Christmas is all about giving, but why shouldn't you get some frequent flyer points into the bargain?
Here are five ways to earn a sleigh full of points even when you're buying gifts for somebody else.
1. Use Virgin Australia’s Global eStore for online shopping
Virgin Australia's online store lets you earn four Velocity points per dollar on a wide range of products from partners like Apple, Dell, eBay, Asos, The Iconic, Booktopia, RedBalloon, StrawberryNet and Microsoft.
This means that ever-popular gift ideas including iPods and iPads, laptops, books, gaming consoles and cosmetics can be served with a generous side of Velocity points.
So if there's already an iPad on your Christmas shopping list, for example, why not shovel up a few thousand Velocity points at the same time?
The extensive Clothes & Fashion section also includes several overseas-only retailers such as Banana Republic, Bloomingdales, Charles Tyrwhitt, Macy's and Selfridges. Just be sure to investigate the likely delivery date before you buy, in case you're hoping to get the goods before Christmas rather than sometime in January.
Diligence is necessary here – you’ll need to click the appropriate partner link on the Velocity eStore website before commencing your shopping. If you come back later or follow a link from elsewhere (say, Google), you won’t get any points!
2. Get gift cards from Woolworths, pay with American Express
Gift cards are ideal stocking stuffers, and if you're buying somebody an iDevice then an iTunes card is great to throw into the parcel.
Woolworths carries gift cards from over a dozen suppliers including Apple's iTunes service, Google Play, Hoyts, Event Cinemas, Xbox Live, Sanity, Dymocks, Supercheap Auto, Toys R Us, Sportsgirl and even Myer.
Swiping a Woolworths Everyday Rewards card at the checkout will earn you Qantas points for your spend over $30 and if you pay with an American Express Qantas Premium or Velocity Gold card you’ll grab an extra two points per dollar thanks to the ‘major supermarket’ bonus rate.
As an example, spend just $200 on gift cards and you’ll net 170 Qantas points via Everyday Rewards as well as 400 Qantas or Velocity points from those particular credit cards, equating to 2.85 points per dollar.
3. Buy theatre tickets through the airlines
Tickets to a great show make a top present, so don't forget that Qantas and Virgin Australia offer three points per dollar on the purchase of tickets via qantasboxoffice.com.au and tickets.showbiz.com.au/virginaustralia.
Between the two programs you’ll be able to find tickets for Les Misérables, King Kong, The King and I, Grease, Alicia Keys and Michael Bublé, along with art exhibitions and dance performances.
The trick here is to compare the ticket price and reserve type between the two airlines' 'box office' sites along with those offered directly by the venue (or their preferred ticketing agent), as the price and seating location can differ greatly!
Don’t forget to include extras like booking fees or credit card surcharges into your calculations, as you may find one supplier offering a cheaper overall rate.
4. Buy your Christmas beer and bubbly through Qantas epiQure, BWS or Cellarmasters
If you’re a member of Qantas’ epiQure fine wine community, don’t forget that you can earn three points per dollar on wine and ticket purchases.
Virgin Wines does the same for Velocity points, although the champagne list doesn’t begin to rival that of epiQure.
If beer, cider or spirits are your thing, Cellarmasters and BWS offer one point per dollar spent – although this only kicks in on amounts above $30 in the case of BWS.
5. Give Qantas travel vouchers
Until December 27, Qantas is offering ten points per dollar spent on gift vouchers which can be redeemed against Qantas flights.
And as we revealed last week, by stacking this in combination with two other current Qantas promotions you can triple dip with extra points and status credits – taking Qantas Frequent Flyer members nearly halfway to Qantas Gold status with just two flights while also earning over 22,000 points.
Besides which, there's no reason you can't give yourself the gift of travel this Christmas. You know you've earned it. :)
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