This week's frequent flyer and frequent traveller wrap

By Chris C., May 29 2015
This week's frequent flyer and frequent traveller wrap

How would you like to save hundreds of dollars on room rates at Hyatt hotels around the world, or pick up double points at stays with Hilton and its web of brands such as Conrad, DoubleTree and Waldorf Astoria?

That’s all covered in this week’s wrap, along with new Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer earning rates on Delta flights from next week, and how selected Qantas frequent flyers can collect points when completing market research surveys.

Finally, we take a look at how to make the most of American Express’ Membership Rewards scheme, and a possible new loyalty program from Apple.

Delta shakes up Virgin Australia Velocity earning rates

From Monday June 1, Virgin Australia Velocity members travelling with Delta Air Lines will earn more Velocity frequent flyer points on most business class, first class and Delta One fares, but could wind up with fewer points on the less-expensive tickets.

Passengers up the front will collect two Velocity Points per mile or 1.75 Velocity Points on a slightly more affordable fare – up from 1.5 Velocity Points.

But if you’re flying on the most discounted business class, first class or Delta One fares, that’s reduced to 1.25 Velocity Points per mile, while some economy fares drop from 1.25 points to 1 point or from 1 point to 0.5 points.

Here’s what you need to know: New Velocity earn rates with Delta

Hilton HHonors extends double points deal

Previously set to run only from March 1 until May 31 2015, Hilton’s ‘Double Your HHonors’ deal has been extended for stays made through August 31 2015.

The promotion allows members to earn either double HHonors points or double frequent flyer points on hotel stays with brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, DoubleTree and of course, Hilton.

Better yet, Hilton’s usual laundry list of ‘excluded properties’ doesn’t apply for stays made from June 1, allowing travellers to earn double points at every single property in the HHonors portfolio for stays through August.

There’s no need to re-register for the deal if you’re already on the bandwagon, but if you missed this one the first time around, head to the Hilton HHonors website before those double points pass you by.

Apple set to launch new 'Apple Points' rewards scheme?

Apple is set to tread the turf or airlines and hotels with its own rewards scheme.

Long-expected, and reportedly due to be revealed at next month's WWDC developer conference, the program would be tied to the use of the Apple Pay 'mobile wallet' service.

Read more: Apple to launch ‘Apple Points’ scheme?

AMEX Membership Rewards explained

With an impressive roster of airline partners including Virgin Australia, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, the American Express Membership Rewards program gives you the flexibility to spend when it’s convenient to you, while deciding what to do with your points at a later date.

That’s great if you’re planning a trip but haven’t yet decided where, or when your ability to use frequent flyer points on your preferred travel dates varies from airline to airline, as you can store them in your MR account until it comes time to book that journey.

Here’s what you need to know about AMEX Membership Rewards, and what to look out for if your wallet packs one of the David Jones American Express cards.

Read more: American Express Membership Rewards guide

Qantas serves up points on market research

A selected group of Qantas frequent flyers will have received an email this week with an invitation to the airline’s new Red Planet research panel, offering frequent flyer points in exchange for time spent completing surveys.

Each invited member will earn up to 300 Qantas Points per completed survey, while also being automatically entered into various prize draws as they become more engaged on the research panel.

The bounty ranges from 50,000 points for 12 winners drawn in August through to a hefty one million points drawn on May 25 2016, with every Red Planet member who has completed at least six surveys being entered into the draw.

Qantas hopes to have around 100,000 of its invited frequent flyers sign up to its Red Planet initiative – and if you’re eligible, you’ll find the invitation in your email inbox.

Buying Hyatt Gold Passport points to save on hotel stays

Members of Hyatt Gold Passport could save up to $280 per night off the normal room rates at the Park Hyatt Sydney hotel, or a significant amount at the chain’s other hotels, thanks to a new ‘buying points’ promotion.

The Park Hyatt Sydney, with picturesque views of Sydney Harbour
The Park Hyatt Sydney, with picturesque views of Sydney Harbour

Until June 1 2015, travellers can enjoy a 40% bonus when they buy at least 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport (HGP) points, which can then be redeemed for nights at hotels around the globe – including in Sydney.

Here’s how it’s done: Buying HGP points to save on travel

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

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