Travel between AUS and Europe?

Discussion in 'American Airlines AAdvantage' started by slodki, Jul 20, 2006.

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  1. slodki

    slodki Intern

    Jan 3, 2005
    73
    4
    Hi all!

    Im trying to make the decision of which carrier to join for the FF program. At the moment its between Qantas and AA. I'm more leaning to AA as from what i gather the burn rates are much better then Qantas, plus their points don't expire like Qantas' (correct?)

    Basically i have an import business, and came to the conclusion to use the CC (AMEX awards maximiser?) to make all the business purchases on the CC, including paying the suppliers for the container loads imported. I have to figure out a way to use the CC to pay them directly, or find some kinf of foreign exchange company that will give the best USD/AUD rates and accepts CC.

    Now, as some might imagine, i won't be earning the points through flying, but rather through spending on the CC. Basically i would like to make the most of these points when ever i do decide to fly. The main destinations would be Europe and US (Frankfurt, Germany and JFK). Just wondering if i can use the AA awards to make book flights to Europe? I've tried looking at their site and i can't seem to find any info about flights originating from MEL to Frankfurt etc. Even on the partner airlines. Does anyone know if this type of travel is indeed possible, and can someone show me a link with some more info?

    Basically, i'll be earning my points through CC spending and not flying. I don't really mind not having any status points as i wouldn't fly regularly enough to have any benefit from them. Im just trying to find the best FF program to join that will make the most of the points i earn through spending the money that i have to spend anyway. I know the banks don't like/want the CC to be used for business purchases, but i doubt they would mind.

    If anyone could offer some tips/insight etc i would greatly appreciate it.

    Regards,
    slodki
     

  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    If all your earning is going to be with CCs , then earn to burn can be slightly worse on AA than QF when trying to redeem economy awards but a lot better on business and 1st, plus no fuel surcharges to pay on the awards, so I would tend to AA.

    Also, if you manage to reach the point of earning 1,000,0000 lifetime total accrual to AA you will get lifetime Gold status and should you reach 2,000,000 then you will get lifetime platinum status, whilst with QF you have no chance to attain lifetime status based on CC earning

    You can indeed use the AA or QF points for redeeming on flights to Europe

    Dave
     
  3. slodki

    slodki Intern

    Jan 3, 2005
    73
    4
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the reply! Yes, i noticed that economy fares would be slightly higher burn rates, however no fuel surcharges makes up for it. I never knew about the lifetime status once one million points are earned, that definately is a good bonus!

    Sorry for being so naive dave, but could you point out where i can find the points required to travel from MEL to Europe? I've tried to 'book' a ticket online at AA but they said no award flights available? I also found some kind of table showing the points required for travel between certain regions and i couldn't find any points for travel between the asia regions and Europe?

    Last question, when traveling to Europe would this be through Qantas (as well as AUS & NZ travel), and to the US would obviously (i think at least) be through AA, or Qantas as well? As you can see, im new to this so i need all the help i can get.. Also, the AMEX awards maximiser is the best card to have when trying to earn and then convert to AA points, correct?
     
  4. Mwenenzi

    Mwenenzi Established Member

    May 17, 2006
    1,801
    254
    MEL
    CC points to AA

    If your CC is from Aust you have no way of getting the points to AA (unless you want to loose a lot of the miles converting between programmes ).
     
  5. slodki

    slodki Intern

    Jan 3, 2005
    73
    4
    Re: CC points to AA

    Yes you will loose points, however when they are converted they come close to 1point per USD (i read that somewhere here) which is usually what the americans have. Also the burn rates are better then Qantas rates, so in the end i think it is worth it.

    One thing i would need to know about the AMEX awards maximiser, is do you earn points on cash advances? If not, is there any AMEX card that does allow points earning for cash advances?
     
  6. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    Re: CC points to AA


    I don't know whether cash advances provide points however on the other questions

    You are correct about the exchange rate ( about 0.8 points per USD ) and I allowed for that in my earlier post about values.

    MEL-Europe is 90k economy, 120k business and 160k 1st class using AA points
    MEL-Europe is 128k economy, 256k business and 384k 1st class using QF points

    The AA points table can be found on http://www.aa.com/apps/AAdvantage/ViewMileageProgramsPartnerDetail.jhtml?fileName=All_Airline_Award_Chart.xml&repositoryName=AAdvantagePartnersContentRepository&repositoryId=16002720&itemDescriptor=AAdvantagePartnersContent

    Dave
     
  7. alect

    alect Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    348
    3
    MEL
    AA miles expire 3 years from last activity date. Any activity (incl CC transfer/earn, bonus, etc) extends expiration of miles balance for 3 years from the date of that last activity.
     
  8. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Another AAdvantage if you can attain AA Platinum status (either through Plat challenge, regular flying, or accumulating 2,000,000 AA miles, you have better award availability between Australia and Europe when using BA (access to V class inventory). But of course that only helps for economy travel.

    The biggest problem with earning large points balances with credit card earning is the ability to burn the points on premium cabin flights. Without status in the FF program you are going to find it hard to successfully redeem for upgrades (especially on QF where they cannot be confirmed at the time of booking. AA had the advantage here of you can reach Lifetime Platinum by earning 2 million AA miles (earned any way you can, including credit card spending).
     
  9. slodki

    slodki Intern

    Jan 3, 2005
    73
    4
    Thanks for all the replies guys/gals! Much appreciated! I leaning more and more towards AA, especially after seeing the burn rates between AA and QFF, not to mention the much lower charges that AA have.

    Most of the flights i would probably redeem business or first, as you mentioned with no status it would be hard to upgrade flights, but its still a possibility.

    Now, all i have to find out is about cash advances (as a last resort) and if i can earn points on them.

    By saying that the AA points don't 'expire' i knew that you have to have some sort of activity within a 3 year period, but correct me if im wrong, QFF doesn't have such policy? Points just expire after a number of years if they are not redeemed, regardles of earning activity, correct?
     
  10. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    #10 serfty, Jul 21, 2006
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2006
    Incorrect!.

    'Tis similar to AAdvantage in the manner you noted. 36 consecutive months of inactivity will do it!

    Here's more from the QFF T&C's:
     
  11. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    Canberra ACT
    That used to be the case, but as serfty pointed out it is not the case any more.

    One of the few "enhancements" to the system in recent years which was actually in the member's favour.
     
  12. NM

    NM
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    And note that activity does not mean it has to be flying activity. Any earn or burn of points/miles qualifies as activity and then defers any points/miles expiry a further 36 months. This is the same for QF and AA programs.
     
  13. mick

    mick Member

    Apr 12, 2005
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    Re: CC points to AA

    With the Amex Rewards Maximiser, you are automatically enrolled in Ascent, which has this in its T&Cs:

    So, the answer is no, you cannot accrue points for cash advances using the Amex RM and I doubt for any other Amex card - at least that's the way it looks on their website.
     
  14. slodki

    slodki Intern

    Jan 3, 2005
    73
    4
    Hi Mick,

    I just found that out recently as well, what a bummer.. I think i'll have to see if the suppliers accept CC, or try to use a foreign exchange service that accepts CC payments.

    Well i have decided to go with AA, now just a matter of finding out how to get the points comming along. One last question, i can use any AMEX card, then transfer to starwood account correct? Obviously the awards maximiser would be ideal with the 1.5FF points per dollar.
     
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