Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Make your Qantas Points worth 5¢ not 0.05¢

The value of Qantas points (and most loyalty scheme points) varies with what you buy with them.

With Qantas, you are way better spending them on flights than anything else.  Your points will be worth somewhere between around 2.5¢ and 5.4¢ per point.

If you spend your Qantas points in their shop on stuff, like headphones and the like, then you precious frequent flyer point is worth less than a cent - in fact about 0.69¢.

So - in short buy a Qantas ticket, preferably an upgrade for best value (although these are not guaranteed) or a seat at the pointy end.  In fact the best bet might be a round the world business class fare - which will make you points worth around 4¢ each. From the SMH:

Finally, consider what for many is the ultimate trip – flying around the world in business class. This costs just 280,000 Qantas points (plus around $1000 in fees and taxes). The cash cost of this junket would be north of $10,000, so you're now clocking up close to a solid 4 cents per point. You’ll be able to fly in business class comfort right around the globe with Qantas and any of its Oneworld partner airlines in the Oneworld alliance, such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, American Airlines and South America’s LAN/TAM.

This jaunt is as ideal for a honeymoon as it is for celebrating your new-found ‘empty nest’ status or retirement.


And with the right choice of credit cards to earn frequent flyer points on your spending, you’d be surprised how quickly those 280,000 points come within reach.
If you want to read a more detailed breakdown, go to David Flynn at the SMH, or Australian Business Traveller

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Now your smartphone will literally open doors


Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is placing a $550 million bet that hotel guests increasingly will use smartphones to choose rooms, check in and even unlock doors. WSJ
The company plans to announce this week new technology intended for its 4,200 properties world-wide. Targeting younger travelers, Hilton is aiming to leapfrog competitors that already have rolled out new services like turning mobile phones into room keys. Guests already can check in and check out with a few punches on a smartphone or tablet-computer screen at all of Hilton's hotels in the U.S., the company said. By the end of summer, travelers will be able to see the location of and select their own rooms by mobile phone at six brands, from the midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the luxury Waldorf Astoria. Next year, Hilton says, arriving guests can begin using their smartphones to unlock the doors to their rooms, rather than waiting on any lines clogging the front desk to pick up a key. That feature will be available at most of the company's hotels world-wide by the end of 2016.
Starwood is also testing phone-based room keys and expects to launch their program at all W Hotels by next year. Other major chains have similar plans.

Source: JMG and Gizmodo