As frequent flyers, on a short hop to Europe or exploring the far East and West of the Globe, we’re always in search of a bargain to travel in style! The joy of travelling should start from getting to the airport, and we got hooked on the trappings of business class travel and everything that comes with it; lounges, lie-flat beds, food & wine, and free-flowing champagne! We’ve come to realise that traveling in style doesn’t have to break the bank.

Neither of us are millionaires and we’re continually looking to achieve our flying dreams by spending as little cash as we can. Be it a seat sale or miles redemption for reward flights, we tend to let our wallets tell us where we’re going next rather than having a fixed agenda...

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Malaysia Airlines have just launched a head-turning offer for Oneworld frequent flyers who are interested in easily Sapphire status (equivalent to BA Silver). The offer is to receive gold status on their Enrich Frequent Flyer program by booking a qualifying return journey from London to Australia, New Zealand, or S.E Asia. Malaysia Airlines is a full Oneworld member and operates from out Heathrow Terminal 4 in London to its hub in Kuala Lumpur. Enrich Gold status would allow the holder and a guest to use Oneworld partner business lounges around the world when flying in any class on a Oneworld carrier. This means being able to use BA, American, Cathay, Qantas, Qatar and Iberia lounges when flying economy on any of those airlines.

The Catch

Is it a good deal? On face-value it seems like a great way to bag yourself and your travel companion lounge access for 12 months. In certain circumstances it will work better than other known fast-track routes to Sapphire and in many other cases it won’t make sense. While we can’t go into every individual scenario, here are some pros and cons:

Pros

If you’re already planning to go visit Australia (or London from Australia), Malaysia Airlines are coming in as the cheapest “one-stop” option on some dates. In the example below (10/3/20-24/3/20) you’d be paying £200 more than the cheapest Oneworld route (via Helsinki and Singapore) and would get Sapphire status. Some might argue the £100 extra each way is worth it to avoid an extra layover and shave 2 hours of the journey.

You also don’t need to take any additional flights after you return to reach the status threshold.

The travel dates are pretty permissive and the promotion allows travel on promo fares to Australia and New Zealand.

Australian and US Amex card holders can transfer Amex Membership Reward points to their Enrich account.

Cons

Eligible Business Flex fares to Kuala Lumpur are too expensive to rationalise the benefit – £130 per flying hour is beyond what we’d be willing to pay for first class, let alone business. Read more about how we value business seats.

You’ll have to credit the miles you earn the Enrich frequent flyer program, which might not be ideal if you don’t usually fly Malaysia Airlines.

You’ll have to earn 50,000 Enrich Elite Miles to keep gold status beyond 12 months. That’s 2 London to KL return flights in business (£4,000 on sale, £6,500) otherwise. Although you could use the gold card for 12 months while you build status in another program (see other ways to get Oneworld Sapphire below).

You can’t transfer UK Amex Membership Reward points to Enrich.

Travel Dates

Book by 15:59 GMT on 16th September 2019
Return travel must be completed by 15:59 GMT on 30th July 2020

Small Print

Malaysia Airlines are operating this promotion simultaneously in Australia (for travel to London) presumably to stimulate demand on their UK-Australia route. Only the Australian full terms sheet appears to be available, although the only variation we can foresee would be the inversion of the origin/destinations.

  • Promotional fare class (Z and P) are only eligible on Australia and New Zealand.
  • SE. Asia tickets must be booked on flexible fares (more expensive).
  • SE. Asia is anywhere beyond Kuala Lumpur operated by Malaysia Airlines.
  • Flights must be operated by Malaysia Airlines – no codeshares allowed.
  • Ensure you’re already registered for the Enrich program and enter your membership number at the time of booking.

How to Book

Head to the promotional landing page on the Malaysia Airlines website, read the rules, then click the Book Now button.

BG1 Tip

If you’re already planning a trip to Australia during the period of the offer, and you’re also keen to get benefits of Oneworld Sapphire status without spending more money (or having to take more flights), this offer represents good value. If you’re flatly looking for a cheap way to get the status, keep on reading.

Other ways to get Oneworld Sapphire status in a hurry

You need 600 tier points for Silver status in BA’s Executive Club frequent flyer program, plus 4 flights completed on BA aircraft.
Qatar Airways are still awarding 140 tier points for long haul business class sectors via Doha. For example, London – Doha – Kuala Lumpur earns 560 tier points. Do 2 economy returns in Europe to get the remaining 40 tier points and 4 obligatory BA flights, then you’re silver.
Given Qatar occasionally sells these long-haul flights for £1,000 plus £300 for two BA short-haul returns, £1,300 is the easily the cheapest route to Silver. You also get to fly on a very nice business class product.

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