Suggestions to earn enough points for award travel from Melbourne to Japan with work travel to the UK

Hi, I have some semi-regular work travel to the UK coming up, and the opportunity to direct those business class points to a OneWorld airline. The first flight is with Qatar, but this will vary. My primary goal down the track is award travel between MEL and TYO, and I think the best flights routes (most direct) are on JAL or Qantas or Jetstar. I’m basically starting out with zero points.

I’ve been reading and studying and 'spreadsheet’ing for a few weeks now and haven’t yet understood the best way to my goal. I’m also happy to move to a Credit Card that earns points to assist with my goal (pointhacks referrals have been noted).

My options seem to be boiling down to:

  • Japan Mileage Bank. For example, I can redeem for Qantas flight return MEL>TYO 50k + $485 economy, or 80k + $485 business. Or via economy on JAL (with Qantas flight MEL > SYD) in for 55k + $?.
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer. I'm trying to compare this with redeeming for Qantas or Jetstar return MEL > TYO, which is 72k + $231 eco / 115,200 $231 business. Not sure if that's better or worse... plus I've been reading flight availability via QFF is limited / difficult.

Happy to boost my point earn with a Credit Card. I understand Aus CC’s don’t earn JMB, so earning in Asia Miles and transferring to JMB is an option, but I’m sad to read that a transfer to JMB costs USD170.

Any suggestions on how to help me narrow down:

  • which FF scheme to direct my points for my work travel?
  • which scheme to earn Australian CC points within, that will benefit me getting from MEL - TYO?

Thank-you kindly in advance for any suggestions to help me.

Sorry for delayed reply. I think there are a few considerations for you before it’s possible to give a specific answer as to which is best. Firstly, around whether you are happy to travel on Jetstar (the only direct flight between Melbourne and Tokyo) or whether, in order to fly in Business Class, you would really prefer to route through Hong Kong (with Cathay) or Sydney (with Qantas or JAL).

If you’re keen for direct routings and thus travel on Jetstar, the only and best option is Qantas Points, and you’ll want to travel on Qantas or Emirates on Qantas coded flights as much as possible. This would be a pretty quick way to earn enough points given that Jetstar redemptions need 20% fewer points than
the equivalent Qantas flight - 57600 points for a StarClass flight one way.

If you’re keen for best experience regardless of routing, then aim for Qantas, Cathay or Japan Airlines redemptions (Japan Airlines offer First Class too!). In which case, you are going to be better off with a non-Qantas program - probably Asia Miles - which has better redemption rates. If you can get work to shell out for Cathay flights to the UK then you will probably rack up Asia Miles at quite a pace, and should be able to leverage them into JAL or Cathay flights to Tokyo at good rates.

As for Asia Miles -> JMB transfers, this isn’t an option to my knowledge - do you have a link with this info?

So for cards, you’re probably going to want to look for an Asia Miles linked card.

I haven’t run the numbers in detail, the above is my gut feel so be sure to consider which carrier your flights can be booked on by work, look at how many points you’ll earn, vs the redemption rate.

Thanks for your reply Keith. Frankly if I can get to Japan and outlay a lot less than the circa $1,000 return airfare I normally spend, that would be sweet, and probably mean an extra holiday that year. I travel with my wife, so discounting her fare as well would be a higher priority for us than business class, although I do understand business class is a better value use of my points.

Jetstar is now such a poor experience, Qantas or JAL direct from Sydney would be my preference.

I was researching ‘what are my options to get AU spend into JMB?’ and found this page, but I’ve just re-read that and think I’ve misunderstood the text ‘You can transfer your Asia Miles to the account of a redemption group member’ - they mean transfer to another Asia Miles account. I haven’t found a way to

In conclusion, I agree that Asia Miles, with a CC, will give me the most flexibility and allow me to target the flights I really want, on JAL or Qantas.

Thanks again for your informative information, here and in your email course, which has simplified such a confusing topic for a points newbie. I look forward to using a CC referral link from this site soon.

Mark I fly Jetstar to Tokyo about twice a year - I’m 6foot 2 and still find the Jetstar service pretty decent. Especially when you depart Melbourne at around midnight, and arrive in Tokyo at 9am. If you’re able to sleep a bit in economy, you arrive ready to work/play in Tokyo. The non-stop flight is definitely a bonus.  Enjoy :slight_smile: