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Most airline rewards programs are based around points or miles. Like many loyalty programs, customers can earn points when they shop with that brand and are then rewarded with discounts on products.
In the context of frequent flyer points, you typically earn points when you fly and you're rewarded with travel. As some of the biggest loyalty programs around, airlines typically partner with many other brands, letting you accumulate more points at a faster rate.
How do I earn frequent flyer points?
As we explained above, you earn frequent flyer points typically by flying with your airline of choice. However, you can also earn points by signing up with partner programs.
Qantas Frequent Flyer and Woolworths' Everyday Rewards are partnered, and Velocity Frequent Flyer and Flybuys (Coles) are partnered – making it easy for you to earn points on every shop and convert them to their respective airline programs.
How many frequent flyer points do I need for a flight?
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need millions of points to earn a flight. For a specific route, you'll be able to see in advance how many points you need to earn to take it for free. You can typically take a domestic flight in Australia for less than 10,000 points.
How long do frequent flyer points last?
Unfortunately, like many rewards programs, you will lose your points if you stop earning or spending points. Most airlines refer to this as balance inactivity and you typically have between 1-2 years to earn points or spend them on rewards to keep your account active. Some points, like in the case of Emirates Skywards points, will expire 3 years after they're earned.
Can you get your frequent flyer points back if they expire?
In some cases, the answer is yes. Qantas, for example, lets members earn back 50% of their expired points if they contact the airline and complete a challenge.
What are frequent flyer points worth?
Most frequent flyer programs offer a range of rewards to cater to different members. Some of those rewards are going to be out of range for most members, while others aren't worth the points you spend on them.
The value of a point really depends on how you choose to spend them. We've calculated how much 1 Qantas Point is worth, but our general finding for most airlines is the same – you get the best value when you redeem your points on domestic economy and premium economy flights.
Can I use points for an upgrade?
Yes. Most airlines, including Qantas and Virgin Australia, let you put in a request to upgrade your fare class with points. While not all requests are approved depending on availability, using your points for upgrades is generally a good way to get value from your points.
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