Secrets to successful point hacking

Australia’s most prolific points hackers earn hundreds of thousands of points a year and enjoy many travel perks without paying for them. How are they able to meet their travel goals, while still maintaining control of their spending and maintaining a good credit rating?

Point Hacks, an independent platform that brings together one of Australia’s biggest active online communities of highly informed rewards credit cardholders, surveyed 1752 of its community members to reveal the habits of Australia’s most successful point hackers.

“When it comes to airline reward programs, it’s all about working smarter, not harder,” said Point Hacks spokesperson and frequent flyer expert Daniel Sciberras.

“You can incorporate point earnings into your daily routine by leveraging credit card spending. However, it’s important that you pay off credit card bills on time, so you aren’t incurring interest at the expense of earning points – a habit that the majority of our community do.”

Point Hacks reveals the eight habits of Australia’s most successful point hackers:

1. They use credit cards to boost point earnings
A significant 74 per cent of point hackers have at least two point-earning credit cards in their wallet. Point-earning credit cards are one of the most lucrative ways to earn frequent flyer points, with 61 per cent saying they earn more than half of their points through their credit card spend, and 33 per cent earning more than 75 per cent of their points from credit card spend.

2. They are a member of at least two rewards programs
They say you’ve got to be in it to win it, and it’s no different when it comes to rewards programs. Eighty-six (86) per cent of point hackers belong to at least two rewards programs and 61 per cent belong to at least three. 

3. They use flybuys and airline partners to top up point earnings
Credit card spend isn’t the only way to rack up points, with three in four (76 per cent) Aussies using rewards programs such as flybuys, Woolworths Rewards or Myer One credits to boost their points. Sixty (60) per cent buy groceries and alcohol at partner stores to get points, 56 per cent fill up petrol at partner fuel outlets, and 34 per cent shop with selected brands to top up their earnings. Forty-four (44) per cent use selected accommodation booking sites and 37 per cent stay in selected Airbnbs and hotels to earn points along the way.

4. They have a credit card strategy to reduce their interest and maximise points
Sixty-four (64) per cent of point hackers generally have a strategy for how they use and pay off their rewards credit cards, with 82 per cent saying they pay off all their credit card debt at the end of every month.

5. They research new credit card offers, switching cards when necessary
Point hackers regularly have their eye on the credit card market to learn of new products and promotions that will help maximise their point earnings. More than one third (36 per cent) research the market at least weekly, two-thirds (68 per cent) do their research every month, and 80 per cent research every three months.

6. They are comfortable paying $200 in credit card fees each year
It turns out you’ve got to give a little to get a lot back. Three-quarters (74 per cent) of point hackers are happy to pay at least $200 in total credit card fees every year. One third (35 per cent) are happy to pay at least $500 in total fees. Despite this, almost all respondents (98 per cent) say they have a good credit rating.

7. Their credit cards earn them at least 0.75 points per dollar spent
Point hackers know to look past the first deal that comes their way. Almost all respondents (96 per cent) aim for at least 0.75 points earned per $1 spent on credit cards. Eighty-seven (87) per cent aim for 1 or more point per dollar spent, while 35 per cent look for 1.25 or more points. On their AMEX cards, 71 per cent aim for 1.5 points or more for every dollar spent, and 43 per cent look for 2 or more points per dollar spent.  

8. They aim for at least 1c per point when converting points into purchases
It pays to do the maths on purchases. More than half (57 per cent) of point hackers calculate the redemption value when converting points into purchases. Among those, more than a third (39 per cent) aim for at least two cents per points.

While Daniel generally doesn’t recommend using precious points on product redemptions due to their low conversion values, there are some exceptions: “If you aren’t planning any trips but have points that are about to expire, my suggestion is to look for products on ‘points sales’ that are discounted by 35 per cent in points on the airline rewards stores.”

How do you earn more points? What are your point hacking tips?

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Written by Point Hacks

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