Upgrades or flights? Tips for using your points

I’m pretty focused on earning my points – through flights, my credit card, my shopping…and I also get points from some service providers when I pay my bills on time. If it’s not costing me anything to earn them and I don’t have to go out of my way, then I’m happy to use the company that’s going to give me the points.

How you spend our points is just as important – and can be as strategic – as how you earn them.

Ever noticed that most of the time it’s not worthwhile to use your points to book fights? Sometimes the taxes and fees can be about three quarters of the cost of the non-points flight! It doesnt make sense to use points AND pay that much money.

I’ve recently discovered why – and that not all airlines charge you a fortune as well as taking your points.

From what I understand, airlines have the option to include their fees and charges within the points it costs you, or to add them to the taxes you have to pay even when using points.

Some airlines – like Qantas – will pass all the fees and charges on, making frequent flyer seats expensive, and meaning we only upgrade with Qantas.

Others, like Fijian airlines and Cathay Pacific, include as many costs as they can in the points required – making seats more affordable and points purchases more attractive.

I just booked our trip to Borneo flying Cathay and it cost $400 for both of us on points – it costs points plus $600 for one person to get to Singapore. Huge difference!

So there you have it – always check put alternative or partner airlines when booking flights with points, if it seems like too much of a double, pay for the flights, save your points and upgrade to business! 

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