This week's wrap for Qantas, Virgin Australia, AA frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin, July 3 2015
This week's wrap for Qantas, Virgin Australia, AA frequent flyers

It’s big news this week for travellers collecting frequent flyer points on their credit card spend, with American Express serving up a staggering 100,000 Virgin Australia Velocity points with selected new credit cards, while HSBC is changing the everyday earning rates of its Qantas Platinum Visa card.

Also in this week’s wrap, we show you how to earn two Qantas Points per dollar when going to the movies with the likes of Hoyts, Event Cinemas Village and more, along with how to give your Starwood points a boost when converting them into American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

Winding this up for another Friday, we take a look at AA’s upcoming Sydney-Los Angeles flights, and how frequent flyers can earn points and status credits on the journey, along with those all-important Aquire Points for your business along the way.

AMEX Velocity Platinum: earn 100,000 bonus points

One hundred thousand Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points could be yours when applying for the American Express Velocity Platinum card, in what is the biggest-ever Velocity bonus offer on a co-branded credit card. Simply:

  • Apply between July 1 and September 30 2015
  • Be approved, and
  • Spend a total of $1,000 or more in the first three months

That's all you need to pocket the six-figure bounty, which is more than enough for a business class flight from Sydney to either Los Angeles or Abu Dhabi – or a return journey if flying in economy – plus applicable airport and government taxes and charges.

Get in on the deal: 100,000 bonus points up for grabs

What you need to know about AA’s Sydney-Los Angeles flights

As American Airlines prepares to spread its wings and fly to Sydney, many Aussie business travellers may find themselves boarding AA for the very first time.

Here’s all you’ll need to know about earning frequent flyer points and status credits when flying with AA, along with which lounges you can use and the seats you’ll find on board, such as in business class:

If you’re travelling for work, your employer – or you, if you run your own business – can also earn Aquire Points when flying with American Airlines, which come in addition to the frequent flyer points normally awarded to the traveller.

Read more: What you need to know about AA’s Sydney flights

HSBC cuts Qantas frequent flyer credit card points

HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa cardholders may earn fewer Qantas frequent flyer points on their everyday transactions from next month and will also lose their yearly Qantas Club lounge privileges.

Currently awarding one Qantas Point per dollar in Australia – up to 300,000 points per year – that will be limited to the first $2,500 charged in each monthly statement period, after which the earning rate halves to 0.5 points per dollar.

Frequent flyer points awarded on international transactions will also halve from two points to one point per dollar, and will further drop to 0.5 points per dollar for payments exceeding the monthly A$2,500 threshold (calculated on your total monthly spend, be it in Aussie dollars or the equivalent in foreign currency).

Read more: HSBC shakes up Qantas credit card points

Earn two Qantas frequent flyer points per dollar on movie tickets

Moviegoers can now earn two Qantas frequent flyer points for every dollar spent on movie tickets at Hoyts, Event Cinemas, BCC, Greater Union, Village Cinemas and a number of independent outlets.

Rather than paying for your ticket on the cinemas’ own websites or at the counter before the show, head to the Qantas Movies website and buy movie vouchers instead.

On arrival at your cinema of choice, head to the box office and present a printout of your voucher or present the voucher barcode on your smartphone screen, which can then be exchanged for a movie ticket.

Here’s how it’s done: Earn two points per dollar on movie tickets

Convert SPG points to AAdvantage, earn a 20% bonus

Transferring Starpoints from a Starwood Preferred Guest account to an airline frequent flyer account is already a great deal, in that SPG also kicks in a bonus 5,000 airline miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you convert.

(In essence, when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints across to most airlines, you’ll wind up with 25,000 frequent flyer points.)

But from July 1 through August 7, American Airlines is also delivering a further 20% bonus when you make that conversion to its own AAdvantage scheme, and applies the bonus on the total number of points you send across.

That means when you convert 20,000 Starpoints to AA, SPG applies its usual bonus of 5,000 points, while AA then boosts the final figure by that extra 20% - or 5,000 miles – for a total of 30,000 miles.

AAdvantage miles can, of course, be redeemed for flights on American Airlines, but also Etihad, Qantas and other Oneworld partners such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

For more information, head to the AA website.

Also read: How to earn and redeem AA miles in Australia

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.


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