How to make the most of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards Room
The "points store" at Melbourne Airport represents a new approach for Qantas.
So this I did not expect. From now until 30 June, Qantas is running an actual physical store at Melbourne Airport, in its domestic terminal. Dubbed the "Frequent Flyer Rewards Room", it lets you buy a selection of goods from the Qantas Store, either by paying in cash or by using your Qantas Points. Goods on offer include Qantas merchandise, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, Lego sets and Fitbit gear.
Qantas already has Australia's most popular frequent flyer scheme, so it doesn't exactly need to publicise the scheme. However, one of the key strategies it highlighted at its most recent results announcement was encouraging its customers to spend points on more than just flights. This fits right in with that.
Assuming you are passing through Melbourne Airport on a domestic flight, here's what to do to make the most of the experience.
Check in to earn 100 Qantas Points. Show your Frequent Flyer card to a staff member to earn 100 Qantas Points. That's not an earth-shattering amount, but hey, it's still free points.
Ask for tips on how to maximise your points total. Hopefully you're already covering the basics: using a card that earns Qantas Points for your everyday spending, scoring extra points through Woolworths Rewards and taking advantage of bonus points offers. But don't miss the chance to pick up some more specific tips.
Compare before you buy. If you make a purchase instore and pay cash, you'll earn 6 points per $1 spent. (That's in addition to what you might earn with your credit card.) You can elect to have bulky items delivered, which is sensible given the ongoing crackdown on hand luggage.
Shop if you wish, but take time to check and make sure you're not paying over the odds. Personally, I'm tempted by Qantas-branded luggage, since I can't easily pick that up anywhere else and it's not often you get the chance to examine it before buying it. I suspect I might indulge in that when I'm in Melbourne next week.
Don't buy stuff with points. Our longstanding advice has always been that you should spend your points on flights or upgrades rather than physical goods, because you get far more value that way. That doesn't change just because you're in a physical store. Why get $5 of value for every 1,000 Qantas Points when you could get $20 or more?
Right now you can also get a demonstration of Dyson's Supersonic Hair Dryer in the store. As a near-balding man, I'll pass on that, but in a Melbourne autumn/winter season, that will definitely have appeal for many!
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.