Money Hacks: Racking up frequent flyer points when buying health insurance

Richard Laycock 25 March 2017

Young woman holding credit card and using laptop computer.

Pay your health insurance premiums upfront with your credit card and save in more ways than one.

There is only a week to go before health insurance premiums rise by an industry weighted average of 4.84%. If you're able to pay your year's premiums upfront before the end of Friday 31 March 2017 you'll benefit from rate protection, which means your premiums will be locked in at the previous year's rate.

As an added bonus, some health funds offer up to a 4% discount on premiums for those who choose to pay their premiums upfront. That means that those taking out cover can ostensively save themselves an average of 8.84% on health insurance just by prepaying their health insurance before 1 April 2017.

But that's not enough for us here at finder.com.au, we demand more asbestos, more asbestos, more asbestos – I mean, more savings. Which is why we thought we'd look into the possible benefits of prepaying your health insurance premiums on a 0% credit card.

The hack

Pay your full year premiums on a 0% purchase rewards credit card. By paying for your premiums on a credit card with both a 0% purchase rate offer and rewards points, such as the St.George Amplify Platinum, you'll be able to lock in your premiums with rate protection and essentially pay them off monthly, just like you would normally pay for health insurance.

One of the other major benefits of using your credit card to pay for your health insurance premiums is that you can earn frequent flyer points for every dollar you spend.

You need to make sure you're making the minimum monthly payment, but also keep in mind that any outstanding balance at the end of the promotional period (six months for the St.George card) will be charged at the standard percentage rate.

If you're after even more points you can also look for a fund that offers frequent flyer points to new members.

Qantas Assure is offering up to 50,000 points to new members who sign up for its top singles hospital and extras policy. Qantas Assure also allows you to earn up to an additional 15,000 Qantas Points per year just by logging into the Qantas Assure app and participating in daily and weekly health challenges.

So, if you take out the top Qantas Assure policy, pay for it using your St.George Amplify Card and complete the daily health challenges, you could potentially earn 66,000 points, all for taking out health insurance. This is enough points for a one-way business class ticket to Hong Kong, with 6,000 points in the bank to be used at a later date.

It's important to remember that not every credit card provider will allow you to earn points by paying for your health insurance premiums, as some count the transaction as a cash advance rather than as a purchase. This will also mean the transaction is not covered by the interest-free period, so make sure you check the credit card terms before buying cover.

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