Thanks in advance for any guidance.
Partner and I want to visit the Greek islands using points as much as possible for travel and accommodation. Where is the best place to source guidance on how to maximise our points for such a trip and how to gauge how many points we might need?
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
Welcome to our community!
The best place to source guidance is right here! Read through the Point Hacks Guides for general information on how to get the most out of accumulating and using points.
For more specific help we need more information from you. Where are you wanting to travel to Greece from? Do you have any points already? If so, what programmes are they in and how many points do you have? Or will you be starting from scratch? Are you looking to fly in business class or higher, or would you be happy with economy?
As a general guide, if you live in Australia you should look to accumulate 500,000-600,000-ish frequent flyer points for two people to fly business class to Greece and back. To use points for accommodation, how many you’ll need depends on how long you want to stay there for, what quality of accommodation you’ll be happy with, and what sort of points you’ll be using (eg. hotel points, credit card points etc).
A few info from yourself to get the ball rolling is required. It’s not a one size fits all thing.
Are you thinking of business class all the way? Or are you happy with economy class?
Which city are you based in?
Are you happy to transit in Asia?
Are both of you employed? Are you both open to applying for credit cards?
Are there any airlines you prefer or refuse to fly on?
Do you have any airline points (e.g Qantas, Velocity pts) or airline status?
We are both employed and are both Qantas FF, and have about 200,000 points accumulated each so far in just over 12 months through use of credit cards and bonus applications.
We are Adelaide based, happy to transit in Asia or Middle East rather than going all the way to London then back to Greece… is around the world ticket a better option with a stop over in NY perhaps? Business Class would be perfect if achievable.
Most likely travel in April 2025
And don’t have any affiliation with any international airlines
Also, we are hoping to stay for 3 weeks in the islands, predominantly Santorini, level of accommodation unsure, probably 3-4 stars.
It leaves you with 1 year before the flights are released and 2 years before the trip.
If it was me, I’ll focus my efforts on the business class flights first. Since you already have 400k Qantas points in total, it makes sense to build on that. You are not too far off from what’s needed for 2 person return in business class.
As Qantas works on a distance-based award table, the costs of a redemption depends on the route. The 2 most straight forward routes (when i looked for a random date in October) from Adelaide to Athens is ADL-PER-DXB-ATH and ADL-MEL-DOH-ATH.
In an ideal world, you can do it all in business class, which is doable but requires a few stars to align. If you were to do that, ADL-PER-DXB-ATH requires 139.2k per person one way in business class (because the distance is shorter) and ADL-MEL-DOH-ATH requires 159k.
First half of the challenge is getting enough points. The other half of the challenge is finding award space on the dates and routes that you want. Usually, the bottleneck is in and out of Australia. For the two routes above, this also meant the longest leg. So I’d focus on earning enough points for the full itinerary (up to 636k Qantas points) then see what happens when you try to book around April-June 2024. The ADL-MEL/PER is easy to leave out to save some points but the domestic legs are also easier to find award space in.
Once you have more than enough airline points at your disposal, you could consider focusing on hotel points. Unfortunately, there aren’t any direct hotel point earning cards in Australia. I could only think of Amex Reward point earning cards that can be transferred to hotel points. However, the transfer rate to hotel points aren’t very good. Usually, I prefer to keep the points for flights. However, everyone is different and if you prefer to spend less cash, go for it.
Amex Reward points are also a type of flexible points. I.e. you could transfer to Krisflyer (Singapore Airlines) or Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), where there are award space for when you need it. Compared to Qantas pts, where if you couldn’t find award space, having a million Qantas pts would do you no good (unless you stray away from redeeming Classic Reward flights).
I better stop rambling. Please excuse me if this is info overload. Happy if you have further questions.
You have been doing well in collecting 400k Qantas points so far!
You can also consider buying hotel points when they go on sale. However, this is usually more worthwhile for luxury destinations, which Santorini may fit the bill.
A weaken AUD also doesn’t make the equation work in our favour. But in some cases, it may work well.
You could also use Qantas points to redeem hotel stays, but again it is not great value. Again, it is a personal choice.
Fantastic advice from @w.hiew , as always!
The only thing I’d add is that I agree, it’s much more likely that you’ll achieve what you want if you focus on a flexible points programme such as AmEx Membership rewards. The two articles below explain why.
You’ve got more than enough Qantas points for a one-way trip. If you also have points in another points programme, you’ll be maximising your chances of finding availability.