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best use of membership rewards points.
I have a large number of membership rewards points(500,000+) and in the past have just booked trips through the Platinum travel site and paid with points. I am beginning to think that there are better ways to take full advantage of these points, transferring them to different airlines rewards programs. My wife and I travel to Asia and Europe every few years when we have accumulated enough reward points and would like to make those trips more frequent through better use of our points. Can you give me some pointers?
Thanks in advance.
Welcome [USER=2923]@cmtobin1[/USER] – have a look at this post by Frequent Miler:
It’s an old post but contains a link to a Google Document that is kept current. It shows you what airlines you can transfer your MRs to and also lists what partners those airlines have.
So I would first plot out your destination and then look at which airlines have the best redemption rates. You can use Wikipedia to determine which airlines fly to a specific airport. When looking for space, look at the longhaul legs first to find space and then build your connections around that.
Or, if that sounds like a lot of hassle, engage an award booking firm. OMAAT has one (see the Award Help tab above) but there are others as well.
Also, “best use” is really subjective. Best for you may not be best for someone else 🙂
However, there are a few transfer partners that are very good and/or have good options:
[B]Aeroplan [/B]- Decently priced Star Alliance awards though a bunch (not all) of airlines will have fuel surcharges. I’d find paying charges on LH F to be worth it but that’s up to you. Austrian and Turkish also have pretty good business class products. I dont think the Asian carriers have fuel surcharges and both EVA and ANA are fantastic options.
[B]FlyingBlue [/B]- certain awards booked by them can be excellent and they usually release more saver space on AirFrance/KLM to their own members.
[B]KrisFlyer[/B] – The only way to get Singapore Airlines premium cabins.
[B]Etihad[/B] – Can be useful for their own flights, if somewhat expensive since it’s distance based. Their partner awards can be very good, if you can get an agent to put an award together.
[B]Delta[/B] – Their miles are actually very good for business class on partner airlines. Lucky and Tiffany had a great time in Aeroflot business and Taiwan’s China Airlines is also excellent.
[B]BA[/B] – Still good for short haul redemption (particularly, outside of the US). Additionally, awards booked using Avios for any segment that [I]departs[/I] HKG wont have fuel surcharges.