When it comes to frequent flyer programs, almost everyone wants a shortcut to earn more points. Some people even take extreme measures to get there, like the man who recently made headlines by earning 380,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points through an NAB credit card promotion, among many others in Australia and around the world.
Virgin Australia has broken new ground in the loyalty space by offering frequent flyer points to pets on domestic flights from 1 July 2013 onwards.
Velocity members can now earn 300 points each time their dog or cat flies on Virgin Australia’s expansive domestic network, while Silver, Gold and Platinum members will also receive a special Points bonus.
Plus, to celebrate the launch of the program, Velocity members can earn double Points on purchases made at Online Pet Accessories, Pet Smart and The Vet Shed via the Velocity Global eStore until the end of July 2013.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members have had the opportunity to win thousands of extra points just by getting a photo taken with a life-size replica of NASA’s Mars rover “Curiosity”.
As part of Qantas Frequent Flyer campaign, based around encouraging members to explore all the ways to get the best out of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, the airline has toured Australia with Curiosity’s twin, running competitions at each location.
People who got a snap in Melbourne, for example, could go in the draw to win 100,000 Frequent Flyer points. Similar competitions have run in other states and cities too.
The tour will end at Perth Airport on 17 July 2013, but this campaign is just one example of different promotions that frequent flyer programs can run.
Qantas has partnered with Yahoo7 to launch a toolbar that can be added to your web browser.
The Qantas Frequent Flyer Toolbar works with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome, earning one point for every valid search up to 150 points per month.
There is, however, a significant catch with this option, outlined in the terms and conditions:
“As part of your use of the Toolbar, Qantas will collect personal information including search and web browsing activity collected through your use of the Toolbar and Yahoo!7 search engine and may use it for marketing purposes,” the fine print reads.
But if you do not mind companies collecting your search data, then it is a very easy way to boost your Qantas Frequent Flyer balance.
When you book your holiday check out the rewards program website and see which hotels, car rentals and tour companies are partners. Sometimes choosing wisely when it comes to these services can mean 2 or 3 points per $1 spent instead of 0.5 or 1 and that’s sure to add to your points tally.
In addition to all of these options, there are also regular member specials with partner companies, bonus points for sale flights and, of course, frequent flyer credit card options.
Both Qantas and Virgin have also announced their own multi-currency travel cards that will be released later this year and offer points for eligible purchases (among other features). It’s often possible to earn bonus points when you use your card while you’re away too. American Express cards in particular can be more beneficial on overseas purchases, as the majority of overseas purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent instead of 1.5 per $1 spent here in Australia.
Ultimately, it’s worth keeping an eye out because frequent flyer programs are constantly changing to meet member demands and competition.
So whether you have a rewards credit card, pick particular companies based on bonus points or read through airline newsletters for point promotions, by keeping up to date on what is on offer you will be able to maximise your points without going overboard in the process.
Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. Ever popular with no annual fee first year, low purchase rate and 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the 0% balance transfer HSBC offer with no balance transfer fee, plus an annual fee waiver each year you meet a spend criteria.