I am a regular traveller. Silly of me, I have not been signed up to any FF reward programs at all. Averaging 3-4 international flights per year from Sydney, I have missed out on accruing some good points. That said, this website has encouraged me. So i just signed up to Qantas FF. I prefer Direct flights to multiple cities in Asia and also the U.S. In addition to being a bronze member with no status credit pts yet, I have signed up to Westpac Altitude Black Card which will give me 100,000 pts when I meet the criteria (90 days), and also the AMEX Qantas Ultimate card, another 100,000 in 90 days. I am flying one way on economy from Tokyo to Sydney in January which should give me some more, and hotels to the value of $3,000AUD booked via Qantas hotels at 3pts:$1 now. This should give me 209,000 pts + the spending I will do in my day to day living. Also, I am loading my Qantas Cash card with $5,000 on the current deal with 2pts:$1 loaded.
I plan to travel to Chicago in May this year. What is your recommendation on accruing the most points? AA or Qantas? My aim is to reach silver status, and of course enjoy the benefits of Business Class on this flight. Should I use points + pay? or award seats? Also, I will be purchasing a ticket for a relative from Chicago to Sydney return for their travel in March. Is there anyway this can be added to my FF account?