Closed: Austrailia Trip Give Away – Official Entry Post

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Boarding area has teamed up with American Express to offer a trip for two to the Gold Coast of Austrailia.  See this official page for more details. 

How To Enter

Simply leave a comment (at top of this post) in this post answering this question; What’s your top tip for travelers who want to earn and use their loyalty points?

My Tip

Since the question of the promotion is to share loyalty points earning and using tips, I”ll share mine.  When booking your award tickets look into the use of open jaws or stop overs to ensure you get the most value out of your miles and trip.  See my trip report here on how I used both an open jaw and stop over to get to the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Paris in business class all in one trip while using a minimum amount of miles. 

Here are the details

  • Seven nights/eight days hotel accommodations, transportation, meals, activities and round-trip airfare for two people to the Gold Coast of Australia (Queensland)
  • Total value = $10,250!**
  • American Express and Boarding Area are kicking in a combination of cash and cards to cover any related tax associated with the prize
  • A winning reader will be chosen from a random comment selected on each blog, then 1 winner will be selected from the 20 blog selections
  • The more you enter the more you have a chance to win
  • Fine Print: Contest is only open to those 18 years and up/US Residents only (void in Canada and U.S. Territories)

Bottom Line

This is a great promotion being put on by American Express and Boarding Area.  A very easy way to enter to win a trip to Austrailia for two.  I would encourage you to visit the other participating blogs to get as many entries possible into this promotion.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Save. Go in style. If you have “world points” or any sort of airline reward points, use those for big trips. Use smaller trips you can pay for “out of pocket” on your credit card towards more reward points.

  2. When redeeming remember to use partner award travel options. Several times they will not be displayed online and the agent will not list them over the phone. Make sure you know the alliance and non alliance airline partners and try to create your own itinerary using a travel site. Once you have an itinerary call the airline and ask the agent for availability on those flights you’ve selected. Have several options in terms of airlines, dates, and flight times. For earning miles use your credit card for everything. I use my SPG Amex card for something as small as a 99cent purchase. The SPG Amex actually allows you to earn 1.25 miles per dollar as for every 20000 points transferred to an airline you received a 5,000 bonus.

  3. You and up to six other members of your household, including children, can earn and spend British Airways Miles together. Each member has an individual account, which is linked with the others so you can pool BA Miles, making it easier to take reward flights sooner.

  4. You don’t need to be a customer of an airline to take advantage of their loyalty programme – think alliances. For example, I am one of BMI’s best customers despite having never flown on one of their flights. The same has been true of Air Canada in the past.

  5. Know where you are going, research the award chart, get enough miles (a much easier job with Amex MR), finally be flexible and secure the award seat EARLY!

  6. Use your miles to travel to exotic places where the tickets are extremely expensive, such as Norway, but you need to plan ahead. Well, sometimes you don’t have to, because not many people know those places 😀

    Anyway, this usually yields the best value of miles.

  7. Be smart about what you use your points for. International tickets and international upgrades tend to be the best uses of points.

  8. Take advantage of low fares to boost up your mileage total. Quick weekend trips can rack up the miles if you pay attention to what you earn versus what the trip costs.

  9. The good thing I found using BA pts is that they have several partners where I can use the pts. I am flying to Australia. It costs 140,000pts if i fly BA or 80,000 pts if I fly quantas.

  10. If you are planning a reward trip and your favorite airline or hotel doesn’t have availability, look at parters or converting your points so you can still take your dream trip!

  11. Sign up for all the loyalty programs you can then track the detailed information, membership numbers, benefits, enrollment dates etc. Use this information every time you book travel or stays for frequent upgrades, perks and free stays. There are a lot of programs out there so search and track once you find them.

  12. Sometimes, travel companies have some incredibly lucrative promotions (like the LatinPass promotion, through which we earned a million miles, most of which were used on USAir, or transferred to Hilton and Marriott). When these promotions happen, DON’T delay! They frequently get pulled, or closed to additional entrants. You have to figure out the benefits and pull the trigger quickly.

  13. Check the FT fora for your airline and hotel programs. Promotions come and go, so you have to stay on your toes if you want to maximize your points/miles.

  14. The Best use of your miles are international Business/First awards, don’t waste your miles on anything less.

  15. 1 Consider using your airline rewards for upgrades to first class or business class.
    2 Read flyertalk and the blogs like this
    3 Plan ahead for better availability
    4 some good luck

  16. Try to use some of the new one way awards, often these have more availability than the regular standard (25K) awards. I have found them to be available when I cannot a round trip.

  17. My best tip for travelers who want to earn and use their loyalty points is to save your points for flights. Especially with American Express Points and Airmiles points, the miles go way further as far as value goes. For a certain amount of points you could get some merchandise or a gift card worth maybe a few hundred dollars, or you could get a flight worth almost double. Also, NEVER use cash if you don’t have to. Put your credit card on file at the hotel and charge EVERYTHING to your room. If you have the cash on hand to pay for something, keep it in your pocket until the end of the month and use it to pay the bill without interest. Using cash is basically throwing points (or free rewards) out the window – don’t do it unless you have no other option.

  18. Keep a positive attitude and the longview about reaching your destination. Actual airtime goes quickly when you are calm and content.

  19. Concentrate on quickly gaining the highest elite status in one program, because you can parlay that into status at others through matching. Plus it makes the travel that much more comfortable

  20. Attend the 6th Annual Ann Arbor Art Fair DO. This year is devoted to discussing the ins and outs of award ticket booking. It is the perfect opportunity to network with fellow points and miles fiends. Details available at

  21. Stick to one or two programs for each of air, car, hotel, etc and be completely loyal to those, for example, go with SPG + SPG Amex + stay only at SPG hotels and sign up for as many promotions as possible via milemaven/pointmaven

  22. Cheapest way to keep your miles from expiring; buy a song from Itunes via the particular airlines shopping mall’s link to Itunes. For $1.29, you start the clock all over again.

  23. Find a program and stick to it. Pay very close attention to the expiration dates on your rewards, especially the free car vouchers and such (like the 1 2 free promo by National, those things expire really fast.
    Especially when dealing with rental cars try and break into a higher tier as you’ll get better service and better cars usually.
    For what it’s worth I’ve found points don’t matter as much as the perks to me. I would much rather get upgraded on 20 domestic flights than get one free international flight.

  24. Do your homework! Know EVERYTHING about the loyalty rewards program you chose: one-time promotions, how to get bonus points, who are the partners, etc.
    Every time you make a reservation/pay for something (store, hotel, restaurant, purchase on-line, concert, trip to a museum, etc) remember to check if you can use your loyalty card. EVERY LITTLE BIT ADDS UP!!!

  25. There are so many good tips, and here is the only one that hasn’t already been said and resaid:

    When you have a lousy experience with an airline, CONTACT the airline immediately; often you will receive double miles or at least courtesy miles. And if you don’t, you’re not being descriptive enough!!

    I’ve had great experiences with Delta’s customer service responding to some horrid flight experiences (when you fly 80,000 miles a year, you’re bound to have a few ugly ones!)

  26. Keep a close eye on the blogs hear at BoardingArea. The information presented is much cleared and less cluttered than what you’ll find on Flyertalk.

  27. Be sure to look up loyalty promotions BEFORE booking, as many have registration requirement that only does out awards for trips AFTER registration!

  28. Sign up for to keep track of your mileage balances if you are a member of several programs (like me!). The free version is great, but for as little as $1 for 6 months, you can also keep track of expiration dates for your programs, so that you don’t lose your hard-earned miles & points due to inactivity.

  29. Earn airline miles with one carrier/alliance but with at least two hotel chains to ensure that there’s a location you can use points on a trip and in case the hotel of choice has no rooms available, that way you have a backup to use when you want to cash in points for a trip.

  30. Be sure to enter as many programs as you can, but try to concentrate your miles/points in one or two.

  31. Always know the promotions for your program and do your best to take advantage of them.

  32. My advice would be to “get loyal” with a favorite hotel chain/ airline/ rental car company – higher level loyal members, Starwood Platinums, Hyatt Diamonds, United 1ks, for example not only earn base points but bonus points for these member classifications, as well as other perks and upgrades (free) that rewards the loyal frequent traveler.

    Also, using a branded credit card to pay for these hotel rooms and plane tickets (United’s Visa, Starwood’s Amex, for example) have a way of being a point multiplier for increased earnings ad well.

  33. My top tip for using mileage points is to plan well in advance and to fully understand the specific restrictions of the program.

  34. If you get a rep that says it cant be done, hang up and call again until you get a rep that will work with you and is knowledgeable. Try try try again.

  35. If travel is not available at the points level you need from your airport, try all nearby airports and use off days like tuesdays-wednesday for travel.

  36. Be aware of opportunities to transfer miles/points from one program to another for free without devaluation.

    A good one I’ve used heavily is Amtrak Guest Rewards -> Continental OnePass. Limit of 50K per year – and even that might only be for Amtrak elite pax. Still, it’s a steal. For example, right now there’s a (possibly targeted?) offer for the co-branded Chase MC that yields 18K Amtrak points upon activation and another 18K with $2K spend. Easiest 36K Continental miles I’ve every heard of.

    Similarly know how much the miles/points are worth to you so you know when to earn and when to burn.

  37. As I’ve gotten older, my time has become more valuable and I’ve had more disposable income. Therefore, I recommend being a little more willing to spend money instead of sacrifice time to build mileage balances.

    On Continental, I have the Presidental Plus credit card, which gives a 25% redeemable miles bonus. I pay in advance for the Extra Mile bonus, which is another 50%. I have Platinum status, offering a 100% bonus. And I frequently purchase B fares, which are upgradeable at booking and earn 150% EQM, good for keeping status.

  38. Make sure to return to the most awesome travel blog ever to get all the latest info and hot deals!! I use my miles credit card for everything! I get miles for all purchases and it keeps any of my miles from expiring! Thanks.

  39. Know what your programs’ expiration rules are and what it takes to keep your miles/points from expiring. Even if you don’t have enough miles in your account to take a flight, you may have an opportunity in the future to get enough for a ticket. Keeping miles alive in many programs can also be done cheaply. For example, buying a song on iTunes keeps United miles alive for another 18 months.

  40. Take advantage of the alliances, and use your miles for flights on other airlines which normally offer a far higher level of service than the American carriers. An award trip is just that – so award yourself with the best carriers in the alliance.

  41. Many airline carriers allow for one-way award redemptions. If you have trouble finding round trip award availability at the lowest redemption level, do some one-way searches before ponying up the higher amount of miles

  42. What’s your top tip for travelers who want to earn and use their loyalty points? At Christmastime, do all your shopping online for FF miles! I’ve racked up lots of points this way and have traveled to Europe and California using my FF miles.

  43. Focus on your goals – where do you want to go/what do you want to do – that way you can really focus on the loyalty programs that will get you to your goal quickly and easily.

  44. Use the Starwood AMEX to accumulate points, then transfer to your favorite airline program with a 25% bonus for 20,000 point exchanges. Alternatively keep Starwood Amex points in reserve so you can transfer smaller amounts to “top off” airline accounts to reach the award you need.

  45. Earn/consolidate to one frequent flyer program of an alliance. Always check the ‘Fare basis code’. Starwood Preferred Guest card is best credit card for earning miles, gives 5k bonus for redeeming 20k miles to 30 different FFP program.

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