Boost your frequent flyer points

All of us want a frequent flyer balance which can provide us with worthwhile rewards and there’s never been a better time to be rewarded for frequent flyer points.

The recent partnership between Qantas and Emirates and attractive offers from Virgin’s Velocity program mean there’s now a smorgasbord of rewards you can ‘buy’ with swap points. But the number of reward possibilities has never been a problem for consumers – it’s always been about how we can earn more points. Follow these tricks and earn more frequent flyer points than you’ve ever imagined.

Get a rewards card – you’re missing out
Earning frequent flyer points without a rewards credit card is like driving a car with no engine.

A rewards card earns points for the spending you’d be doing anyway. Depending on the card, you’ll earn frequent flyer points directly or earn the card provider’s own type of rewards points, which can later be transferred to various frequent flyer programs.

The icing on the cake is in the fact that many card providers will offer bonus points just for signing up to a new card.

Examples include the American Express Velocity Escape, which offers 7,500 bonus Velocity points to new cardholders and has no annual fee, or if you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer member the American Express Qantas Discovery offers the same number of bonus points and no annual fee.

Some cards, such as the American Express Platinum, offer up to as many as 80,000 bonus points for signing up. This particular card also comes with a $900 annual fee, so be sure to compare the different cards out there and ensure your spending and point gathering will outweigh the annual fee.

Finally, some cards will restrict the number of points you can earn each month or year, so work out how much you plan to spend on your card, otherwise your points earning potential could be reduced.

Larger purchases means bigger and faster rewards
One way to earn large amounts of points is to pay for your large purchases with your rewards card, rather than paying with your transaction account or cash.

Providing your credit limit can handle it, making a big purchase on your credit card and then paying it off immediately with your own funds, means you can earn plenty of points and not pay interest.

Add a cardholder to your account
Any spending which an additional cardholder makes on your account will earn you points. You’re still responsible for all the spending they make, so ensure it’s someone you trust.

Spend with frequent flyer partners
Frequent flyer programs have a number of retail partners which give bonus points for spending with them. For example, if you’re a Virgin Velocity member you’ll earn double points on every dollar spent at the Westfield online store. It’s important that you’re not paying a premium for these items, otherwise these bonus points will be worthless.

Jump to a higher status level
Each frequent flyer program has different tiers of membership within. As you jump up to higher status levels you’ll be rewarded with many benefits, one of which is an increased points earning rate for flights. Being a top tier Platinum member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program for example means you’ll earn double points for any flights.

One final word of advice is to treat your rewards card as just that – a reward. Spending for the sake of earning points isn’t really rewarding you, so keep this in mind as you build your points balance.

For further details on the programs and cards mentioned, click the following links:

Velocity Frequent Flyer 

American Express Velocity Escape 

American Express Qantas Discovery 

American Express Platinum 

Jeremy Cabral is one of the personal finance experts of and he genuinely wants to help people make informed choices about the credit cards they use.