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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Yesterday Qantas shared the start date of its new nonstop service between San Francisco (SFO) and Melbourne (MEL). The Australian flag carrier will be flying its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route and we’re currently seeing great business class saver award availability — a rare find on flights between the US and Australia.
The new route will launch on September 1, and since Qantas is a member of the Oneworld alliance, you can use miles from any Oneworld airline to book this flight. Of course, each airline has their own differing mileage amounts required for this flight. For instance, if you’re booking through American, you’ll have to spend 80,000 AAdvantage miles plus taxes and fees in each direction. Also, it appears that award flights have only loaded online through the end of the September, even though you can pay cash for tickets at later dates.
Alaska Airlines isn’t a Oneworld member but does have a partnership with Qantas, and if you have Alaska miles, you’ll definitely want to book with those since you can book Qantas business for as little as 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles! This is probably one of the best redemptions in the Mileage Plan program. The cash price for this one-way flight is going for $5,848, meaning if you redeem through Alaska, you’re getting nearly 11 cents per point, an insane redemption.
Alaska and American are both Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partners, so you can transfer points into either of the programs and even get an extra 25% in bonus miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer. Fortunately, neither airline adds carrier surcharges to awards, so you’ll just be paying taxes of around $35.
If you don’t have any Starpoints, your next best bet would be to transfer Citi ThankYou Points or Amex Membership Rewards to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program. Although it will cost you more at 85,000 miles one-way, it’s not a terrible option if you’re lacking SPG Starpoints, Alaska miles or American miles.
Qantas has a great new business class product which it calls “mini first.” It features 42 lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 layout, so every seat has direct aisle access.
If you’re in need of Starpoints, you can apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express which includes a 25,000 point bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is also offering 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. And lastly, you could apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express, which will net you 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
H/T: One Mile at a Time
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