This week's wrap for frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin, May 15 2015

Fancy one million United miles for finding a software glitch, or a more modest 50,000 Qantas frequent flyer points for taking out a new credit card?

How about your own Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyer card that’s on-par with Qantas Gold, or quadruple Etihad Guest miles when travelling to Abu Dhabi and beyond?

That’s all in this week’s wrap, along with how to earn Virgin Australia Velocity points on Indian domestic flights, what those Velocity points are actually worth, and how to earn Emirates Skywards miles at Heathrow duty-free.

Earn triple, quadruple Etihad Guest miles

Etihad Guest members can earn quadruple miles on business class and first class flights and triple miles in economy when travelling with Etihad under the airline’s latest promotion.

It’s as simple as registering on the Etihad website and booking your flights by June 4 2015 for travel from May 13 2015 through February 29 2016.

The only exclusions: you won’t earn bonus miles during the airline’s peak travel periods: between July 15 and August 15 and again from December 15 2015 through January 15 2016, not on Etihad codeshare flights operated by Virgin Australia.

Register and book today on the Etihad website.

Also read: Etihad Guest: the unofficial guide

Free Oneworld Sapphire status match

You'd usually need to fly tens of thousands of miles with an airline from the Oneworld family to get a Sapphire-grade card, but a 'status match' deal currently run by Oneworld member Airberlin will give you free Gold status in Airberlin's TopBonus frequent flyer scheme and equivalent Gold-lined perks across all other Oneworld airlines.

On that list: Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Finnair, Japan Airlines, South American's LAN and TAM airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines, S7, US Airways and of course, Airberlin.

If successful, this means you can enjoy many of the perks of business class – including access to airport lounges, priority checkin and boarding and a better chance of an upgrade – even if you're flying in economy on any Oneworld member airline.

Here’s how it’s done: Get a free Oneworld Sapphire status match

Jetstar Platinum MasterCard: 50,000 bonus points

Applying for a new Jetstar Platinum MasterCard could land you 50,000 bonus Qantas frequent flyer points, while the more basic ‘Jetstar MasterCard’ comes with a side serve of 25,000 points.

To earn either bonus, you’ll need to apply and be approved by June 15 2015 and spend at least $3,000 on your card within 60 days of approval.

For more information and to apply, head to the Jetstar website.

What is a Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer point worth?

With so many ways to redeem your Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points, working out what each point is actually worth is a tough nut to crack.

But believe it or not, your points take on a value of just half a cent each when redeeming for a gift card, but can be over 13 times more valuable when swapped for a business class flight!

We compare the cash price of a number of goods and flights against how many frequent flyer points you’ll need for the same: determining exactly how much each Virgin Australia Velocity point is worth.

Continue reading: What is a Velocity frequent flyer point worth?

Heathrow, Skywards team up on points

Emirates Skywards members can now convert their miles into Heathrow Rewards points for a discount at the airport’s duty-free stores, while Heathrow Rewards members can swap their points for miles with the Gulf airline.

Just 250 Heathrow Rewards points is all you’ll need to pocket 250 Emirates Skywards miles, although in reverse, 6,000 Skywards miles gets you just 2,000 Heathrow Rewards points – equivalent to £20.

For further details or to join either program, visit the Emirates website.

Report a software bug, earn up to one million United miles

United Airlines is offering up to one million United MileagePlus miles to computer aficionados who report software bugs or security flaws concerning the airline’s website or servers.

Discoveries of smaller issues such cross-site scripting net 50,000 miles, larger issues such as finding a way around the website’s login system return 500,000 miles, while finding a way to remotely execute computer code nets the full ‘million mile’ bonus.

The only catch: if multiple users report the same issue, miles will only be awarded to the first user that reports the flaw – any subsequent reports, even if discovered independently, earn nothing at all.

Head to the United website for more information.

Pick up 40,000 Qantas Points with CBA credit cards

An easy 40,000 Qantas frequent flyer points are up for grabs when applying for the Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards credit cards.

40,000 Qantas Points: enough for a business class upgrade to Singapore!
40,000 Qantas Points: enough for a business class upgrade to Singapore!

As an added bonus, the normal $249 annual fee is waived in the first year – but you'll still be charged the bank's annual $10 fee in order to earn Qantas Points.

Just apply online by June 3, and if your application is approved, spend $500 on either the Platinum American Express or Platinum MasterCard by August 31 2015 for your easy bounty of 40,000 points.

Read more: Earn 40,000 bonus Qantas Points with CBA

Earn Virgin Australia frequent flyer points on flights in India

Although Virgin Australia doesn’t have an airline partner in India, members of its Velocity Frequent Flyer program can still earn frequent flyer points on Air India and Vistara flights thanks to VA’s nifty tie-up with Singapore Airlines.

It works like this: you use Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program to earn miles when travelling in India, and can later convert those miles to Virgin Australia Velocity points on a 1.35:1 basis.

Here’s how it’s done: Earning Velocity points in India

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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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