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Do people still want frequent flyer points?

Thoughtful businessman looking away while sitting by female colleague at waiting area in airport

Only 27% of millennials think credit card frequent flyer points are worth it.

It's a question I get asked a lot these days: Is there any reason for collecting frequent flyer points when it's almost impossible to fly anywhere outside Australia?

I'm inclined to say "yes", but I'm a tragic points addict.

Recent research from J.D. Power suggests that younger Australians are going off frequent flyer reward cards and are favouring other kinds of credit card loyalty schemes instead.

The company's Banking Industry Insight highlights that we're still keen on getting some kind of reward when we shop.

The focus of the research was on the oft-maligned millennial group, defined here as cardholders aged between 18 and 39.

42% of that group value credit card rewards, making it the most popular reason to use a card after simple convenience.

However, frequent flyer points aren't the most popular choice for this group. Top of the list is cash rewards and cashback, valued by 27%. Gift certificates or cards follow close behind with 23%, with airline points/miles coming in third place on 17%.

Chart of preferred reward types

That ties in with another key finding of the study: 37% of those cardholders plan to switch to a new card in the future. On these numbers, it may not be a frequent flyer card.

Whichever kinds of rewards you favour, there are two key strategies to follow.

Firstly, make sure you're paying off your balance each month. Once you start paying interest on your credit card balance, you're not getting full value from rewards points (or cashbacks, come to that).

Secondly, regularly review your card choice. Offers change over time, and what worked for you a year ago may not be the right choice now.

I'm still happily earning points, even though I know it will be a long while before I actually convert them into flights.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.

Picture: Getty Images

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