How to earn frequent flyer points on EVERY business expense

By Chris Chamberlin, May 26 2016
How to earn frequent flyer points on EVERY business expense
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Paying your suppliers by credit card is one of the easiest ways to amass frequent flyer points on your business expenses, but there’s the age-old conundrum that some companies won’t accept plastic: instead requiring payment via electronic funds transfer.

That’s where RewardPay steps in: allowing you to pay any business with your American Express card, whether or not that business accepts AMEX or even credit cards at all, with the payment sent across to your supplier as a regular bank transfer.

It works like this: Australian businesses large and small can create an account on the RewardPay website using their ABN, and then enter the business and bank account details of the suppliers they’d like to pay.

When a bill falls due, simply return to the RewardPay website and whip out your AMEX to make that payment. Your card will be billed directly by RewardPay, along with a 2.64% processing surcharge, with the net amount remitted to your supplier by electronic funds transfer.

You can also add a reference name or number to appear with your payment so that it can be easily identified and applied to your invoice.

Paying bills, earning points via RewardPay

Crunching the numbers, paying a $23,500 invoice via RewardsPay would have your card billed $24,120.40, with $620.40 retained by RewardsPay and $23,500 sent to the supplier you specify.

Paying over $600 to process one invoice payment may be costly, but when using a card that earns 1.5 frequent flyer points per dollar spent – such as the Commonwealth Bank Business Awards Platinum AMEX – you could pull in the equivalent of 36,180 points with Virgin Australia Velocity.

Even after the airline’s own redemption rates change on June 1 2016, that’s still more than enough for a one-way flight from Sydney to Perth in The Business: Virgin Australia’s flagship and fully flat business class seat, plus a small payment of $17.47 in taxes and fees when booking.

Read: Virgin Australia A330 The Business review, Sydney-Perth

That puts your total cost of travel at $637.87 – being $620.40 in credit card surcharges to earn those points and $17.47 in taxes and fees when booking your flight.

Purchasing a ‘traditional’ business class ticket on the same route normally commands around $2,000 for the same seat, while flexible economy fares were priced at $639 on the dates we searched.

In other words you’re either flying in business class for less than you’d pay for a flexible economy ticket, or for almost 70% less than a traditional business class fare, just by paying your bills by credit card and paying a modest surcharge.

Naturally, your ability to book flights using frequent flyer points can vary from one day to the next, and you also won’t earn any additional Velocity points or status credits on the reward flight itself – but when you’re paying over $1,300 less for the same business class seat, it’s a fair compromise.

You may also be able to write-off RewardPay’s credit card surcharge as a tax deduction or business expense, so speak to your accountant.

Also read: Earn frequent flyer points when paying employee super

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Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 345

Hi Chris:

does this work with ATO? It sounds like a stupid question, but since most CC axed ATO earn, if we can still earn decent points (eg. Business accel 2ppd, or Westpac black at 1.5ppd) this may be a better option to pay ATO than paying directly. 

It works for any bill you can pay by EFT (but not BPAY). If the ATO accepts EFT payments, then yes, if not, then no.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 345

Ta! ATO has a direct credit option. So it might work! Thanks a lot!

ATO is the bargain site. On Visa and M/C they charge just 0.42% .  A bit more on AMEX.  Here's the link   https://www.optussmartpay.com/access/index.aspx?a=84435932&dl=RBA_ATO

ENJOY SQ Suites.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Nice tip Chris. Can anyone use this or does the company you are paying have to be registered with RewardPay?

You can use this to pay any business or company that accepts EFT payments – no need for them to be registered, you just add them into your account.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Ah, I'm with you now. So it's me, the person doing the paying who needs to register with RewardPay, not the person I'm paying. :)

VA

25 Aug 2014

Total posts 42

Could you pay Staff wages with this???? Or is that taking it a step too far....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 39

So this is quite interesting. On the surface it looks good, but am I being a cynic, is it too good to be true?

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 27

interesting, how would this work if you needed to do a chargeback on a purchase using the card via Rewardpay?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 14

Sounds good until you try to use it.  One of my Amex cards won't work at all, the other did on Saturday but now won't work either.  What a time waster!

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 14

Having said that it was not working the company contacted me yesterday and after a bit of discussion have found the problem and fixed it.  Also kept me well informed, which is rare these days.  So give it a go!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2013

Total posts 13

I tried to make a payment... then it said:

This card number appears to be from an issuer we are unable to support. Please try another card

I have a NAB qantas premium rewards amex credit card....

Any suggestions?


08 Jun 2016

Total posts 1

I've tried several times to use this service and haven't been succesful, getting an error message stating :"This card number appears to be from an issuer we are unable to support." I tried a NAB and ANZ Amex card, both personal not business - could this be the problem? This issue is not addressed in the FAQs on the site.

RewardPay have also been useless in responding to queries. I've emailed twice and left phone messages twice with no response (and it's been over a week since the first enquiry). Overall I see lots of red flags and warning bells! Pretty unimpressed.

Qantas

08 Jun 2016

Total posts 1

No luck for me either. Amex not being accepted; same phone message about all operators being busy regardless of the time of day or night I call; not returning emails. Their ABN has been registered since 2013, but starting to get some bad vibes. It's a shame, given the difficulties accruing points these days - especially with the ATO

19 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

I’ve had a pretty shoddy experience with these guys- unreliable, unprofessional and certainly very poor customer service Tried processing a trial $1 payment between two of my entities over 2 weeks ago to check the efficiency of the platform and when it didn’t go through I tried their telephone which went straight to VM. Eventually they got back to me, after my sending multiple emails. For some strange reason they refused to do any transactions when I started questioning them for a response they sent me advising that transactions processed by me are from outside Australia and as a result cannot be processed. Mine is an Australian Pty Ltd company, the registered address is in Sydney, directors are Australian citizens residing in Sydney, the entities being paid are Australian companies ( how else can I process the funds to Australian bank accounts?) and I’m using an Australian company Business American Express card which goes through a host of checks to prevent fraudulent activities. I asked them to send me their “Geo-location monitoring tools” details so I can take it up with my internet provider (Foxtel/Telstra), however I haven’t received any response from them. A$1650 transaction processed with them failed and I’ve had to sort out the delayed payment with a vendor (solicitor) to prevent it escalating further. I’ve taken this up with Amex and have sent them email transcripts of my correspondence with Reward Pay.


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