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8 reasons why you’re losing out on airline rewards points

December 6, 2018 Loyalty No Comments Email Email

Do you see little growth in your airline reward points balance each month? If you’re frustrated because you aren’t earning as many points as you think you could be through your flights or spending, one of Australia’s most popular point-hacking platforms can reveal the key reasons why.

Point Hacks (pointhacks.com.au) is an independent platform that brings together one of Australia’s biggest communities of airline rewards enthusiasts. Its team of experienced and knowledgeable frequent flyer experts have travelled the world using their points, and know every possible hack to grow your points balance.

Daniel Sciberras, Point Hacks’ spokesperson and frequent flyer expert, says: “Many people think that to earn points they need to be spending large amounts on a rewards credit card. However, people are missing out on earning points simply because they forget, or are not aware, of the various point-earning tools and avenues at their disposal outside of credit card spend. The good news is that there are simple tweaks you can make to how you spend that can earn you thousands in additional rewards points each year.”

Point Hacks reveals the 8 reasons why you may be losing out on airline rewards points: 

  1. Your existing credit card doesn’t have an airline rewards scheme. You may be earning points through your credit card, but can those points actually be transferred to an airline rewards scheme? Some credit cards offer reward points that can be redeemed at the financial provider’s store on physical assets or gift vouchers only. This is common for credit cards with low fees or low interest rates.  
  1. You’re not meeting the requirement of bonus point offers. You’ve just been approved for the reward credit card which has promised to earn you tens of thousands in bonus reward points. The only catch is that you have a required minimum spend within the first few months to be eligible for the bonus. Not meeting the requirements will result in the bonus points being declined. For instance, Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard offers 80,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Points, and the AMEX Westpac Altitude Black Card offers 40,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Points when you spend $3000 on each card within 90 days of card approval[1]. New cardholders can also receive 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when they get approved for the NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card offers, given that they spend $4000 on the card within 60 days.
  1. You’re booking the cheapest seat on a flight. We all love a bargain, but is this costing you reward points? Some airline rewards operate on a revenue-based system, while others are based on a hybrid of revenue and mileage – as a way to encourage people to spend more. Generally, the more expensive your airfares, the more points you’ll earn through it. The calculation to find the value you’re getting per point, is fare price minus taxes and charges, divided by the number of points needed for the flight.
  1. Being unaware of running offers or promotions on your rewards programs. You may be missing out on hundreds or thousands of points each year by not keeping up to date with the latest offers and running promotions on your rewards programs. For instance, Coles regularly offers bonus flybuys points, where you can earn additional points per dollar spent. Velocity has its 15 per cent Bonus Velocity Point Month[2] which allows members to transfer their reward points from participating cards, flybuys or hotel partners to Velocity in that month, and receive a 15 per cent bonus points on the number of transferred points. The easiest way to regularly find this information is by checking websites dedicated to sharing airline rewards offers and deals daily, such as Point Hacks. Signing up to the e-newsletters of your loyalty program will also ensure that these promotions are sent directly to you.
  1. Letting your points expire. Most – but not all – airline rewards points expire after a set period, and not being aware of the terms can result in your hard-earned points being invalidated. For instance, Qantas Frequent Flyer points will expire after 18 months of inactivity (from the last date of activity), while Velocity Frequent Flyer points will expire after 24 months of inactivity. For both reward programs, transferring points between family members will not reset the expiration clock, as family transfers do not count as activity. Therefore, the expiration date of points will continue to be calculated from the last date of account activity. For example, if a Qantas account has been inactive for 14 months which means it has 4 months left before expiry, the transferred points will take on this same expiry date.
  1. You’re not providing your frequent flyer number before every flight. While this bad habit isn’t as commonplace as it once was – as many travellers now log into their frequent flyer account prior to booking to minimise the number of details they need to manually input – some people do still overlook this. You could be losing up to 15,500 points for a Sydney-to-Melbourne flight, for instance. 
  1. You’re not taking advantage of airline program partnerships. Airline partner programs can earn you lucrative points. Qantas’ partner retailers include Woolworths, BWS and Big W, as well as selected Caltex and Caltex Woolworth service stations, where you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent. You can also earn points through the Qantas Mall when you shop online at popular retail partners including David Jones, ASOS, Country Road, Sephora and The Iconic.
  1. Family Points Pooling hasn’t been set up correctly. Some of the most knowledgeable point hackers leverage their family’s spending to maximise their own point earnings. Velocity offers a unique program benefit which allows members to pool either their Velocity Points or their Points and Status Credits with family members living at the same address[3]. Each time you travel with your partner, child or other family member check that points pooling has been set up correctly before flying.

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