Our Friday frequent flyer wrap
Want to use your Velocity points to upgrade to business class with Singapore Airlines and for award flights on Star Alliance carriers such as Thai Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada and Lufthansa?
Or, if you're flying occasionally within the Star Alliance family and looking to build status with the alliance, you'll want to keep an eye on changes being made to the Aegean Miles&Bonus program in November that clamp down on travellers earning Star Alliance Gold status in just one trip.
That's all in this week's wrap, along with our guide to escaping economy on Virgin Australia flights by using your points for a sweet premium economy upgrade.
To wind things up, we'll show you how to earn up to 5.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent on gift cards and how to pocket double points and double tier miles with Etihad Guest – which could land you Silver, Gold or Gold Elite status in no time.
New: convert frequent flyer points between Velocity and KrisFlyer
From November, Virgin Australia frequent flyers can convert their Velocity points into KrisFlyer miles with Singapore Airlines. Unlike Velocity points, KrisFlyer miles can be redeemed for upgrades on SQ, for Suites on the Airbus A380 and for award seats across the far-reaching Star Alliance network.
That includes flights with partners such as Thai Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada, Air China and Lufthansa, which can all be booked using KrisFlyer miles sourced from Velocity.
Similarly, KrisFlyer members will be able to swap their miles for Velocity points. Savvy Velocity members could use KrisFlyer to earn miles with airlines that aren’t normally partners with Virgin Australia – such as those above – before converting them into Velocity points.
Read more: Converting frequent flyer points between Velocity and KrisFlyer
Aegean Miles&Bonus clamps down on easy Star Alliance Gold status
Star Alliance Gold status in Aegean Airlines’ Miles&Bonus frequent flyer scheme will be harder to obtain from November with the airline jacking up its qualification requirements across the program.
Aegean’s informal ‘lifetime’ status will also come to an end as new annual requalification thresholds take its place.
Currently, travellers can earn Star Alliance Silver status via Aegean after earning just 4,000 miles with airlines such as Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada, while Star Alliance Gold status comes after a mere 20,000 miles – even without taking a single Aegean flight.
See what's changing: Aegean Miles&Bonus' November Star Alliance shake-up
Earn five Qantas frequent flyer points per dollar on gift cards
Qantas frequent flyers can now earn an extra five points per dollar when using their Qantas Cash card to buy Myer, David Jones, iTunes, Priceline and JB Hi-Fi digital gift cards online, or an extra two points per dollar when using any other Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card.
While you won’t receive a physical gift card, you’ll be able to redeem the balance by printing a voucher and presenting it in-store, or with the exception of David Jones, you can use the gift card's unique identification number when shopping online.
While gift cards make great presents, there’s nothing stopping you from treating yourself to a little retail therapy, while earning a nice pile of points on the side.
Read more: Earn five Qantas frequent flyer points per dollar on gift cards
Using Velocity points to upgrade to premium economy
Are you stuck in economy on your next flight to Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, Fiji or New Zealand? Fear not – your Velocity points can be swapped for a sweet upgrade to premium economy.
You’ll need to have booked a Flexi fare, but at just 9,900 points across the pond or a mere 18,000 points on the 14-hour treks to L.A. and the Middle East, the cash outlay on a more expensive and upgradeable fare could easily be worth it for the extra space and improved meals further forward on the jet.
Unlike with Qantas, you’ll also be able to lock in your upgrade from the moment you’ve requested it, rather than waiting until closer to departure for that magical SMS from the Red Roo.
See how it’s done: Virgin Australia premium economy upgrade guide
Earn double points, fast-track to Gold status with Etihad Guest
Etihad Guest members travelling with the Abu Dhabi-based airline through mid-December are in for double miles on all first class, business class and economy flights booked between September 22 and October 6.
And, if you’re flying in business or first class, you’ll also earn double tier miles under the same booking and travel dates.
Tier miles are the Etihad Guest equivalent of ‘status credits’ as we Aussies know it, so earning double tier miles has the same effect with Etihad as double status credits has with Qantas or Virgin Australia.
Register for the deal: Earn double points, tier miles with Etihad Guest
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