Frequent Flyer Fanatics: Richard Wilde
Citi’s head of cards reveals why he’d never use his points for anything but flights.
Richard Wilde is the head of cards and loans at Citi, so he knows his fair share about how to pick up points on purchases. We had a chat with Richard about his favourite points hacks and how you can make the most of the extra features on your rewards credit card.
Which frequent flyer program(s) do you belong to?
I belong to many programs, but primarily Qantas, which is linked to the Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card. The Qantas program has a great range of partners and allows me to earn the rewards that mean the most for me.
When did you first become a frequent flyer?
It was so many years ago I can’t recall! Working in cards at Citi, I’m constantly exposed to the fantastic rewards and points-related offers that can be earned, so I’ve been passionate about generating frequent flyer points for a long time now.
What's your current points goal?
To save enough points to take the family to Europe! I love that my points help me create memorable experiences not just for myself, but for my family too.
What is the best points hack you’ve ever used?
While it’s not really a hack, the best way I’ve ever used my points is to upgrade on a red eye home from Perth when I was exhausted and fronting up to work the next morning. Not the most economical use of points, but it was worth it for a decent sleep!
Which points mistake that amateur frequent flyers make drives you crazy?
The mistake that drives me crazy is using frequent flyer points for merchandise – why would you? There is much greater value to be found using points for flying!
Another common frequent flyer mistake is not taking advantage of all the benefits available from the credit cards used to collect points. For example, for Citi customers that might be anything from getting a free bottle of wine when they dine at one of almost 400 restaurants that participate in our dining program to free travel insurance or airport lounge access when they travel. If the benefits are there for the taking, I hope all frequent flyers are taking advantage and making their travel experience that much more enjoyable thanks to their card provider.
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.