Choosing to redeem frequent flyer points for travel is a wonderful way to travel domestically and internationally in comfort without paying high prices. However, frequent flyer points redemption isn’t always as straightforward as simply booking a ticket with a credit card.
Frequent flyer programs often offer some flexibility in terms of redemption – whether you wish to use your points to upgrade, purchase items through their store portals, or more. However, often the best value for your points is to book business class tickets.
If you want to maximise your redemptions, here are our top three mistakes to avoid:
AMEX Membership Rewards are one of the most powerful reward points programs available today for Australians. Its power comes from, in part, its flexibility. AMEX partners with nearly a dozen airlines which means you are spoilt for choice. You can choose which airline to fly to maximise your points on a specific route – but only if you haven’t already transferred your AMEX Membership Rewards to a specific frequent flyer program in advance. Once you’ve transferred your points, you can’t go back so only transfer your points once you know what airline and flight you want to fly.
Most frequent flyer programs, as well as AMEX Membership Rewards, allow you to redeem your points for gift cards or products through an online portal. While it might be tempting to do this, the points ratio is significantly lower value than if you redeem for flights. For example, a $500 gift card to Woolworths costs 98,050 points while 98,000 points will take you from Sydney to Bangkok return in business class with a value of around $3,400.
Are you limited to redeeming with only one airline? Many frequent flyer programs offer access to an airline’s alliance such as Oneworld through Qantas. Depending upon your needs, often the best option will be focusing on the frequent flyer programs and credit card points programs that offer the widest range of flexibility. Even different AMEX cards will allow you to transfer your points to different airlines. Before locking yourself into earning points for a loyalty program that will limit your redemption options, understand where your points can go.
Consider using Points Bank’s free online tool to simplify points redemption. You can sync and manage all of your frequent flyer and loyalty programs from a central dashboard. When you are ready to redeem, Points Bank has experienced advisors standing by to help you maximise your redemption.