When shopping from the comfort of your lounge room, it’s easy to grow your balance of frequent flyer points just by paying for your purchases using a points-earning credit card.
But with many businesses, it’s possible to double-dip on points, or even triple-dip, getting you ready to roar and explore when travel returns to normal.
Here are three easy steps you can follow to make the most of every transaction.
1. Start with a points-earning credit card
Other than flying, credit cards are among the easiest way to earn frequent flyer points: in fact, every time you make a purchase, you could be earning even more rewards.
This includes online shopping, with Visa, Mastercard and American Express routinely accepted by online stores: and in some cases, Diners Club cards can be used too.
But here’s a tip: if you prefer to pay by AMEX, and the website you’re visiting only accepts Visa and Mastercard, keep your eyes peeled for the PayPal logo instead.
PayPal normally welcomes not only Visa and Mastercard, but American Express as well. Provided the business accepts PayPal, you can still pay using your preferred plastic.
2. Use Qantas Shopping, the Velocity e-Store, and KrisFlyer Spree
Over and above the frequent flyer points you can earn by making purchases using your credit card, some businesses take things further, dishing up a separate serve of reward points regardless of how you pay.
It works like this: when you shop online, rather than heading straight to a retailer’s website, begin your voyage at the Qantas Shopping, Virgin Australia Velocity e-Store or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Spree portals instead.
Through these websites, you can earn points when you click through and shop with a participating retailer. This allows your purchase to be tracked, and your points to be awarded based on how much you spent. Just make sure browser cookies are enabled, and ad blockers are disabled, to assist with tracking.
The earning rate varies between frequent flyer programs and retailers, but is typically in the region of 1-10 bonus frequent flyer points per dollar spent.
Some retailers are partnered with more than one frequent flyer program and may offer more points with one airline than another. Dell Australia, for example, serves up 1 bonus Qantas Point per $1 spent via Qantas Shopping, or 2 bonus Velocity Points per $1 spent via the Velocity e-Store.
Earning rates and participating businesses can change from time to time, so it pays to review the options before you shop, to help maximise your points. Remember, you need to click through the airline’s website every time you shop with a participating business, otherwise you won’t earn bonus points.
Update: From April 21 2020, Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members can continue to earn Velocity Points via participating partners, but will not be able to spend any Velocity Points until at least May 19 2020.
3. Earn even more points through retailers’ loyalty programs
As well as paying for your purchase using a points-earning credit card and clicking through an airline’s website to unlock a second helping of points, you may even be able to triple-dip on rewards, by making use of a retailer’s own loyalty program as well.
Take Myer, for example, where you can earn points in the company’s Myer One loyalty scheme in addition to points earned from your credit card, and frequent flyer points earned via Qantas and Virgin Australia (either 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent, or 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent).
On most transactions, you’ll earn 2 Myer One points per dollar spent, and once you’ve collected 2,000 Myer One points (also called “shopping credits”), you’ll get a $20 voucher (on-par with 2% cashback): and that’s on top of your frequent flyer points and credit card points.
It’s a similar arrangement at BWS, through which you can earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent by shopping online, plus any points from your credit card. Triple-dipping adds 1 Woolworths point per $1 spent via the Woolworths Rewards program in which BWS takes part.
Reach 2,000 Woolworths points, and these can become 1,000 Qantas Points – that's equal to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent, over and above the points offered via Qantas Shopping and your credit card.