Earlier this week we mentioned that Virgin Australia will be handing out tablets by the end of this year for in-flight entertainment, and the same can be said for its fellow Aussie rival, Qantas, which will be putting an Apple I-Pad 2 in every seat in its domestic Boeing 767 fleet. Both the airlines are testing out the latest technology on their aircrafts, so we thought it would be a good idea to give a quick overview of both airlines’ loyalty programs so you can see what other great benefits come with flying with these Aussie airlines. Qantas was named Best Domestic Airline for the third year in a row by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.The airline’s frequent flyer program has three levels of membership after the entry level Bronze tier: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. At the Silver status members receive priority telephone service, complimentary advance seat selection, preferred seating when booking in Premium Economy, Business or First class and preferential access to selected Qantas award seats. Members need 250 status credits to reach the Silver level and the tier offers 50% points bonus for each flight. The Gold tier is the next level up which can be reached with 700 status credits. The tier offers 70% points bonus per flight, complimentary Qantas Club membership, priority check-in, extra checked baggage allowance, and access to premium domestic airport security lanes. The Platinum tier is the highest membership level of the frequent flyer program and flyers need 1400 status credits. Members at this level receive 100% points bonus, complimentary Qantas Club membership, domestic and international priority check-in, priority baggage, extra checked baggage, priority security at both domestic and international airports, priority Economy seat purchase and a choice of rewards at 2400 status credits. At 2400 status credits flyers can choose either a complimentary Gold membership for a family member or friend, three complimentary Qantas Valet Parking or Chauffeured Transfer invitations, or a bonus of 50,000 Qantas points. Just like other frequent flyer programs, members have access to airline and other partner specials as well as several airline and non-travel related redeeming options to choose from. All Qantas frequent flyers enjoy a loyalty bonus of 8,000 points for every 500 status credits earned within a single membership year and a minimum points guarantee of at least 1,000 points for every eligible Qantas and Jetstar flight. Qantas is a member of the OneWorld alliance which means frequent flyers can earn and redeem points on partner airlines which include American Airlines and British Airways. Virgin Australia was voted the best airline to Australia and New Zealand by readers of the Global Traveler magazine in 2011. The loyalty program is known as Velocity which has three levels above the basic entry Red level: Silver, Gold and Platinum. For Silver members benefits include advance seat selection, priority phone service, priority check-in, access to the Virgin Australia lounge, complimentary baggage allowance, and status benefits with airline partners. Gold level members receive priority boarding, Sydney Lounge premium entry and premium valet, priority screening, priority waitlist, complimentary membership with IHG’s Priority Club, Hilton HHonors program, Europcar Privileges, or Hertz #1 Club, and access to over 150 lounges globally. Platinum members receive the all the benefits offered in the previous tiers plus complimentary fare upgrades, priority economy seat purchase, and companion Gold and Platinum membership. Virgin Australia prides itself with the lowest points price for reward seat redemptions, starting at 6,900 points plus play and Europe reward seat redemptions at 125,000 points return. The program also gives the opportunity for family members to pool their points together to get rewards faster. Gold and Platinum members are guaranteed reward seats for an annual family trip. Gold members can redeem points for up to four return reward seats for an annual family trip to any Australian destination and Platinum members can choose from hundreds of international destinations. With family accounts, Gold members can invite one additional guest to the Virgin Australia lounge while Platinum members can invite three additional guests. Virgin Australia is not part of a major alliance group but frequent flyers can still earn and redeem points on partner airlines which include Delta, Singapore Airlines, and Etihad Airways. Both airlines offer lots of advantages in joining their frequent flyer programs, but choosing one between the two depends on you! Would you rather go with the airline that offers lower points price per reward seat or with an airline that is part of a large global alliance? Regardless of which program you decide to choose, one thing is certain, you will be able to test out the airlines’ new tech savvy in-flight entertainment system! Be sure to add these Aussie airlines to your UsingMiles dashboard to keep track of your miles and to make sure you’re not missing out on any great rewards!