Answered - What to do next...? [Newly Silver, expansion?] | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Answered What to do next...? [Newly Silver, expansion?]

J.D.

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I've had a look around and haven't really found the advice I'm looking for, despite AFF's very clever search system.

I have about 100.000 points and just became a silver member. Not many points, I know, but that's how it is. I'm not a member of the Qantas Club. The app advises me I have 340 more status credits before I become a Gold Member (ahem...). I live in Melbourne and don't have a huge amount of spare cash.

From what I understand, the way this all works is by accruing as many points as you can by using the appropriate credit cards and other means to gain more FF points and by shopping around for airfares you may have to book yourself. So that if I want to fly from MEL to LHR, it's possible to do it cheaply, even in Business Class, by buying fares from different airlines via different destinations to gain cheap sector fares and better credits points etc.. I also get it that you can be a member of a partner airline's FF program and convert their points at Qantas point but only when paying for a fare.

Have I got all that right?

A friend of mine advised me to avid paying for an entire fare with FF points. He didn't say not to do it at all but with only 100K points, I can't do much anyway.

Anyhow, could some kind person take me through what they would do in my position to maximise my FF points and Status Credits? Seems to me there are a lot of people jetting about the world in business class and with lifetime status credits etc..

Any help appreciated.
 

RooFlyer

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By flying on Qantas or other onnWorld Airlines you will earn Qantas points and Status Credits if you have your Qantas FF number in the booking. . Flying Qantas earns you many more of both than flying the other airlines.

If you credit your flights to other frequent flyer programs, you cannot transfer them to Qantas FF.

You can use points for booking flights or buying stuff through the Qantas site. Booking points flights will still attract fees and charges payable in cash. Economy flights have cash charges very high in relation to The option of buying an economy ticket, so are regarded as ' bad value'. Business and first are better value but it's *very difficult* to get the seats on international popular routes. Catch 22.

Status credits determine your status in Qantas FF and reset every year. Your status determins the perk level you get. Gold is OK, but Platinum is where it starts to be useful in my opinion.
 
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GoldCanyon340

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I have about 100.000 points and just became a silver member. Not many points, I know, but that's how it is. I'm not a member of the Qantas Club. The app advises me I have 340 more status credits before I become a Gold Member (ahem...). I live in Melbourne and don't have a huge amount of spare cash.

From what I understand, the way this all works is by accruing as many points as you can by using the appropriate credit cards and other means to gain more FF points and by shopping around for airfares you may have to book yourself. So that if I want to fly from MEL to LHR, it's possible to do it cheaply, even in Business Class, by buying fares from different airlines via different destinations to gain cheap sector fares and better credits points etc.. I also get it that you can be a member of a partner airline's FF program and convert their points at Qantas point but only when paying for a fare.

Have I got all that right?
Mostly right...although the last part is maybe off. You can redeem a partner airline's points for a Qantas award flight if that's what you mean. And vice versa as well with a premium. For instance flying QF First Class from Australia to London is 192k points but do it with QF/BA via HKG and it's 207k points.

A friend of mine advised me to avid paying for an entire fare with FF points. He didn't say not to do it at all but with only 100K points, I can't do much anyway.
Buying award fares is not a one size fits all situation. I wouldn't call your friend's advice the best.

Seems to me there are a lot of people jetting about the world in business class and with lifetime status credits etc..
Some of us have been doing this for a long time! :p
 

RooFlyer

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If you accumulate a lot of points without high status you have to book very far in advance (10-11 months) AND be flexible as to dates and even destinations to be able to redeem for business seats onQantas. Other airlines can be a bit easier, but not on popular routes like London or LA. Then there will still be a cash component payable.

To earn status you simply have to fly the miles BUT Qantas does have occasional bonus status credit offers which can make getting to Platinum a bit easier, but it still takes hard cash fees to attain.
 

J.D.

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By flying on Qantas or other onnWorld Airlines you will earn Qantas points and Status Credits if you have your Qantas FF number in the booking. . Flying Qantas earns you many more of both than flying the other airlines.

If you credit your flights to other frequent flyer programs, you cannot transfer them to Qantas FF.
So what's the point of belonging to another program like say Alaska Air (or whatever it's called)? I have listened to the webinar that talks about getting a membership and using a high point exchange credit card to buy point. Why do that if I can't redeem them for a Qantas fare.

Status credits determine your status in Qantas FF and reset every year. Your status determins the perk level you get. Gold is OK, but Platinum is where it starts to be useful in my opinion.
At the moment, Platinum is simply unrealistic for me. I don't fly for work any more and I don't have a huge amount of spare cash. I know I will have to fly a few sectors to even start to get towards Gold and I'm aware it resets every year.

Mostly right...although the last part is maybe off. You can redeem a partner airline's points for a Qantas award flight if that's what you mean. And vice versa as well with a premium. For instance flying QF First Class from Australia to London is 192k points but do it with QF/BA via HKG and it's 207k points.
I presume you mean one way... How does one go about redeeming those points if they were accrued through a partner airline?

Buying award fares is not a one size fits all situation. I wouldn't call your friend's advice the best
I sort of get that. I think he was advising me based on my current points level.

Some of us have been doing this for a long time! :p
That's why I asked! I was hoping someone would share the big secret.

To earn status you simply have to fly the miles BUT Qantas does have occasional bonus status credit offers which can make getting to Platinum a bit easier, but it still takes hard cash fees to attain.
I sort of thought that might be the case. :( My last fare was booked on a sale like that, though I can't remember if status credits were involved. I do have a couple of other runs I want to do in the next few months anyway.
 

GoldCanyon340

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I presume you mean one way... How does one go about redeeming those points if they were accrued through a partner airline?
Yes one way. You redeem partner points from that partner airline's website by logging into your account there. So for instance I can search for London to New York on BA with my QF points on the QF website.

I sort of get that. I think he was advising me based on my current points level.
Points plus Pay can be prohibitively expensive points wise. It's better to have a longer term strategy to plan flights and realistic point earn with a mind to system range and when flights become available. I work on a minmum 18 to 24-month window for planning even though you can't book that far out.

That's why I asked! I was hoping someone would share the big secret.
If you get into the world of status runs then lifetime status becomes not too difficult if you plan correctly. You just have to ask if it's worth it; it's a hobby for me as I gave up on stamp collecting when I was 10 :p
 

J.D.

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Yes one way. You redeem partner points from that partner airline's website by logging into your account there. So for instance I can search for London to New York on BA with my QF points on the QF website.
What if I wanted to use BA points on Qantas? Presumably, I can't do that...?

Points plus Pay can be prohibitively expensive points wise. It's better to have a longer term strategy to plan flights and realistic point earn with a mind to system range and when flights become available. I work on a minmum 18 to 24-month window for planning even though you can't book that far out.
Yeah, I know. Everything seems to stop at about the 11 month mark. So how do you get any idea of what the fares are or when will be the optimum time to book? Where are you getting the info from?

If you get into the world of status runs then lifetime status becomes not too difficult if you plan correctly. You just have to ask if it's worth it; it's a hobby for me as I gave up on stamp collecting when I was 10 :p
Okay, I'm game. Travel was a hobby for me until I injured myself at work. Because I was no longer doing the same job, I lost all my travel and bonuses and also lost all my Qantas FF points (back in 2012 when they decided to retire some debt at my expense). I lost about 60% of my income. Tip: don't ever hurt yourself at work, especially not in Victoria.

It's the planning thing I want to know about because I don't know where to start. Do you use sites/apps like Momondo or is it verboten to talk about those things here? :D Or are you using airline websites and waiting for them to notify you of a sale or double points bonus? I don't mind putting the time and effort in. I spend a lot of time looking at discounted fares online so it probably wouldn't involve any more time than I'm already putting in.

Any help you can give me on this will be greatly appreciated.
 

RooFlyer

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So what's the point of belonging to another program like say Alaska Air (or whatever it's called)? I have listened to the webinar that talks about getting a membership and using a high point exchange credit card to buy point. Why do that if I can't redeem them for a Qantas fare.
Alaskan is a different beast. The main reason for joining that program is that you can *buy* their miles somewhat cheaply (with a good bonus offer) and then you can redeem with a bunch of different airlines around the world. Including Qantas, but you would't go that way. If you get Qantas points with your credit card spend, then you can 'double dip' when you buy the miles.

Alaskan are also a Qantas partner, which means you can book and earn points but not status credits.

You can buy miles with a number of foreign airline programs, and they have their place, but not usually flying within Australia.BA is an exception. Their Avios can be good value flying QF domestically, but recently had a bit of
f a devaluation.
 
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RooFlyer

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What if I wanted to use BA points on Qantas? Presumably, I can't do that...?
you can use BA Avios for Qantas flights (both Qantas FF points and BA Avios can be used to book other OneWorld flights. But you are booking through BA not through Qantas frequent flyer.

It's the planning thing I want to know about because I don't know where to start. Do you use sites/apps like Momondo or is it verboten to talk about those things here?
Definitely not . All tips and ways to get ahead welcome!
 

samh004

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So where do I start?
At the beginning ;) but that point will be different for different people.

I'd work out where you want to go, and when. That's the key consideration, from there you can look at your flexibility in terms of destinations nearby that are similar and flexibility in when you travel. Then, as you say, you have to put the time and effort in and work out what everything is going to cost, when seats will be released, and work to hit those goals.

Talking in hypotheticals like we are here doesn't help particularly. So, what's the trip? That's the first stage.
 

J.D.

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Sep 26, 2013
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Europe. Next year. Probably March to May. Don’t really care which country I start in. Prefer ports like Vienna (because I know it very well) but Berlin or Copenhagen would do. All those places appear to be, by and large, a bit cheaper than London or Paris.

What do I do now?
 
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J.D.

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Is anyone going to help here? There seems to be a lot of nudge, nudge, wink, wink and not much else.

Do I wait for Qantas to announce double status points and do a status run? Do I buy up 10,000 FF points (through another program 'cause Qantas is expensive)? Where do I find flights 12 months in advance?

I'm guessing "yes" to the first and maybe something else.

Anyone want to advance an idea on what that might be?
 

calmelb

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Is anyone going to help here? There seems to be a lot of nudge, nudge, wink, wink and not much else.

Do I wait for Qantas to announce double status points and do a status run? Do I buy up 10,000 FF points (through another program 'cause Qantas is expensive)? Where do I find flights 12 months in advance?

I'm guessing "yes" to the first and maybe something else.

Anyone want to advance an idea on what that might be?
Really its quite hard to start off afresh. 10,000 FF points in any airline is not going to get you much further than a Melbourne to Sydney in Economy.

Really the waiting depends on the pricing for the fares you've currently found. If you get something really decently priced then I say skip waiting and snatch the cheap fares. These DSC events are random and may not happen anymore (or they might continue, no one knows).

No airline or hotel system has bookings more than 11 months out. This is how the whole system works, its around 350 days before the flight upon which the bookings start to be available (eg for a return you have to wait for your return flight to be available as well). The best bet is starting to plan where you want to go and what flight numbers (based on the current flight schedule if you were to book it now) so that when they do become available you can book them without umming or ahhing.

There isn't a whole lot more that we can help with, its up to you on where you want to go, where you think is a good destination, etc. Your best friends will be the Qantas Calculators (Link). You can play around with routings to see what you earn going where, note for the earning calculator when it asks what airline that is the flight code you book (Eg there is an Emirates flight EK408 which will earn 0 status credits because of it being Emirates but you can book via Qantas under the Qantas flight number QF8408, this will earn status credits), so don't assume that because you're on a Qantas branded plane you will earn the Qantas level points & SCs (As there are Emirates codeshares on Qantas flights too).
 

J.D.

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Okay, that looks like good information. Thank you.

I can already see the rate at which silver membership earns points at a different rate from bronze.
 

RichardMEL

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First, J.D. Welcome to AFF!

I know this is all a LOT to take in and it can be very confusing at the start specially trying to figure out what the best way to go is.

A few very good comments above I think.

My own two cents is along these lines..

- Consider your goals - short term, medium term and longer term. By this I mean.. What do you expect to get out of these loyalty programs overall - I mean we want it all of course, but realistically do you see your future in redeeming award (reward in Qantas speak) flights with points? or sticking loyal to a particular program and partners to accrue points and sttatus? These will be affected by -
- Consider your budgets (not much cash as you said)
- Consider your travel patterns - both current and predicted (ie you suggested a trip to Europe)

Now, from what you've said it seems like you're not travelling a lot on paid fares, and you mentioned that you're no longer doing any travel for work, so that is going to make that a lot harder if your travel is going to be mostly leisure and your budget is not huge for paid travel.

If this is likely to continue medium term, and say you'd like to redeem points for a "big" trip in style, then that might be a goal to work towards - but it won't happen (ahem) overnight. Potentially think about a trip - sao to europe, or the US, or Asia or whatever, and then figure out the ways you might want to make that happen. For example, looking towards a business class trip to Europe there are many POTENTIAL options.. it is snagging the (difficult availability) seat(s) that becomes the problem, and as noted by some above you need to plan well ahead, and be flexible as a lack of airline status makes the chace that much harder, but not impossible.

Since you have 100,000odd QFF points, and one presumes a credit card that is adding to this (and if not, you might want to consider some way to keep your account active so you do not lose those points if there is no activity in 18 months) that is a base for redemptions.. However QFF rewards often come with heavy fees and penalties, that other progreams, like Alaska MileagePlan, and AAdvantage do not (yet) have - hence the relative popularity of these US based programs which still allow for redemption of QF flights due to the partnerships.

Alaska (AS) also allows for edemptions on Emirates, like QF, and that can definitely be a way to europe due to the many many cities served by EK in europe which can offer more potential award seats.

So anyway before getting too complex and even more confusing for you I really think to look at some of the things I've written above, and try to get a sense of where you see you future in respect of travel patterns, ability to spend on either paid fares, or buying miles to redeem, flexibility in plans(specially when looking to FF points rewards) and so on. This may help form a strategy going forward.

Finally re Double Status Credits offers from QF. Honestly? I am not sure I would worry about that too much.. if you can't afford many paid trips then the status credits may not be much help, unless looking very long term in terms of lifetime status with QF. It's absolutely possible, but isn't cheap (but DSC make it cheaper for sure). Absolutely if one comes up and you can take advantage.. by all means, but I would not wait for it if your current travels have got you to Silver... there may not be a LOT of benefit, though it is possible to attain Gold, but that all depends on your membership year anniversary and so on. All things to consider.

Finally Status Credits are very different to points (or miles in some programs) and it can be confusing at times. For example, with very very very few exceptions no credit cards provide status credits - you normally only get these by flying, and in terms of QANTAS, flying on QF flights.(for DSC earn) or QF partner flights (which can earn less). So again, things to be taken into account.
 

J.D.

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First, J.D. Welcome to AFF!
Thank you!

- Consider your budgets (not much cash as you said)
- Consider your travel patterns - both current and predicted (ie you suggested a trip to Europe)
I just returned from Hong Kong, which I did on Qantas PE. As I have a bad back and I'm quite tall, economy wasn't an option unless I wanted to be carried off at the other end... Some things I can reasonably afford. I'm just being careful at the moment but I'm slightly optimistic about the future. We shall see.

Now, from what you've said it seems like you're not travelling a lot on paid fares, and you mentioned that you're no longer doing any travel for work, so that is going to make that a lot harder if your travel is going to be mostly leisure and your budget is not huge for paid travel.
Yeah, that's why I mentioned it. I understand that these things don't give you something for nothing. In fact, I understand that you ned a lot of flights to get a freebie or an upgrade anyway. Since I don't have many points to start with, it's unrealistic to expect much.

However, I've seen plenty of examples on this forum of people flying to Europe on a variety of different legs, using Qantas partner airlines and doing for half the listed fare, or even the discounted fare. If that's the reward for hard work researching, I'm in!

Potentially think about a trip - sao to europe, or the US, or Asia or whatever, and then figure out the ways you might want to make that happen. For example, looking towards a business class trip to Europe there are many POTENTIAL options.. it is snagging the (difficult availability) seat(s) that becomes the problem, and as noted by some above you need to plan well ahead, and be flexible as a lack of airline status makes the chace that much harder, but not impossible.
This is what I'm looking at. I'm acutely aware that I will be paying plenty for it but since I've got a tax return due... Anyhow, you get the idea. It's the potential options that are a bit confusing. The best value flights for One World members seem to be with Malaysia or Finnair, either of which I would be perfectly happy with. It's working out the high gain connections that makes it hard. I understand, for example, that London-Madrid with Iberia is (or was) a bit of a happy hunting ground for picking up SCs. It's finding things like that and integrating them into the plan that seems to be difficult and I guess this is where AFF comes in.

Since you have 100,000odd QFF points, and one presumes a credit card that is adding to this (and if not, you might want to consider some way to keep your account active so you do not lose those points if there is no activity in 18 months) that is a base for redemptions..
Yep. Got a Qantas-friendly credit card, as well as Qantas cash (which is not good for very much, actually...).

Alaska (AS) also allows for edemptions on Emirates, like QF, and that can definitely be a way to europe due to the many many cities served by EK in europe which can offer more potential award seats.
I don't know how to do this. I know it's basic stuff and integral to the method here. I have listened to a podcast about this and heard the tips about using a credit card that gets you more points and buying points through partner airlines where the cost per point is lower. But I also know that I can't, for example, convert Alaska Airlines points to Qantas.

Finally re Double Status Credits offers from QF. Honestly? I am not sure I would worry about that too much.. if you can't afford many paid trips then the status credits may not be much help, unless looking very long term in terms of lifetime status with QF. It's absolutely possible, but isn't cheap (but DSC make it cheaper for sure).
That depends on what it costs and what the gains are. It seems you don't get a lot for MEL-SYD but MEL-CBR might be different.

Finally Status Credits are very different to points (or miles in some programs) and it can be confusing at times. For example, with very very very few exceptions no credit cards provide status credits - you normally only get these by flying, and in terms of QANTAS, flying on QF flights.(for DSC earn) or QF partner flights (which can earn less). So again, things to be taken into account.
Yes, I know. Unfortunately, the deadline for me going to Gold member (ahem...) is October. I don't know if that is also when my silver expires though... That should be one year, shouldn't it?
 

calmelb

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That depends on what it costs and what the gains are. It seems you don't get a lot for MEL-SYD but MEL-CBR might be different.
Melbourne to Canberra is the same earn as Melbourne Sydney but also Canberra is a lot more expensive than Sydney. (MEL-CBR is a good economy reward in my opinion. Instead of 150-200 one way it’s $50 and 8000 pts)

Yes, I know. Unfortunately, the deadline for me going to Gold member (ahem...) is October. I don't know if that is also when my silver expires though... That should be one year, shouldn't it?
The website should tell you what the expiry is. Along with your card
 

JohnM

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There's no more I can add regarding earning points - just fly or spend on a linked CC.

Chasing points elsewhere other than QF seems likely to be more confusing than useful for you at this stage.

As far as redeeming points for flights goes, my suggestion is to get on the QF website and play around making some dummy bookings. For example, try an award booking from wherever you live to LHR or somewhere in Europe. Set up a dummy date say 330 days into the future (easily calculated here: Calculator: Add to or subtract from a date).

Choose 'flexible with dates' to broaden possibilities.

Rummage around until you find something that looks to be what you would like to do. Choose the flights and you will see the points and surcharges.

If 330 days works, try further ahead until you hit blank. That will tell you how far ahead to need to look. If 330 days doesn't work, do the reverse. Bear in mind that higher status people get access to the system ahead of those with lower status. That's one reason why premium cabin redemptions are so hard to get for lower status pax.

Availability in Business on QF flights to places like LHR are scarce, irrespective of status. But in the dummying you do, EK, QR, CX etc. will show up. EK is not a OneWorld Allaince member, but the partnership it has with QF is the best thing since sliced bread for opening up availability of award flights IMO. It tends to be my go-to option, especially living in PER which is poorly-serviced by QFi.

On multi-sector itineraries X-Y-Z watch for the alert splat that, when opened, will say words like 'Your flight from X-Y or Y-Z is in economy'. In other words, they will show mixed Bus/Econ options that you would probably wish to avoid.

I think you will find this the best way to get a feel for the system as far as redeeming points for flights is concerned.
 

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