Frequent Flyer Points in Australia…..the basics

What are the major frequent flyer programs in Australia?

The two leading frequent flyer programs in Australia are Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity.

Can I earn points if I don’t fly a lot?

Absolutely!  Most frequent flyer miles are earned from credit cards, but you do obviously rack up points faster if you fly frequently.  If you take flights for work you should always link your frequent flyer number on your corporate travel agent’s profile.

Can I only earn points with these two programs?

No, but they are the easiest because most banks offer a rewards program that includes one of these two programs, and you can also rack up a lots of points by linking your Fly Buys (Velocity) or Woolworths Rewards (Qantas).  If you are earning points from ‘churning and burning’ cards (will be covered in a future blog post), you will want to join one of these two programs.

In theory, you can earn points for pretty much any airline’s program from Australia if you are signed up for AMEX Rewards as you can redeem your AMEX points for Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points which in turn can be transferred to most airline partners.  This can give you extreme flexibility, but at the same time you do lose some value when transferring through SPG.  More on this in a future post.

Emirates Skyward also has its own card in Australia and some of the banks’ reward programs such as Westpac Altitude and NAB Rewards allow you to transfer into various programs such as Asia Miles etc.  Be careful with this though because whilst Qantas and Velocity offer some of the worst value redemption rates, you do lose value on your points when transferring them from your bank’s rewards program.

What can I redeem my points for?

There are a whole range of things that you can redeem your points for…… electronics, gifts cards, vouchers, retail items etc….. but if you are coming to this blog I am assuming you like to travel?  In this case, only ever trade your points for award seats on flights or upgrades on flights.  Using points for ANYTHING else is terrible value.  An example of this: just say I have 75,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.  That can either snag me a $3500 one way business class ticket to Japan (as an award seat)……or just under $400 in Woolworths gift cards.

Ok that’s all for this post. See you next time!

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