How best to use Ascent Premium Points

Discussion in 'American Express Rewards' started by Nooks, Jul 12, 2018.

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  1. Nooks

    Nooks Junior Member

    May 29, 2016
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    I'm turning 40 and been collecting points for a couple of years. I have 370,000 Amex Ascent Premium points, 500,000 Velocity Points and 50,000 Qantas points (a refund from a failed 1st Class Emirates flight after they cancelled flying their A380 from Sydney to Auckland last year)...
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    I'm looking to go on a trip with my wife (without the kids) later this year. We don't want to fly more than 12 hours away (preferably less) as it's likely to only be a 4-5 day trip. I was thinking of either Bangkok or Singapore. Any recommendations on both where to go and which airlines to fly? I was hoping for at least one leg in first class and the other in business.
     
  2. n7of9

    n7of9 Member

    May 10, 2012
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    Transfer VA points to SQ for first class to Singapore, or fly VA J to HK? Then use Amex points for hotel?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. LadyC

    LadyC Established Member

    Feb 21, 2012
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    There are probably plenty of options but you will firstly need to work out when you are going? Are the dates strictly fixed or is there flexibility? If your dates are fixed, you may be stuck with only certain destinations depending on award availability. If you are flexible, then I would probably shortlist a few places and play around with dates. Based on the short period of time you are going for Singapore is probably the best bet and Singapore Airlines availability tends to be better than others due to frequency. But Qantas and Emirates also fly there so you have a few options.
     
  4. Nooks

    Nooks Junior Member

    May 29, 2016
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    Thanks team . We've got a fair bit of flexibility on dates. On some of the possible dates I can see SQ first class availability on the way there. Getting back seems a bit harder to find availability so I might need to look at changing the day to fly back (does it often make a difference what day of the week you fly in term of availability)?

    Last question, is using AMEX points to book hotels at a decent exchange rate or is it closer to 1c/point? I have $400 travel credit with them as well which I plan on spending.
     
  5. LadyC

    LadyC Established Member

    Feb 21, 2012
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    I have found that first class availability is generally better mid-week.

    Not sure about using points for hotels - I tend to use all mine on flights.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. AUPoints

    AUPoints Junior Member

    Aug 8, 2017
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    Where do you fly from? From Perth, MEL or SYD?
    If from PER, you can fly Business to Vietnam (Saigon) or Bangkok, because the same points if fly to SIN (32500 points/person).
    If from MEL or SYD, you can fly First Class to Bangkok. And then from BKK to SIN and back to Au.
    It's more value if you use $400 travel credit to book short flights than book hotel. Because you still get the miles and status with that airlines as well.
     
  7. Nooks

    Nooks Junior Member

    May 29, 2016
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    Good questions and things to consider. Flying from Sydney.
     
  8. Matt_01

    Matt_01 Active Member

    Mar 12, 2016
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    With the points you have there are a few options and if desired could potentially go both ways in F. Are you looking to use minimum points, burn through all of them, use as little cash as possible?

    Some options

    Transfer AMEX to QF you could go on EK F to BBK and come back on TG.
    Transfer AMEX to QF you could go on EK F to SIN (ex MEL). Transfer VA to SQ and return to SYD.
    Transfer VA to SQ and F return to SIN with SQ.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Nooks

    Nooks Junior Member

    May 29, 2016
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    Thanks Matt, that's really helpful.

    Preference is to not completely burn the points (ie. waste them), but begin to use what I've accrued and to minimise the cash spend. Departing Sydney on an Emirates flight using Qantas points has the bonus of being able to access Qantas's first class lounge. I guess the choice on how to fly back then depends on location and availability. If we fly business on the way back, it would still be better than what we're used to :)

    If I go via Melbourne (as suggested), we only fly economy to Melbourne to Singapore (not the end of the world), I assume we still get to go into the first lounge in Sydney since we have the ongoing leg in first?
     
  10. Matt_01

    Matt_01 Active Member

    Mar 12, 2016
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    Mel and Adl
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    If you were flying to SIN via MEL on points your travel to MEL would normally be in J so you would use the QF Domestic J lounge in SYD then the QF F lounge or EK lounge in MEL. Returning with SQ F would give you access to TPR in SIN.

    Flying SQ return to SYD would would be able to access the SQ F lounge in SYD and TPR in SIN. All these lounges are nice. The SQ redemption would be cheaper than QF

    Personally I do not like to warehouse points with VA, and when needed they are the first to be moved to SQ. I prefer to leave my AMEX points with AMEX as I can move to SQ, QF or many other airlines.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Haplo

    Haplo Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    I would throw everything into SPG and then buy Marriott travel package before 1 August change.

    I normally buy the united airline 132K + 7 night package and it presents great value. 85k Mileage Plus points one way to Europe with no fuel surcharge versus 156k plus $600 surcharge on QFF.
     
  12. lucky777

    lucky777 Junior Member

    Apr 6, 2017
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    Depends on flexibility, I would recommend Singapore business class redeemption using your premium ascent points. Great aircraft and good availability. You also gets one stop over if you book return flight.
    If you happen to meet one of the "The Latest KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes Deals", it would be even better.
    Also if you would like to keep some hotel points for redeemption, its best you transfer to spg by end of this month.
     
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