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Old Feb 25, 21, 12:29 pm
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
Generally-speaking, unless you're absolutely rolling in Avios, I'd tend to consider them to be one of the poorer 'value' currencies for redemptions to New Zealand. Into Sydney, with a 2-4-1, it's just about justifiable, but still not great.

I'd therefore ask two things; firstly: do you have any American Express Membership Rewards (or could you acquire any), and/or secondly, do you have any American AAdvantage miles (or, again, could you acquire any)?

In the case of AmEx, conversion to Cathay Asia Miles is 1:1 and Cathay charges 85,000 miles in Business from the UK to New Zealand on its own metal, and 90,000 miles on partner airlines. So, 90,000 would get you on to Qatar via Doha. When you consider how many Avios are required (and tangentially that Membership Rewards to Avios is also 1:1), the Cathay route is hugely 'cheaper'.

Alternatively, AAdvantage charges 85,000 on a partner airline.

So, if you don't have any or access to Membership Rewards, and you don't have any or access to AAdvantage miles, then you could look at buying the latter.

At the moment, my account (and I say this as sometimes members get different pricing) shows that 110,000 miles will cost USD3547.50, which is roughly GBP2615 worst case.

However, that will generate a 66,000 mile bonus, so you'll get 176,000 miles credited, enough for two Business Class seats. Taxes, fees and charges, assuming that you avoid any BA sectors, will be around GBP250 per adult. So, total GBP1557.50 one-way per adult.

Note that if you want to travel on Qatar, you should wait for QR920 to resume (W21 Season, so November is fine) and then look for availability out of Manchester rather than London, and you should find pockets. Note that this tends not to show reliably searching through - Cathay and American searches are more reliable, it seems.

This would, of course, depend on whether you feel confident enough to put a booking in now, and hope that you can then get MIQ availability to match when it's released. As time goes on, I'd be less confident about seats remaining available.

Final thing to mention would be to check all the terms and conditions of mileage puchase and transfer, including non-refundability of purchased miles and non-reversability of transfers.
Thanks so much for the detailed information! I hadnít considered Membership Rewards / AAdvantage, but will definitely look into. We currently hold neither - only Avios (just over 300K with potential to earn a bit more).

It just so happens I downgraded my BA Amex Premium card to the BA Amex classic as I didnít see value in any more 2 for 1 vouchers (have 2 already) when we will not be in the country much longer. I was thinking to refer my wife to the BA Amex premium card for the referral and sign up bonuses, but it sounds like maybe we should consider the Amex Gold card? As a data point - when I originally called up to downgrade the BA Amex I was offered a 3 month additional Avios per £ spent (so 2.5 per £ total), so I didnít follow through downgrading. I then considered again and called up 2 weeks later to downgrade, and for now at least Iím still earning the bonus Avios (2 per £ total).

I actually thought about it a bit more and agree the partner redemption value seems quite poor to NZ - and started looking at ex-Eu cash fares. It looks like we could get one way business on Qatar out of Stockholm for just under £2K. This obviously adds an extra variable into the mix, however I think Sweden should be ok to go to and perhaps stay overnight in before the flight, by Oct/Nov. A cash fare would obviously earn additional Avios, and we could use these on Qantas once back in NZ.

Did you suggest waiting for QR920 to resume to avoid the Brisbane technical stop and/or to get Q Suites? I was thinking about those factors too, as we found travelling in Q Suites with our infant back from South Africa recently very good with the privacy offered by the doors.

Thanks again continentalclub !
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