Learn from the government’s frequent flyer blunder and discover how to make the most of your rewards points!
In July 2015, the federal government expressed interest in jumping on the frequent flyer bandwagon to take advantage of the $377 million it spends annually on travel expenses. While travellers under an Australian government contract already receive status credits that allow them to receive benefits such as lounge access and additional baggage allowances, the government wanted to expand its rewards horizons. However, following industry feedback, the government revealed that its request to accrue frequent flyer points was rejected in September 2015. While there were some hints that this could change in the future, it seems that frequent flyer perks will remain exclusive to us regular folk for now.
While you may not have almost $400 million worth of rewards to spend, there are some simple steps you can take to make the most of your frequent flyer points.
How can I make the most of my frequent flyer points?
Master how you can earn points
As well as flights with your frequent flyer provider, most frequent flyer programs allow cardholders to earn points with partnered airlines and retailers. Partner points can be a clever way to build up your points, especially if you’re not planning a trip anytime soon or your holiday requires you to fly with a different airline. Visit your relevant frequent flyer program’s website for a full list of partners you can earn points with.
Take advantage of bonus points
Some frequent flyer programs allow its members to earn bonus points. Depending on your provider, you may receive additional points as a sign-up incentive or when shopping with a partnered retailer. While some of these bonus points may be a regular feature, keep an eye out for bonus deals that pop up from time to time.
Know your limitations
Consider whether your points are capped or restricted by expiration dates. Some frequent flyer programs will only allow members to earn up to a specified number of points or the earn rate may be reduced after you’ve accrued a certain amount. Credit cards with uncapped rewards earnings can be advantageous, allowing you to keep on earning points on your everyday spend. If you travel or make purchases regularly with a credit linked to a frequent flyer program, capped points could limit the rewards you stand to earn. If you’re hoping to build up your points over time to redeem a particular flight or reward, keep an eye out for expiration dates. Points that expire can’t be redeemed and will go to waste.
If you’re a regular jet-setter or big spender, catering your spending to help jack up your frequent flyer points can be a good strategy. Know the potential of your points and take advantage of every chance to earn extra points where possible. Since we don’t all have $377 million to throw around every year, remember that any flight or credit card purchase you make will need to be repaid eventually. Make sure your points-earning capacity complements your existing spending habits rather than the other way around!