7 August 17

Various Changes

Qantas Club Membership Fees Increase
Qantas has increased the cost of Qantas Club membership. Updated Paid Airline Lounge Membership Prices and Comparison of Lounge Memberships & Passes pdf download in Module 2 of Course 7.
There is a silver lining, though. You can now earn Qantas points when paying Qantas Club membership fees.
AAdvantage Status Challenge Rates Updated
AAdvantage has adjusted its status challenge sign-up fees slightly. Updated American Airlines Status Challenge pdf download in Module 1 of Course 7.
Credit Card Offers Updated
Various credit card bonus point offers have expired, while new ones have been added. Updated Current Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses and our Credit Card Master List in Module 2 of Course 3.
Some new credit cards have also been added to the spreadsheet linked above.
Travel Insurance Discount Codes Updated
Travel insurance discount codes have been updated in Module 2 of Course 9.

30 June 17

Various Changes

RBA Credit Card Changes from 1 July
From 1 July 2017, the RBA's new interchange fee regulations come into effect. As a result, many banks have reduced the number of points earned on their credit cards and/or introduced new monthly point caps, among other changes.
Our Credit Card Master List in Module 2 of Course 3 has been comprehensively updated to reflect all of the 1 July changes.
The Australian Credit Card Rewards Programs: Redemptions & Transfer Partners pdf download in Module 2 of Course 3 and our list of Current Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses in Module 3 of Course 3 have also both been updated.
Changes to Cards that Earn Points for Tax Payments
There have been a number of changes to credit cards that earn points for payments to the ATO. Our list of Cards that earn points for ATO payment in Module 3 of Course 3 has been updated.
Last Chance to Redeem Virgin America Elevate Points
Next year, Virgin America's Elevate program will be merged into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. But it was recently announced that it will no longer be possible to redeem Virgin America Elevate points for partner airline flights (including on Virgin Australia) from 1 October 2017. Similarly, it will no longer be possible to redeem Velocity points for Virgin America flights from this date.
Updated Additional Information on Buying & Redeeming Virgin America Elevate Points pdf download in Module 2 of Course 4.

8 June 17

Various Changes

New Training Material: Buying & Redeeming Etihad Guest Miles
Etihad recently began selling Etihad Guest miles. This has created some fantastic new opportunities for cheap Business class travel on Virgin Australia and various other Etihad partner airlines.
To help you understand the new opportunities available, we've added an entire section on buying and redeeming Etihad Guest miles to the training video for Unit 4.2.5. We've also created a new PDF download, Additional Information on Buying & Redeeming Etihad Guest Miles. This unit now covers both the Virgin America Elevate and Etihad Guest programs - both of which can be used to fly Business class on Virgin Australia for a fraction of the retail price! Click here to view this new training material.
We've also updated the PDF downloads on redeeming Etihad Guest miles in Module 1 of Course 2 and Module 2 of Course 8. New information has been added on some of the little-known flight redemption opportunities using Etihad Guest miles.
Our Summary of Programs that Sell Miles in Module 2 of Course 4 has also been updated.

22 May 17

Various Changes

Credit Card Updates
There are numerous new credit card sign-up bonuses available, while others have expired. There have also been a couple of changes to credit cards that earn points with the ATO.
Updated Current Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses and Cards that earn points for ATO payment in Module 3 of Course 3.
All changes are reflected in the Credit Card Master List in Module 2 of Course 3.
Note: Over the coming months there will be numerous changes to the earning rates of many credit cards. Citibank, Diners Club and Virgin Money will cut earn rates (and in some cases, burn rates) on 15 June. Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac will reduce earn rates from 1 July. The Frequent Flyer Solutions training will be updated as soon as the new rates come into effect.
World of Hyatt Elite Status Offer
World of Hyatt, the loyalty program of Hyatt Hotels, is currently offering a complimentary status upgrade for 3 months. They are also offering a fast-track to retaining that status beyond the 3 months. We've added a link to this offer in Current Hotel Program Status Matches in Module 1 of Course 8.
Avianca Increases Life Miles Redemption Rates
Avianca has increased the number of Life Miles required on most award flights departing from Australia & New Zealand (only). Updated Additional Information on Buying & Redeeming Avianca LifeMiles and United Mileage Plus vs Avianca Life Miles pdf downloads in Module 2 of Course 4.
Sydney Airport Added to Priority Pass Lounge Network
Priority Pass lounge members can now receive a $36 meal voucher at seven Sydney Airport restaurants. Priority Pass members have never had access to a lounge in Sydney, so this is a positive development. This brings the number of Australian airports in the Priority Pass lounge network to 4.
Updated Comparison of Lounge Memberships & Passes pdf download in Module 2 of Course 7.

11 April 17

Various Changes

Singapore Airlines Increases Redemption Rates
Singapore Airlines has increased the number of KrisFlyer miles needed for many reward flights on Singapore Airlines and Silkair. (To compensate, Singapore Airlines has also removed fuel surcharges from award flight bookings.)
Updated Additional Information on Redeeming Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles pdf download in Module 1 of Course 2.
WorldMate Closes Down
Booking management tool WorldMate unfortunately closed down at the end of last month. The good news is that TripIt and TripCase can still help you to organise your travel bookings effortlessly and for free.
The training unit Effortlessly Manage Your Bookings, including the Comparison of Online Booking Management Tools pdf download in Module 3 of Course 9 has been updated.
Alliance RTW Fare Information Updated
Our unit on Alliance Round-the-World Tickets in Module 4 of Course 6 has been updated. Changes include updated RTW fare prices for April 2017 and an update to our Star Alliance RTW Fares PDF download.

19 March 17

Various Changes

Hyatt Relaunches Loyalty Program
Hyatt replaced its Gold Passport loyalty program with the new "World of Hyatt" scheme earlier this month. In addition to the name change, there are various changes to status levels under the new program.
Meanwhile, there have also been some changes recently to the Hilton Honors hotel loyalty program.
Our Overview of Hotel Loyalty Programs unit and the Comprehensive Overview of Hotel Loyalty Programs PDF download in Module 1 of Course 8 have both been updated.
New Hotel Program Status Match Available
A new hotel loyalty program is now offering status matches. Updated Current Hotel Program Status Matches in Module 1 of Course 8.
Travel Insurance Discount Codes Updated
New travel insurance discount codes have been added to our list, while some expired codes have been removed. Discounts of up to 20% off travel insurance are currently available.
Current Travel Insurance Discount Codes in Module 2 of Course 9 has been updated.
Various Credit Card Updates
ANZ recently made some major changes to its credit card line-up, removing Amex cards and altering earning rates on other cards.
Meanwhile, there have been several changes with credit cards that earn points for ATO tax payments. Our list of Credit cards that award points for ATO payments in Module 3 of Course 3 has been updated.
A number of new sign-up bonus point offers have also been added to our list of Current Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses in Module 3 of Course 3.
All of these changes are reflected in our continually-updated Credit Card Master List, which is linked to in Module 2 of Course 3.

24 February 17

Various Changes

Qantas Launches New Business Rewards Program
Qantas has launched a new loyalty program for small-to-medium businesses, Qantas Business Rewards. The scheme replaces the previous Aquire program. Unit 8.3.1, previously all about the Aquire program, has been renamed "Qantas Business Rewards". The training video has also been updated to reflect all of the recent changes.
Full details about the new Qantas Business Rewards program are available in Module 3 of Course 8.
Virgin Status Runs Updated
Virgin Australia Status Runs in Module 1 of Course 7 has been updated after recent changes to the way Velocity status credits are earned with Virgin's new fare types. New information has also been added about status runs on a Velocity partner airline.
New Priority Pass Lounge in Australia
A new Priority Pass lounge has opened in Darwin, increasing the number of Australian airport lounges available to Priority Pass members. Updated Comparison of Lounge Memberships and Passes PDF download in Module 2 of Course 7.
Qantas Increases Point Upgrade Costs
Qantas has increased the number of points required to upgrade Qantas flights using points. Updated Point Upgrades on Major Airlines PDF download in Module 4 of Course 5.

25 January 17

Various Changes

New Material: How to Book Flights Found on ITA Matrix
ITA Matrix is one of the most powerful flight search engines on the internet. The main disadvantage of using ITA Matrix to find cheap flights, however, is that you can't book directly through the website.
The good news is that there are now a couple of ways to overcome this problem and easily book flights found through ITA Matrix. Full details and instructions have been added to the ITA Matrix unit in Module 2 of Course 6.
NAB Launches New Credit Cards & Rewards Program
NAB has launched multiple new credit cards that earn points with the bank's own brand new NAB Rewards loyalty program.
The video and Australian Credit Card Rewards Programs: Redemption Options and Transfer Partners PDF download for Module 2 of Course 3 have both been updated.
Various updates have also been made to Current Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses and the Credit Card Master List in Module 2 of Course 3.
Changes to Qantas Frequent Flyer Earn Rates with American Airlines
American Airlines domestic First class flights now earn Qantas frequent flyer points and status credits at Business class rates. While American Airlines status runs still represent good value, this effectively represents a 33% reduction in earning rates.
Updated Qantas Status Runs in Module 1 of Course 7.

12 January 17

Various Changes

New American Airlines Status Challenge Rules
There's good and bad news for those looking for a shortcut to American Airlines/oneworld status. American Airlines has added a revenue component to AAdvantage status challenges. But you can also now pay a small additional fee to enjoy status benefits during the challenge period. Full details are available in Module 1 of Course 7.
Changes to Accor Le Club Hotel Loyalty Program
Accor has made some significant changes to the way in which status is earned in its Le Club loyalty program in 2017.
Updated Comprehensive Overview of Hotel Loyalty Programs PDF Download in Module 1 of Course 8.
Unit on Credit Card Surcharges Updated
Following the recent changes to credit card surcharges when booking flights within Australia, we have completely overhauled the Avoid Credit Card Fees unit in Module 3 of Course 6. We have also added a new PDF Download, Credit Card Surcharges. Naturally, the unit still contains useful tips on how to avoid paying those pesky credit card surcharges.
Virgin Australia, Etihad and Other Awards Now Visible on Expert Flyer
It's now possible to search for award availability on Virgin Australia, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic and many other new airlines on Expert Flyer. We've taken the opportunity to update A Complete Summary of Airline Availability by Website and Specialised Tools: Qantas & Virgin Award Availability PDF Downloads in Module 3 of Course 5.
Other Updates
Many other units have also been updated, including:
American Airlines AAdvantage (Module 1 of Course 2) - updated video to reflect new American Airlines AAdvantage status tiers and qualification requirements.
Choose the Right Credit Card (Module 2 of Course 3) - updated Credit Card Master List.
• Updated Current Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses (Module 3 of Course 3).
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan (Module 2 of Course 4) - added new information to the Additional Information on Buying & Redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan Miles PDF Download about redeeming Alaskan miles on Japan Airlines, including some excellent high-value redemptions.
Online Upgrade Auctions (Module 4 of Course 5) - added new airlines that allow you to bid for an upgrade, and updated existing content in Upgrade Auctions PDF Download.
Other Cheap Upgrade Strategies (Module 4 of Course 5) - updated Summary of Upgrade Options By Airline PDF Download.
Strategies for Cheap Flights (Module 3 of Course 6) - Updated Cheap Airfares: Specific Strategies by Route PDF Download.
The Benefits of Transits (Module 5 of Course 6) - updated information in PDF Downloads on free stopovers paid for by airlines, and visa-free transits in China.
Priority Pass & Credit Card Lounge Access (Module 2 of Course 7) - added new card to Credit Cards with Lounge Access Benefits PDF Download.
Hotel Program Status Shortcuts (Module 1 of Course 8) - updated Current Hotel Program Status Matches PDF Download.

13 December 16

Various Changes

New Status Match Available
Another airline has started offering complimentary status matches to frequent flyers that have status in any other frequent flyer program.
Our comprehensive list of Airlines that DO and DON'T Match Status in Module 1 of Course 7 has been updated.
Alaska Airlines Miles Now Redeemable on Japan Airlines
Good news for anyone considering buying Alaska Airlines miles! Alaska Mileage Plan miles can now be used to fly on Japan Airlines, making Business and First class travel on the Japanese carrier possible for seriously low prices.
Updated the Additional Information on Buying & Redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan Miles PDF download in Module 2 of Course 4.
Credit Card Offers Updated
Various credit card bonus point offers have expired, while new ones have been added. Updated Current Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses and our Credit Card Master List in Module 2 of Course 3.