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Money Hack: Boost your frequent flyer points by paying for friends when you’re out

Posted: 27 June 2018 10:00 am
News

This "points hogging" strategy is an easy way to reach your points goal faster without spending any extra cash.

Going out for dinner? Offer to pay and get your friends to reimburse you. At the bar? The next round is on you. Booking festival tickets? You’ve got this. No, we’re not suggesting you foster overly-generous spending habits. But offering to cover group expenses and getting your friends to pay you back is an easy way to boost your points without having to fork out any extra cash.

Whether you’re booking a group trip or getting the dinner bill, here’s how you can pick up extra points with the "points hogging" strategy.

The hack

The strategy involves offering to pay for group expenses and getting your friends to pay you back later. This could include anything from share house expenses or dinner with friends to going in for a group gift. As you usually earn points per $1 you spend, this means you can earn more frequent flyer points by paying for group transactions. Here are just a few examples of how you can maximise your frequent flyer points.

Frequent flyer credit card

The most obvious way to pick up points is by offering to pay with your frequent flyer credit card. Just make sure your friends pay you back in a timely manner so you’re not struggling to pay off your credit card bill when the statement period comes around.

But even if you don’t have a frequent flyer credit card, there are plenty of ways to earn points that don’t involve paying on plastic.

Dining

There are plenty of ways to earn more points when you're catching up with friends for dinner. If you're a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can earn 100 points per restaurant reservation booked through Qantas Restaurants. You can also earn up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent when you dine at Rockpool Restaurants. If you’re a Velocity Frequent Flyer, you can collect 300 Velocity Points per reservation booked via OpenTable. If you’re not in the mood to dine out, you can also earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on Deliveroo orders. You can see our guide to earning points when dining out for more ways to earn points on your next meal.

Movies

If you’re a HOYTS member, you can also earn points when you splurge on movie tickets and candy bar treats. HOYTS Rewards Silver members will earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent, while HOYTS Rewards Bronze members can pick up 1 Qantas Point per $2 spent. Considering movie ticket prices these days, it’s an easy way to pick up a nice bounty if you’re paying for you and your friends.

Groceries and bills

If you live in a share house, you can also earn points on everyday expenses like groceries and utility bills. If you offer to pay for the groceries, you can earn Woolworths Rewards (which you can exchange for Qantas Points) at Woolies or earn flybuys points (which you can swap for Velocity Points) at Coles.

You can also opt for an electricity or gas provider that’s partnered with your frequent flyer program. For example, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn points on eligible Red Energy bills and Velocity Points chasers can collect points with EnergyAustralia. If these plans suit your needs and budget, this is another easy way to pick up points on a shared expense. You can check out our guide to earning frequent flyer points on utilities for more details.

These are just some of the ways you can earn points on group expenses, but you get the idea. Dubbing them "points hoggers", Qantas has actually seen an increase in frequent flyers using this strategy to boost their points balance.

“Members are getting smarter about making the program work in their favour and leveraging the everyday products and services with points earning potential, even if it means cashing in on less savvy friends and family,” said Qantas Loyalty executive manager Brian Funston.

So the next time you’re getting your card out to pay the bill, you should have a few tricks to pick up some extra points along the way.

finder money hacks is a bi-weekly roundup of the latest tips and tricks to improve your finances. Check back every Wednesday and Saturday for new hacks.

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