By Chris Chamberlin, September 12 2014

Want to earn double Qantas or Velocity Frequent Flyer points on your travels? You’ll need to register and book this week to be in with a shot, so don’t miss the boat!

Speaking of Qantas Points, you’ll soon be able to earn them – and more importantly, earn status credits – on WestJet when flying to and within Canada, with connections from Qantas’ own flights to Los Angeles and Honolulu.

Also in this week’s wrap, we show how to use your Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for a first class upgrade to London or Los Angeles, and how to earn frequent flyer points, enjoy perks and get 20% off food and beverage when staying with IHG hotels such as the InterContinental and Crowne Plaza brands.

Or, if you’re looking to stay at the Park Hyatt hotel in Sydney, you could save over $300 per night on the standard room rate by taking advantage of a neat ‘buying points’ offer through Hyatt Gold Passport.

To wind things up, Westpac customers are about to earn fewer points on payments to the Tax Office, Virgin Atlantic is making its premium economy award seats available for 25% fewer points, and Apple is mulling a reward scheme of its very own – that’s all in this week’s wrap.

LAST CHANCE: Earn double Qantas, Virgin Australia Velocity points on flights

Today is your last chance to book your Qantas flights while earning double frequent flyer points on your travels.

The deal shuts down at midnight tonight – so if you’ll be flying through February next year on Qantas and its partner airlines, book your QF-coded flights today to earn double points when you fly.

Virgin Australia is also serving up double points to its Velocity members for bookings made before 11:59pm on Saturday September 13 for travel through March 2015, but only on Virgin Australia-operated flights – not on codeshares with its partners such as Singapore Airlines and Etihad.

Don’t miss out on the Qantas deal: Qantas unleashes double frequent flyer points

Also: Double Velocity Frequent Flyer points with Virgin Australia

Earning points at InterContinental, Crowne Plaza hotels through IHG Rewards Club

Whether you stay for just one night or spend the better part of a year at hotels such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, it’s worth investigating IHG Rewards Club.

Even at the entry-level, members get perks like free Internet access, late check-outs and a free weekday newspaper right off the bat, so there’s no reason not to join.

You’ll earn IHG points that can be swapped for free hotel stays or even for airline points or miles with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Emirates, or you can instead choose to earn frequent flyer points directly with your favourite airline.

Get started today: IHG's Rewards Club loyalty scheme for Aussie travellers

Qantas Frequent Flyers to earn points, status credits on WestJet flights in Canada

Qantas will kick off codeshare flights on Canadian airline WestJet from next month, at which time Qantas Frequent Flyer members can also earn points and status credits on WestJet flights when booking on the Qantas codeshare.

Travellers on the Red Roo’s flights to Los Angeles and Honolulu will be able to continue their journey to Vancouver with WestJet, which complements Qantas’ existing codeshare arrangements with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines for flights between LA and Vancouver.

Also on the list are flights to cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa with WestJet.

Read more: Qantas to partner with WestJet on Canadian flights

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 25% off premium economy awards

Virgin Atlantic is making its premium economy seats available for 25% fewer Flying Club miles on a number of popular routes, along with award seats in economy on the same flights.

While Virgin Atlantic no longer flies to Sydney, Aussies could still travel to the likes of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo or Dubai on their own steam and then fly with Virgin Atlantic onwards to London Heathrow.

25% off Virgin Atlantic premium economy awards? That'll do nicely...

The deal runs for all economy and premium economy frequent flyer redemptions made from now until October 7 2014 on eligible Virgin Atlantic-operated flights over the coming year, so if you’ve still got a stockpile of Flying Club miles, here’s how you could burn through them in style.

Read more: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 25% off premium economy awards

Qantas, Virgin Australia Frequent Flyers get 20% off food, drinks at IHG hotels

Flashing your Qantas or Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer card at IHG hotels could land you double points and a 20% discount on in-house food & beverage until October 31.

The catch? You’ll need to choose the flexible ‘Airline Special’ rate, but on the dates we searched, we found it no more expensive than the normal ‘Best Flexible Rate’ at a number of properties.

That means you’re not paying more just to earn a few extra points, but also means there’s no reason not to choose it over a standard room rate.

See which hotels are on board: Qantas Frequent Flyers get 20% off food, drinks at IHG hotels

Using your Asia Miles to upgrade to first class with Cathay Pacific

If you’re trekking to London with Cathay Pacific in business class, why not use your Asia Miles for a first class upgrade?

While Cathay Pacific’s Australian flights don’t come with first class, you’ll find it on the longer legs from Hong Kong to the likes of London and Los Angeles.

To these cities, you’ll get that first class upgrade for just 85,000 Asia Miles on the round trip.

Here’s how it’s done: Cathay Pacific first class upgrade guide

How to save hundreds per night at the Park Hyatt Sydney hotel...

Members of Hyatt Gold Passport could save up to $325 per night off the normal room rates at the Park Hyatt Sydney hotel, thanks to a new ‘buying points’ promotion.

Until September 15 2014, travellers can enjoy bonuses of up to 30% when they buy Hyatt Gold Passport (HGP) points, which can then be redeemed for nights at hotels around the globe – including in Sydney.

Enjoy views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour from the Park Hyatt

All up, it’s cheaper to buy points from scratch and redeem them for an award stay than it is to pay for the actual room.

Here’s how it’s done: Buying Hyatt Gold Passport points for discounted hotel nights

iPhone 6, Apple Watch to launch new Apple rewards scheme?

Watch out, airlines and hotels – Apple is working on its own loyalty scheme, which could earn iPhone 6 users and Apple Watch wearers 'Apple Points' to redeem against iTunes content and Apple products.

No-one has yet tagged the scheme as iRewards, although we're sure that will come.

A source recently confirmed to Bank Innovation that IHG International, the global hotel chain, was in talks with Apple to develop a partnership on a loyalty program.

Read more: Buy stuff with your iPhone and earn Apple Points?

Westpac slashes credit card frequent flyer points on ATO payments

If you’ve been using your Westpac credit card to collect frequent flyer points on personal income tax obligations and HECS debt repayments, you’ll soon find yourself earning fewer points on those payments – or even none whatsoever.

From November 9, the bank’s range of Altitude and Qantas Earth cards all take an earning hit, with 0.75 Qantas Points per dollar the most you’ll earn with Westpac’s top-tier Earth Black card.

See how much you’ll soon earn: Westpac slashes credit card points on ATO payments

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Friday