Points Magnet Part 2

Get the right credit card

A premium credit card is the fastest way to build your points balance and get you closer to that first-class awards flight on QF1 to London! And you don’t have to be a CEO of a listed company to qualify. 

If you’re serious about collecting points, then you need to have an American Express card AND a Visa or Mastercard to maximize your points earning opportunities.  

The features of a great points earning card are:
Sign on Bonus Points
High earn rate per $ spent
Discounted or waived first annual fee
Travel Privileges

The interest rate doesn’t matter because you’re going to pay the amount due IN FULL, EVERY MONTH, by the DUE DATE. If you overlook this part, all of the benefits will be wiped by interest charges (which is what the card providers are counting on to help make their products profitable – just don’t do it!) 
So, here’s a working example of the two credit cards on the market right now that I would choose to turbo charge by points balance: 

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card 
Sign on Bonus 100,000 points 
Earn Rate 1.25 points per $ spent, UNCAPPED 
Annual Fee $450 
Annual Qantas Credit $450, Trav. Ins., Lounge access offers 

I have this card and I love it. Sure, it comes at a premium price of $450pa, but this is offset by the annual $450 travel credit (for Qantas flights booked through American Express Travel). It forces me to spend at least $450 a year on Qantas flights – what a chore right??? 

Here’s a referral link to the Qantas Amex Ultimate:

http://amex.com.au/refer/brettjRzIr?XLINK=MYCP

Now, because your AMEX card won’t be accepted at all merchants, or may incur a surcharge with some merchants (its not worth paying a 2% surcharge just to collect QFF points), I recommend having either a VISA or Mastercard in your arsenal.  

One of the best is ANZ’s Frequent Flyer Black VISA 

Sign on Bonus 100,000 points 
Earn Rate 1 point per $ spent to $7,500, then 0.5 points per $ 
Annual Fee $425 with $200 cash back in first year 
Travel Insurance, Lounge access offers 

It’s a reasonably expensive card, particularly after the first year. But as an ANZ mortgage customer, the annual fee is waived so I am more than happy to hang on to this card. If you don’t have an ANZ mortgage, there is nothing to stop you closing the account inside the first anniversary and applying for another bank’s points earning product.  

Credit card churn is a thing. The Banks hate it. But you can make it work for you.  

With these two cards in hand, spending $1500 per month per card, you will rack up over 240,000 Qantas points in the first year. That’s enough for return flights Melbourne to London! 

I value those points somewhere between $1440 and $7200 (more on the value of points in another instalment). Even if the annual fees seem expensive at first glance (total $675 in first year), you are getting a minimum $1440 pay back, so this actually make good financial sense.  Beware though, holding too many cards or having too much credit could be a barrier to you getting other forms of finance like a a home loan. Only ask for as much credit limit as you need, and be prepared to lower it or close a card if needed to meet lending requirements.

Key Point – take up an American Express AND a VISA or Mastercard with generous sign on points Bonus

Key Point – Use your AMEX as your preferred card, wherever it is accepted and does not incur a surcharge. Use your cards for all your purchases, big and small 

Key Point – be sure to meet the minimum spend in first 3 months on EACH  card to obtain the bonus points. 

Key Point – be disciplined and pay the full statement balance by the due date every month or you will incur interest payments that could undo the benefit of all those points you collected 

Key Point – Only buy the things you would normally buy. Don’t go on a spending spree just to chase points! 

Points Magnet Part 1

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

The first thing you’re going to need is a Qantas Frequent Flyer account. Don’t have one? (why the hell not??) 

Let’s get you signed up for free (don’t be the chump who pays $99 by signing up directly at Qantas.com.au). 

Enter this search string into your browser (a new tab, don’t close this one!): “qantas frequent flyer membership free” 

There will be a heap of ways to sign up for free, with new ones popping up all the time. 

Some of the easiest sites to enroll from are Woolworths Rewards, Australia’s major banks, Luxury Escapes… it really doesn’t matter which one you use, but here’s a link that at the time of writing was active:

https://www.qantaspoints.com/join-now?code=FAMILYFREE 

Start building your profile, set up a pin, enter your email address…. look, you know how to fill in a form so you can take it from here.  

Congrats! Welcome to the Club!

Now, be sure to sign up your whole family to maximise your opportunites (points are transferrable – we’ll come to that another day)

Now that you’re a member, sign up for all the emails and updates. Qantas wants to get to know you, how you like to travel, where you want to go etc… 

And make sure you keep a regular check on your emails, because this is where you’ll be able to take advantage of points and bonus offers when they come along.  

For example, I got 1000 points just by clicking yes to getting a quote for solar panels. Two minutes of my time for 1000 points – yes please. (no, I didn’t go ahead and get solar panels but I’m thinking about it) 

KEY POINT: SIGN UP FOR FREE, SIGN UP YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!

KEY POINT: SIGN UP TO EMAILS, UPDATES & NEWSLETTERS & WAIT FOR OFFERS TO ARRIVE

Points Magnet Introduction

Want to know how I earned 400,000+ Qantas points last year and only flew Qantas on 2 domestic flights?

A lot of people probably think they’ll never have enough points to get a free flight, or that there are too many hidden catches, or that it is all just too difficult to worry about.  

That’s why the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is hands-down my favourite airline loyalty program – there are so many ways to earn points, just by doing the things you normally do, buy, or pay for. 

And if you live in Australia, Qantas and its partner airlines offer probably the most ways to use your points. 

In this series of tips and hacks I’m going to explain how I’ve collected more than a million Qantas points over the last 3 years and used them for a points upgrade to Business Class MEL-LAX, and a First Class Emirates Award flight from Melbourne to Singapore. Points matter!

I’m Brett

Hi, I’m Brett and I’m the owner of this blog. 

I’ve been travelling since I was 20, visited more than 40 countries, written travel articles for magazines and newspapers, and love to talk about and hear about peoples travels. 

There is so much to explore in travel, and the journeys are just as important as the destinations. I’ll be giving tips on airlines, frequent flyer benefits, hotels, restaurants, museums, tours, shows – and just about anything that happens on my travels. 

And because my family love to travel just as much as I do, you might also be hearing from my partner Stef, and my daughters Dana and Lucy 

Gay Pride March, New York 2015 with my daughters

Here are some of my travel stats:

First Overseas Trip
Trekking in the Himalayas 1985 
Favourite Airline
QANTAS
Top 5 Travel Experiences 
Holding hands with a wild mountain gorilla in Rwanda 
Standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro 
Proposing to my boyfriend under the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center New York 
Descending into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano in Iceland 
Taking my 3 kids to Disneyland (happiest place on earth!) 
Top 5 Favourite Cities 
London, New York, Kathmandu, Santiago, Havana 
Top 5 Favourite Countries 
England, USA, Nepal, Iceland, Italy
Top 5 Places I Want to Go 
Madagascar, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Costa Rica 
Top 5 Places I Want to Go Back To 
India, Chile, Maldives, Iceland, Morocco 

Countries Visited:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cuba
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Italy
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Lichtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Wales
  • Zaire