What is best value in earning points.

7 replies

charlieg

QantasFF Platinum

Member since 16 Feb 2012

Total posts 133

What is best value in earning points.

If only flying on Qantas and Virgin domestic routes. Platinum earning in both, and will easily keep status with both. Already Lifetime Gold in QFF, so no need to unnecessarily build up QFF as first choice.

Not worried about service offerings as predominantly fly short sectors, and already get top tier status perks.

I always book cheapest fare on QF/VA, with points earning eg: VA MEL-ADL 1600 Points (800 + 800) vs. QF MEL-ADL 800 points (400 + 400)

Yes, VA give more points! So, what is the best value in points redemption?

In the past I only use points for booking redemption flights.

Looking round-trip MEL-ADL-MEL in May 2015, VA want Y 20,800 points / J 34,600 vs. QF want Y 16,000 / J 32,000

Comments please, are VA redemption rates really more value, and is it worth justifying me using VA than QF? Or are there better options for redeeming points for something else that hold more value?

Serg

QFF

Member since 12 Apr 2013

Total posts 870

Best value in point redemption is business and first class tickets in international routes. Period. Period again. If you do not fly overseas for whatever reason buy those tickets to members of family, like wedding present for example (yep first class to LA!) – cheaper for you and will be very appreciated by receiver! 

Andrew Barkery

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2011

Total posts 427

Wrong calculations:

VA, its per $ spent for domestic travel, the more you pay, the more you get.  ADL MEL $99 will get you base 495 VA points, plus a bit more if you have status with them, 1.50 points per $1 spent for Australian domestic traveller as a VA Silver FF member.  Earns do not include the credit card fee.

QF, 800 minimum guaranteed, never go below, on all classes in Australia, QF will always give you 800, not 400.  QF will also give status members more points.

Andrew Barkery

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2011

Total posts 427

I think its cheaper to pay for a trip within Australia, really, unless you get a J PER to BNE/SYD/MEL ensuring its in a 330.  Have done it on VA and QF.  On ADL to MEL or VV, pay for the travel, save the points, ... join the QP if you haven't, or the Lounge.

Have tried VA MEL Lounge, and have done VA PER Lonunge, and VA SYDd Lounge, can complain, but the food is a bit better in the QP (main meal times).

Between the 2, despite the QF Jul 14 changes, I will still put more value on QF than VA.

Oh, and personally, for a reward, I would go points plus pay (some don't like it/do it that way), but a F class from SYD to MEL to AKL on the 380!

Propofol88

QF Platinum

Member since 24 Jan 2013

Total posts 85

Earning points:

- I normally fly J class domestically and being VA Platinum, I get 100% extra bonus points flying them. For example, return SYD-ADL recently earned me around 11,000 points on a "discounted" $1100 fare. With QF, I would've paid more ($1800) and earned a lot fewer points. However, QF is better points earning value when flying Y class due to the minimum points guarantee

- Internationally, QF is better value earning points especially if you are Gold/Platinum and flying QF metal. VA doesn't fly many places abroad and IMO the cost of flying a VA codeshare flights is not worth the extra points. I fly SQ to Asia and Europe if I'm not flying QF, and the amount of points I earn (even when flying Suites/First) is paltry. For example, recent F class from SYD-HKG (via SIN) earned only 14,000 points return. When QF still flew F to HKG I earned a more handsome 25,000 points.

- It is easier to earn VA points by credit card than it is with QF. My AMEX cards (Reserve/Edge and NAB) earn me up to 3 VA points per dollar and Citibank Prestige VISA earns me 1.33 VA points per dollar. My highest earning QF credit card is the CBA Platinum AMEX which only does 1.5 points per dollar. Once in a while, AMEX will have promotions when you transfer points to VA (Ie. 15% bonus)

 

Redeeming flights:

- VA is cheaper to redeem points domestically (both Y and J class) for reward fares and upgrades. Also the ugprades are confirmed immediately and there is no wait list

- Internationally, VA is not the best for redemptions. There's not many international flights on VA metal and codeshares cost a lot of points! A lot more than QF, esp in J class. And you don't have access to alliance airlines worldwide unlike with QF. VA does allows points transfers to SQ for redemption on Star Alliance flights, but you do suffer a ~30% fall in points. More efficient to accumulate the credit card points and transfer direct to SQ, than to VA initially and then onto SQ

 

Verdict:

- Although QF offer a noticeably superior product to VA (Eg. lounges, in-flight entertainment, food, seating, Etc.),  I find VA more bang for my buck domestically than QF for both earning points and redeeming flights (especially if you do domestic travel mainly in J class). Most flights are 1.5-2.5 hrs long and not worth the extra cost

- If you do mainly international flights, I'd stick with QF as there is more options for flights to redeem and the earning rates are heaps better (esp if Gold/Plat member), and the cost of flying in J is at times on par if not cheaper than their competitors.

Hugo

Member since 12 Jun 2013

Total posts 216

Two schools of thought. Either the best value is in premium-cabin international routes, or the best value is in whatever trip you would be spending real money on anyway. 

If you spend 300,000 points to get a first-class ticket worth $10,000, are you really getting three and a bit cents per point of value? Not, I would argue, unless you're the sort of person who would otherwise have spent a very real $10,000. I'm not rich enough to fly first class for cash, so the notional dollar value of a first-class trip to me is lower.

While I'm on the subject, however: if you do have a lot of VA points and want to fly internationally, investigate whether converting them to SQ points and redeeming on SQ is better value. 

smit0847

Member since 30 Aug 2013

Total posts 148

This. It's not 'worth' what they charge for it, its worth what you would be willing to pay for it.

Watch our for the enormous fuel surcharges on SQ via Krisflyer - they're almost as bad as QF!

Jono

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 25 Jan 2013

Total posts 108

Good question. As someone who has been hoarding QF points for ages, without a specific goal in mind, I've often pondered this myself.

The front runner is using my QF points for a MEL to NYC return ticket in CX Business as whilst they fly 777's, the seats look cool and similar to the previous poster, I'm not sure I'd ever part with actual cash for it. I just cashed in some VA points for a return trip from MEL to CBR. However, they were points that were gifted to me by the bank.

I've always been told that the best use for points in order of value was: upgrades, business/first return airfares, economy airfares, everyday giftcards.

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