Point Hacks NZPoint Hacks NZ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz The best frequent flyer deals & offers for New Zealand. Sat, 21 Jul 2018 01:22:20 +0000 en-NZ hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Above average price: Up to 50% discount on points purchases with Hilton Honors https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/hilton-honors-buy-points-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/hilton-honors-buy-points-guide/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:30:17 +0000 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:30:17 +0000 Hilton Honors is offering a bonus on purchased points until 15 August, which can be leveraged into cheaper Hilton Hotel stays.

This can represent good value for topping up points balances for specific redemptions. Remember that these offers aren’t usually great for buying points speculatively — you’ll need to have a specific hotel stay in mind to compare buying points vs paying cash.

Note that some have reported being offered a 30% discount – this is below average, and we would recommend not purchasing points at this price.

Current offer

The current bonus offer is tiered:

  • 1,000 – 4,000 points = 0% bonus
  • 5,000 – 80,000 points = Up to 50% discount

The maximum amount you can buy on this offer is 80,000 points for $400 USD.

You should run the maths in advance and see if room redemption costs and availability will work for you to buy Honors points instead of paying cash.

Once you’ve clicked through, you’ll need to sign into your account, your discount offer will be visible.

Offer History

The usual price set by Hilton is 1 US cent per point, including taxes. Previously they have been sold for:

DateCost per point
(USD cents)
Notes
July-August 2018 (current promotion)0.5Up to 50% discount
April-June 20180.5100% bonus
February-March 20180.5680% bonus
September-October 20170.6650% bonus
March-May 20170.5100% bonus
January 20170.5580% bonus
September 20160.5100% bonus
August 20160.6650% bonus
July 20160.55
April 20160.5
February 20150.56
September 20150.57
May 20150.5
Average0.55

Using purchased Hilton Honors points

With Honors switching up its redemption model in 2017, the best redemptions now lie at:

  • mid-tier properties like the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Universal Orlando, Agra and Queenstown
  • luxury properties like Conrad Maldives, Tokyo and Hong Kong; Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; and Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • properties located in touristy cities at touristy times, like the Hilton Barcelona and Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

Hilton Queenstown

Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

At a global level, as to be expected, you’ll find cheaper pricing in less popular or cheaper destinations at off-peak times.

Remember, if you’re a Silver member or above, you’ll get your fifth award night free on stays of five nights or more.

Bear in mind that points bookings come with booking flexibility and free refunds, so make sure you factor that in your price comparison.

Notable restrictions

You can purchase a maximum 80,000 Honors points per account before bonuses per calendar year

If you’re a new member, there is a waiting period for buying points of either:

  • 30 days after enrolment if your account reflects activity (a hotel stay or earning of points through a Honors partner); or
  • 90 days with no account activity

You are able to pool points with ten other people of your choosing for free—and they don’t need to live at the same address. You can transfer 500,000 points in a calendar year and receive four times that. This is a great way for couples and families to stock up on points.

Summing up

This deal works best if you have some specific travel plans in mind, and can check the paid rate of a Hilton at your intended destination vs what it would cost to buy and redeem points.

While the offer is particularly good, it’s probably still not quite worth buying points speculatively for without a specific use in mind.

I’d love to hear how the Point Hacks community use these point promotions – please leave a comment if you find a great deal to redeem your Honors points on.

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Priority Pass adds REX Lounges in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney to network https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/priority-pass-lounge-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/priority-pass-lounge-guide/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 02:30:01 +0000 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 02:30:01 +0000 The global lounge network is again expanding its offerings to travellers visiting Australia, with REX lounges in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney now accessible prior to domestic flights.

You and one supplementary cardholder will get unlimited visits to Priority Pass lounges with the American Express Platinum Charge, with Priority Pass memberships of different flavours coming with a range of other cards too.

Many folks have heard of the Priority Pass lounge program as it comes with several credit cards, but I would wager that few have used it to its maximum potential.

This guide is an intro to the Priority Pass airport lounge membership program, getting into what it offers for someone who might have heard of it but hasn’t ever really looked into it.

I explore some of the more appealing Priority Pass lounges around the world (it’s updated with the newest lounges added to the Priority Pass network), along with the credit cards that include access in some form or another.

Eateries added at Australian airports

By swiping your Priority Pass card or using the app, you and eligible guests can now receive $36 per person off the total bill for food and/or drinks at the following outlets at Melbourne Airport:

Melbourne Airport Eateries

as well as the eateries at Sydney Airport (now also includes Mach2 in Terminal 1):

Sydney Airport Eateries

and Brisbane Airport:

Brisbane Airport Eateries

So, if you have the Amex Platinum Charge card and take your complimentary guest to one of these eateries, you’ll get $72 off the total bill before your flight.

Mach2 and Chicken Confidential are landside at Sydney Airport’s International Terminal, which means you don’t even need to clear security to enjoy the benefits.

Mach2 Sydney International

My post-flight breakfast at Mach2, Sydney International Airport

Locations in New Zealand and Australia

Below are a full list of lounges that you’ll have access to Trans-Tasman:

In New Zealand:

Auckland: Strata Club
Christchurch: Manaia Lounge
Queenstown: Manaia Lounge

In Australia:

Adelaide: REX Lounge
Brisbane: Plaza Premium Lounge, plus three eateries
Cairns: Reef Lounge
Darwin: Catalina Lounge
Melbourne: Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 2, REX Lounge in Terminal 4, plus three eateries
Sydney: REX Lounge in Terminal 2, plus eight eateries (note that Amex Platinum Charge cardholders also have access to the American Express Lounge)

Note that access to the lounges is only permitted for travellers on international flights, with the exception of the REX Lounges in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

About Priority Pass

Since its launch in 1992, Collision Group’s Priority Pass has grown to be the biggest independent airport lounge access plan.

By attempting to offer members a premium experience, with a chance to relax and refresh before a flight, the idea behind Priority Pass is that it doesn’t matter what class your ticket is or what airline you fly, you can still enjoy premium facilities before you fly.

So, if you are flying Scoot, Jetstar or Air New Zealand, whether in Economy, Premium Economy or higher cabins, you can enjoy the same comforts of having lounge access when you travel.

It’s handy for those travellers who fly on a range of airlines, primarily in Economy or Premium Economy, and are not (or can’t be) especially loyal to a particular alliance.

Since the start of 2015, over 150 new lounges have been introduced into the network, with many in Asia, as a response to the growing number of travellers who would rather enhance their travel by lounge access rather than in-flight upgrades.

Whether you purchase one of the three membership options or your membership comes as part of your credit card plan, there are over 1,000 lounges, in more than 130 countries worldwide, offering a range of amenities to deal with the stress that often accompanies travel.

Some of the benefits of lounge access might include:

  • Free wifi
  • Snacks, soft drinks, and complimentary alcoholic beverages
  • Access to power or charging stations
  • TV and comfortable seating (ideally!)
  • Showers and spa facilities (often with an additional fee)

Priority Pass does not operate the lounges themselves, they negotiate access for their members to use lounges around the world, so amenities do vary across airports.

You can get a feel for what each lounge has to offer at the Priority Pass Lounges index.

Credit cards that offer Priority Pass membership as a benefit

One neat thing about the unlimited access with the Amex Platinum Charge and Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard is that in an airport with multiple lounges, you can just walk out of a lounge if you don’t like it and go find another.

The American Express Platinum Charge comes with full membership with unlimited visits for the Platinum Charge cardholder and a supplementary cardmember per account.

One guest is also permitted per enrolled Platinum Card member, with additional guests charged at $27 USD per visit.

The Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard has a complimentary Priority Pass membership for the primary cardholder. You’re entitled to unlimited visits to Priority Pass lounges. Additional guests will be charged for.

The Amex Airpoints Platinum comes with a Priority Pass standard membership, including two lounge visits for the primary cardholder each cardholder year.

Notable Priority Pass Lounges Globally

With so many lounges worldwide and such a wide range of operating companies it is hard to say which may be the best, but here lounges that could be well worth the visit.

Lounges in Hong Kong

Being one of the world’s busiest airports, there are 3 lounges in the Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International airport. Rated as one of the top Priority Pass lounges, features include 24 hour service, showers, internet, TV, buffets, and conference areas.

Hong Kong Plaza Premium bar

These Plaza Premium Lounges offer a deluxe atmosphere to unwind between flights.

Lounges in Singapore Changi Airport

This airport boasts multiple lounges in each terminal, totalling 11 in the entire airport.

With so many to choose from, which you visit will depend on terminal and departure time, as certain lounges are only open at specific times.

Singapore SATS lounge work

The Airport Wellness Oasis offers a complimentary shower facility and 20-minute fish spa treatments.

The Skyview Lounge with impressive views appears to be one of the best rated of the 11.

Aspire The Lounge and Spa at London Heathrow T5

Aspire Lounge LHR 1

With this brand new lounge you can enjoy many of the usual lounge benefits including complimentary food, beverages, Wi-Fi, etc. with the added bonus of travel spa treatments to rejuvenate yourself before or between flights.

Aspire Lounge LHR 2

They also offer state of the art ‘rest pods’, to relax and reset for the journey ahead. If you need to catch upon some work, there are also designated quiet spaces, with high speed Wi-Fi and a multitude of charging posts to stay connected.

Whether you are resting up or catching up on work, this lounge has everything you could need to make the most of your trip.

Five US West Coast Alaska Lounge locations

Alaska

For those doing a West Coast trip, perhaps including an Alaskan cruise, having access to these clubs in Seattle (two lounges), Portland, Anchorage and Los Angeles is a big plus.

Minute Suites and Sleep Pods in the US and Dubai

Dubai-Priority-Pass

A nifty addition to the network, you can now get some space, privacy and shut-eye between flights in a private room or pod, currently at Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Dubai’s airports.

Dubai International Business Class Lounge (Terminal 1)

Dubai-Priority-Pass1

This 24-hour lounge is useful for those travellers who have flown into Dubai on an Emirates or Qantas flight (which all operate from Terminal 3), have spent a few days there, and then are leaving on a different airline, e.g. most oneworld and Star Alliance carriers operate from Terminal 1, where this lounge is located.

Compared to the five Marhaba lounges at Dubai International, this lounge is reported to be more spacious, and have a bigger buffet offering and better views of the tarmac, if you can put up with the uglier design.

Sala VIP Pau Casals, Barcelona El Prat (Terminal 1)

Sala VIP Pau Casals Barcelona 1

Apparently known for luxurious facilities and unique spacious design, this lounge offers with floor to ceiling glass views, with specified zoned areas, for rest, entertainment or work.

Quiet zones are equipped with low lighting and chaise lounge chairs.

Sala VIP Pau Casals Barcelona 2

One neat thing about the unlimited access with the Citi Prestige Visa or Amex Platinum Charge? In an airport with multiple lounges, you can just walk out of a lounge if you don’t like it and go find another.

New Digital Membership via the Priority Pass app

With the recent revamping of the Priority Pass brand, website and app, Priority Pass also introduced a Digital Membership Card.

The app (iOS, Android) includes the Membership Card, allows you to search lounges, see important information about lounge access and speeds up the check-in process.

Accepting the Digital Membership Card will allow immediate access to most lounges, but it is important to note that some members from bank agreements may not be able to access the Digital Membership. Your mileage may vary.

Priority Pass App

Paid Membership Plans

There are some paid membership plans if you don’t have access to Priority Pass through your credit card (there’s a 10% discount on paid Priority Pass memberships here for Point Hacks readers).

Standard membership – $99 USD annual fee

  • Per visit member fee – $27 USD
  • Per visit guest fee – $27 USD

This is best for those who may travel up to 5 times per year.

Standard Plus – $249 USD annual fee

  • Per visit member fee – 10 free visits within 12 months
  • $27 USD for each additional visit
  • Per visit guest visit fee – $27 USD

This is best for those who will use the membership between 5-16 times per year.

Prestige – $399 USD annual fee

  • Per visit member fee – All Inclusive
  • Per visit guest fee – $27 USD

This is best for those who will use the membership more than 16 times per year.

Summing up – I’d love to hear your experiences with Priority Pass lounges

I’ve tried to highlight some of the better lounges in the Priority Pass program in this guide, but there are definitely a few which you’d probably pass on too.

That’s probably the biggest downside to the program – knowing whether it’s worth using up some of the limited access you might have on what might be a crappy lounge.

One way to get around this is to research lounges before you visit using the Loungebuddy app, Tripadvisor or Google, and pick carefully on where you use your access if it’s limited.

I’d also love for anyone who has got heaps of value out of Priority Pass to leave a comment and let us know your favourite Priority Pass lounges. Thanks!

Supplementary images courtesy respective lounges.

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Mystery bonus: buy IHG Rewards points at their lowest price with a 100% bonus https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/ihg-rewards-buy-points-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/ihg-rewards-buy-points-guide/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2018 20:00:41 +0000 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 20:00:41 +0000 IHG Rewards is offering a mystery bonus of up to 100% on points purchases until 22 August US time.

IHG Rewards points can be leveraged into some cheaper hotel nights than you’d pay versus paid rates at InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Indigo and Kimpton Hotels. In this guide, I run through some examples of how to get a deal.

At the upper end of the market, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotel rooms can often go for fairly hefty nightly rates, so buying points to redeem immediately offers a neat way to potentially reduce costs.

Is this a good deal?

Definitely, if you think you will use your points and especially for PointBreaks promotions.

Be mindful that this is a mystery offer – while I was offered a 100% bonus, your offer could be substantially less. Log-in to check your bonus, and do the maths to make sure the price works for you.

IHG now allows you to purchase 100,000 points (excluding bonus) per calendar year instead of the previous 60,000 points.

Note that in January 2018, IHG increased the price of a number of properties. However, in good news, you can now use IHG points to book Kimpton properties.

The Current Promotion

With the current deal of up to 100% bonus on points purchases, the cost per point will at best be 0.5c USD, with a total cost of $1000 USD for the maximum purchase of 200,000 IHG Rewards points including the bonus.

The bonus starts from 5,000 IHG Rewards points, however, you’ll get the best price when purchasing 26,000+ points (excluding the bonus).

Buying IHG Rewards points in a bonus period gives you a much better chance of coming out ahead for cheap redemptions.

Points outside of sales are sold at 1c per point but there is a hack to purchase them at 0.7c per point indefinitely—just book a points+pay room and then cancel, and you’ll be given the cash back as points in your account—but there’s some risk to your account in this approach.

Offer History

Previous promotions have run as follows:

DateBonus offer (%)USD/point (cents)Notes
July-August 2018 (current offer)1000.5lowest price; mystery bonus
June 20181000.5lowest price
April-May 2018800.55
March 20181000.5Standard points price reduced

lowest price
January-February 2018750.657
October-November 20171000.575
September 20171000.575
August 2017800.64
May 20171000.575
March 2017800.64
February 20171000.575
January 2017750.675
December 20161000.575targeted
November 20161000.575targeted
September 20161000.575
August 2016800.64
June 20161000.575targeted
February 20161000.575
November 20151000.575
October 2015600.7
June 20151000.575
March 2015600.7
September 20141000.58
Average900.608

Under the current promotion if you get the maximum bonus, you’ll be able to buy enough points for a single night at hotels in the following categories / price bands for this cost:

Example hotels in this categoryIHG Rewards points neededCost of points per night (USD) in this promotion
Holiday Inn Rotorua, Queenstown20000$100
Holiday Inn Resort Bali, Auckland Airport, InterContinental Jakarta, Crowne Plaza Christchurch25000 $125
Crowne Plaza Auckland40000$200
InterContinental Wellington35000$175
InterContinental Resort Fiji, Bali, Tahiti, Resort & Spa Moorea 40000$200
Crowne Plaza Melbourne45000$225
InterContinental Singapore, Crowne Plaza Queenstown50000$250
InterContinental Melbourne55000$275
InterContinental Sydney, Grand Stanford Hong Kong60000$300

Clearly, you’ll want to run the numbers for your intended redemptions and compare points purchasing vs a paid stay to ensure you are better off buying and redeeming points than paying outright.

However, like other hotel program redemptions, IHG Rewards redemptions are flexible and can be cancelled at no cost.

This is a big difference compared to the lowest paid rate which is usually non-refundable, so if flexibility of your reservation is important, don’t forget to factor that benefit in.

Example IHG Rewards Redemptions

The Point Hacks team have redeemed points (a mixture of purchased and earned) at a range of properties, including:

InterContinental Singapore

Club Premier Room - InterContinental Singapore

Club Premier Room (not booked using points) at the InterContinental Singapore – review here

InterContinental Resort Fiji

3-InterContinental-Fiji-Garden-View-Room.jpg

Garden View room at the InterContinental Fiji, booked using points – review here

InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

InterContinental Melbourne Standard Room

InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto Standard Room booked using points – review here

InterContinental Sydney

Sydney InterContinental Harbour Bridge View Bedroom

InterContinental Sydney Harbour Bridge View room (not booked using points) – review here

In addition, some of the best value to be had from IHG Rewards is the PointsBreaks promotions, where rooms are available from 5,000-15,000 points per night.

These are released on a limited basis from a limited set of hotels once every three months. You can read more in our guide to PointBreaks.

Notable terms around buying and redeeming IHG Rewards Points

The terms of purchase for IHG Rewards points state that you can buy a maximum of 100,000 IHG Rewards points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year.

You’ll also need to allow 24-48 hours for points to post and appear in your account.

There’s no requirement I know of around the age of an account that’s eligible to buy points, so you should be able to sign up and purchase immediately if it makes sense to do so.

Rooms available with IHG Rewards points, and benefits on offer with IHG Rewards redemptions

You’ll find that the rooms on offer using IHG Rewards points in each hotel are usually the base room type. If you’re after a premium or larger room, bear this in mind.

I have had some success in contacting the hotel in advance to try and pay my way up to a better room—it’s worth a shot.

You also may not be eligible for any IHG Rewards status benefits, or IHG Ambassador benefits, on points stays—that’s up to the individual hotel. Not that IHG Rewards status gets you much but the IHG Ambassador confirmed room upgrade can’t be used, which is a bummer.

Summing up

As with any points purchase promotion, you need to run the maths for your own intended redemption and personal circumstances to see if this will yield some good value for you.

I’d argue that the best places to look for value are the resorts that are priced in the mid-range of the points category prices, such as the InterContinental Bali and Fiji resorts.

It will be harder to get great value out of the top-category points redemptions if buying points outright to redeem, but it’s worth keeping it in your back pocket in case you need to stay at a city hotel at a super expensive time of year.

Points redemption rooms are often available when you wouldn’t expect it and you may be able to save then too.

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Flight Deal: Emirates offering discounted flights to Bali in all classes https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/emirates-bali-flight-deal/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/emirates-bali-flight-deal/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2018 20:00:22 +0000 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 20:00:22 +0000 Emirates are running a sale for travel to Bali in either Economy, Business or First Class.

These sale fares are only available until 23 July.

Read on for tips on how to maximise points earn on this flight.


What’s on offer

Depart: Auckland
Arrive: Bali
Dates: from August 1 to November 30 for First Class, July 30 to May 31 2019 for Business Class, Economy Class fares are valid for travel commencing between 3 August and 20 September 2018, 10 October and 30 November 2018, 16 January and 3 April 2019, and 26 April and 31 May 2019
Airline: Emirates
Cabin: Economy, Business and First Class

Fare prices

The prices quoted below are per person return travel from Auckland.

DestinationEconomyBusiness First
Bali$899$2,199$3,499

Tip: Use your Entertainment Book membership to get an extra 5% off these sale fares in Economy and Business Class.

Crediting your points

Depending on where your existing points balances lie, you could choose to credit these flights to Qantas Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

For example, a return First Class ticket will net you 29,316 Alaska Mileage Plan miles, which is just 684 points shy of a one-way Business Class redemption on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong.

Read more in our guide on how to choose which program to credit your frequent flyer points to.

How to book

Head to Emirates to do your search and make your booking.

Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. Fares may disappear quickly, so we suggest booking as soon as you are confident in your travel dates.

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Air Tahiti Nui status matched me to Club Tiare Gold https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/air-tahiti-nui-status-match/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/air-tahiti-nui-status-match/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2018 22:30:50 +0000 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 22:30:50 +0000 While I have Platinum status with Qantas, I am never one to shy away from a status match opportunity with another airline.

Air Tahiti Nui recently sent an email to their newsletter subscribers with an offer to match those who hold status with other airlines to the equivalent tier level with their Club Tiare program, until 30 September 2018.

So, I gave it a go- here’s what I think the benefits of status are, and the steps to apply.

The benefits of status with Air Tahiti Nui

Air Tahiti Nui often offer excellent return sale Economy Class fares between Auckland and Papeete. Though sometimes these cheaper fares will only be available where booked on a TN flight code, and not on a QF or NZ codeshare.

This means that those who have status with Qantas or Air New Zealand would miss out on their usual elite benefits, including priority check-in, priority boarding, and lounge access.

The Economy Class cabin on the new Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliner

So, if you are planning a trip to Tahiti, and think that you might be likely to fly in Economy Class, then securing a status match with the Club Tiare program will see you receive the following perks on TN coded flights:

Club Tiare Silver

  • Priority check-in
  • Extra checked bag, max weight per travel class

Club Tiare Gold

  • Priority check-in
  • Extra checked bag, max weight per travel class
  • Lounge access for you and a guest – includes the Air Tahiti Business Lounge in Papeete, as well as the Qantas lounge in Auckland (on TN operated flights) or the Air New Zealand International Lounge (on TN codeshare on Air NZ).
  • Priority baggage handling

Note that you’ll also receive these benefits on TN codeshare flights on Air New Zealand – with the exception of the extra checked baggage.

How to request a Club Tiare status match

I found the steps very simple:

  1. Join the Club Tiare program, and write down your membership number.
  2. Scan or take a photo of your existing Silver or Gold card.
  3. Email the card photo to clubtiare@airtahitinui.pf with details of your new Club Tiare membership. You must do this before 30 September 2018.
  4. Await email confirmation that looks like this:

Note that your tier review date is the 31 December 2019 – however your Club Tiare status will be valid until the end of January 2020.

As it may take some time for your physical card to come out, make sure you remember to add your Club Tiare number to any future bookings to ensure that your benefits are honoured at the airport.

Summing up

If you think that you might plan a trip to Tahiti in the next 19 months, I would recommend applying for this status match – you have nothing to lose, and it will offer some great perks if you decide to plan a spontaneous island getaway.

Don’t already have elite status? Here are our tips to get Gold frequent flyer status—and keep it for as long as possible.

Supplementary photos courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui.

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Last chance to buy Starpoints at 35% discount before new program in August https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/starwood-points-purchase-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/starwood-points-purchase-guide/#comments Sun, 15 Jul 2018 23:30:08 +0000 Sun, 15 Jul 2018 23:30:08 +0000 Starwood Preferred Guest is again running a solid 35% discount on buying Starpoints until 20 July. These points can be used for high-end expensive hotel stays, or can be transferred to one of their many partner frequent flyer programs.

Why this is a good deal

You can find value in the usually inaccessible currencies for points purchasing like Velocity, Asia Miles and KrisFlyer, all of whom partner with Starwood.

Also, with the merger of Starwood and Marriott moving forward in August, it is worth understanding that the SPG program is going through a range of changes. Prices on bookings made between August and December 2018 (even for later dates) at some Starwood properties will be significantly cheaper than they currently are. Read our full guide on the merger to find out more.

St Regis Singapore

Save Starwood sweetening with a last-minute offer between 21 and 31 July before the changes come into effect, this will be the last chance for you to buy Starpoints (I thought last month’s offer would be the last one but it has come back again!). From 1 August, Starpoints will be automatically converted at the ratio of 1 Starpoint = 3 points in the new program.

The current Starpoints promotion

The maximum purchase is 30,000 points (which is the limit for each calendar year) for $682.50 USD. The deal runs until 20 July.

Discounts are tiered as follows:

  • 500 to 3,000 Starpoints: no discount
  • 5,000 to 30,000 Starpoints: 35% discount

At the 35% discount level, this yields a cost of 2.275 USD cents per Starpoint, or if all 20,000 points are transferred to airline miles with the 5,000 point bonus, 1.82 USD cents per airline mile/point at 25,000 miles.

You’ll need to have an SPG account that is at least 14 days old to take advantage of this deal, so sign yourself and other family members up (with their permission!) for the current promotion.

Also note that these points expire after 12 months of inactivity in your account—read how to prevent your points from expiring in this guide.


Offer history

DateDiscount/bonus (%)Notes
June-July 201835Highest public offer
April-May 201835Highest public offer
January-March 201835Highest public offer
November-December 2017 35Highest public offer
June-July 201735Highest public offer
March 201730
November 201650Highest targeted offer
June 201630
March 201625
December 201525
September 201520Lowest public offer
May 201525
December 201425
May 201425
Average29.55%

Using Starpoints to transfer into airline miles/points

Starwood Preferred Guest has the widest range of airline partners out there, including Velocity, Krisflyer and Asia Miles – but not Qantas Frequent Flyer. The full list of transfer partners and ratios is below.

For all 1:1 transfer partners, for a transfer of 20,000 points you’ll also get a bonus of 5,000 additional airline points or miles, which really makes it worth targeting that 20,000 point transfer as the sweet spot.

Frequent Flyer ProgramsExchange Ratio - Starpoints:Airline Miles
Aeromexico Club Premier1:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada1:1
Air Berlin1:1
Air China Companion1:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints65:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan1:1
Alitalia MileMiglia1:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club1:1
American Airlines AAdvantage1:1
Asia Miles1:1
Asiana Airlines1:1
British Airways Executive Club1:1
China Eastern Airlines1:1
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles1:1
Emirates Skywards1:1
Etihad Airways1:1
Flying Blue1:1
Gol Smiles2:1
Hainan Airlines1:1
Hawaiian Airlines1:1
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank1:1
LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms1:1
Miles and More1:1
Qatar Airways1:1
Saudi Arabian Airlines1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus1:1
United Mileage Plus2:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1
Virgin Australia1:1

Example uses of Starpoints

I’ve used Starpoints to top up a range of my frequent flyer accounts for redemptions, including American Airlines, Velocity, Asia Miles and KrisFlyer. I’ve also redeemed Starpoints for exclusive events through SPG Moments, and for hotel stays.

Melbourne GP 2014 Panorama
Using my Amex points for an F1 experience: SPG Moments package at the 2014 Melbourne Grand Prix

The Westin Resort, Langkawi
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa Review – Langkawi, Malaysia

The use for airline redemptions is too broad to cover off in one guide, but for starters have a read of the following guides to give you some ideas:

Limitations on purchase and transfer amounts

Starwood put a 30,000 limit on the maximum number of points per SPG account you can purchase per (calendar) year, so at first glance it seems like this promotion can’t be used for large purchase amounts.

However, one way to get around this restriction is to use household points transfers, where SPG allows members who have the same address on their account the ability to transfer between accounts.

You would purchase miles for each account individually, and then request a ‘household’ transfer, which can be made online or over the phone. Thanks to One Mile at a Time for this tip.

There are also techniques to follow to maximise the amount of airline miles you can receive from SPG transfers.

There’s a limit of 79,000 miles that be transferred out of your account per 24 hours, and given that Starwood only awards the 5,000 point bonus for 20,000 point transfers, you’ll miss out on one chunk of 5,000 bonus points if you transfer the maximum 79,999 Starpoints.

As a result, the transfer sweet spot is 60,000 SPG points to 75,000 airline miles, so to maximise the bonus, transfer no more than 60,000 points (to a single program) per 24 hours.

Some transfer bonus examples come out as follows:

10k SPG = 10k airline miles
20k SPG = 25k airline miles (20k + 5k bonus)
30k SPG = 35k airline miles
40k SPG = 50k airline miles (40k + 10k bonus)
50k SPG = 60k airline miles
60k SPG = 75k airline miles (60k + 15k bonus)
70k SPG = 85k airline miles
79,999 SPG = 94,999 miles (79k + 15k bonus)

Summing up

Starpoint purchases can be an excellent way to top up an overseas frequent flyer account, where miles or points are otherwise hard to come by. The sheer volume of their transfer partners yields a lot of opportunities to use these points.

You can also leverage them into cheaper hotel stays, but that’s completely dependent on the nightly rate a hotel is charging on a given night, versus what they want to charge in Starpoints.

There may be an opportunity for your specific hotel stay plans, so check on that if you have any stays coming up.

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Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney Overview https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/reviews/qantas-international-first-class-lounge-sydney-overview/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/reviews/qantas-international-first-class-lounge-sydney-overview/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:58:58 +0000 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:58:58 +0000 The Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney consistently ranked as one of the world’s top ten airport lounges and along with the Melbourne First Lounge, is one of the jewels in Qantas’ crown.

For any traveller that cares about experiencing the best that airlines have to offer, Qantas’ First Class lounges should be on your bucket-list – and points can help you check it off.

This lounge goes above and beyond by allowing you to tailor your experience, with table service either in the restaurant area or at your lounge seats, a good menu, spa offerings and a full bar.

How you can access the Qantas First Class lounge using points

The most common way for travellers to is to be either a oneworld Emerald (Qantas Platinum) frequent flyer, or travelling in First Class with Qantas or one of their partner airlines that have an agreement to share the lounge.

Qantas offering lounge passes that can get you into the Qantas First Class lounge are few and far between, so this is not usually an option.

Other than spending many hours in the air to earn status, that leaves the most likely option for most travellers redeeming a large amount of points to fly in First Class with an appropriate airline.

The options here would include:

All of these are mostly accessible using frequent flyer points – primarily Qantas Points or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. You’ll need a healthy balance, and flexibility in when and how you can travel (don’t expect to find four First Class seats during school holidays to the US, for example).

Some of the key guides you should read to look at how to redeem points for First Class on these routes are…

Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney location & details

Qantas’ Sydney First Class Lounge hasn’t changed much physically since it was opened in 2007, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing given the amount of effort and detail Qantas put it into it’s original design.

The lounge is located at the top of the escalator leading to both Qantas Business and First Class lounges, somewhere right after the ocean of duty free shops. Once you enter you will be greeted by a large signature design piece of the Mark Newson commissioned interior.

After passing through the first staff member just beyond the doors, who checks your eligibility to enter, the green wall wraps around toward the escalator.

Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney

You then head up the escalators, past the old school iconic departures board to the main reception for your proper boarding pass check. There are a few of boards dotted around the lounge, and the make great clack-clack-clack noise every few minutes as the departure information updates. Very neat.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas First Class Lounge seating

The lounge is all set as one long length, divided into sections with very recognisable sculpted wooden beams.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

It gives clear delineation to the space, and from left to right, the lounge is divided into multiple seating areas, some with silenced TV’s, then cafe/restaurant seating with a large bar and open kitchen, followed by more seating and the library area at the end.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

The library area really caught my eye- it’s probably the most ‘designed’ area (in a pretty designer lounge) and was empty. The only thing it lacked was a view, and the books on offer were of the heavy coffee table variety. From an interior design point of view it was great, but in execution it seemed a little pointless- but cool all the same.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Food, Drink, Dining in Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney

The lounge is fronted by floor to ceiling windows looking out over Sydney Airport’s tarmac – you’ll have this view all throughout the dining area and other parts of the lounge.

It makes for one of the most interesting places to eat a high quality meal. Neil Perry and Rockpool group have managed the menu here since launch, and it remains consistently good in both choice and execution.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

You’ll have a choice of sit down dining, although scoring a window table takes good timing or a wait, or you can eat at a lounge or the bar if you prefer.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Choose as many courses and sides as you can fit in (or try).

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Spa

The spa is something you can pre-book if you are actually traveling in First Class, but can get very busy at times.

The spa opening hours are 8am to 4pm and appointments are limited to 20 minutes. This is a reduction in service in recent years, but is still a nice perk – just not as enjoyable as previously.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

The massage rooms are decked out with the signature green walls too, and are pretty inviting.

Qantas International First Class Lounge Sydney

Other Qantas Lounge Reviews

Summing up

After several visits, the things that stick out to me about the Sydney Qantas First Class Lounge are the design and space, the views and the food.

The First Lounge goes above and beyond by allowing you to tailor your experience, with table service either in the restaurant area or at your lounge seats, a good menu, the spa offerings and the bar.

If I am lucky enough to have a flight booked that will offer me entry, I’ll always try to set off an extra hour early to sit and make use of the space and time my arrival to work with meal times, if possible.

There has been little change to the environment in the decade that it’s been open and I am sure that some true frequent flyers would know where there is room for improvement – but I still get a kick out of enjoying time here before I fly.

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A guide to earning points with Quest Apartment Hotels https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/earning-points-quest-apartment-hotels/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/earning-points-quest-apartment-hotels/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:00:44 +0000 Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:00:44 +0000 Quest Apartment Hotels have a range of apartment style properties in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.

Their properties are located in central business districts, suburban and regional areas, with close proximity to head offices, business centres and key tourist destinations.

While they’re not the most aspirational chain, they are conveniently located, and usually offer clean, modern, dependable apartment style rooms.

This guide takes a quick look at the ways that you can maximise the value of your stay at Quest properties, including how to earn points with Airpoints and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Locations

Quest have over 150 properties, including 33 here in New Zealand, one property in Fiji, and the remainder in Australia.

A selection of Quest properties in New Zealand include:

Quest Napier

Quest Nelson

Quest Highbrook, Auckland

Earning frequent flyer points

When booking direct, you can earn points with two programs:

PartnerPoints earned in New Zealand and FijiPoints earned in Australia
Air New Zealand Airpoints2.5 APD per $100 NZD spentN/A
Qantas Frequent Flyer1,000 points3 points per $1 AUD spent

These are the key things to know:

  • Airpoints Dollars can be earned either personally, or via your company with Airpoints for Business
  • In terms of redemption value, you will be better off earning Qantas Points for your stay over Airpoints Dollars for most stays.
  • Points can be earned on a maximum of three apartments, and on stays up to a maximum of 7 nights.
  • These points can only be earned when making a reservation direct via the Quest website, phone, email, or check-in.
  • You can only earn points on accommodation costs, not including carparking, wi-fi, restaurant chargeback, or breakfast packs.
  • Points will take up to 6 weeks to appear in your account.

If booking online, simply add your Qantas or Airpoints membership number to the comments field, and write the name of the program:

Tip: Book via Expedia or Qantas Hotels during bonus point promotions and to save on credit card fees

Quest do not offer a loyalty program, so whether you stay once or a thousand times, you won’t be getting free breakfast.

Though this is actually beneficial, because it means that you can choose to book your stays with online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia and Qantas Hotels, and boost your Airpoints Dollars and Qantas Points earn when these platforms offer bonus point promotions.

For example:

  • The Air New Zealand Expedia website recently offered 2 Airpoints Dollars per $75 spent. A $100 NZD booking would have earned 2.66 APD, versus the 2.5 APD that you would have earned booking direct.

  • Qantas Hotels recently offered 6 points per $1 AUD for hotels in Australia. A $100 AUD booking would have earned 600 points, versus the 300 points you would have earned booking direct.

I have compared prices, and often it seems cheaper to book via one of these sites, as opposed to booking direct.

For example, for a random booking at the Quest on Eden in Auckland on the 15 August, the Air New Zealand Expedia website shows a studio selling at $131.93 NZD, with no credit card fees.

Whereas the Quest website shows the same room costing $167 NZD, with a credit card fee varying between 1.5% for Visa and Mastercard, or 2% for Amex.

So be sure to compare prices and offers before you decide how to book.

Paying by Credit Card

Most Quest properties accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club.

Unfortunately, it seems that card acceptance and transaction fees vary between properties, which is disappointing for a chain that markets itself heavily towards business travellers.

As above, you could often save on these fees by booking through an OTA.

Whether you book direct or via an OTA, here are the cards that you should consider if you’re looking to maximise the number of points you earn on your accommodation spend.

Airpoints Cards

For spend in NZD, the highest earning Airpoints card you can use is the American Express Airpoints Platinum, where you’ll earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 spent.

If you are spending in a currency other than NZD, such as on stays in Australia or Fiji where you pay at the property, the Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard will see you earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $50 spent.

Qantas Cards

If you prefer to earn Qantas Points, the American Express Platinum is your friend on spend in NZD, where you’ll earn the equivalent of 1 Qantas Point per $1 NZD spent.

If you are spending in a currency other than NZD, paying with the Qantas Cash Card will also see you earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 NZD spent.

Summing up

Quest have an extensive number of properties in New Zealand and Australia, and are a comfortable option for stays, particularly if you need some space when travelling on business, or when you’re with the family on holiday.

Being able to earn points with two of the most popular points programs in the region is beneficial, though booking with an OTA could expand your points earning options even further.

To avoid paying card transaction fees, look to book via other websites.

All images courtesy of Quest Apartment Hotels.

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Auckland Restaurant Month: Spend $50 at Participating Restaurants and get $20 cashback https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/american-express-restaurant-month-cashback/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/american-express-restaurant-month-cashback/#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:00:12 +0000 Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:00:12 +0000 Aucklanders, ‘Restaurant Month‘ is coming, and American Express will be offering another statement credit promotion to encourage you get you out of the house, and into a restaurant.

Amex cardholders who register from the 1 August can receive a $20 statement credit when spending a minimum of $50 at up to 2 participating Auckland restaurants.

The Promotion

American Express ran a similar promotion last year, but have raised the spending threshold from $20 to $50, and reduced the number of times you can use the offer from 5 to 2 – making it a little harder to take advantage of on those cheaper, more regular meals.

Though on the plus side, the number of restaurants that are participating has expanded exponentially – and will include some of your favourites outside of the CBD for the first time.

The promotion requires the card holder to register in order to be eligible. The page should be live on the 1 August.

Make sure you and your family register any supplementary cards – this offer is available for all Amex cards, not just those belonging to the primary cardholders. Any individual with multiple cards can also register each one.

Amex-Restaurant-Month

Other smart ways to save

Here are a few ways that you could ‘stack’ this offer:

  • Use your Entertainment Book membership at participating restaurants, and get either one main free when another is purchased, or 25% off your total bill, up to a set amount.
  • Book via First Table at participating restaurants, for up to 4 persons, and get 50% off the food bill
  • When spending $100 or more, split the bill with friends or family who also have a registered Amex

Eligible Cards

All the American Express Cards we have covered here at Point Hacks can be registered to be used in this promotion:

Summing up

While $20 cashback may not seem like a big deal, free money is free money, and given all it takes is one minute to register and claim multiple credits per card, there’s really nothing to lose.

What are your favourite Restaurant Month offers? Let us know in the comments below.

Supplementary images courtesy American Express.

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Earn up to 3x Asia Miles on select hotel stays https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/asia-miles-hotel-stays/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/asia-miles-hotel-stays/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 22:00:13 +0000 Mon, 09 Jul 2018 22:00:13 +0000 Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program Asia Miles is offering up to 4x Asia Miles on select hotel bookings.

Current offers include:

  • Agoda: at least HKD$10 = 4 miles
  • Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas: 3x miles
  • AVANI Hotels & Resorts: 3x miles
  • Booking.com: 3x miles
  • Harbour Plaza Hotels & Resorts: Up to 3x miles
  • Hotel Cham Cham – Taipei: 2x miles
  • Jinling Hotel & Resorts: 2x miles
  • Kaligo: Up to 10,000 miles
  • Langham Hotels & Resorts: Up to 3x miles
  • Minyoun Hotels: 3x miles
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts: 3x miles
  • The Sherwood Taipei: 2x miles
  • Tivoli Hotels & Resorts: 3x miles

Visit the Asia Miles offers website for more information on each of the offers above, including minimum stay requirements (click on ‘Travel’ and ‘Stay’).

Many of these offers also come with other exclusive benefits, including discounted rates, free breakfast, etc.

Asia Miles promo


Guide to earning Asia Miles from hotel stays

There are a large range of hotel partners where you can earn Asia Miles when you stay.

Asia Miles can be used towards award redemptions with Cathay Pacific, Qantas, British Airways, Air New Zealand (between AKL-HKG), and a large number of other partners.

This guide is intended as an overview of the various options for those wanting to earn Asia Miles when staying at hotels when travelling for leisure or business.

Asia Miles Hotel Partners

The Asia Miles program is partnered with a huge number of hotels and resorts inside and outside New Zealand. If you book directly with one of these partners, you’ll earn Asia Miles for your stay, if on a qualifying rate.

To earn miles with most of these partners, just show your membership card during check-in and try to add your membership number to the hotel booking over the phone or online before you stay.

Note that spend rates are usually exclusive of taxes.

Hotel or BrandAsia Miles
earned (minimum)
AC Hotels by Marriott1 mile per US$1 spent
Adagio1 mile per 2 Euros spent
Adagio Access1 mile per 4 Euros spent^
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas500 miles per stay
arTree Hotel1 mile per TWD$30
Autograph Collection2 miles per US$1 spent
AVANI Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Best Western250 miles per stay
Candlewood Suites500 miles per stay
Canopy by Hilton1 mile per US$1 spent
Chelsea Hotel, Toronto250 miles per stay
Conrad Hotels & Resorts1 mile per US$1 spent
Cordis Hotels 500 miles per stay
Cosmos Hotel Taipei250 miles per stay
Country Inns & Suites By Radisson250 miles per stay
Courtyard by Marriott1 mile per US$1 spent
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Curio by Hilton1 mile per US$1 spent
Delta Hotels2 miles per US$1 spent
DoubleTree by Hilton1 mile per US$1 spent
Dusit Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
E-DA Royal Hotel250 miles per stay
E-DA Skylark Hotel250 miles per stay
east500 miles per stay
Eaton Hotels250 miles per stay
Eaton, Hong Kong250 miles per stay
EDITION2 miles per US$1 spent
Embassy Suites1 mile per US$1 spent
eslite hotel500 miles per stay
EVEN Hotels500 miles per stay
Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott1 mile per US$1 spent
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
FM Hotel250 miles per stay
Gaylord Hotels2 miles per US$1 spent
GLORIA MANOR250 miles per stay
GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL Taipei250 miles per stay
GLORIA RESIDENCE250 miles per stay
Grand Emperor Hotel500 miles per stay
Grand Mayfull Hotel Taipei500 miles per stay
Grand Mercure5 miles per 4 Euros spent^
Hampton by Hilton1 mile per US$1 spent*
Harbour Plaza Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Hilton Garden Inn1 mile per US$1 spent
Hilton Hotels & Resorts1 mile per US$1 spent
Holiday Inn Express Hotels 500 miles per stay
Holiday Inn Hotels500 miles per stay
Holiday Inn Resort500 miles per stay
Home2 by Hilton1 mile per US$2 spent
HOME HOTEL250 miles per stay
Homewood Suites1 mile per US$1 spent
Hotel Cham Cham1 mile per TWD$30
HOTEL COZZI250 miles per stay
Hotel Éclat Beijing500 miles per stay
Hotel Éclat Taipei250 miles per stay
Hotel Indigo500 miles per stay
Hotel JAL City250 miles per stay
Hotel Jen500 miles per stay
HOTEL PROVERBS Taipei250 miles per stay
HOTEL QUOTE Taipei250 miles per stay
Hotel Rêve250 miles per stay
Hotelday+250 miles per stay
Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
ibis5 miles per 8 Euros spent*
ibis styles5 miles per 8 Euros spent*
Inn Hotel Hong Kong500 miles per stay
Inn Hotel Macau500 miles per stay
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 500 miles per stay
Jin Pin Hotel250 miles per stay
Jinling Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts2 miles per US$1 spent
Kerry Hotels500 miles per stay
Kimpton Hotels500 miles per stay
L7 Hotels500 miles per stay
Landis Hotel & Resorts500 miles per stay
Langham Place Hotels500 miles per stay
Lotte Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
MADISON TAIPEI HOTEL250 miles per stay
Mama Shelter5 miles per 8 Euros spent
Mandarin Oriental500 miles per stay
Marco Polo Hotels500 miles per stay
Marriott Executive Apartments1 mile per US$1 spent
Marriott Hotels & Resorts2 miles per US$1 spent
Marriott Vacation Club International2 miles per US$1 spent
Mercure5 miles per 4 Euros spent
Meritus Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
MGallery5 miles per 4 Euros spent
Millennium Hotels and Resorts500 miles per stay
Minyoun Hotels & Resorts1 mile per RMB5
Moxy Hotels1 mile per US$1 spent
New Century Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay (5 star), 250 miles per stay (4 star)
New Century Manju Hotels125 miles per stay
New Otani Hotels500 miles per stay
New World Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Niccolo500 miles per stay
Novotel5 miles per 4 Euros spent^
Okura Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts500 miles per stay
Park Inn by Radisson250 miles per stay
Park Plaza500 miles per stay
Park Regis3 miles per US$1 spent
PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Preferred Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Protea Hotels1 mile per US$1 spent
Pullman5 miles per 4 Euros spent
Quorvus Collection500 miles per stay
Radisson500 miles per stay
Radisson Blu500 miles per stay
Radisson Red500 miles per stay
Raffles Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
RedDot Hotel & Culture250 miles per stay
Regal Hotels500 miles per stay (standard room), 1000 miles per stay (executive club floor)
Regent Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Renaissance Hotels2 miles per US$1 spent
Residence Inn by Marriott1 mile per US$1 spent
Ritz-Carlton2 miles per US$1 spent
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts500 miles per stay
Signiel500 miles per stay
Silks Place500 miles per stay
Sino Hotels300 miles for stays of 1 night, 500 miles for stays of 2 nights or more
Sino Hotels500 miles per stay
Sofitel5 miles per 4 Euros spent
SpringHill Suites by Marriott1 mile per US$1 spent
Starwood Hotels & Resorts2 miles per US$1 spent
Staybridge Suites500 miles per stay
Swissotel Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Taipei Garden Hotel250 miles per stay
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces500 miles per stay
Tapestry Collection1 mile per US$1 spent
The Boutique Collection500 miles per stay
The House Collective500 miles per stay
The Langham Hotel500 miles per stay
The Peninsula Hotels500 miles per stay
The Sebel5 miles per 4 Euros spent
The Sherwood Taipei500 miles per stay
Tivoli Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
TownePlace Suites by Marriott1 mile per US$1 spent
Traders Hotels500 miles per stay
tru by Hilton1 mile per US$2 spent
UNION HOUSE Lukang250 miles per stay
Vivanta by Taj Hotels & Resorts250 miles per stay
Waldorf Astoria1 mile per US$1 spent
Wanda Hotels & Resorts1 mile per RMB4
Worldhotels500 miles per stay

* Excludes China. ^ Excludes these properties.

You’ll see that some hotels offer a fixed number of Asia Miles regardless of stay length, others tie it to your total spend. So you’ll need to calculate what hotel will offer the best return on your spend, based on room rate and length of stay.

Note that you can only earn miles at Hilton properties via Hilton points transfer.

Make sure you refer to each hotel partner’s website for more information on how to earn Asia Miles and specific terms and conditions.

The key terms are:

  • Hotel reservations booked through a travel agent or online booking site like Hotels.com or Agoda may not be eligible to earn Asia Miles.

  • Some stays or rates are not eligible to earn miles and some properties within each brand do not participate in the Asia Miles program.

If you’re unsure, and earning Asia Miles is important to you, make sure to always check with the hotel for further information. It’s often as simple as a quick email.

Grand Millenium Auckland
Stay a night at the Grand Millennium Auckland, and earn 500 Asia Miles

Earn Asia Miles from hotel stays by transferring hotel loyalty program points to Asia Miles

You can also earn Asia Miles when you transfer hotel loyalty program points from participating hotel partners to your Asia Miles account.

The table below shows the transfer rate for the relevant hotel partner, and how much you need to spend to earn the minimum number of points required to redeem for Asia Miles. You usually won’t earn points on the tax component of hotel stays.

Note that these numbers are based on you not having elite status with any of these programs. If you have status, you’ll usually earn a lot more:

Hotel ProgramHotel points earned on room rate ($USD, unless noted)Minimum Transfer RateMinimum base spend required to earn number of hotel points for transfer ($USD, unless noted)
Best Western Rewards10 points for every $15,000 points = 1,000 miles$500
Shangri-La Golden Circle1 GC Award point for every $12,500 GC Award points = 2,500 miles$2,500
Taj InnerCircle, via Golden Circle3 GC Award points for every $52,500 GC Award points = 2,500 miles$4,167
Starwood Preferred Guest2 Starpoints for every $12,500 Starpoints = 2,500 miles

Transfer 20,000 Starpoints and receive 5,000 bonus miles
$1,250
Marriott Rewards, via SPG10 Marriott Rewards points per $1, except Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites properties, which are 5 points for every $1; and Marriott Executive Apartments which is 2.5 points for every $18,000 Marriott Rewards points = 2,664 Starpoints = 2,664 miles$800
World of Hyatt5 World of Hyatt points for every $15,000 World of Hyatt points = 2,000 miles

Transfer 50,000 points and receive 5,000 bonus miles
$1,000
Radisson Rewards20 Radisson Rewards points for every $12,000 Radisson Rewards points = 200 miles$100
AccorHotels2.5 Rewards points for every 1 Euro, except ibis, ibis styles, Mama Shelter, which is 1.25 per 1 Euro; Adagio which is 1 per 1 Euro; and Adagio Access which is 0.5 per 1 Euro4,000 Rewards points = 2,000 miles1600 Euro
IHG Rewards Club10 points for every $1, except Staybridge and Candlewood Suites, which is 5 points for every $110,000 IHG Rewards Club points = 2,000 miles$1,000
Hilton Honors10 points for every $1, except Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton, which is 5 points for every $110,000 Honors points = 1,000 miles$1,000
Regal Rewards1 point for every HKD1 / RMB115,000 points = 1,000 milesHKD$15,000 / RMB15,000

While these programs offer the ability to convert their own membership points into Asia Miles, most also let you choose to earn Asia Miles direct (excluding Hilton as of April 2018).

So which option is best? We’ve run through some of the more popular programs below to show how you can collect the highest number of miles from your stay, whether that is direct earn, or miles transfer.

This assessment assumes that there are no bonus offers on, and that you will have the minimum number of program points required to make a transfer to Asia Miles:

Best Western Rewards

You can choose between one of the following for each eligible stay:

  • 250 miles; or
  • 10 Rewards points for each US$1 spent

If your qualifying stay will cost over US$125, you’ll ‘earn’ more miles by opting to earn Rewards points, and then converting. Cheaper stays will see you earn more miles by opting to earn directly.

Note that you’ll need at least 5,000 points to convert to 1000 miles. The transfer rate works out to be 1 mile per 5 Rewards points. You can change your earning preference here at any time before a stay.

Best Western Bali
Best Western Resort Bali Kuta

Shangri-La Golden Circle

You can choose between one of the following for each eligible stay:

  • 500 miles; or
  • 1 Golden Circle (GC) Award point for each US$1 spent

If your qualifying stay will cost over US$500, you’ll ‘earn’ more miles by opting to earn GC Award points, and then converting. Cheaper stays will see you earn more miles by opting to earn directly.

Note that you’ll need at least 2,500 points to convert to miles. The transfer rate works out to be 1 mile per GC Award point.

Shangri-La Sydney
Shangri-La Sydney

Taj InnerCircle

Thanks to Taj InnerCircle’s Warmer Welcomes partnership with Shangri-La Golden Circle, you can earn Golden Circle (GC) Award points when staying at any Taj Hotel.

This provides an opportunity to earn a higher rate of Asia Miles on more expensive stays than you otherwise would have if you earned miles direct.

Golden Circle members will earn 3 GC Award points per US$5 spent on eligible charges, including room, F&B etc. on stays at any Taj hotel if they have linked their account to Taj InnerCircle. You’ll then be able to transfer your GC Award points to Asia Miles at a conversion rate of 1:1.

This gives you an effective earn rate of 0.6 miles per US$1 spend at Taj Hotels.

Thus:

  • If your qualifying stay at a Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces property will cost more than US$834, or your stay at a Taj Vivanta or Gateway property will cost more than US$417, you’ll ‘earn’ more miles by opting to earn GC Award points. Make sure to specify at check-in that you want to earn GC Award points.
  • Cheaper stays will see you earn more miles by opting to earn directly.

Remember, you’ll need to accrue at least 2,500 GC Award points before you can make a transfer to Asia Miles.

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York City

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

With SPG, you can either earn miles via direct sweep, or earn Starpoints and then transfer later.

You can earn either:

  • 2 miles or 2 Starpoints per US$1 spent as a Preferred Guest member; or
  • 3 miles or 3 Starpoints per US$1 spent as a Gold or Platinum Preferred member.

Earning Starpoints can work out to be way better value – while 1 Starpoint will convert to 1 Asia Mile, which is the same rate as earning miles directly, you’ll receive a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints you decide to transfer to Asia Miles.

There is a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.

Remember, Amex Platinum cardholders are entitled to complimentary SPG Gold Preferred status, which reduces the minimum transfer requirement to 1,500 Starpoints.

The Sydney Westin, a Starwood Hotel
The Sydney Westin, a Starwood Hotel

Marriott Rewards

Whether it’s better to earn miles or points with Marriott Rewards can be a bit complicated.

To summarise, you can earn either:

  1. 2 miles or 10 Marriott Rewards points per US$1 at JW Marriott, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Autograph Collection, Marriott Vacation Club International, Delta Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, and EDITION properties;
  2. 1 mile or 10 Marriott Rewards points per US$1 at AC Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Moxy, and Protea properties;
  3. 1 mile or 5 Marriott Rewards points per US$1 at Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites properties.
  4. 1 mile or 2.5 Marriott Rewards points per US$1 at Marriott Executive Apartments.

If you earn Marriott Rewards points and then want to convert these to Asia Miles, convert your points to SPG Starpoints first.

1,000 Marriott Rewards points will transfer to 333 Starpoints, which in turn equals 333 Asia Miles. You’ll also earn a bonus 5,000 miles for each 20,000 Starpoints you transfer to Asia Miles.

Using this transfer method will mean that each Marriott Rewards point will be worth at least ~0.33 Asia Miles.

Thus:

  • If you’re staying at any of the hotels listed under 1, 2 and 3 above, you should opt to earn Marriott Rewards points, and then convert these to Asia Miles via SPG.
  • You’ll earn more miles at Marriott Executive Apartments via direct earn.

You can change your earning preference at any time before a stay.

Note that you’ll need a minimum of 8,000 Marriott Rewards points for this to work, as there is a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.

If you are an SPG Gold Preferred Guest member thanks to your Amex Platinum, you’ll only need a minimum of 5,000 Marriott Rewards points, as the minimum transfer requirement drops to 1,500 Starpoints.

Sydney Marriott
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

World of Hyatt

You can choose between one of the following for each eligible stay:

  • 500 miles; or
  • 5 World of Hyatt points for each US$1 spent

If your qualifying stay will cost over US$250, you’ll ‘earn’ more miles by opting to earn World of Hyatt Points, and then converting. You’ll also receive a 5,000 mile bonus for ever 50,000 points that you convert.

Cheaper stays will see you earn more miles by opting to earn directly.

You can decide when you check-in whether you’d like to earn World of Hyatt points, or Asia Miles.

Note that you’ll need at least 5,000 points to convert to miles. The transfer rate works out to be 0.4 miles per point.

Park Hyatt Sydney
Park Hyatt, Sydney

Radisson Rewards

Radisson Rewards will let you earn:

  • 500 miles per qualifying stay at Radisson Blu, Raddison, and Park Plaza properties; and
  • 250 miles per qualifying stay at Country Inns & Suites By Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson properties.

Alternatively, you can choose to earn 20 Radisson Rewards Gold Points per US$1 instead, and then convert to miles at a rate of 10:1. This is the equivalent of 2 miles per US$1 of spend.

You require a minimum of 2,000 Gold Points to convert to 200 miles. This is a pretty low minimum transfer rate compared to most programs.

Therefore, to maximise your miles earning:

  • If your stay at a Radisson Blue, Radisson, or Park Plaza property will cost over US$250, or your stay at a Country Inns & Suites By Radisson or Park Inn by Radisson property will cost over US$125, you’ll ‘earn’ more miles by opting to earn Gold Points, and then converting.
  • Cheaper stays at these properties will see you earn more miles by opting to earn directly.

You can change your earning preference at any time, so make sure you do the maths before your stay so you can work out what will earn you the highest number of Asia Miles.

It is important to note however that if you have an existing balance of at least 10,000 Gold Points, these will automatically convert to miles when you change your preference – so don’t choose switch if you’re otherwise banking your points for free nights, for example.

Radisson Blu Sydney
Radisson Blu, Sydney

AccorHotels

Le Club AccorHotels give you the ability to automatically convert your Rewards points to Asia Miles. Every 2 Rewards points you earn will automatically be converted to 1 Asia Mile.

Alternatively you can convert 4,000 Rewards points to 2,000 Asia Miles at your convenience.

The number of miles you’ll earn between the two options is exactly the same.

If you’re staying at AccorHotels properties regularly and are likely to collect more than 4,000 Rewards points, then it’s best to rely on the conversion option – you won’t lose any value, and you’ll also have the flexibility of converting to other partner programs, like KrisFlyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, and Virgin Velocity.

A real positive of the Le Club program is that if you have elite status, you’ll be earning ‘bonus’ miles for each Euro of spend in accordance with your tier level, regardless of whether you opt into earning Rewards points, or automatic miles conversion.

Sofitel Auckland

Sofitel Auckland

IHG Rewards Club

With IHG Rewards Club, you can earn either:

  • 500 miles per eligible stay; or
  • 10 Rewards Club points per US$1 at InterContinental, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, EVEN Hotels, and Hualuxe properties; and 5 Rewards Club points per US$1 at Staybridge and Candlewood Suites properties.

If your qualifying stay will cost over US$250 (with the exception of Staybridge and Candlewood Suites), you’ll ‘earn’ more miles by opting to earn Rewards Club points, and then converting. At Staybridge and Candlewood Suites properties, the spent target is US$500.

Cheaper stays will see you earn more miles by opting to earn directly.

Note that you’ll need at least 10,000 points to convert to miles. The transfer rate works out to be 1 mile per 5 Rewards Club points.

You can change your earning preference at any time before a stay.

Intercontinental Wellington
Intercontinental Wellington

Conclusion and common rules

Out of the nine major programs we’ve reviewed above, I find SPG and AccorHotels to be the most simple. Both programs give you the same mileage earn rate, regardless of whether you choose to earn direct, or earn points with their rewards programs and transfer later on.

With Marriott Rewards, it is better value to earn points and then convert these to miles via SPG – with the exception of Marriott Executive Apartments, where you should earn miles directly.

For all the others, you’ll need to do some quick maths before your stay, because the scenarios can work out different depending on the cost of your stay.

Also keep in mind these common rules:

  • There are often hotel bonus promotions that allow you to earn extra points, which will often affect whether direct earn or conversion is the better deal.
  • If you are an elite member of some of these programs, the minimum spend to earn points and redeem for Asia Miles will be even less – take this into account when doing the maths.
  • If you’re only staying at a hotel or brand on a one-off basis, you should opt to earn miles directly in almost all cases. This is so you’re not left with an account balance that you cannot otherwise use. SPG may be the exception to this rule, especially if you plan to buy Starpoints to then convert into frequent flyer points.

Earn Asia Miles from hotel stays booked through aggregators

Is the hotel you’re wanting to stay at not an Asia Miles partner? Well you’re in luck, because you can also earn miles for booking via varying aggregator sites, which gives you access to literally thousands of additional hotels, villas, and apartments around the world.

In some cases, booking a partner hotel via these sites will see you earn more miles than you would otherwise earn by booking direct, but keep in mind that you likely won’t receive any status benefits by using an aggregator, and direct bookings can often be cheaper.

WebsiteAsia Miles earned (minimum)Notes
Agoda.comMinimum 2 miles per HKD$10 spentBook here
Booking.com2 miles per HKD$10 spentBook here
Expedia2 miles per HKD$10 spentBook here
HomeAway2.5 miles per US$1 spentBook via Asia Miles iShop
Hotels.com2 miles per HKD$10 spentBook here
Kaligo4-12 miles per HKD$10 spentRead our guide here

Book here
Rocketmiles 500 - 10,000 miles per nightRead our guide here

Book here
Trip.com3 miles per HKD$22 spentBook here

Missing Points?

Asia Miles advises that you should allow up to 8 weeks for your miles to appear in your account, and to retain your original receipts or invoices in order to claim any missing miles. This is often not a problem with most of the hotel chains as your receipts and stay information tend to be tied to your account and available to access online.

Should you find yourself needing to make a claim, you can do so by completing the form at this page. You must claim missing Asia Miles within 6 months of your stay. The form will advise whether Asia Miles can help with the claim, or whether you need to contact the hotel directly.

Summing up

There are a huge selection of hotels that you can earn Asia Miles at, and your earning ability is extended through their partnership with hotel booking aggregators like Rocketmiles.

The number of Asia Miles you will earn will depend on how much you travel, whether it’s predominantly domestic or international, and the nightly rates of individual hotels. Make sure you do the maths.

Keep an eye on your hotel bookings to make sure you’re not missing out on Asia Miles for your next stay.

Photos courtesy of respective hotels.

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