This week's Friday wrap for frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin, June 5 2015
This week's Friday wrap for frequent flyers

If your wallet packs an ANZ Rewards credit card, you’ll soon earn more Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points on your everyday spend – or if you’re more of a Cathay Pacific loyalist, register for the airline’s latest promo which doles out double miles on flights to Hong Kong.

Also in this week’s wrap, Etihad Guest significantly revamps its ‘earn and burn’ rates on flights the world over, while Hilton HHonors takes a much-loved Gold and Diamond perk and extends it to every member: even those at the lower Blue and Silver tiers.

To wind things up, Qantas looks to gain a closer frequent flyer partnership with Aer Lingus, Emirates is giving away 15 million Skywards miles in celebration of the program’s 15th anniversary and Airberlin Topbonus links up with Jet Airways.

Cathay Pacific offers double Asia Miles on flights

Cathay Pacific is courting Aussie travellers with double Asia Miles on flights between Australia and Hong Kong, along with a separate bonus serve of up to 1,500 Asia Miles.

It gets even better when you examine the 'earn and burn' rates in the Asia Miles scheme: a single business class trip to Hong Kong from either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane scores enough Asia Miles for a return business class upgrade!

Don’t fret if you’re from Perth, Adelaide or Cairns – you’re also on Cathay Pacific’s double points radar.

Read more: Cathay Pacific offers double Asia Miles on flights

ANZ boosts Velocity points on Rewards credit cards

ANZ will increase the number of Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points that its customers earn on the bank’s range of Rewards-branded Visa and American Express credit cards from July 18.

The improvement comes by tweaking the Velocity conversion rate in the ANZ Rewards program from 2.25 ANZ Rewards points per 1 Velocity point to a simple 2:1 ratio, which in turn increases ANZ’s per-dollar earning rates to as high as 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent.

As an added bonus, ANZ Rewards customers who have already earned ANZ Rewards points on their spend will benefit from the new ANZ:Velocity conversion rate come July, as it applies to all frequent flyer points transfers from that date regardless of when the points were accrued.

See what you’ll now earn: ANZ boosts credit card Velocity points

Hilton sets the Internet free for HHonors members

Hilton Hotels is unlocking free standard Internet access for all Hilton HHonors members at its worldwide range of brands including Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria and DoubleTree by Hilton.

Previously a benefit only for Gold and Diamond members of Hilton’s loyalty program, that now includes members at the Silver tier and those newly-enrolled in the free-to-join scheme with Blue status.

Diamond cardholders will also enjoy a new ‘premium’ Internet service in selected hotels, but there’s a catch…

Read more: Hilton rolls out free Internet access

Etihad Guest frequent flyer shake up

Etihad Airways is the latest airline to tweak its frequent flyer scheme, and as is so often the case the changes to Etihad Guest hold upsides and downsides for different travellers.

Among them: more miles earned on some tickets against fewer miles earned on others, upgrade possibilities to disappear from the least-expensive economy and business class fares and revised costs for booking award flights.

In business class, Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights remain unchanged at 96,828 miles one-way, although trekking from Sydney to London will rise from 140,804 miles to 162,792 miles in each direction. Abu Dhabi-London itineraries jump from 43,976 miles to 65,964 miles in business class, one-way.

Virgin Australia Velocity members aren’t affected, with a spokesperson for the airline confirming to Australian Business Traveller that the airline currently had no plans to alter its ‘earn and burn’ rates on Etihad flights.

See what the changes mean for you: Etihad Guest revamp revealed

Airberlin Topbonus partners with Jet Airways

Members of Airberlin's Topbonus scheme can now earn and redeem miles when travelling with Indian airline Jet Airways – a fellow member of the Etihad Airways Partners network.

Topbonus Silver, Gold and Platinum members also enjoy an additional baggage allowance on Jet Airways flights, being an extra 10kg for Silver, 15kg for Gold and 20kg for Platinum cardholders.

Additionally, lounge access, priority check-in and priority boarding perks are extended to Topbonus Golds and Platinums, while all Topbonus members will collect double miles on Jet Airways flights through August 15.

For more information, head to the Airberlin website.

Also read: Free Topbonus Gold, Oneworld Sapphire status match

Qantas to gain new Oneworld partner in Aer Lingus

Qantas stands to gain a new global partner airline as Aer Lingus rejoins the Oneworld airline alliance following BA's imminent take-over of the Irish national carrier.

The £1bn (A$2bn) buy-out by British Airways' parent International Airlines Group has received the approval of the Irish parliament but must also get the go-ahead from Ryanair – after which, IAG chief Willie Walsh confirmed that under his watch Aer Lingus would rejoin Oneworld.

Qantas currently allows its Frequent Flyer members to earn and redeem points on Aer Lingus flights with an EI flight number, but a closer partnership via Oneworld would also bring status credits, reciprocal lounge access and tier recognition into the equation.

Read more: Qantas to gain new Oneworld partner in Aer Lingus

Win a share of 15 million Emirates Skywards miles

Fifteen lucky Emirates Skywards members will each win one million Skywards miles in celebration of the program’s 15th anniversary.

It’s as easy as answering three simple questions and then taking a single flight with Emirates to enter the draw, with travellers who book their flights via the Emirates iPhone or Android apps doubling their chances of winning.

Winners are drawn monthly through the year’s end, with Skywards members entered into each respective monthly draw after flying with Emirates in the same period.

Here’s how to enter: Win a share of 15 million Emirates Skywards miles

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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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