Hello everyone. First time poster - coming here as it seems less intimidating that FlyerTalk and lots of cool people in here. Hoping that the Newbie thread is a good place to put this question. While I've been collecting points for a while now I'm only just starting to get serious about spending. My primary motivation to collect points is to travel more as it is my passion - but a close second is the fact that it is my wife's 30th this year and I want the best experience possible for that. The way I see it is that the points can enhance our experience (fly higher class) rather than save money (free flights) if that makes sense? Anyway - I'm looking for help deciding how best to use the points I have accumulated. Any help received I will be eternally grateful - I'm finding this business complicated (I've done a lot of reading but I'm struggling to piece together the best way to use my mixed bag of points) Yes this is a long post, but I wanted to give as much info as possible. I hope that the way I've set the post out explains my motivations clearly. While I don't have lots of points by many people's standards - I have over 100k now, albeit scattered among various programmes. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer - I'm asking a lot here! Pura vida, Chris My Main Question therefore is...How can I best utilise my mixed bag of points to get the best possible experiences for my target trips? Target Trips 2013 New York from Manchester, UK - Sept 2013 - must be DIRECT For my wife's 30th birthday. She wants to fly direct, so looks like AA is the best option here (i'm not flying US again). Although she wants a boutique hotel in Soho, an SPG property (we've stayed at the Westin Time Square previously) could be an option here. Fly to Cuba from Manchester, UK - May 2013 Package holidays come out better prices (including Virgin) however we want more nights in Havana than these offers so we are creating our own package. We can't fly direct so we have a number of options here depending what terminal we go through. I'd like to go premium economy for this. Points held as of end Dec 2012 Flyer US Airways 11,220 (expiring next week - should I renew?) Qantas 41,274 Virgin 34,208 (I have spent enough this year to qualify for a free premium upgrade - however I use that?!) Avios 17,640 Cards AMEX Gold (MR) 29,839 Hotels SPG 62,474 Priority Club 17,111 Cards Held Amex Gold (free in first year) Amex SPG Virgin Black (£140 per year) Probably going to cancel this soon - not worth the fee and it turns out the companion flight is useless. General Notes I started collecting Virgin specifically because I've always wanted to fly Virgin Atlantic. Let's just say I am both a Richard Branson and James Bond fan. I want to visit every country in the world, so my points can always go towards other trips (Europe city break this year Stockholm or Berlin) or trips next year if the use of them is not effective for my main targets. I have never booked an award flight before - I have used SPG points to stay in the SPG Madrid Palace. Other Questions Should I cancel Virgin Black card (I'm probably answering my own question here, the redemptions from Manchester are limited). Convert Points to Airmiles? SPG and MR here - this will probably be effective for AA. It's probably worth my applying for an Avios credit card (the 2-4-1 voucher looks good certainly better than the Virgin Atlantic companion flight that is useless) Thanks for reading (wow you made it this far?) and my the points be with you.