Malaysia Airlines hikes Enrich frequent flyer redemption rates

By Chris Chamberlin , February 10 2015
Malaysia Airlines hikes Enrich frequent flyer redemption rates

Business and first class award flights with Malaysia Airlines will command considerably more Enrich miles from next week with the Qantas partner upping its redemption rates across the board.

The number of Enrich miles you’ll earn when travelling with MH will also change, with the least-expensive business class seats to earn nothing more than an economy ticket, and the cheapest economy fares dropping to a mere 0.25 miles per mile flown.

Here’s how the changes affect Aussie travellers.

Redeeming Enrich miles for Malaysia Airlines flights

A quick trip to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth currently costs 40,000 Enrich miles each way in business class and 22,500 Enrich miles in economy.

From February 16, that jumps to 55,000 Enrich miles in each direction for a seat at the pointy end – or 110,000 miles for a return trip – while the economy redemption cost remains unchanged on these routes.

Onward from KL to the likes of London, Paris and Frankfurt, travellers currently fork out 160,000 miles in each direction for a first class suite, 55,000 miles for a business class ticket and 30,000 miles for a seat down the back in economy.

Come next week, that also jumps to a staggering 260,000 miles in first and 75,000 miles in business, with economy rising slightly to 32,500 miles for a one-way ticket.

Make that a round-trip and you’re looking at 520,000 miles in first class – a near-40% hike on the previous 320,000-mile figure – 150,000 miles in business class and 65,000 miles in economy.

Your best bet is to book your travel via the Malaysia Airlines website, where Enrich frequent flyer members receive a 15% discount on the number of miles required to book a flight.

Redeeming Enrich miles for Malaysia Airlines upgrades

On the same routes, upgrades from economy to business class and from business to first class also demand more miles.

You’ll currently part with 25,000 miles for a one-way bump to business class between Australia and Malaysia, which rises slightly to 30,000 miles from Monday the 16th.

Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Europe also face a similar rise to escape economy – going from 35,000 miles at present to 40,000 miles – while an upgrade to first class jumps from 45,000 miles to 55,000 miles.

For upgrades processed before February 16, the current rates will apply. The same applies to frequent flyer award tickets, so even if you're travelling after next week, make it your mission this week to lock in your pointy end seat before the award costs change.

Earning Enrich miles on Malaysia Airlines flights

The number of miles that can be collected when jetting about on paid-up Malaysia Airlines flights will also change for some travellers, with the airline’s new earning rates geared towards the more expensive tickets rather than the cheaper sale fares.

For example, all business class seats – whether the most flexible or the most affordable – currently earn 1.5 miles per mile flown.

That’s being divided into three different earning rates: 1.75 miles in the highest J ’fare bucket’ and the same 1.5 miles for C and D-type tickets, while the lowest (Z) business class fares drop to 1.25 miles per mile flown.

As it happens, 1.25 miles is no more than you’d earn by sitting in economy on a flexible ticket, although we’re sure the on-board experience will still beat the back of the bus.

First class earning rates remain at two miles per mile flown, while mid-range economy fares will earn more points from next week – increasing from 0.70 to 0.85 miles – although the cheapest seats down the back are sliced in half, dropping from 0.5 to 0.25 miles.

Enrich earning levels and redemption costs for travel on Oneworld partner airlines such as Qantas and Cathay Pacific remain unchanged, as do the Qantas Frequent Flyer ‘earn and burn’ rates for flights taken with Malaysia Airlines.

For more information, download a table of the full revised accrual and redemption rates here [PDF, 95KB].

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I'm surprised at this because I would have thought MH would have wanted to protect as much goodwill as possible at the moment, but I guess revenue concerns have overridden that. I'm not a MH Enrich member so it has no effect on me, but I imagine a lot of reward flights are being booking over the next couple of days by people who are.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Apr 2012

Total posts 14

MH regularly conducts 40 to 50% off promotions on frequent flyer redemptions. Early January they had a 40% off on frequent flyer tickets between KL and Perth so I booked a  business class ticket from KL to Perth for 24000 points so look out for these promotions in an effort to get more out of your FFP.

The end of week story on Frequent Flyer schemes from AUSBT is an excellent way of being told when these promtions are on. 

What I cant figure out is why ACCC have not looked into FF points etc.  This is simply a business. Any other business that moved the posts on a regualr basis would have their legs cut from under them.  How come not Qantas (for example).  

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

I'm not sure what part of the ACL you would allege has been breached. Other businesses change their pricing as they wish, factoring things such as the market.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Careful what you wish for. If the government starts looking too carefully into frequent flyer points they might decide they're an illegal kickback racket whereby I direct my employer's money to a particular vendor and get personal benefits in return.

At the very least they might decide to start taxing them as income.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

ACL is really concerned with unfair contract terms. If airlines changed FF program terms, with immediate effect, overnight it'd certainly fall foul of ACL. However, where an appropriate notification period is provided before any proposed changes take effect, it's less likely that ACL has been breached. After all, it'd an unfair contract term on Qantas if it was never allowed to change it's FF program ever. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

I got the email yesterday from them about this change.

Don't know how I feel about it. The 40%-50% redemption promo is still a sweet deal.

Also, I do like the fact to be able to do Miles + Cash on their flight bookings.

Bad that the redemption rates are going up. Though, hopefully we'll see positive spin when their new CEO comes in next month.


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