The world of airline rewards programs can be a confusing one, filled with arcane rules and uncertainty over how to best earn and redeem your frequent flyer points.
For example, while we all know we can earn points each time we fly, it’s perhaps less widely appreciated that you can earn points daily on your regular household spending.
Indeed, the frequent flyer experts at website Point Hacks say it’s possible for a family of four to earn free flights for a tropical holiday in only six months by joining an airline rewards program and leveraging your regular household spending to earn more points.
The Point Hacks team has looked at the Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin Australia Velocity Rewards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programs to calculate how many points you’d require to get the free flights, and how you can go about earning them.
“Fiji, Thailand and Bali are some of the best travel destinations to get awards flights for, as the points requirements are relatively low and flights are generally available,” said the website’s spokesman Daniel Sciberras.
For a family of four travelling from Perth, he said you would need from about 115,000 points, depending on the rewards program and destination.
“The first step to achieving the required points is to set up your strategy: join your chosen rewards program, assess the credit cards that will earn you the most points — keeping in mind the annual fees — and get your whole household involved in leveraging your normal household spending into point earnings over the next six months,” Mr Sciberras said.
American Express cards tend to offer the most points, he said.
“Every $1 spent on the AMEX Explorer Credit Card can transfer you up to 1.5 Velocity Points or KrisFlyer Miles. The AMEX Qantas Premium card earns you 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Given AMEX is not always widely accepted, you may also need a Visa or Mastercard — a good earning is 1 point for every $1 spent.”
He suggested involving other family members in collecting points through supplementary rewards credit cards for your partner and through family pooling, which allows family members who live with you to transfer their points to you.
“Qantas and Velocity will allow a family member to transfer you 5000-600,000 and 5000-500,000 points respectively each year. Velocity will also allow you to set up selected family members as contributors and you as beneficiary, so that you receive their points earned from flying.”
MORE POINT HACKS TIPS:
- Switch to a rewards credit card with a bonus points offer. “The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card offers 90,000 bonus Qantas Points for new cardholders.” Meanwhile, the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card offers up to 120,000 bonus Velocity Points.
- Get a transaction account that earns points. “Choose a transaction account to have your pay deposited into, and for everyday debit transactions. The Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account will earn you 12 Qantas Points for every $100 in savings kept in your account, and five points each time you use the debit card — a great option for small purchases like a $3.50 morning coffee. If you have $5000 deposited into your account each month, and use your card every day, you could earn around 4500 points in six months.”
- Join a shopping rewards program. “A rewards program such as flybuys will earn you further points for your everyday shopping. Swipe your flybuys card at retailers such as Coles, Target, eBay, Kmart and Liquorland. Each $1 spent with flybuys at Coles earns you one point, and you can convert 2000 points to 870 Velocity Points. On a $2000 monthly spend, you can get 5220 points in six months. Flybuys also frequently has bonus points offers.”
- Earn points on your takeaway. “Use Deliveroo for the first time, and you’ll earn 1000 Qantas Points. Then top up your balance with 200 Qantas Points when you order at least four times in a month. If you get takeaway once a week, in six months you’ll earn 2200 points.”
- Shop through partner retailers. “Qantas has partnerships with retailers such as Woolworths, BWS, Big W and selected Caltex Woolworths service stations to earn you points on spend there. For instance, every $2000 spent at Woolworths will earn you 870 Qantas points. Velocity’s multiple partners include BP petrol stations, where you can earn 2 points per 1 litre of fuel and $1 spent in-store.”
- Earn on your online shopping. “Qantas Mall and Velocity eStore offer high point earnings on every dollar spent on numerous popular sites such as eBay, David Jones, Woolworths, Country Road, Priceline Pharmacy, Menulog and Cotton On. Log in with your rewards membership, choose the retailer, get directed to their shopping site and you can shop online as normal to earn two to 10 points for every $1 spent, depending on the retailer.”
- Consider an airline rewards super fund or insurance policy. “The Virgin Money Super fund earns members one Velocity Point for every $5 in super contributions, capped at 250,000 points. Qantas has various insurance policies that will earn you points. Its health insurance, for instance, offers up 50,000 bonus points for signing up, and one point for every dollar of your premium.”
For best guides, deals and tips for more frequent flyer points in Australia, visit pointhacks.com.au