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Earlier in the week, I flew from Los Angeles to Melbourne in Qantas First Class ( 70k Alaska Miles +$45). While a full review is coming, I wanted to take a moment to express how incredible the experience was onboard. Perhaps Qantas doesn’t get the recognition because of ground services in the States. No, you don’t get a Porsche to your gate, but the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX offers sit down, a la carte dining, with fantastic food. Their lounge is nothing to shrug at, and until AA debuted Flagship dining, it was unchallenged as the best in America. And no, you don’t get escorted to the gate in a golf cart, once on the plane the magic never ceased. I was incredibly impressed with the experience.
The cabin crew was incredibly friendly, taking Miles all over the plane, assisting in every way possible, and making it feel like they were enjoying being of service. This is a rare. While other airlines may provide professional service, the Qantas crew made us feel like guests in their home.
In terms of the seat and cabin. Qantas’ First Class consists of just 3 seats per row in a 1-1-1 configuration on the first floor of the A380. It provides an immense amount of space within the “suite.” No their aren’t doors, but if you have a window seat, they are incredible private.
I ate quite a bit in the lounge prior to take off because I wasn’t quite sure how the food on board would be. It was arguably the best food I’ve had on a plane. If not the best, then in the discussion. No formal caviar presentation, but it was offered as a canape. I always think breakfast is difficult to nail on a plane. These eggs and smoked salmon were excellent.
The bed was uber comfortable with a large, soft mattress pad with comfy sheets, comforter, and spare blanket. The cabin was also kept very cool. So cool, in fact, that I doubled up on blankets. Exactly how I prefer to sleep…chilly, but snuggled up. The only problem was I slept over 7 hours 🙂
I’ll post a full review, but Qantas First Class will go down as one of my favorite flights. No wonder these unicorns are so hard to find!
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.