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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you prefer to travel in style, you can also earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible holidays booked through Luxury Escapes.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can also earn Qantas Points on Qantas 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.
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
The general requirement for earning frequent flyer points comes down to whether your transaction qualifies as an 'eligible purchase'. Eligible purchases exclude cash advances and cash related transactions. Read the terms and conditions to confirm what is considered an eligible purchase on your credit card.
Most frequent flyer providers provide a miles or points calculator on their website. You can calculate how many points you'll need for your specific flight using this tool. If your provider has an e-store, they will also list how many points you need to redeem certain products or services there.
Most frequent flyer providers allow members to monitor and manage their frequent flyer points or miles through the relevant online portal. Usually you'll need your membership number and a password or PIN to sign in.
Sally McMullen is Finder's credit cards and frequent flyer editor by day and a music maven by night. Her byline can be spotted on Yahoo Finance, Dynamic Business, Financy and Mamamia as well as Music Feeds and Rolling Stone.
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