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How can I earn more frequent flyer points?

How can I earn more frequent flyer points?

Offering frequent flyer points is one of the many ways in which credit card companies reward their customers as well as attract new customers. Some banks and credit card providers also issue premium cards in partnership with different airlines. These cards offer customers even more opportunities to earn extra points when they travel with that airline, shop at certain stores or eat at select restaurants. You should make sure to check the conditions for earning points with these credit cards, as they could involve spending large amounts of money, or you may have to pay a high annual fee.

Which credit card can get me the most frequent flyer points?

Many credit cards include rewards points as a benefit. However, converting them for frequent flyer points may not always be an option. If you aim to grow your frequent flyer points, you should choose a credit card whose rewards program is linked to an airline frequent flyer program. 

We have two main frequent flyer memberships in Australia: Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity. However, some credit card issuers offer international frequent flyer programs such as Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, Emirates Skywards, etc. Some card issuers also have their own rewards programs where you can convert the points you earn to frequent flyer points.  

When shopping for a credit card with a frequent flyer partnership, you should consider the following factors:

  1. Bonus points for signing up: Most credit cards with a frequent flyer program tie-in reward customers with bonus points just for signing up, which can give you a head-start in terms of accumulating points.
  2. How to earn frequent flyer points: Some credit cards may reward you for using your card to book international travel or accommodation or shopping at a particular store. But if you don’t usually travel internationally or shop at that specific store, you would probably end up earning fewer points than you expect. 
  3. Minimum purchase requirement: You may need to use the credit card to make purchases worth a specified minimum amount every year to earn frequent flyer points. You should check how this amount compares with your usual spending on your credit card before choosing the card. 
  4. Points per dollar spent: How quickly you can earn frequent flyer points could depend on the points per dollar spent that the card offers you. Some purchases can get you twice the number of points as other purchases. 
  5. Points cap and usage: You should check if there are limits on the number of frequent flyer points you can earn or use per year and if frequent flyer points expire if not used within a specified period. 
  6. Annual Fees: A credit card offering frequent flyer points may require you to pay a high annual fee. This may not be financially viable for you, even with the benefits of earning points.  

How can I earn frequent flyer points?

One way you can get Qantas frequent flyer points or Velocity points is to have a credit card linked to the Qantas or Velocity frequent flyer program. You earn points by using the card for eligible purchases. But besides that, several specific transactions help you earn frequent flyer points, such as:

  • Booking travel and accommodation
  • Renting a car
  • Shopping at certain stores or through the frequent flyer programs online mall.
  • Buying movie tickets or making restaurant reservations
  • Investing in property through select realtors
  • Applying for loans from participating lenders
  • Buying travel or health insurance
  • Partnerships with other rewards programs such as Flybuys or Everyday Rewards.

Before running out and going on a shopping or holiday booking spree, ensure you check if the agency or business you’re shopping with allows you to earn frequent flyer points with your program or accepts your credit card. If you’re booking flights or other travel, you’ll need to ensure the airline, flight and other travel bookings all offer you frequent flyer points when you book.

Do all airline flights earn frequent flyer points?

Unfortunately, not all airlines or all flights on a particular airline allow you to earn frequent flyer points. On the other hand, many airlines do have partnerships with other airlines that allow you to earn frequent flyer points on different flights that may not be available with the airline you have your frequent flyer program with. 

Suppose you book tickets to travel on a Jetstar flight using a credit card offering a partner program with Qantas. You may earn frequent flyer points from the credit card transaction, but you’ll need to book specific Jetstar packages to earn points from the actual flight, for instance if you book the Starter Plus or Starter Max bundle, which offers extras like allowing more check-in baggage and waiving change fees. You’ll probably need to quote your frequent flyer number when booking your ticket to ensure the points are credited to your account. 

Consider also checking whether you’re eligible for points when you book travel for others using your card. Alternatively, you may qualify to convert some credit card rewards points into frequent flyer points. If you have signed up for the Flybuys program, for instance, you could convert some of your points into Velocity frequent flyer points. 

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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