "ungenerous" in many ways (free flight redemptions are very $$$$ in terms of flight credits received fr'instance) ...

BUT.. I am MOST interested in being able to apply for upgrades... next in importance is lounge access and the other benefits of status...

On NZ ANY economy fare can be upgraded.. on a standby basis at least.... where many programs require a high level econ fare (Y,B,M fare classes) before upgrades can even be considered... so that suits me... (MY hit rate last year was 100% BTW:shock:)

On NZ any fare to the USA/UK/HKG/NRT/PVG credits to the program.... and now any fare at all (cheap Trans tasmans being the best example) at least credit status points... if not redeemable ones...

I can fairly easily retain status with my annual recreational travel by merely throwing in what the folks on this board call "YUPP" runs when in the USA.... that ensures lounge acccess, priority baggage tags + extra allowance, priority call centre treatment etc

So.. with all its manifest shortcomings, the program works.. for me.

That saga will hopefully illustrate just how "YMMV" the question is!!!:mrgreen:
 

harvyk

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It really depends on what sort of flying you'll be doing. You mention Emirates, however remember that emirates is not aligned with any major alliance, so chances are any points you earn with Emirates will have to be used to go to an Emirates destination.

For me personally I like QFF (with the QP). It suits me as most of my flights are dom or one world (this afternoons flight on AirNZ the exception), and I like the fact that they have the minimum points guarantee as it means that even the short flights (eg CBR - SYD \ CBR - MEL) I still earn quite a few points (1000). I also like the fact that all classes (inc red-e-deals) earn points. It mean's your able to take advantage of some really good fares and get points, it's not a one or the other situation.

As for upgrades, well I've only applied for an upgrade once (usually I use my points for bookings in J rather than play the upgrade lottery) but that still makes good use of points are far as I'm concerned.

Just some food for thought.
 

dajop

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It really depends on what sort of flying you'll be doing. You mention Emirates, however remember that emirates is not aligned with any major alliance, so chances are any points you earn with Emirates will have to be used to go to an Emirates destination.

Whilst Emirates is not aligned with major alliances, points can be credited to a range of programs. The most relevant for many Australians being Virgin Blue Velocity.

markm, to get a better answer to your question it is probably useful to provide some more information:
- how often are you likely to travel domestically and internationally?
- Credit cards - do you have/can you get and how significant is your spend on them (roughly)?
- How do you intend to spend points (free domestic flights, free international flights, flight upgrades, online shopping?)

For the infrequent flyer it can be often best to shop around and find the best fare, rather than pay extra $$$ for points towards a free flight that may or may not materialise in the future (eg if Emirates is offering a $600 fare and Qantas have the same destinations for $900 it's probably not worth taking Qantas just for the points).

If you fry frequently you should look into a range of options, and the best may depend on the mix of domestic and international travel you do and where you fly to - you should definitely provide more details to get some help here.

If you fly occassionally it may be best to look at either Qantas or Virgin Blue as both offer awards for domestic travel at fairly low rates and are linked to credit cards that can be used to top up the points you earn from flying. Also both have a range of international airline partners, although Qantas does arguably have better availability with their international partners at lower points.

Lastly many of us here have prejudices/biases one way or the other when it comes to particular programs, be careful that whatever you read actually applies to your own situation. Oh and also - be wary once you start flying airlines outside Qantas/Virgin Blue/Emirates. Many other airlines (such as Thai, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian, Singapore Airlines, and most notably Jetstar) have low fares that do not earn any points on any program, just a caution (however with this in mind do reread my 3rd paragraph!)

Good luck!
 

BAM1748

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The best frequent flyer program for you will be the one with the airline (or partner) that flies where you want to go.


If you are considering Emirates then one would guess you might be going to NZ, middle east or Europe. You can do better than Emirates.

I'm with Qantas myself for mostly domestic but some international travel, they (or Jetstar or American) fly where I want to go.
 

Svenc

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QFF for ease of points accumulation in Australia - credit card alignment and soon Woolies point earning gives a double dip effect. Emirates is a superb airline and I also belong to Skywards, but point accumulation is very much harder as you mostly earn only on their flights and extremely limited credic card options. However, Skywards points can be redeemed on Virgin Blue etc. I have travelled the Emirates A380 4 times now 3 times in Bus and once in 1st AKL-SYD just for the experience and for the same price as QF Business !! Wow...it was great.
 

lovetravellingoz

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I am new to travelling. We are looking to travel overseas next year. Just wondering which airline offers the best frequent flyer programs. We may be looking to fly with Emirates

Mark M

Hi Mark with the great deals on offer from a number of airlines you may well be best served by grabbing the best flight deal regardless of a FF program. Saved cash up front may be better than earning some FF points.

To choose which FF program you need to consider where you will be able to earn points from over a number of years. This may or may not include your upcoming flight. Look at the big picture and then choose a FF program as well as deciding whether FF points will influence your choice of airline.

Will you fly a lot?

If no, then you will most likely gain most FF points by choosing a particular credit card which optimises your earn. This is so for most occassional flyers.

There area number of options.... but best value may at this stage be using the Westpac Krisflyer Crad where you can redeem with Singapore Airlines. Saver Awrads give you more ban for your spent $ than QF.


On the other hand Qantas FF has the advantage of earining points from a braoder number of companies including Woolwaiths etc soon (this may eran you 5000-15000 per year in itself).
 
Credit cards which earn frequent flyer points is a popular way to earn frequent flyer points. You can receive thousands of points on everyday spend. And, many of these cards offer generous signup bonuses! Compare to find the credit card that best suits your needs.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

auriga

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If you do not fly a lot, important to consider the expiry policy of the miles earnt.
 

Grooba

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Welcome to AFF markm

Firstly you will need to look at your travel plans for the next year, as in actually how much you plan to travel. Then, what do you want out of a FF program? Good points accrual? Good lounge access? Longevity of points?

All FF programs have their merits, it just depends exactly what you want to obtain out of them.
 
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