Melbourne to Phuket – Points or Pay?

If you are sitting on a stack of points, it can be pretty tempting to use them. Sometimes it makes sense, while other times, it seems the airlines can make it hard to use them. So when do you pull the trigger? This week, one of our members poses such a dilemma.

Hi guys, really need some help as I am going crazy!! Trying to book a flight to Phuket July next year, ideally business class and I just cant work out what to do. I am a Velocity member with 300,000 points and would prefer to fly Virgin but as they only operate 737s there they are ruled out. Also very frustrated with Virgin as it will be another $6-7k in airfares that will end up going to a rival because they don’t offer an adequate service!

While Qantas has its One World alliance partners, Virgin must rely on a few individual partner arrangements to help out. Fortunately for our member, Virgin also offer a new feature not previously see in Frequent Flyer programs, the ability to transfer points from one partner to another.

I would either convert your Velocity points to Krisflyer miles and redeem for Singapore Airlines for Business Class

At this stage the only partner participating in the transfer is Singapore Airlines. And it’s may not always be a cheap option, with miles converting with a 35% premium, so you need 135 miles to get 100 in the other airline. But it does give members access to a greater range of award seats as if they had earned the miles with the partner airline in the first place.

Aside from transferring to Singapore Airlines, there are of course other options. Purchasing miles in an overseas airline’s frequent flyer program can be a good way of saving money.

Go have a look at the Frugal Flying article in the knowledge centre, specifically the Avianca Life Miles section, Thai Airways should be well under $2000

Whether you use miles you have, or buy miles, there will always be the risk that seats may not be available when it comes time to book. Using the experience of our members, sometimes you can soon work out the chances of getting what you want.

Thai Airlines will usually only release 2 seats at a time (I’m guessing you’re searching for 3 at once?). When those two seats are booked they usually release 2 more.

Thai has some of the best J availability of any airline in the world – I’ve never had an issue booking 6 – 9 months out

There is no doubt that those points you have earned are worth money, however sometimes there is better value to be had in using them in ways that may not always be obvious. Have you found it hard to use points recently, perhaps you have travel in mind and are not sure what’s your best option, why not ask the question HERE.


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