Australia isn’t exactly known as the land of plenty when it comes to accumulating frequent flyer points/miles. Unlike the USA, we don’t have the range of credit cards and we aren’t able to manufacture spend by popping into our local CVS to buy prepaid cards, use them to buy money orders and redeposit into our bank account – Australia has very tight anti-money laundering regulations prohibiting this! But with a good credit history and some creative thinking, it is entirely possible to travel with your family for next to nothing.
Personally I find the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to be the best for collecting points when living in Australia, so this guide will be based on this. There are just way more earning opportunities than Velocity what offers, or than you can achieve by transferring into a program like Asia Miles or KrisFlyer (both of which are excellent programs).
- Fly often and be loyal! Ok, ok so this one is a bit obvious, but if you travel often personally or for work remember to add your frequent flyer number to every itinerary and try to stick with the one airline where possible.
- Credit card sign ups. This is only for those who have a good credit history and pay their credit cards off in full every month. Some credit cards offer phenomenal sign up bonuses for those who sign up, are approved and hit a minimum spend (usually within 3 months). After the points are transferred into your frequent flyer account you can close the account. Usually you have to wait 18 months for applying for that card again. By doing this 3 times a year you could potentially earn in excess of 150,000 Qantas points, which can be redeemed for a return business class flight to Japan.
- Credit card spend. I deplore using cash these days because I don’t earn any points. I set up fortnightly direct debits for all of my bills and pay the credit card off fortnightly too. When you sign up to a card for your everyday spend ensure it has a Visa (or Mastercard) with an AMEX attached. Use the AMEX when there is no surcharge (because it earns more points) and use Visa for everything else.
- Qantas Online Mall. Whenever I am buying anything from Uniqlo, Appliances Online, David Jones, Macys, Apple or even eBay, I ALWAYS go through the Qantas Online Mall as you earn up to 10 points per dollar.
- Qantas Epiqure. If you are a wine lover, this is a must to check out. You earn points per dollar spent however they also have fantastic opportunities to earn up to 10,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points on bonus point promotions. My husband likes wine and I like points so it is a beautiful thing we have going on there!
- Woolworths Rewards. I have loved this program ever since they re-entered their partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer. This program offers some great opportunities to cash in on bonus points offers, and it is a really good idea to get at least two cards per household. If one card has been inactive for a while they often send offers of bonus points as an incentive to return. Some offers also have maximum points you can earn so you may need more one card to fully maximise your point earning potential.
- Banking. Both Qudos Bank and Bank West offer frequent flyer points on transaction / savings accounts. I believe Bank West offers a slightly better deal offering 12 points per $100 in your account each month.
- Qantas Cash. This is a pre-paid travel card that earns 0.25 Qantas points earned per dollar spent in Australia, and 1.5 Qantas point per dollar spent on transactions overseas.
- Air bnb. By booking your next Air bnb through the Qantas website, you can earn one Qantas point per dollar spent.
- Deliveroo. Earn 1 point for every dollar spent after adding your frequent flyer number. They also have an offer of 250 points on your first 4 orders.
- Car rental. Earn 700 Qantas Frequent Flyer points on every international car rental with Avis and Budget.
- Qantas Hotels. I have actually used this quite a lot for our upcoming holiday. The standard earn rate, however at the moment Qantas Hotels is offering a whopping 6 points per dollar spent.
- Health Insurance – Qantas Assure. I have to admit this is not an offer I am too fond of, but it is well worth investigating to see if it meets your needs. At the moment Qantas Assure are offering up to 75,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points to new members. This maximum amount is only earned by taking out the top level of family cover though which might not suit everyone.
- Utilities. For every new electricity product taken out through iSelect, you earn 1,500 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
- Mortgage and Car Loans. Both Macquarie Bank and Qudos Bank offer frequent flyer points on both car and home loans. With big purchases such as these it is very important not to be wooed purely by points, and shop for what is going to be the most financially beneficial product.