Frequent Flyer Fanatics: Josh Hemmett
This frequent flyer hasn't paid for a flight since his trip to Europe in 2011.
Josh Hemmett is in love with points. It's as simple as that. He's dabbled in almost every frequent flyer program, used frequent flyer credit cards with most Australian banks and hasn't paid for a flight since his trip to Europe in 2011. We chatted with Josh about how he works through credit cards to pick up points without racking up unnecessary fees.
1. Which frequent flyer program(s) do you belong to?
Qantas and American Express' points. I used to be all in for Velocity Points, but when I did the sums about five years ago, Qantas provided better earning potential and better return on those points. Also I prefer their planes.
2. When did you first become a frequent flyer?
About nine years ago. I was prompted to sign up when I was booking a flight with Virgin Australia and figured “why not?” so I signed up. I then saw the credit card offers. Put two and two together and here I am, armed with multiple points credit cards!
3. What's your current points goal?
Well, until recently it was to keep them coming and not have to pay for flights ever again! However, after three international trips on points this year, I'm a little travelled out! So now the focus is to take advantage of the American Express points for payment option to keep my spending high and my bills a LITTLE bit lower.
4. What is the best points hack you’ve ever used?
First and foremost, credit card introductory offers. Going between banks and taking advantage of their "sign up now for 100,000 points" offers is completely worth it. Even if that card costs $400 a year, that 100,000 points is a premium economy ticket to Dallas, with change. The Dallas flight alone is typically about $2,500! To note with this one, as soon as you get your points credited to you (Editor’s note: and you’ve repaid your balance!), CANCEL THE CARD! With the T&Cs on these offers, you usually only have to not be a customer of that institution for 12 months, so start that countdown ASAP!
5. Which points mistake that amateur frequent flyers make drives you crazy?
Not going all in. If you're going to commit to being a FFF (Frequent Flyer Fanatic), commit! The best thing to do is look out for energy companies which partner with that airline or other points provider and get onboard. Yes, that's their marketing working well, but who cares? If it means you get to go business class over economy for changing your energy provider and typical grocery store, would you really say no?
finder's Frequent Flyer Fanatics series features frequent flyer and rewards experts from Australia and around the world. Check back every Wednesday for our freshest Frequent Flyer Fanatic and the latest points tips.