September marks a big month for Qantas frequent flyers with a 50% points boost from AccorHotels at properties like Sofitel, Pullman and Novotel, along with a free one-year Qantas epiQure membership for Accor’s own loyalty members.
Also in this week’s wrap, the five best credit card sign-up deals this month for Qantas frequent flyer points – one offering up to 100,000 Qantas Points – while the Qantas earning rates on Alitalia flights will change slightly for economy travellers.
For Virgin Australia travellers, the planets have aligned for just a few short days with an offer to buy SPG Starpoints, convert them into Velocity points, and then use them to save thousands on business class travel – but get in quick, as the deal wraps up on Sunday September 20.
Rounding things out for another week, Air New Zealand launches ‘Airpoints for Business’ – its own take on Qantas Aquire – while CBA shafts frequent flyer points on credit card tax payments.
Using Starpoints for Virgin Australia business class upgrades
Fancy not one, but four Virgin Australia business class upgrades for around $831, with up to three of those flights in Virgin's latest Airbus A330 'The Business' seats?
Through SPG’s latest promotion, you could buy 17,000 Starpoints, add a free 20% bonus of 3,400 Starpoints for a subtotal of 20,400 Starpoints, and convert those into Velocity points – picking up an extra 5,000 points and transforming your original 17,000 Starpoints into a 25,400-point haul with Velocity.
When used wisely, those Velocity points can then be used to save you thousands of dollars on business class travel with Virgin Australia: here's how it's done.
Qantas improves Accor Le Club earning prospects
Through tweaks made to Qantas’ partnership with AccorHotels’ Le Club loyalty scheme, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now convert their Le Club points into Qantas Points in smaller chunks, or can opt to can ship them across automatically.
Previously, you needed a balance of at least 4,000 Le Club points before you could move these to Qantas: now, you can do so with just 2,000.
Le Club points convert to Qantas Points on a 1:1 basis – so 2,000 Le Club points equals 2,000 Qantas Points – and by setting up an automatic conversion through Le Club, every point you earn will make it to your Qantas account.
Rounding out the deal is a 50% bonus when converting Le Club points into Qantas Points until November 30.
Air NZ launches ‘Airpoints for Business’
New Zealand-based small and medium-sized businesses can now earn Airpoints Dollars of their very own through Air New Zealand’s new Airpoints for Business program, which can in turn can be used to book free flights and save on the company’s travel expenditure.
Similar in nature to the familiar Qantas Aquire scheme, Airpoints for Business allows a company’s individual travellers to continue accruing Airpoints Dollars and Status Points at the full and usual rates, while at the same time rewarding the business with its own pool of Airpoints Dollars.
Just to repeat that: if your own business joins the Airpoints for Business program, your road warriors will continue to earn the same number of Airpoints that they always have. Similarly, if your employer signs up, the number of Airpoints you’ll earn won’t change.
The top five Qantas credit card sign-up deals this month
Spring marks the beginning of many things, but none more than ‘spring cleaning’ – and with an array of generous Qantas frequent flyer credit card sign-up deals on the table, now is a perfect time to spruce up your wallet with a new piece of plastic.
These top five offers promise a total of almost 350,000 frequent flyer points, with as many as 100,000 Qantas Points to be had from a single application.
Of course, we’d not suggest anybody apply for every credit card – doing so can have an unintended effect on your credit report – but if you’ve been hanging out for a great sign-up deal that promises a sizeable chunk of frequent flyer points, here are the top five Qantas deals this September.
CBA axes Awards points on credit card tax payments
Commonwealth Bank is the latest financial institution to halt the earning of frequent flyer points when using your credit card to pay the Australian Taxation Office, with the well drying up from November 2 2015.
Affecting CBA’s line of personal credit cards – including standard, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Awards – these payments will earn zero points come November, whether made using a CBA Visa, MasterCard or American Express card.
CBA Business Awards customers, however, will continue to earn Awards points on ATO payments after this date – a handy earner for the obligatory BAS and PAYG settlements.
Accor Le Club: free Qantas epiQure membership
Members of the Le Club AccorHotels frequent guest scheme can enjoy a free one-year membership in Qantas epiQure: the Red Roo’s online club for wine aficionados and event-goers.
epiQure’s best aspect, of course, is frequent flyer points: and by buying your vino through Qantas you’ll notch up and easy three frequent flyer points per dollar spent – as you will when buying tickets to Qantas food and wine events.
To get started, head to the Qantas epiQure website and join for free today.
Qantas: no points on the cheapest Alitalia flights
Qantas Frequent Flyer members travelling with Alitalia will no longer earn Qantas Points on the Italian airline’s cheapest ‘Light Fare’ economy tickets, fittingly represented as fare types L, O and W.
[Click on the table above to enlarge it.]
Higher-priced but still affordable economy fares in the X, S, Q and N ‘fare buckets’ continue to earn 0.5 Qantas Points per mile flown on Alitalia domestic and international flights, while G-type tickets retain the same 0.5 earning rate on international flights only (no points on domestic flights).
Qantas earning rates on Alitalia business class, premium economy and full/flexible economy tickets remain unchanged, with Qantas frequent flyers able to earn points, although not status credits, on Alitalia flights.