finance

Three simple but brilliant ways to earn more points from your loyalty program.

There’s no shortage of hacks to squeeze more out of your loyalty program. Whether you’re a frequent flyer expert or a points novice, here are three ways to earn more points starting today.

1. Earn points everywhere you can

You can earn points on a lot more than flights. Both Qantas and Virgin Australia loyalty members can earn frequent flyer points on everything from accommodation and fuel to groceries and online shopping. It’s just a matter of knowing where to shop.

For example, you can earn Velocity Points when you book dinner reservations through OpenTable, park your car at Wilson Parking or work up a sweat Virgin Active. You can even exchange the flybuys points you earn at Coles for Velocity Points. Visit your loyalty program’s website to discover all of the ways you can earn points. That way you can reward every dollar you spend, whether it’s at the supermarket checkout or at the airport.

2. Make the most of bonus points offers

Bonus points offers are an easy way to give your loyalty program balance a quick boost. It’s not uncommon to see banks advertising frequent flyer credit cards boasting tens to hundreds of thousands of bonus points. You usually need to meet a spend requirement (such as $3,000 in the first 90 days) to score the bonus, but if it lines up with your budget, it’s an easy way to bolster your points.

Loyalty programs also regularly run promotional bonus points offers on certain transactions or when you shop with specific brands. For example, you can often pick up bonus Qantas Points on everything from booze with Qantas Wines and Ubers to the airport to retail therapy with brands like ASOS and Pottery Barn via the Qantas Online Mall.

Meanwhile, here are some other tips from savvy travellers:

Never want to miss one of these bonus points offers? Follow your favourite loyalty programs on social media and sign up to their e-newsletters to stay on top of the latest deals.

3. Pay with plastic to earn points

Even if your loyalty program isn’t partnered with your favourite brands, you can also earn points on every dollar you spend with a rewards or frequent flyer credit card. These cards are usually linked to an airline loyalty program (such as Qantas or Velocity) or the card issuer’s own scheme (such as American Express Rewards or Westpac Altitude Rewards).

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Rewards cards often boast big bonus points offers and sometimes come with travel-centric perks including airline lounge passes, flight vouchers and complimentary insurance. These cards sometimes charge higher annual fees and interest rates than other products, so they’re best suited to cardholders who can pay their balance off each statement period and make full use of the features.

They’re not the most complicated hacks, but these are the three strategies that every points chaser should have in their arsenal.

Sally McMullen is Finder.com.au’s credit card specialist.

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