Can I purchase travel insurance with frequent flyer points?
Have more money to spend on your next holiday and buy your travel insurance using your frequent flyer miles.
Although not available under all frequent flyer programs, it’s possible to use the frequent flyer miles you've earned with certain airlines to take out essential travel insurance.
For example, Qantas Frequent Flyer members who are also Australian residents have the option of redeeming their points on QBE travel insurance. You can use your points to buy cover when booking a domestic or international flight departing from Australia at Qantas.com.
QBE have a range of cover options for travellers including International Comprehensive Cover, Annual Multi-trip Cover and Cancellation, and Baggage and Rental Vehicle Excess cover.
Maybe your saving your miles for something special. If that is the case, buy your QBE Travel Insurance policy the old fashioned way and earn even more frequent flyer miles. You can earn 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point for every $2 spent on a QBE International, Annual Multi-trip or Australian Travel plan.
Find out more about Travel Insurance and Frequent Flyer Miles
Unforeseen events beyond your control such as the unexpected death of a relative, can force you to cancel a flight that you’ve already booked and paid for in full. If you’ve paid for your flight with frequent flyer miles, will the miles be reimbursed? The treatment of your frequent flyer points in these situations does vary depending on the insurer. However, as a general rule you should be able to get back those frequent flyer points you used to book your flight.
In order to check the cover that applies to you, take a closer look at your travel insurance product disclosure statement. Specifically, examine the features and exclusions of the "cancellation fees and lost deposits" or "amendment and cancellation costs" sections of your cover.
Example of how points will be covered
For example, page 57 of the 1Cover Travel Insurance product disclosure statement (PDS) states:
We will pay you for loss of frequent flyer or similar air travel points you used to purchase an airline ticket following cancellation of that airline ticket, if you cannot recover the lost points from any other source. The cancellation must be due to unforeseen circumstances outside of your control.
How much will I be paid?
The amount that is reimbursed is calculated by multiplying the residual total number of points lost divided by the total number of points that were used to purchase the ticket.
Which travel insurance brands will cover frequent flyer points if I have to cancel?
In other cases, you may be entitled to have your frequent flyer points reimbursed by your airline should you have to cancel your flight. However, you’ll need to check your airline’s policy surrounding cancelling flights that have been purchased using rewards points, as these conditions are not uniform across airlines and often contain exclusions.
Depending on the airline, the cancellation of flights booked using frequent flyer miles may be influenced by factors such as:
- Whether or not the ticket was a sale fare. In some cases, points used to purchase sale fares are non-refundable.
- A refund fee. You will often be required to pay a fee for cancelling your flight.
- The reward structure used. Some airlines have different types of points such as points earned from flight bookings and purchases with retail partners. Some types of rewards points may not be eligible for refund.
For example, if you’ve booked a Classic Flight Reward with Qantas or one of its partner airlines, you can cancel your flight up to 24 hours before departure and be reimbursed for the points spent but you will need to pay a cancellation refund fee. Flights booked with Qantas using Points Plus Pay are generally non-refundable.
The ways in which you can earn and redeem frequent flyer points differ between airlines, so read the fine print attached to your airline’s frequent flyer program to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions. To give you an idea of how these programs typically work, let’s take a closer look at the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
Before you can start earning points, you’ll need to sign up for membership. This can be done online by providing your personal details and paying a membership fee.
Once you’re a member, you can start earning Qantas Frequent Flyer Points on a range of purchases, including:
- Flights. You can earn Qantas Points on flights you book with Qantas, Jetstar and more than 35 other partner airlines.
- Cards and banking. Major banks across Australia offer credit cards that reward you with Qantas Points when you spend money on your card. You can also earn points through transaction accounts, savings accounts, home loans and car loans with some financial institutions.
- Shopping. From David Jones to the Apple Store, Qantas allows you to earn points when shopping with its retail partners.
- Cars and hotels. Earn points when you hire a car from Avis or Budget or book a stay at one of 70,000 partner hotels worldwide.
- Qantas Cash. This prepaid travel money card allows you to earn 1 Point for every AUD $1 or equivalent spent.
- Food and wine. Dine and earn points at more than 2,000 restaurants.
- Health and lifestyle. You can also earn Qantas Points on movie tickets, health insurance, skiing packages and an extensive range of other purchases.
Using your points
You can use your Qantas Frequent Flyer Points to:
- Pay for flights or upgrade your fare
- Book stays at more than 100,000 hotels and accommodation options around the world
- Purchase items from the Qantas Store in categories including electrical, travel and luggage, home and garden, fitness and outdoor, beauty and fashion, and baby and kids
- Purchase wine from Qantas epiQure
- Buy QBE Travel Insurance
- Purchase Woolworths WISH e-gift cards
Looking to receive a quote for travel insurance?
If you're getting set to jet off overseas and are looking to compare different travel insurance options, simply enter your details in the form below to receive a quotes for cover. finder.com.au has access to a range of travel insurance brands underwritten by QBE including Easy Travel Insurance and Travel Insurance Saver.
Made a search before? Retrieve your search results
Type or Select your destination(s)
Picture: Frankie Leon, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)