Qantas to reward vaccinated frequent flyers: What you've missed

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Paralympians to receive more financial support, and home loan refinancing hits an all-time high in July.

Here are five things you might've missed this week.

Paralympians to receive equal payments for medalling

qantas rewards vaccinated frequent flyers

Payments would be made via Paralympics Australia so that Paralympic medal winners would receive a financial reward on par with Olympic medal winners.

"Australia's para-athletes have represented our nation with great distinction and pride in Tokyo, delivering performances that have buoyed millions during what is a difficult time for the nation," says Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Olympians currently receive $20,000 from the Australian Olympics Committee for winning gold, $15,000 for winning silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

The financial reward disparity between Olympians and Paralympains was first raised by Two-time Paralympics gold medallist Jodi Willis-Roberts.

"We're not a sideshow, we're athletes out there doing it every bit as hard as every other athlete, and unfortunately we don't get the same rewards," she told the ABC.

Australia currently sits eighth on the Paralympic medal tally, with 17 gold, 23 silver, and 26 bronze.

Refinancing reaches all-time high in July

According to the latest ABS leading indicator data, refinancing hit an all-time high of $17.2 billion in July.

"The stay-at-home orders have allowed customers extra time to reassess their home loan situation and identify refinancing opportunities for saving money on their interest payments, particularly in this time of uncertainty," says Nano Home Loans CEO and co-founder Andrew Walker.

Banks are dangling all sorts of cherries in front of customers to get them to ink new loan contracts, but these incentives don't necessarily add up to the best deal.

"Consumers need to be wary of pricing gimmicks such as cashback offers and honeymoon rates available in market as they hide the true cost of the loan for a consumer," says Walker.

"To truly take advantage of the low interest rates in market, consumers need to look for comparison rates that match the advertised rate as that means there are no hidden fees."

Virgin goes to 1.5% variable rate

Effective from September 2, Virgin Money Australia (Virgin Money) is launching an introductory variable interest rate of up to 1.5% p.a. The rate is available for the first three months from account opening to new customers who open a Virgin Money Boost Saver account.

"We know that more Australians are looking for ways to get on top of their finances and to grow their savings, particularly with the current unique financial challenges they face when going in and out of lockdowns," says

"This is why we've launched our new 1.5% p.a. introductory rate available to all age groups, so we can provide more Australians with the opportunity to help boost their savings and improve their financial fitness."

The boost saver account, Virgin's high-interest savings product, comes attached to an Everyday Go Account, which provides customers with Virgin Money points for purchases made on their debit card, on direct debit and BPAY transactions.

Vaccine rewards for Telstra customers, Qantas frequent flyers

Qantas is rewarding its frequent flyers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 a choice of either 1000 frequent flyer points, $20 off a Qantas or Jetstar flight, or 15 points that go towards your Qantas frequent flyer status.

You can also go in a grand prize to win a year's worth of flights, hotel stays and fuel.

You can claim your rewards and enter the main prize by uploading your COVID-19 Digital Certificate (available through MyGov) to the Qantas app.

Telstra is also stepping up in kind.

From late September, fully vaccinated members of the Telstra Plus loyalty program will receive an extra 2500 Telstra Plus points, which can be redeemed at the Telstra Plus rewards store.

Fully jabbed members will also go into a 100-million-point major prize draw, with 20 winners to receive five million Telstra Plus points each, as well as up to $3500 credit to help cover the cost of their eligible Telstra services for a year.

Six charged over brazen 2019 Green Vault heist

In 2019, armed men nicked $189 million worth of jewels from the Green Vault museum in in Dresden, in what has been described as the biggest heist in modern German history.

The heist saw 21 pieces of jewellery encrusted with more than 4300 diamonds take a hike.

On Thursday, German prosecutors charged six German nationals, aged 22 to 27, with aggravated gang robbery and aggravated arson.

Prosecutors claim the group set a fire to cut the power supply to streetlights prior to entry, also set fire to a nearby garage before ultimately fleeing to Berlin.

The charges were filed in a state court in Dresden, which will now decide whether to move the case forward to trial.

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David Thornton is a journalist at Money magazine and is one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.