Tips On Earning Frequent Flyer Points Using Your Credit Card

By   |   Updated 10 Jun 2024

Frequent flyer programs can unlock serious travel rewards for members using points to fly for free or upgrading their seat to premium, business or first class.

In this video, we look at earning frequent flyer points using credit cards.

Video transcript

Hi, I’m David and this is Credit Card Compare.

In this video, we look at “earning frequent flyer points using credit cards”.

Frequent flyer programs can unlock serious travel rewards for members such as:

  • using points to fly for free or
  • upgrading your seat to premium, business or first class.
  • And asides from the travel rewards, members can redeem points for 1,000’s of consumer items.

The main frequent flyer programs in Australia are:

It used to be that only passenger who fly with an airline would earn frequent flyer points.

But now, one of thee most consistent and effective ways to earn points is to use a credit card that is linked with one of these frequent flyer programs.

You do need to remember that these cards are premium products so you need to expect higher interest rates and fees. So they may not be suitable for everyone.

So before you take to the skies, here’s a few tips:

1. Look for frequent flyer credit cards with the most sign up bonus points

Undoubtedly, this is one of the fastest ways to boost your total amount of points. Take a look at the comparison table for the latest credit card offers. Banks and frequent flyer programs compete hard with each to attract new customers. You’ll see that the leading credit cards give away tens of 1,000’s of points to new customers who sign up for a new credit card with them. Usually, you need to make some eligible purchases within a specified time period to get the points, but once you’ve got them they are yours to spend any way you want.

2. Focus on getting a good point-to-dollar earn rate

Don’t settle for less than 1 pt per $1 spent on all the purchases you make. Even if you’re just starting out or you’re a low spender, you also wanna be aware that some cards cap the number of points that can be earned either per month or per year. Thankfully, that’s taken into consideration in our comparison table points calculations.

3. Don’t spread points out over too many programs.

It can be really tempting to sign up for loads of programs in Australia and overseas too and divide your spend between them. We’d generally recommend that you choose 1 (or maybe 2 at most) and stick with them. For frequent flyers in Australia, it’s probably best to just stick to either Qantas and/or Velocity … or make one of them your primary program. You still get plenty of coverage through all of their alliance airline partners. And if you really aren’t sure then go with American Express Membership Rewards program which lets you spend your points with 9 airlines.

4. Avoid the Qantas $89 joining fee

If you’re new to rewards and frequent flyers then, this one is for you You can avoid the Qantas $89 joining fee by getting a credit card that will give you complimentary entry into Qantas. Obviously, you’ll need to weigh up the options and make sure that the credit card is the right one for you anyway. Something like this, could be the deciding factor when comparing similar cards. BTW: Almost 5 million people are members of Velocity and they don’t charge a joining fee.

5. Don’t be too worried about the credit card annual fee

A FF card is a premium product and you’ll expect to pay annual fee that’s higher than normal but you still don’t want to over pay. The thing is, if you’re earning points and spending them in a clever way then the annual fee shouldn’t really matter too much. The amount of value that you’ll get back in flights and upgrades should outweigh the annual fee by a long shot.

6. Watch out for the additional cardholder fee

Lots of cards don’t charge a fee for few additional cardholders but some do. This is often overlooked. The information is listed here on the website. So for example, if you plan to get an additional card for your husband or wife or employee’s in your business then just check if there’s a fee or not … if there is a fee it could be $50 a pop per year, that could really add up.

7. Use your card to purchase special offers

We called double dipping for points. From time to time, programs like Amex, Velocity or Qantas will run a promotions with one of their vendors where you can earn extra points i.e. 5 or 10 points for each dollar you spend instead of the usual 1 or 1.5. So if you were in the market for something, there’s special offer then use your card to buy that item to accelerate your points earning. As always, if you’re spending the money to buy something make sure you needlessly buy things you don’t really need just to get the points.

8. Bonus: Make sure your family members have their own FF account.

Here’s why: When you fly, points can only be earned by the passenger. But if you are a family, their points can be transferred over to your account (Qantas and Virgin allow family transfers). You can enlist your family to earn points for you too, then transfer the points over — every point is a step closer to your goal.