How to redeem points for flights from Brisbane to London and Rome to Brisbane?

I’m hoping to get some help on some flights please and what options I have with my points - I’m very confused! I’ve never redeemed any points before. And looking at using the points for the ticket not upgrade because of money (I was saving my points to fly business class but that’s not going to happen now :frowning: )
I want to fly BNE-London (any airport, cheapest best, going straight to Bedford from flight). Then Rome-BNE for the return flight.
I have Velocity points (111,000) and Amex points (133,000) plus $400 Amex travel credit. Also have 16,000 Qantas pts but I know that wont get me anything. Also have 15,000 ANZ Rewards points which I guess I’ll transfer to Velocity to get the 50% bonus this month?
I’ve had a look at Velocity and know I can get flights with Etihad for 75k each way plus approx $250 per flight. Or 82,800 plus $130 approx with SQ (but 2 stops, Etihad is only 1).
Should I transfer my Amex points to Velocity and use them that way?
What other options do I have that would be beneficial?
Is it worth using Amex points directly or always transfer them to an airline? I have KrisFlyer but no points on it.
Can you please help me with my choices at all? :slightly_smiling_face:
Thank you!

Hi Rachael,

I’ll try to help you out!

First, try not to be intimidated by the idea of using points to book flights. It’s not all that much harder than using real money to book flights – it’s just a little harder to find availability.

You actually have plenty of options. But given that you already have 111000 Velocity points, probably your first preference should be to convert your AmEx points and ANZ Rewards points to Velocity. You’ll end up with 198725 Velocity points, assuming you do the transfers this month while the bonus offers are up. This is more than enough to get you to Europe and back, flying economy, on any airline. I’d recommend that you try to find availability on the Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic route to London via Hong Kong, because that requires fewer points. From Rome, you could look to fly home on Singapore or Etihad. Singapore will cost you considerably less in extra cash charges.

Check availability before you transfer the AmEx points, because if you can’t find availability using Velocity points, your next option would be to transfer your points to KrisFlyer. There’s normally pretty good availability on Singapore Airlines using KrisFlyer points. If you transfer your AmEx directly to Krisflyer that will give you 66500 KrisFlyer points, and then convert 61225 Velocity points to KrisFlyer. You’ll end up with the 106000 KrisFlyer points you’ll need for a return trip in Economy.

If you convert every single one of your Velocity points to KrisFlyer, you’ll have just enough points to fly Premium Economy in one direction, and economy in the other.

Finally, I do think that it’s best to transfer your AmEx points to a FF programme rather than using them directly.

I hope all that helps. Your next step is to check availability of award flights using Velocity points and then KrisFlyer points, and to decide which of those two FF programmes you should use to book your flights. Over to you!


Thank you so much for your reply, this helps me a lot!
I’m not worried about booking the actual flights, I just want to make sure I get the most of of my points and because I have points a bit all over the place I wanted to make sure I was transferring them to the right place before I did it :slight_smile:
I’ve had a quick look this morning but I cant seem to see any VA/Virgin Atlantic flights. Is there a trick to seeing them from Brisbane (as I know VA doesnt fly to HK from BNE)? Or will it just be because they have gone for my dates? I need to fly to UK on/around 19th August and fly home on/around 23rd Sept.
Thanks for your help :slight_smile:

When looking for flights with connection you should search segment by segment. What I mean is if the total flight is Brisbane to Los Angeles to London, you should search Brisbane to Los Angeles and LA to London separately to maximise your chances of finding space. Also, the Virgin Atlantic partnership should result in you flying from Brisbane to LAX and then to London, not via Hong Kong.


Thanks for the reply :slight_smile:
So I’m on the computer now trying to work it all out, your reply is perfect timing :slight_smile:
So sixtyeight above recommended to fly to HK then London. But you dont think so? Isnt flying via LAX going to be really long? I know I would have to fly to Sydney or Melbourne to go to HK. I guess both options would be long!
I’m on the Velocity website now and it says I have to call to redeem Virgin Atlantic flights. Is that true? I cant seem to see any Virgin Atlantic flights online

Hi Rachael,

@djtech is right – sorry, I forgot that Virgin doesn’t fly to HK from Brisbane. But the Los Angeles option is also a possibility.

Thinking about Hong Kong, though, made me realise that there’s another option: use your $400 AmEx travel credit to fly to HK on whichever airline has the cheapest tickets at the time, and convert some of your AmEx points to Asia Miles (it’s easy and free to join). 30,000 Asia Miles will get you from HK to London in Economy, and 40,000 in Premium Economy. I’ve just checked Cathay from HK to Gatwick (it’s generally easier to find availability into Gatwick than into Heathrow) and there is availability on or around August 19/20 in both Economy and Premium Economy.

Then you could convert your remaining AmEx points to either Velocity or KrisFlyer and use those points to fly home from Rome on either Singapore or Etihad.

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I’ve actually never tried to book a Virgin Atlantic flight but if the Velocity website says you have to call, then you have to call!
The other thing you could do is look for availability on Virgin Atlantic’s own website, and then call Velocity to do the actual booking.

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Thanks @sixtyeight :slight_smile:
I am actually a member of Asia Miles (forgot to write it in my originally post). I do have 5,303 points with them as I flew Cathay Pacific last time I went to the UK. I know 5000 isn’t much but it all helps :wink:
Flying into Gatwick isn’t convenient as I’m going straight up to Bedford, Stansted or Heathrow are better options (obviously if there are available flights!)
Alight I’ll keep researching, thanks for your help both of you :slight_smile:

Oh sorry another question - is it more expensive (points or fees) to ring the call centre for the booking? Or they are the same prices as online?

Is it better to pay the taxes in money or points?
Eg. BNE-LAX is 74,600 or 44,800 + $178.31

Just got off the phone from Velocity. No available rewards flights LAX-LHR or HKG-LHR around the dates I want :frowning: So I guess VS is out. Back to SQ or EY…

Alight… I think I have made a decision… I think I am going to go with SQ with KrisFlyer points (I think!)

With no Virgin Atlantic flights available my options with Velocity are SQ or EY.
SQ from BNE is 2 stops (Sydney first) for 82,800 points + $130.21 taxes
EY from BNE is 1 stop for 75,000 points + $252.51 taxes

Going direct to SQ with KrisFlyer it is a 1 stop flight for 53,000 points + $102.98 taxes

So I’ll convert 106,000 Amex points to get the 53,000 KrisFlyer points.

How does that sound to everyone? Am I missing anything? (Haven’t worked out the FCO-BNE flights yet, just focusing on London at the moment!)

So I’m starting to look into the Rome flight now. It has “waitlist” against the flight. Is it likely or unlikely that I will get this flight? And what do you do? Book and pay for as a waitlist and then just wait to see if you get it or not? How long do they wait to tell you if you don’t get it? I have to have a return flight and don’t want to pay a crazy amount for it if this comes back as not approved, so am I best to not book a waitlist flight? Sorry, 20 questions!

Hi again,

Getting to London with Singapore is a great option. You’re getting the hang of this very quickly!

The Waitlist is a lottery. You might get confirmation within a few days, or a few months, or within a couple of days of the flight, or not at all. There’s no harm in putting down for a waitlist flight and waiting for a bit to see what happens, because there’s no obligation to take the flight if it does come through and simply applying for a waitlisted flight doesn’t cost you anything.

As I never tire of saying, though, the key to booking FF flights is flexibility. Is there any chance you could fly home from Milan? Singapore and Cathay (and I think Etihad as well) fly from there, and availability is generally a lot better. Or could you even catch an el-cheapo flight to somewhere like Frankfurt?

There’s also great availability on Singapore from Istanbul. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds as Istanbul is in the “Middle East and Africa” zone with Krisflyer and so it’ll cost you far fewer points. You could pay for a Turkish Airlines or Pegasus flight to Istanbul and fly Singapore from there, possibly in Premium Economy or Business if you have enough points.

Thanks for your reply @sixtyeight :slight_smile:

Okay so you agree that the SQ KrisFlyer flight is my best option for my BNE-LHR flight? I’ll transfer the Amex points tonight and then book the flight when they come thru.
Is there any point looking into Asia Miles? I haven’t even looked at them. Can Amex or Velocity be transferred to AM?

In regards to the return flight. Yes I might have some flexibility. I’m going to the UK and Italy with my parents for 5 weeks, they are paying for their flights and I will use my points. They haven’t booked their flights yet but even if we dont tie up exactly it will be okay as I can always make my own way to where I need to go to to fly home. We were going to fly from UK to Milan, travel around the north for 3 weeks and then fly out home from Rome, but I guess this could change if it needed too.

In regards to the waitlist SQ flight, wouldn’t I have to have the points available in my account to book/hold the waitlist flight? I dont want to transfer the points to KrisFlyer if I dont end up using them cos I probably wont use KrisFlyer again for a while (if ever) and then I’ve wasted them because of the transfer rates.

Not sure about flying to Istanbul… Turkey isnt really a country I want to be near at the moment tbh!

I’m not willing to say categorically what your “best option” is. There are too many variables and I don’t know enough about every permutation and what’s out there. What I will say, is that if it works for you, it’s a very good option.

Similarly, if looking into Asia Miles is something that might result in your trip working for you, then it’s a good idea to look into Asia Miles. If KrisFlyer already works and you’re happy with that, then there’s no point looking into Asia Miles. AmEx can be transferred into Asia Miles, as can your ANZ rewards points. Velocity can’t be.

To be honest, I’ve never waitlisted a Singapore flight – only Cathay Pacific using Asia Miles. I know you don’t need the points in your account for Cathay, but Singapore may be different. The way to find out is to try to waitlist a flight without having the points in your account. If it lets you do it, then you can do it! You’ll then have a certain period of time to transfer the points over if the flight becomes available and you want to take it.

Just to add to the great info from @sixtyeight.
You need to have the required KF miles to waitlist via website. The trick is to waitlist all your ‘better option’ flights before booking the backup flight that you can redeem without waitlisting.

The other trick is ringing up to waitlist. I believe you do not need the KF miles in your account to waitlist this way.

Thanks for the replies @sixtyeight & @w.hiew

So I’m looking into Cathay Pacific this morning (as I didn’t even think to look at them before).
They seem to be a bit cheaper than SQ (point wise) but the BNE-LHR is waitlisted. If I separate the flights out, BNE-HKG is waitlisted but I can get HKG-LHR okay, just works out more expensive doing it this way.
I flew CX last time I went to the UK and to be honest I wasn’t happy with their economy. I did have the opportunity to fly 1 sector in premium economy so I would fly that again.

So that comes back to the waitlist dilemma! If I transfer the 60,000 Asia Miles needed into my account to request the waitlist flight, but then don’t get it… I have wasted those points. Do you understand what I mean? And then if it’s last minute that they tell me I haven’t got it then I have to try and find another flight last minute, but my points are in my AM account! Ahhh this just all seems too hard lol

“I know you don’t need the points in your account for Cathay”
I’ve tried to book a waitlist flight and I do need the points in my account. I need 70% of them :frowning:

Do you know if I ring Asia Miles if I have to have the points in my account?
Just rang them (on hold for over half an hour!) - no way around needing to have the 70% in your account to book the waitlist flight. So annoying!

Don’t know what to do now…

Hey sorry to throw another option at you, but have you considered Etihad?
You can get Etihad economy return on the dates you want for about 150,000 Velocity points + around 500 dollars tax.
You would certainly have the points to do so and you can lock in those awards now!

@djtech Hey. Yeah if you read my original post I did mention the Etihad flights. Not really wanting to spend the $500 cash though if I know I can get flights with points for much less taxes. I really want the CX premium economy but I’m really worried about the waitlist and not getting it and wasting my points by transferring to Asia Miles.

Ahh sorry I missed that.

What I’ve found now is two pathways.

All points
You can go from Brisbane to London for 53,000 KF miles or 106,000 AMEX with Singapore Airlines (Unfortunately, Velocity can’t see the space). On the return, Cathay Pacific has economy rewards from Rome to Brisbane for 42,000 Asia Miles. However that will mean that you have to transfer 84,000 AMEX. You won’t have enough for both meaning you’ll have to transfer some Velocity points into Krisflyer in order to book both.

Cash + Points
For your flight to London, you could depart with VA 9 from Brisbane to LA on 11th August for 44,800 Velocity points in Economy. From there, you can transfer 50,000 AMEX points to Virgin Atlantic flying club to redeem LAX to London in Economy class with Virgin Atlantic on VS24 also on the 11th. You would then arrive on the 12th in London.

If you are willing to spend a bit of cash, you can book Rome to Singapore flight separately for around $600 which you can use your travel credit for. From there on a separate ticket, book Singapore Airlines to brisbane either with KF miles or Velocity.