Frequent flyer points are big business in Australia. As travel opens back up, our appetite for collecting points is bigger than ever.
But with so many airline and hotel programs jostling for your attention, how do you know where to start? Luckily, with the right knowledge and a little careful planning, it’s surprisingly easy to travel up the pointy end – for less!
Adele Eliseo from loyalty website The Champagne Mile shares six essential tips on how frequent flying programs can elevate your travel experience.
Sign up to leading airline programs
If you’re just getting started with points and miles, your first stop should be to join popular airline programs. In Australia, the two most popular frequent flier programs are Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer (Virgin Australia). Both programs are quick and easy to join, and it won’t cost you anything to sign up.
Further afield, global programs such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Marriott and American Airlines AAdvantage all offer free membership and the ability to access lucrative points earning opportunities.
Get the family involved
Many loyalty programs offer family friendly perks designed to help members reach frequent flyer redemption goals sooner.
Virgin Australia, for example, allows members to effortlessly ‘pool’ frequent flyer miles with family. Qantas Frequent Flyer enables limited family points transfers each calendar year.
Signing up family members to frequent flyer programs at no cost can help you to build your reward balance quickly.
Consider a frequent flyer credit card
Once you’re a carded up member of an airline program, it’s time to start earning points. Depending on your individual circumstances, one of the quickest ways to boost your frequent flyer points balance is to take out a points-earning credit card.
When looking for a credit card, savvy consumers typically seek out high value sign on bonuses while also taking into consideration ongoing perks. Many credit cards provide travel benefits such as a free domestic return trip, Qantas Club lounge passes, or a travel credit. Even if you plan to travel infrequently, these can offer additional value.
A frequent flyer credit card is widely considered to be one of the simplest methods to quickly increase your points and miles balance – provided you’re dedicated to paying off your credit card on time. Note that many cards do come with a high annual fee, so it’s important to weigh up whether the value proposition is worth it before you take the plunge.
Supercharge your points earn through everyday spend
Once you’ve taken out a frequent flyer credit card, the quickest way to meet your luxury redemption goal is to put as many of your expenses as you can through your reward point earning credit card each month.
Is it time to upgrade your laptop? Are you heading to your weekly shop at Coles or Woolworths? How about online shopping at Amazon? These days, almost all major and minor purchases can be put through a points-earning credit card.
Additionally, shopping via airline portals or retailer and grocery store loyalty programs can allow you to ‘double’ or ‘triple’ dip on spend, significantly increasing the number of points you could earn on one purchase.
Take to the sky
Nowadays, earning frequent flyer points isn’t all about taking flights. In fact, air travel isn’t always the quickest or most efficient approach to earn points and miles! However, it’s still possible to a significant number of frequent flyer points in the air.
It’s crucial to do your homework before taking a trip in order to get the most out of your points. Some airline programs offer a higher earn rate than others, and you should take into consideration any promotions or bonus point offers that could be running at the time.
Holding a higher tier of membership in an airline program might also assist you in earning points at a quicker rate than usual.
Avoid points expiry
It’s one thing to rack up an enviable frequent flyer balance – but it’s quite another to let your hard-earned points go to waste. To avoid losing points, be sure you understand the expiry terms for each loyalty program. While some programs work to a ‘hard’ expiry of unused points, others give members the option of keeping their balance if activity is registered within a specific time.
Set calendar appointments to keep track of any activity requirements, and ensure you use up your points in advance if expiry is looming.
Whether you’re a seasoned or new frequent flyer enthusiast, there are many ways to earn points and get the most out of them.