Our Friday wrap: the latest news for avid frequent flyers

By Chris C., February 20 2015
Our Friday wrap: the latest news for avid frequent flyers

Fancy a little shopping at Bloomingdales, Marks & Spencer, SABA or Saks Fifth Avenue? Head to the Qantas Mall and collect up to five frequent flyer points per dollar spent!

But before you do – make sure you’re earning the maximum number of points on your credit card spend before whipping out the plastic, with our guide to Australia’s top five cards for Qantas frequent flyer points.

Also in this week’s wrap, how best to put those hard-earned Qantas Points to good use, whether monthly or yearly credit card points capping gives consumers the best chance of earning the most frequent flyer points and how to pocket 1,000 Virgin Australia Velocity in under a minute.

Finally, we examine what can be done with a small, ‘orphaned’ balance of points in a frequent flyer or hotel loyalty scheme, and how Accor Advantage Plus could be saving you money on the road while still earning those all-important Le Club Accorhotels points.

Earn Qantas points at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, M&S, Saba

Qantas is adding over a dozen retailers to its Online Mall this month, with frequent flyers able to earn up to five points per dollar at new partners including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Marks & Spencer, Samsung, Kogan, SportsCraft, SABA and J.Crew.

There they'll join current Qantas chums such as Apple, eBay, David Jones, The Iconic, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges in an ever-growing roster.

Just be make sure you sign into the Online Mall with your Qantas Frequent Flyer number before you click through to start shopping at any partner in order for your transaction to earn the promised points.

Read more: Earn Qantas points at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, M&S, Saba

Top ways to use your Qantas frequent flyer points

We’re often asked about the best ways to use Qantas frequent flyer points.

And while it's easy to outline the worst ways – such as buying a toaster from the Qantas Store or an economy flight between Sydney and Melbourne – picking the most effective points options can be a little trickier.

You may not agree with all of these, but here are our personal picks for turning a pile of points into an unforgettable experience.

Read more: The top ways to use your Qantas frequent flyer points

Free: 1,000 Velocity Points in under a minute

This is possibly the easiest and fastest 1,000 Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points you'll even earn.

Velocity and Australia Post partnered last year for the launch of the MyPost Digital Mailbox – a free service through which you can securely receive, store and pay bills from anywhere in the world.

In resurfacing the companies’ previous promotion, new users can sign up for a Digital Mailbox by March 12 2015 and earn an easy 1,000 Velocity Points for their trouble.

Read more: 1,000 Virgin Australia frequent flyer points in under a minute

The five best credit cards for earning Qantas Points

Used responsibly, credit cards are a great way to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on money that you’re already spending – such as on groceries and petrol, through to larger expenses such as utility payments, school fees and your next overseas holiday.

Here are five Qantas-earning credit cards that give cardholders the best bang for their buck, whether that be a simple card with a fixed earning rate or one that dishes out bonus points when you travel and even gives you lounge access at the airport.

Discover our list: The top five credit cards for earning Qantas Points

Which is best: monthly or annual credit card points capping?

Capping or reducing the number of frequent flyer points you can earn from a credit card is nothing new, although a growing number of banks now favour monthly caps as opposed to the traditional annual limit.

In short, you earn Qantas, Virgin Australia or other airline frequent flyer points on spends up to a certain amount each and every month, before the earning rate takes a dive or is halted altogether until your next statement arrives.

But is monthly capping or tiering the best choice for frequent flyer hopefuls? Here’s what you need to know.

Continue reading: Monthly or yearly points capping: which is best?

Five ways to redeem your orphaned frequent flyer, hotel loyalty points

Stuck with a small number of frequent flyer points in an account that you barely use?

With many companies relying on ‘best fare of the day’ to curtail their travel costs, chances are you’ll occasionally need to fly with an airline or stay at a hotel that doesn’t award points in your regular frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program.

Here are five easy ways to unlock those trapped points and turn them into something of value.

See how it’s done: Five ways to redeem your orphaned frequent flyer, hotel loyalty points

The Accor Advantage Plus program for Aussie business travellers

Members of Accor’s Advantage Plus scheme can slash their travel costs whenever staying at an Accor’s Sofitel, Novotel, Pullman and Mercure brands and more, while still collecting their usual Le Club Accorhotels reward points.

Whether it’s cheaper – or even free – room rates, half-price meals or discounts on car hire with Europcar, here’s what you need to know about Accor Advantage Plus.

Read more: Our guide to Accor Advantage Plus

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

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