Best way to spend frequent flyer points

By Flossy | Mar 05, 2018, 10:41 AM

Hi all! My husband and I want to go to Japan next year. We have 450,000 Qantas points but only Bronze membership - we utilise our credit cards well! We are retired and trying to get the most from our points. My questions are: Is it better to buy the economy seats with cash and then go for a business class upgrade or purchase them outright initially with points? What is the best way to utilise the points? Further, I've been reading about speaking with revenue management to try and get the upgrades. Does that work with Qantas? :) Anything is worth a shot, I think. Thanks for your help in advance.

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By S | Mar 05, 2018, 11:02 AM
Revenue Management? I’m guessing you’ve been reading those bogus news(dot)com articles like “How to get an upgrade every time”, which are full of the worst advice ever!
Just use your points for a business reward ticket outright with JAL or Qantas.
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By mviy | Mar 05, 2018, 11:23 AM
That recent article about revenue management was talking about someone who would presumably spend a huge amount on flights each year, and not on QF. Certainly not your once a year holiday traveller with no status to speak of.

The best way to use your points is for a classic reward seat in Business. The release times do vary from airline to airline, so some airlines will show up on QF's system earlier/later than others. QF releases their seats 353 days out, but as a Bronze you may not see what's left till about 310 days out. The seats do go quickly (especially on popular routes) and there aren't reward seats on every flight.

Have a look ahead of time to get a gauge for when you'll need to look to secure the dates you want should there be availability.

Upgrades are a lottery and as a Bronze member you'll be at the back of the queue and disappointed a lot more times than you are successful. So be prepared to be stuck in economy most of the time if you go down this route.
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By Longtoo | Mar 05, 2018, 11:58 AM
In theory, there is a minute chance for a solo Bronze member to score an Award upgrade. It is even worst for a couple. I would cross out the upgrade option immediately.
Best option for you is to plan early and secure outright award tickets. You have more than enough points for 2 J tickets to Japan.
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By Flossy | Mar 05, 2018, 12:27 PM
Thank you everyone for your help. Yes, I did read the article and it sounded too good to be true. :)

We have been holidaying overseas at least twice a year on ff points for over 20 years. We have only just recently retired. My husband used his credit card for his work expenses (he had his own business) and so we have been lucky enough to get the business class flights each time using ff points. The reason we have never advanced past bronze is because we never purchased the flights. We are up to speed on when to look for the flights with Qantas using points and have never missed out yet as we're on line immediately they are offered. We plan our holidays well in advance. As these points we currently have may well be the most we'll have for some time due to our retirement I started to wonder whether there was a "better" way to secure the upgrade and therefore use less points. It appears not. Perhaps I should have asked the questions years ago! LOL At least it appears we've been doing it the right way anyway. :)

Thanks once again for your assistance.
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By mviy | Mar 05, 2018, 02:45 PM
Upgrading using points would use less points but unlikely to be successful. Solo Bronze travellers would be upgraded before a couple, so you'd be near the bottom of the upgrade queue.

Now that you're retired credit card churning would be harder, so replenishing your points balance would be difficult.

Sounds like you've done extremely well with your points strategy.

If you want to fly Business you'll need to purchase revenue Business airfares sometimes once you've depleted your points balance (budget permitting). Purchasing revenue tickets you earn points and status credits.

Last edited by mviy at Mar 05, 2018, 02.45 PM.
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By freshthoughts | Mar 05, 2018, 09:01 PM
god that "revenue management" article was such a scam. I feel sorry for the poor people who have to receive the calls from the readers. You could tell it was fake as soon as it tried to reference Virgin Atlantic as having first class. lol
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