The mistakes that are costing you frequent flyer points


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Do you see little growth in your airline reward points balance each month?

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 airline rewards simply because they forget, or are not aware, of the various point-earning tools and avenues at their disposal outside of credit card spend.

airline rewards points

The good news is that there are simple tweaks you can make that can earn you thousands in additional rewards points each year.

Here are eight 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 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.

2. 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, new cardholders can 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.

3. 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 airline rewards 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.

4. 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.

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.

5. 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 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 two points per $1 spent.

You can also earn rewards through the Qantas Mall when you shop online at popular retail partners including David Jones, ASOS, Country Road, Sephora and The Iconic.

8. 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.

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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Daniel Sciberras is a frequent flyer expert and spokesperson at Point Hacks.
December 12, 2018 3.49pm

Nr. 7 : shouldn't that be 1 point for every 2 dollars spent and then 2000 points for 870 Qantas points :-)