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How to earn frequent flyer points while travelling overseas

Learn 5 easy ways to reward your spending with points on your next international adventure.

Whether you’re booking hotels or buying souvenirs for loved ones, there are plenty of ways to earn frequent flyer points while you’re travelling. If you want to reward every dollar (or Euro or Yen) you spend on your next international trip, you can use this guide to discover how you can pick up reward points on your next holiday.

How do you want to earn points?

Frequent flyer credit card

You can earn points on every eligible $1 you spend with a frequent flyer credit card. In Australia, these cards are usually linked with either the Qantas Frequent Flyer or Velocity Frequent Flyer programs. Some frequent flyer credit cards also reward cardholders with higher earn rates when they spend overseas.

Some of these cards may charge a foreign transaction fee when you spend in an international currency. Based on how much you plan to spend, you should determine whether this fee outweighs the perks of earning points before you apply for the card. You can compare cards that offer reward points and no foreign transaction fees if you want to earn points without forking out for extra costs.

Rewards prepaid travel card

You can also earn points with your prepaid travel card if you get the Qantas Travel Money or Velocity Global Wallet card. These cards also reward cardholders with higher earn rates when they shop overseas.

  • Qantas Travel Money. You can earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent in foreign currency on eligible purchases overseas or online and 1 Qantas Point per AUD$4 spent on eligible purchases in Australia.
  • Velocity Global Wallet. You’ll collect 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent overseas and 1 point per $3 spent in Australia.

Both of these cards support 11 currencies. So while you’re racking up points, you can lock in exchange rates and avoid currency conversion fees when you’re shopping in supported local currencies.

Look for a card with a higher earn rate for overseas transactions

Some rewards and frequent flyer credit cards offer more points per $1 spent overseas compared to on Australian purchases. This gives you a way to boost your points when you use a credit card overseas.

For example, the Qantas Premier Platinum offers 1.5 points per $1 spent overseas and 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia up to $10,000 per month (0.5 points per $1 spent after that). Meanwhile, the Emirates Citi World Mastercard offers 1.25 Skywards Miles for every dollar spent on eligible international spend (uncapped). In comparison, using this card in Australia earns you 1 Mile (up to $3,000 per statement period), and 0.5 Skywards Miles per $1 spent thereafter (up to $6,500 per statement period). With either of these cards, you earn more points for your overseas spending compared to spending in Australia.

Hotels and accommodation

From partnered hotels and Airbnb to transferring hotel loyalty points to your frequent flyer account, there are a few ways you can earn points on accommodation. To make it easier, we’ve divided your options by Qantas and Velocity.

Qantas Points

Book through Qantas Hotels

If you book your accommodation through Qantas Hotels, you can earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent on your stay. Qantas Hotels offers more than 200,000 hotel and accommodation options around the world including partnered hotels like Crown Hotels, Hyatt, Adina Apartments and Sofitel.

Earn points directly

You can also earn Qantas Points when you book directly with some partnered hotels and resorts. As long as you include your Qantas Frequent Flyer number when you’re booking, you can earn between 1 point per $1 spent or 1,000 Qantas Points per stay with partnered hotels including Langham Hotels and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.

Points from a partnered hotel loyalty program

If you belong to a partnered hotel program such as IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors, Le Club AccorHotels, World of Hyatt or Choice Privileges Rewards, you can exchange your hotel points for Qantas Points.

You can visit our guide to earning Qantas Points at hotels for a complete breakdown of how many points you can earn with your next hotel stay.

Stay at an Airbnb

Whether you’re staying in a sleek apartment in Melbourne or enjoying waterfront views from a tropical villa in Bali, you can earn Qantas Points at more than 4.5 million Airbnb homes around the world. When you book your Airbnb stay through qantas.com/airbnb, you’ll earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.

Check out our guide to earning Qantas Points with Airbnb for more details.

Luxury Escapes

If you prefer to travel in style, you can also earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible holidays booked through Luxury Escapes.

Velocity Points

Partnered hotels

You can earn Velocity Points if you quote your Velocity Frequent Flyer number when you book with partnered hotels and resorts. The number of points you’ll earn will vary between hotels. For example, you can collect 3 Velocity Points per $1 spent at Crown Hotels, TFE Hotels and Pan Pacific Hotels or 1,000 Velocity Points per stay at Langham hotels outside of Australia.

You can visit our guide to earning Velocity Points when you book accommodation for more details.

Transfer your hotel loyalty points

If you belong to a partnered hotel rewards program, you can transfer those points into Velocity Points. This includes points earned with Le Club AccorHotels, IHG Rewards Club, Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest, Shangri-La’s Golden Circle and Choice Privileges.

The number of Velocity Points you’ll get from the transfer will also vary between programs. For example, you can get 1 Velocity Point per 1 Le Club AccorHotels point but 2,000 Velocity Points per 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points you transfer.

You can see our guide to transferring your hotel points to Velocity Points for a complete breakdown of the exchange rates you can expect when transferring your points.

Car rental

  • Qantas. You can earn Qantas Points on car rentals booked with Avis Car Rental and Budget. You’ll earn 700 Qantas Points per rental outside of Australia. Read our guide to earning Qantas Points on car rentals for more information.
  • Velocity. If you’re taking a road trip, you can earn Velocity Points with Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. On international trips, you can earn 800 Velocity Points per rental with any of these partnered companies. Want to know more? Check out our guide to earning Velocity Points on vehicle hire.

Travel insurance

If you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can also earn Qantas Points on Qantas Assure travel insurance. You’ll collect 1 Qantas Point per $1 value of insurance premiums (excludes cancellation and baggage policies). Make sure to check out the insurance policy to see the inclusions, exclusions and eligibility requirements before you apply for the insurance.

Flights

If you’re travelling overseas, you probably know that you can earn Qantas Points on eligible Qantas flights and Velocity Points on eligible Virgin Australia flights leaving Australia. If you’re taking other flights during your holiday (for example, if you’re travelling between different countries in Europe), don’t forget that you can also earn points with partnered airlines. This is an easy way to pick up points even if you’re not flying with Qantas or Virgin Australia while you’re overseas.

To give you an idea, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn Qantas Points on eligible flights with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates while Velocity members can earn points on flights with Etihad and Singapore Airlines. You can see our comprehensive guides to the Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs for more information on earning points with partnered airlines.


There are plenty of ways for Aussie rewards chasers to pick up points when they’re travelling overseas. If you do your research beforehand, there’s almost no reason why you shouldn’t pick up points on most of your holiday splurges.

Frequently asked questions

Pictures: Shutterstock

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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