The great points transfer to AAdvantage

Discussion in 'American Airlines AAdvantage' started by QF WP, Apr 9, 2006.

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  1. QF WP

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    Jun 20, 2002
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    Thought it best to start a new topic on this excellent idea (so as to keep another topic on another Forum actually on topic). I'll keep this topic updated so others can see why I'm doing what I'm doing and perhaps in time understand the benefits that I am chasing.

    1.0 Current situation

    I'll achieve QF Lifetime Silver in 130 SC's time. Together with Lifetime QC means I'll always be able to get into the QC when I'm flying and I'll always earn as a QF Silver member any of those flights credited to QFF. And what do I receive from AMP after a lot of loyalty shown flying QF and other OW carriers are crediting to my QFF account - looks like a letter from the Program Manager. Hold me back from my effusive praise thanking QF for their generousity :roll: :shock: .

    Another 7,000 SC's for Lifetime Gold seems a very long way for no perceived benefits once there. Okay, so I'd be a Gold member for the rest of my life (or QF's program, whichever is lesser), or Platinum for any membership year that I achieve it, but there's nothing again from QF management - maybe another letter. Wow, I'm overcome with gratitude again QF :p. After 14,000 SC's, there is no goal for the very frequent flyer (by that stage, you feel an aircraft is your second home).

    2.0 What am I changing??

    I'm converting to AAdvantage the majority of my flying after many years of loyal QFF patronage. Dave Noble has finally got through my defences and convinced me.

    2.1 Why move to AAdvantage?

    I'm not moving to AAdvantage for the short-term membership levels that give benefits (Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum). I'm thinking forward to the benefits that are offered in Lifetime Gold (achieved by earning 1 million miles) and Lifetime Platinum (2 million miles). Try the delicious idea of a Systemwide Upgrade (SWU). That means a one-way upgrade to the next class of service on American Airlines metal (so Y to F domestically, or Y/J or J/F internationally) to any AA destination. The upgrade is subject to capacity controls, must be available at time of booking and is limited to a one-way trip with a maximum of three segments. Still, that's not shabby, when you think that could mean LHR/JFK/LAX/HNL all using 1 SWU, or another example NRT/LAX/JFK/GRU. Now, members get 4 SWU's when they reach Lifetime Gold and 8 when they reach Platinum.

    Now that's a goal worth achieving and an airline and program that truly respects it's highly travelled members...but how am I going to do it, you ask??

    3.0 Strategy

    I'll continue to credit any QF red e-Deal fares (O or N class) to my QFF account (not that there's many of them anyway), as my earning on them is better in my QFF account (1:1 with a mininimum of 1,000 miles) rather than AA (where they won't earn anything).

    I'll be crediting the majority of my future flying (starting now) to AAdvantage. All my Super Saver fares (G, S, V, L, R and M class), Flexi Saver and Fully Flexible domestic fares (K, W, H or Y class). I see little chance for overseas travel for work or pleasure in the foreseeable future, but any that turn up will be credited according to the fare basis purchased.

    Most of the mileage will come from CC points that I'll transfer into AA. CC points accrue for Lifetime status over there (crazy but true) and very beneficial as previously noted (whereas they don't in QF, it's only BIS miles that accrue status).

    4.0 Outcome & benefits

    Better "earn & burn" under AA - try 20,000 points for an award seat from Australia to anywhere else in Australia & New Zealand.

    Also, I will not pay fuel fines on your award bookings, unlike when you use QF awards.

    5.0 My recommendations to start achieving my goal

    I need to look at all my programs (airline, accomodation and car rental) - it has to be an "all in" strategy.

    5.1 Frequent flyer programs:

    5.1.1 QFF: I can't do anything with the points that are already there, but I'll be using them for upgrading (either using the on-line upgrade tool or On Departure Upgrades at the QC's). Minimal points accrual for hereon. Status will drop to Gold from 1 March 2007 and (at worst) Silver from 1 March 2008 and thereafter (as I'll be Lifetime silver from ~ June 2006). Have 150,000 miles now, with earning of about 3,000 points monthly (from both flying and Qantas ANZ CC) expected.

    5.1.2 Northwest: Have about 15,000 miles in that account and don't credit any flying there any more, so use them or lose them (although I have just earned some points there, so current for at least a year). Have to look into whether I can transfer them to say SPG.

    5.1.3 United & SQ: Minimal points in both program (3,500 in UA and about 1,700 in SQ). Not worried if I lose them and don't think I'd have enough to transfer. Don't fly *A so likely to lose them, unless I find bonus mile promos out there.

    5.2 Credit Card Programs:

    5.2.1 Qantas ANZ Gold CC: Nothing I can do about this card as the points are credited automatically to my QFF program, but it's my back-up CC (when Amex isn't accepted). Will at least keep me in upgrades for a while.

    5.2.2 Amex Platinum: Very important part of my CC strategy as I earn 1.5 points per $ spent. Have balance of 58,000 points after 6 months of use, so will be maxing the points earned through this card.

    5.2.3 Citibank Platinum CC: Now to work out how to get my 81,150 CC points to AA (via another conduit program).

    5.3 Hotel programs:

    5.3.1 SPG: I have 24,00 points in my account. Every time you transfer a block of 20,000 SPG points, you receive a 25% mileage bonus into your FF program. I transferred 20,000 SPG points today and will see 25,000 AA points hit my account in the next 6 weeks. This program is the most important part of transferring points from programs where there is no direct link to AA. Balance now 4,000.

    5.3.2 Hilton Honors: Couldn't get into my HHonors account to see what the transfer rate is, but know it isn't good - maybe I'll just burn these on personal stays. Will be changing my earning to Hilton Points & Fixed Miles (couble dipping), as most of my stays are 1-3 nights and rarely spend for than USD$500...

    5.3.3 Priority Club: Have 26,000 points and the transfer rate is 10,000 Points to 2,000 AA Miles. Not going to bother transferring them and certainly will be earning quite a few thousand more before the end of April and/or July (and the bonus point promos end) and expect to have 60,000+ by year end to renew Platinum.

    5.3.4 Other programs: I have Hyatt GP, Marriott Rewards, minimal points in both but I'll look into whether I can transfer them.


    5.4 My American AAdvantage Account:

    Now to my curent AA account:

    Program to Date Miles: 7,816
    YTD Elite Qualifying Points: 5,216
    YTD Elite Qualifying Miles: 5,216
    YTD Elite Qualifying Segments: 5
    Miles with Expiration Deferred Through 1/12/09: 7,816
    Upgrade Account Balance: 0

    Total Available Award Mileage: 7,816

    all courtesy of crediting some of my recent USA trip to this account. What annoys me is that I didn't follow Dave Noble's excellent idea of doing a Gold Challenge as I would have achieved it (5,000 EQP's). I only have myself to blame :oops: :x . Oh well, thankfully April/May is looking very good for flying. Already have plans for BNE/TSV/CNS/BNE, BNE/MEL/BNE, BNE/SYD/BNE (all in K) and a BNE/PER/ADL/SYD/BNE also in K (but will be looking to upgrade to B class, as this will be complete my Platinum Challenge).

    I'll update this thread every month with my mileage summary (and where it all came from). If anybody has any questions, ask away. If you have any information about transferring any of those program points to AA, post away :D 8)
     
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  2. NM

    NM
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    Excellent summary Lindsay. I look forward to watching the progress.

    I am in much the same situation, except I do have Qantas Lifetime Gold status now - so little point in continuing to grow my QF points balance given the very bad burn rate.

    I am now planning my next OS trip and certainly expect to be AA Plat status as a result.

    I will be keeping my HH points in that program and using them for family vacation accommodation rather than sweeping them over to AA. In fact, I may use some Amex points to top up the HH balance to get some extra room nights covered.
     
  3. QF WP

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    Thanks NM. I was wondering what you were going to do. So you're finally off again to TLOTFAP. Look forward to hearing you're AA Plat.

    Spoke to IainF last night (he was in BNE QP). He was regaling me with how well he's doing towards ExPlat (particularly when he's having to buy B fares). He did his AKL trip last week, was off to CNS today and as I type this, will be close to landing in MEL. He'll have qualified BIS AA Plat after the AKL trip posts and with all his trips between now and after his J RTW in July, expects he will fly past ExPlat.
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    Yep, looks like I am heading back at the end of May. Not sure of routing yet as it will depend on what class I am permitted to travel. I have been working on the comparison spreadsheet for the various fare options (H/K, B, DCIR22, DONE4, LONE4 w/WT+ etc). Obviously all will complete the Plat Challenge. The DONE4 will actually earn just over 50,000 EQP so that would be enough to retain Plat for the following year. LONE4 with WT+ upgrade would be 33,000 EQP, and a B fare point-to-point would be 30,000 EQP.

    If I take the DONE4 option, I need to think about the option of crediting to QF as it would be sufficient to retain QF Plat (1320 SCs) for another year. But the 67,000 AA miles are more valuable than the 65,000 QF FF points, especially if used for the same trip as my last FF point redemption (3 people BNE-PER-BNE), and even more so if you consider the extra fuel fines QF charge for the same award flights. So being half way to EXP is likely to win the day if I can convince the boss to pay the DONE4 fare.

    If I take the LONE4 option, I will be looking for a VIPOW from a US-based colleague to upgrade the LHR-ORD-DFW-MIA sectors, and then hopefully manage to upgrade MIA-DFW and DFW-SFO with miles.
     
  5. cowombat

    cowombat Intern

    Aug 17, 2005
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    All very worthy! Makes sense - I'm like Lindsay with lifetime QC membership (ahhhh I think it cost $1500 = $750 after a tax deduction about 1000 moons ago) and have lifetime Silver already. I'm 2000 SCs off lifetime Gold, but the miserly returns of QFF compared to AAdvantage mean I don't care - I'll get there in dribs and drabs if the need for QFF points allocation arises.

    Last night I told she who must be obeyed not to expect her complimentary QF Gold membership with club entry next year now that I am committed to AAdvantage. That offer (at 2100 SCs pa) is about the only loss from the QF program. She probably has to go to Boston mid-year, so we'll get her onto the AA platinum challenge too - that will fix everything.

    Again, if anyone finds a better route to convert points to AA than via SPC, let's hear about it!!
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Thanks for posting Lindsay Wilson :D

    Brings up some issues which are also relevant to my thinking, although my circumstances are rather different.

    One thing to note is that I would be wary of changing solely for a long term benefit (lifetime status) as that could well be "enhanced" by the time you get there (either harder qualification - eg what if AA stops including CC spend? - and/or less benefits). That said, I dont think you're in that position as the better upgrades and awards value will also be worthwhile in the interim.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Thanks for posting Lindsay Wilson :D

    Brings up some issues which are also relevant to my thinking, although my circumstances are rather different.

    One thing to note is that I would be wary of changing solely for a long term benefit (lifetime status) as that could well be "enhanced" by the time you get there (either harder qualification - eg what if AA stops including CC spend? - and/or less benefits). That said, I dont think you're in that position as the better upgrades and awards value will also be worthwhile in the interim.
     
  8. QF WP

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    Thanks for your comments Kiwi Flyer...both of them :D

    Whilst that is a part of my thought process (the benefits of LTG & LTP), as you mention the better part of the overall switch of program is the burn rate.

    As I probably am likely to the Platinum until 28 Feb 07 and Gold thereafter(as my travel is likely to be maintained at present levels and fare classes); I'm certainly not out there for the QF Gold benefits but they are overshadowed by the possible AA benefits (sure they can move the goalposts, but I doubt they are likely to for those tier levels).

    I alao think it is prudent to diversify amongst two programs and have already seen the benefits of having my other family members as AA members. My parents would have made AA Plat in April 2003 had it not been for the AA SYD office not putting them on an AA Challenge; however my wife made Plat in Sept 2004 and my M-i-L August 2005). All I need to do is get one of us there every year and then use any points they don't need.

    We are looking to continue flying to USA (relatives on the West Coast and my wife loves New York) and therefore will be able to use the benefits of both our AA memberships and my lifetime QP access.
     
  9. QF WP

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    Update #1, 12/4/06

    Plat Challenge in place starting 16 April, with my major flights being QF B class BNE/PER/ADL/SYD/BNE (starting 27 April). I've also got QF BNE/MEL/BNE and BNE/TSV/CNS/BNE planned in K (hoping to fit in after 16 April and before 27th, so the BNE/PER is my "meet the Challenge" flight as it will give me the best bonus, alas only 2,244 miles :cry: ).

    SPG points haven't posted to my AAccount yet...
     
  10. QF WP

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    Update #2, 17/4/06

    Well, they've posted now:

    Code:
    Date     Transaction Description* Mileage  Bonus   Total 
    STARTING BALANCE                                   7,816 
    04/09/06 STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST    0    25,000  25,000 
    and my summary shows:

    Program to Date Miles: 32,816
     
  11. DPG

    DPG Member

    Oct 23, 2005
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    I am very much intrigued by all of the above information, and switching to AAdvantage has definately been in my thoughts, especially after the 'hamper' effort from QF after issues with my last trip!

    I am flying DRW-SYD tonight and this will requalify me for WP until 30 Sep 2007, and it has got me thinking... I am still 45% of LTS and 24% off LTG... So probably 3 and 6 years off respectively.

    One thing I would like to know with AAdvantage is:
    Can I request award seats like I can do with QF WP?

    This is probably the one thing which is most useful to me as a QF WP, as my time off is alway limited to 2 weeks at a time, so planning trips becomes an exact science!

    Thanks in Advance!

    D P G from a wet Darwin!

    Edited as my grammar was hopeless! :shock:
     
  12. drron

    drron Enthusiast

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    Thanks lindsay.I have strongly considered going down this path as well.If you do find a way with citibank points to get them to AA please let us know.
    I presume also that the bonus points you get with elite status also count to lifetime status.I am considering next year a DONE4 and starting both a gold and platinum challenge on the same day.Would qualify gold on BNE-HKG and platinum on HKG-BCN.Great to have all segments get a bonus when starting from scratch.
     
  13. one9

    one9 Active Member

    Sep 14, 2005
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    Is there any way to get points from normal Australian issued cards to AA. For example I have over 1.5 million points with CBA Platinum Visa and NAB Amex Gold. Is there any way to get them to AA? Or can you only transfer Amex points to AA?


    But what you will pay is a fee of USD $50 or USD $100 if making an award booking within 21 days of departure. I find it very easy to get available seats if making bookings very close to departure when flying to Singapore/Bangkok/Hong Kong, and as such usually book very close to departure. This is a signifcant fee.
     
  14. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

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    You could have a look at this site:

    http://www.webflyer.com/programs/mileage_converter/

    Helps with working out creative ways of transferring points legally between schemes. But I think you're OOL with most Australian CC's as they just transfer to Qantas and little else.
     
  15. QF WP

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    I've never had to use points for award seats...I think I've done it twice since 1987. They were both before I learnt about AFF, Flyertalk and the better benefit (value) of using points for upgrades. So I now also buy economy or business and use points for upgrades (with higher loads, the chances of op ups have decreased markedly).

    I'm looking , don't worry - but if I can't then I'll just have to burn them on QF upgrades. I'm not using my CB Plat as much anymore (only when my Amex isn't accepted), thus I'm getting 1.5 points/$1 and getting the availability to flush them through SPG.

    All points earned on your AAccount go towards their lifetime achievement levels.

    Just be careful about double challenges using the same start date. Two problems I foresee (and have been mentioned over on the AA Board on Flyertalk):

    1. AA CSA picks up on it (say you've already linked for a Gold Challenge, you ring back and ask the second CSA to lodge a Plat Challenge, they actually look at your account and delete the Gold Challenge and simply put on the Plat Challenge)
    2. The system recognises the Gold Challenge only
    3. The system doesn't recognise either

    Your outcome may vary, and I wish you luck. Is it really worth the "risk" to get 50% bonus mileage on a BNE/HKG sector (bonus ~ 4,000 points) if it all goes pear shaped (because once they've credited, you can't revert). I've decided just to go for the Plat Challenge in my upcoming flights next week (plus in the next month).

    Can't help you with those cards, but Mal's answer probably gives an answer (not the one you wanted :roll: ).

    Similar answer to DPG above - would never use them for award flights, so not likely to incur those fees.
     
  16. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

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    True; I wouldn't tend to be booking at late notice; even so , USD100 is still less than the QF fuel fines

    For those that travel frequently and can get to AA Executive Platinum, these fees do not apply

    Dave
     
  17. QF WP

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    Well, the first flight posted towards my Plat Challenge:

    Code:
    Date     Transaction Description*     Mileage Bonus  Total 
             STARTING BALANCE                           32,816 
    04/27/06 QANTAS AIRWAYS 589 Y BNE PER 2,246     0    2,246 
    This flight (as a full Y) got me 1.5 EQP's; so 3,369 towards my 10,000 target.
     
  18. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Great idea for a thread and summary thanks Lindsay Wilson :D .
     
  19. QF WP

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    Well on the way to AA Platinum after my first flights. Luckily I was able to upgrade to full Y (given the corporate discount I was able to access from my client):

    Code:
    Date     Transaction Description*      Mileage Bonus Total 
    04/27/06 QANTAS AIRWAYS 589 Y BNE PER  2,246     0    2,246 
    05/02/06 QANTAS AIRWAYS 810 J PER ADL  1,351   338    1,689
    05/03/06 QANTAS AIRWAYS 656 J ADL BNE    971   243    1,214 
    TOTAL MILES POSTED                     4,568   581    5,149
    ENDING BALANCE                                       37,965 
    So have ended up getting 3,369 EQP's for BNE/PER, 2,027 EQP's for PER/ADL and 1,457 EQP's for ADL/BNE (6,853 EQP's towards my 10K target). Have to love AAdvantage posting two Y flight on one's AAccount as J flights (I scored a points upgrade to J using some of my QFF points) :D. Another 581 points towards my 1M target:

    Code:
    Mileage Summary Summary Date: May 2006 
      
    Program to Date Miles: 37,965  
      
    YTD Elite Qualifying Points: 12,069  
      
    YTD Elite Qualifying Miles: 9,784  
      
    YTD Elite Qualifying Segments: 8  
      
    Miles with Expiration Deferred Through 5/03/09: 37,965  
      
    Upgrade Account Balance: 0  
      
    Total Available Award Mileage + 37,965
     
  20. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    Hey Lindsay Wilson... might be time for a new avatar:

    [​IMG]

    I'm gonna have to find the time to read through that AAdvantage Platinium Challenge thread. If I am making 4 SYD-SIN trips in J or F each year plus an average of 2 domestic flights per month in Y, would it be worth my while to switch programs?
     
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