Our Friday frequent flyer points wrap

By Chris Chamberlin, October 3 2014

Want to earn 4.5 Velocity Frequent Flyer points per dollar on your everyday credit card spend, along with Velocity points and status credits on South African Airways’ flights from Australia to Johannesburg?

Or are you keen to earn Qantas status credits on flights booked with frequent flyer points, or indeed Velocity status credits without leaving your lounge room?

That’s all in this week’s wrap, along with how to slash your hotel budget by 25% by buying points to redeem for hotel stays, and how to convert your American Express Membership Rewards points across to Malaysia Airlines Enrich with a 15% bonus and up to 50% off award bookings.

To wind things up, we take a look at the best AMEX cards for Aussie frequent flyers, highlight a significant increase to the annual fee on Woolworths’ Qantas-earning credit card, and take a look at David Jones, where the company’s frequent flyer partnership with Velocity lasted for less than a month.

Earn 4.5 points per $1 on the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card

For a limited time, travellers can now earn 4.51 Velocity Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent on the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card under a new Virgin Money promotion for high-spending globetrotters.

It’s done by charging at least $3,000 to the card every month for the first six months – by doing so, new Virgin Money customers will earn a bonus 10,000 Velocity points in each statement cycle, up to a maximum overall bonus of 60,000 Velocity points.

Amounts charged in excess of $3,000 per month will earn points at the usual $1=1.25 points rate, as will all 'retail transactions' made after the initial six-month bonanza, with no annual cap.

Read more: Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card

Qantas serves up status credits on 'classic award' flights

Qantas is offering valuable status credits when flying on 'classic award' bookings in economy, premium economy and business class through to March next year – but only to selected travellers who have been contacted by email.

But even if you’ve missed out on the deal, you’ll still be able to take advantage of it when travelling with a family member who was hand-picked.

First class award flights continue to earn no status credits, business and premium economy flights earn at the ‘economy’ rate, and economy flights earn at either the ‘economy’ or ‘discount economy’ rate.

Read more: Qantas offers status credits on 'classic award' flights

Buy IHG Rewards Club points, save 25% on hotel stays

Members of IHG Rewards Club once again have a shot at discounted hotel stays, with the chain offering travellers a 60% bonus on Rewards Club points bought by 1:59pm (AEST) on November 1 2014.

You'd pay US$690 (A$784) to pick up 96,000 points, which can then be redeemed for stays at IHG’s hotels in Australia and abroad.

On home soil, just 40,000 points – costing $326 with the 60% bonus – would get you a night at the InterContinental: Melbourne The Rialto hotel, where you’d otherwise have paid $459 on the dates we searched.

See how it’s done: Buying IHG Rewards Club points

Woolworths Everyday Rewards Qantas credit card annual fee hike

From later this month, the annual fee on the Woolworths Everyday Rewards Qantas MasterCard – currently one of Australia’s best credit cards for earning Qantas frequent flyer points on the cheap – will jump to $139, up from the current $89.

If your partner is also attached to the card, you’ll wind up paying almost double what you are today to earn the same number of Qantas Points.

Read more: Woolworths Everyday Rewards Qantas credit card annual fee hike

Virgin Australia offers status credits on credit card points

For a short time, Virgin Australia is offering a side serve of status credits to selected travellers when transferring points across from a handful of credit cards to Velocity Frequent Flyer.

Chosen Ones can pocket 75 status credits when transferring 75,000 Velocity points, 100 status credits for 100,000 points, 150 status credits for 150,000 points, or 200 status credits for 200,000 points.

But be quick – the deal expires on Monday October 6!

Read more: Virgin Australia offers status credits on credit card points

Convert AMEX MR points into Enrich miles with a 15% bonus and discounted award seats

Travellers who collect American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points are well-positioned for some seriously discounted travel with Qantas’ Oneworld alliance partner Malaysia Airlines.

Turn your AMEX points into Enrich miles and relax in first class on the A380!
Turn your AMEX points into Enrich miles and relax in first class on the A380!

To begin, AMEX cardholders pick up 15% more miles when converting MR points across to Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty scheme on or before October 8 2014.

As if that weren’t enough, MH is also slashing the number of Enrich miles needed to redeem for economy, business and first class seats on selected routes until October 15.

Read more: Malaysia Airlines: 15% bonus on AMEX points, discount award seats

Earn Virgin Australia points, status credits on South African Airways flights

From October 14, Velocity members will be able to book Virgin Australia codeshares on South African Airways’ daily Perth-Johannesburg flights for travel from October 21, which provides both frequent flyer points and status credits on treks to South Africa.

Residents living outside of the mining capital – including in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – will also be able to join the Perth-Johannesburg flight after connecting domestically with Virgin Australia.

Read more: Virgin Australia to codeshare with South African Airways

David Jones departs from Virgin Australia Velocity eStore

Only weeks after joining the ranks of Velocity Frequent Flyer, David Jones has departed from Virgin Australia's Velocity eStore – preventing VA’s frequent flyers from earning points when shopping with the chain online.

During the brief period of partnership, travellers could notch up two Velocity points per dollar if they began their online shopping expedition from Virgin Australia's eStore website before filling their basket at David Jones.

David Jones remains one of seventeen shopping partners affiliated with the competing Qantas Mall, serving up five Qantas Points per dollar spent against the two points per dollar awarded briefly with Velocity.

Axed: Earning Velocity frequent flyer points at David Jones

The best American Express credit cards for frequent flyers

In the market for a new credit card? American Express cards and avid frequent flyers go hand-in-hand as you’ll generally earn more points on an AMEX than you would on a Visa or MasterCard.

That means being able to book your next award flight or business class upgrade even sooner, or travelling at the pointy end much more often than you normally would.

While American Express acceptance isn’t universal, it’s accepted surcharge-free by most large companies – so here are three of the best American Express cards that you’ll want to slip into your wallet…

Read more: The best American Express credit cards for frequent flyers

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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 with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


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