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Friday, 6 December 2013

A Deal You Shouldn't Miss - Act Before 16 December 2013

In the 1st post of this blog, I outlined some goals.  It was to help Aussies find and redeem points on local airlines, or even take advantage of airline 'sweet spots', using foreign airlines to help us redeem points for incredible value here in Australia and New Zealand.  I should add at this time, that this blog is good value for our Kiwi cousins as well, since they can benefit from these offers also!

Buy Points Right Now for Cheap - Redeem for 'Sweet Spots'
American Airlines is a partner of OneWorld, which includes Qantas.  Currently American is running a points sale up to 31 December 2013, which can give you some incredible value even for 'smallish' purchases, and redeemed for Qantas flights.  There are some route redemptions where you could save up to ~$700 cash!

But keep in mind that you currently be a member of American Airlines frequent flier programs for a minimum of 14 days, to take advantage of this offer and buy miles.  So you must act by 16 December if you want to grab a huge bargain!  If you join by then, you could still buy the discounted points by 31 December, before time runs out.  It's free to join, so you might as well do it today, and then think it over whether you want to buy any points while the sale is still on.


I won't go into too much detail with this post, since I'll further expand on American Airlines and other Qantas partner airlines in the future, but to enable you to see what you can get I'll briefly explain.

The American and Qantas award chart is structured for you to redeem 10,000 American Airlines miles/points, for a free one-way ticket anywhere Qantas flies within Australia/New Zealand.  Being able to use 10,000 points to do that is amazing value!  In fact, the redemptions in my opinion are heavily weighted to allow American Airlines members to get great value from redemptions with Qantas.  And with the current sale promotion, you can effectively buy points for around ~$.027 each.  That price includes a sales tax of $.075% and a $30 one-off fee per transfer.  


In order to fully exploit this sale try to think of an expensive redemption.  Maybe one you need to make, or one you'd like to make.  If you're working far from home, this could save you a bundle when visiting family.  Or if you'd like to make a dream trip but can't justify the astronomical costs, this may now be possible with this promo.  American Airlines points don't expire for 18 months from activity, so you can store these up for whenever you need them.  And there are easy ways to keep points from ever expiring. 

Major Australian and New Zealand Airports
Where Can 20,000 Points Get You?

Cost USD    $440
Tax .075%     $33
One-Off Fee $30
Total Cost   $503 (at today's exchange rate) = AUD $553

The cost is $533 to buy 16,000 points, and you receive a bonus 4,500 for a total of 20,500 points.

What can that get you?  

I've been playing around with the route map, and seeing just where Qantas flies.   When you hover over a city, you'll see where flights connect.  Here are some possible flights you can take for 20,000 points return + ~$100 in taxes when you book a points tickets, which will bring your total cost to $553 + ~$100 = $653.  I experimented with dates in late January.

Then go over to the American Airlines reward booking site, to try out and see if desired flight will book for 10,000 points.  Most will, but try a few dates if you don't see the day you want.  Below is a sampling if you're looking to get out away from a remote spot to a holiday spot, or from a big city to a tropical getaway.


Alice Springs / Auckland - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($1,072)
Alice Springs / Wellington - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($1,105)
Broome / Auckland - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($1,397)
Broome / Wellington - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($1,454)
Broome / Christchurch - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($1,332)
Geraldton / Gold Coast - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($856)
Gove / Hobart - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($1,257)
Learmonth / Brisbane - 20,000 points (~$653) - Paid ticket ($956)
Wellington / Alive Springs $653 Buying Points or $1,072 if Paying Cash!

Now, to be fair, you're losing the opportunity to earn points if you'd paid cash for a ticket. And you are also going to have to search for redeemable points tickets.  But maybe that little extra bit of time is well worth saving +$500 per person.  Great flights on Qantas planes, and you're not having to fly budget airlines to get great prices. 


You could also effectively add a stopover for days, weeks, or months, for the purchase of another 10,000 points.  30,000 points would cost just on $900.  But you could stop along the way in a city where your plane is already stopping.  

For example.  If you lived in Auckland, you could take a one-way flight to Sydney (10,000), then continue on to Alice Springs (10,000) and back home later to Auckland (10,000).  A great deal for $900.

If taking a holiday from Geraldton to the Gold Coast, you could stop in Perth (10,000), then on to the Gold Coast (10,000), then home later to Geraldton (10,000).  


Using the same example above, if you are going to any city on the way, for example Wellington to Alice Springs, if you are in the stopover city less then 24 hours, it's not counted as a stopover, just a connection.  Which means that you could select the flights on the itinerary which allow you to stay in Sydney up to 24 hours on the way, and 24 hours on the way back.  How good is that?  You could get up to 2 days, 1 day each way, in Sydney for freeAnd you could do it with Melbourne too, 1 day each way!  In this scenario you're only paying 20,000 points and getting way more value.  This could work along all of the sample routes I listed above.


Whether you need to go somewhere soon, or want to take a dream tip next year, you need to think about whether it may be worth it to buy some American Airlines points now.  This could save you some serious coin in the future.

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