A Tale of Two Programs, Or Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Continental no longer lets you book Qantas First Class awards for 135,000 miles. As of Friday the price is now a whopping 285,000 miles.

I still don’t understand what Joe Sharkey meant by a potential merger with United reducing the value of his Continental Onepass miles.

But the occasion of a 111% increase in mileage cost for what was probably the best award that Continental offered is probably a good time to underscore a piece of advice: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Sure, if you’re working on elite status credit those flight miles to your home program. And if you have a particular award you want to redeem in that program, credit partner miles until your account balance suffices. But once you’ve gotten there, credit partner miles (that aren’t necessary to retain elite status… some co-branded credit cards offer elite qualifying miles based on spending, and this may be important to you) to another program… preferably one more generous come time to redeem for the award you want.

American will book you in Qantas first class (when Qantas award seats are available) for 145,000 miles. That’s roughly half the cost

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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