How to make the most of your frequent flyer points

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As many of you may be aware, each time you shop, buy goods online, use your credit card or fill up your fuel tank you could be earning frequent flyer points.

But many people aren’t quite sure just how powerful these points can be. Skyscanner Australia has put together a comprehensive guide to all the benefits of frequent flyer points programs. Today, we’ll share the basics with you.

Frequent flyer programs are free to join, so why not sign up the next time you’re asked? Some credit cards come with bonus points and offers of points for every dollar you spend. But these cards can come at a cost, sometimes around $300 a year for the privilege.

The two best and well-known frequent flyer programs in Australia would be Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer and Qantas Frequent Flyer, but there are a heap more out there, including:

AirAsia BIG: partnered with HSBC bank, and various hotel booking agents, car rental companies and more.

Asia Miles: partnered with Cathay Pacific and 29 airlines in the oneworld network, as well as many more providers.

Etihad Guest: partnered with 10 other airlines. You can also earn Etihad guest points when flying with Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: partnered with 30 airlines within the Star Alliance, as well as over 200 retail brands.

The Flybuys program allows you to earn frequent flyer points when you shop at Coles, Target, Kmart, Budget car rentals, or Liquorland. You can then transfer these points to your Velocity or Etihad Guest programs, or you can cash them in at supermarkets. Buying some products will earn you extra points, so keep an eye out for the tickets advertising these offers. You can also earn bonuses for shopping more than once a week and sometimes your receipts will have docket deals that can earn you extra points.

frequent flyer cards

You can use your Flybuys points to get access to member-only offers, or you can use them to part-pay for purchases with its innovative points-plus-pay program. You can also Travel with Flybuys or buy goods from the Flybuys eShops.

Woolworths have its own frequent flyer program called Woolworths Rewards. Earn points when purchasing from Woollies supermarkets, BWS bottle shops and Caltex Woolworths fuel stops. Woolworths Rewards points can be converted to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, or you can use them to get discounts on fuel, bank your savings for Christmas, save money off future shops and get access to member-only deals.

There are many other retail outlets that are partnered with frequent flyer programs. Some of these include Kathmandu, Lorna Jane and Lenovo, as well as hotel chains, car rental companies and department stores. When purchasing big-ticket items at these stores, it’s worth asking if they’re connected to a program so you don’t miss out on potential points.

The best way to spend your points is on flights. They have the most value that way. Some points will be worth half a cent in store, but five cents in the air. Points usually have the most value when being used for upgrades and purchasing full-priced fares, so don’t waste them on unnecessary items or saving more money off already discounted fares.

As always, it pays to read the fine print on your program. And remember, some points expire, so make sure you use them before they vanish.

Do you have any tips for spending your frequent flyer points? What’s the best deal you’ve received from your points?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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