This week

By Chris Chamberlin, August 15 2014

What if you could earn a bonus 10,000 Qantas Points by booking a hotel stay anywhere in Asia – even if the hotel isn’t a Qantas Frequent Flyer partner?

Or, why not buy and then redeem Hilton HHonors points to save up to $81 per night on the exact same hotel room you would have otherwise paid for?

That’s all covered in this week’s wrap, as is how to earn double, or even triple Starpoints in the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program on trips to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Finally, if you’re about to splash out on a new iPhone or MacBook, we’ll show you how to earn an extra two Qantas or Virgin Australia Velocity points on every dollar spent.

Qantas partner airline earning rates to be revealed next month

Qantas expects to reveal the new rates at which members of its frequent flyer scheme will earn Qantas Points when booked on partner airlines such as Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific towards the end of September.

The revised points-earning formula follows a radical and controversial revamp of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, which as of July 1st has seen travellers earning Qantas Points based on the type and cost of their ticket rather than the outright distance of the flight.

Changes to the number of status credits earned on partner airlines are already in effect.

Read more: Qantas to reveal frequent flyer points earn for partner airlines next month

Earn Qantas, Virgin Australia points on iTunes content, Apple gadgets

You can now earn either Qantas Points or Velocity Frequent Flyer points when shopping for Apple gadgets and iTunes content online.

Whichever airline you choose, you’ll earn two points per dollar spent on iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, iMacs, Apple TV and software through the Apple Store.

But, if you’re buying music, movies, games and other apps from iTunes, Qantas is paying out three points per dollar against Velocity’s two points.

See how it’s done: Get Qantas, Virgin Australia points when you buy Apple iPhones, iPads, iTunes content

Get cheaper hotel stays by buying Hilton HHonors points

Rather than booking a hotel room the ‘traditional’ way, savvy travellers could instead use their cash to buy points in the Hilton HHonors program before redeeming them for award nights.

Sneakily, you’ll often wind up paying less for the exact same room. As we found at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, you could save up to $81 per night.

And, rather than making a standard award reservation, you’ll get even more value by using your points for a ‘points and money reward’.

Here’s why: Buying Hilton HHonors points to cut down on travel costs

Qantas Points gets a new home and shopping mall

This week’s launch of QantasPoints.com sees the program get its own, dedicated portal that runs alongside the regular Qantas website.

Arguably the best new feature is the Qantas Mall – where shoppers can earn Qantas Points on their online transactions with retailers such as David Jones, eBay, Pottery Barn, and of course, the Apple and iTunes Stores.

Read more: Qantas Points gets a new home and a new hub for frequent flyers

Book a hotel stay in Asia, earn 10,000 bonus Qantas Points

If you’re planning a trip to Asia through June 30 2015, you’d be wise to book your accommodation through Qantas Hotels.

Just spend A$1,000 or more in a single Qantas Hotels transaction and an easy 10,000 Qantas Points are yours for the taking.

Earn 10,000 bonus points at the W Hotel in Singapore
Earn 10,000 bonus points at the W Hotel in Singapore

That’s even if the hotel you’ve chosen isn’t ordinarily a Qantas partner, but you’ll need to book by 11:59pm on Tuesday August 19 at the latest.

To sweeten the deal, if you do stay with a Qantas partner hotel, you’ll earn a further three Qantas Points per A$1 spent – and that’s on top of what you’d get from your points-earning credit card.

Get in quick: Grab a bonus 10,000 Qantas Points on hotel bookings in Asia

Earn double or triple Starpoints in the Middle East, Europe and Africa

Members of Starwood Preferred Guest could earn double, or even triple Starpoints on stays throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa until December 31.

Generally, you’ll earn double points on standard rooms, triple points on either deluxe rooms or junior suites, or a fixed bonus of 3,000 points in the most luxurious rooms.

That varies from hotel to hotel and blackout dates may apply, so be sure to book an eligible room rate for those extra points.

Here’s how to do it: Starwood Preferred Guest serves up double, triple points

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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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