Set your first goals – Who, What, When, Where and How?

This may seem blatantly obvious, but one of the first things you’ll need to do when looking at earning points, so you can spend them most effectively in future, is deciding who, what, when, where and how.

Less than 1,000 Airpoints Dollars will get you to Tokyo in Economy class, and with the ability to redeem Airpoints Dollars on any seat that is for sale, the redemption opportunities are wide open – you could even leave tomorrow if you wanted to.

Getting you and your partner to Europe in Air New Zealand Business Class will cost almost 10 times that – and that’s a lot of shopping and filling up your car. Surely there has to be a better way?
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Why you need to plan ahead when using frequent flyer points

Planning a holiday is fun, but can also get quite stressful when having to take external things into account. Planning ahead for anything is good sense- planning ahead for a Business or First Class Award flight is a must.

Realistically, looking a year into the future isn’t a bad idea if you’re planning to book something spectacular, like First or Business to Europe or the USA.
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Why you should target flexible programs and points that can be transferred where and when you need them

This post is the next in the series looking at the fundamentals of using your points – how to get the most value from them and ensure they are used effectively.

It’s worth understanding that having flexibility in the points you earn, specifically credit card rewards program points – increases the value of these points dramatically. Being able to transfer your points to a range of loyalty programs, both airline and hotel, adds many more options than collecting points in one program alone. Continue reading…

Using points basics – be prepared to be flexible with your plans

The easiest way to start your planning is to look at the flights you want. Where do you want to go, and when? Flexibility in your timing is key. If you can be flexible with your destination too, then all the better.

For our most recent trip, I didn’t care if we flew into Rome, Paris, Madrid or Berlin- just somewhere vaguely in that part of the world. Nor did I mind what airlines we flew with, or what class we flew in, so long as it was Premium Economy or above.
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Using points intro – know your tools

Finding out which rewards are available can sometimes be the most difficult part of using your points. I’ve found that the easiest tools are often the website of the airline you’ve got your points with.

This is an extremely useful way to start planning your points journey as well. You may know where you want to go, but without researching how many points it will cost, and how far into the future you need to book then you’re not going to get very far.
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