High-Flying Hacks: How To Accrue Frequent Flyer Points Fast
For those who fly a lot, it's easy to rack up frequent flyer points. But what about the more casual flyer?
Extra frequent flyer points are actually more accessible to the average joe that you'd expect. In fact, you can earn them by shopping, getting a home loan or even sleeping.
Point Hacking, or maximising the number of frequent flyer points you get and how you use them, is beneficial for anyone as long as you don't change your spending habits, according to pointhacks.com.au Managing Editor Daniel Sciberras.
"The more points you have, you are always going to be better off, just choose when to redeem them," Sciberras told 10 daily.
Sign Up For A Rewards Credit CArd
If you're keen to make a whole heap of points in a small amount of time, signing up for a rewards credit card is the easiest option. Customers also get points for the purchases they make on the card. Sciberras calls these people 'frequent buyers'.
"Anyone can benefit from it, you don't need to be on a six-figure salary," he said.
"In fact, most people who get into this game are on a low to average incomes and can just see ways to use these points to experience things they normally wouldn't be able to afford."
Sciberras said applying for a middle-range credit card could help avoid rejection, and you could get between 60,000 and 100,000 points just for signing up.
Theoretically, it's possible to sign up for a card from a different bank every three months, cash in the points, and then cancel it a little while later.
"There are many banks here, so you can pick and chose all we say is, don't go and apply for a card once every month, you will likely get rejected after a few times of doing that," Sciberras said.
But watch for exclusions or your nifty little card hack could go south very quickly.
"Some credit card companies might have an exclusion period of 18 months rather than 12 so make sure you are checking the exclusion period."
What Are The Risks?
The biggest problem with credit card point hacking is people signing up for the card, getting all the glorious points, but not paying off the balance on the card.
"People ... get all those points but don't pay their credit card off in full, so they are paying interest on it. Any gain that you get from the points is going to be negated from the interest that you have to pay on it, " Sciberras said.
Another risk is a behavioral one, where shoppers are motivated to purchase an item, not because they need it but because they will get points from the transaction.
Sciberras also recommends avoiding signing up for multiple credit cards for points-purposes if you are looking to take out a home loan in the near future. It could affect your credit rating and limit the amount of money you borrow.
What About Asking For A Sneaky Upgrade?
There are rules for different airlines, but essentially it's going to be tough if you are not a top tier airline member.
"Qantas really bases it on their top tier status members. So if you are Platinum or Platinum One you are really going to have a better chance of getting that upgrade approved," Sciberras said.
Virgin usually offers its upgrades to their Platinum and Gold members too.
If there is a point upgrade seat available, airlines are likely to give it to you if no one else of higher status has secured it. It's best to check the time of year you travel and the destination if you're after an upgrade.
Sciberras said flights to Hong Kong are one of the best chances for an upgrade at the moment due to a high frequency of flights from Australia.
During school holidays, it's difficult to get an upgrade to popular destinations like London and Los Angeles.
Of course, the safest way to get points is also the longest. Sign up for a card, spend your money wisely and accrue your points that way.
Contact Siobhan at email@example.com