Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 - Your Money Magazine
In recent weeks, Qantas has been in the news for all the wrong reasons and newly rebranded Virgin Australia is taking full advantage.

While Qantas is preoccupied with its industrial relations struggles, Virgin is working to shake off its former ‘discount airline’ image and gain market share. Going after business travellers and other frequent flyers, Virgin is offering a newly ramped-up Virgin Velocity rewards program to win customers from Qantas’ long-established frequent flyer scheme.

But does Virgin have what it takes to knock the flying kangaroo out of the skies? Your Money Magazine put the two major airlines under the microscope to find out which one offers Australian flyers the best value for money.

The two frequent flyer programs were compared on how easily different flyer types could earn and redeem points. Managing editor of Your Money Magazine Jackie Pearson said the results favoured the higher levels of frequent flyers.

“Across four types of flyer, we found there is not a lot of difference between the airlines if you don’t fly regularly; the real benefit comes at the very frequent and extreme flyer levels,” said Pearson.

Your Money Magazine also looked beyond flights at other ways frequent flyer members can earn points.

“It’s useful to remember you can accumulate points without flying through everyday spending on your credit card, shopping or mobile phone,” said Pearson.

But the good news comes with a warning: check the fine print and don’t overspend for the sake of accumulating points.

“Make sure you are aware of restrictions on when and how you can redeem your points,” said Pearson. “At the end of the day, a frequent flyer scheme is designed to keep you flying one airline when you might in fact get a better deal if you shop around.”

For a detailed comparison of the Qantas and Virgin frequent flyer programs, see the latest issue of Your Money Magazine. On sale now at your local newsagent or online at www.yourmoneymag.com.au.

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Your Money Magazine is for all Australians looking to increase their personal wealth and achieve the lifestyle they desire. Your Money Magazine’s key focus is to educate the Australian public about money management by providing down-to-earth, easy to comprehend content, detailed product comparisons across a range of categories, and recommendations from some of the country’s leading industry experts.

Combining in-depth research and product comparison tools with shrewd financial education materials Your Money Magazine takes a unique place in the Australian market allowing readers to not only compare existing products but to educate themselves and take decisive action all in one place.

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Kerry Corben
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your money magazine, qantas, virgin australia, frequent flyer, loyalty scheme, airline, value

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