Buying flight points: Qantas, Virgin Australia


Many frequent flyer programs allow you to buy extra points if you are not entitled enough to order the plane or other reward you are after. Both Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity, the most popular arrangements for the Australians, offer this opportunity.

Before you blame out the money, however, you must train if you actually get a proper deal.

In many cases there are more cost effective ways to get the extra points on .

Firstly, you must understand the rules.

READ MORE: Alert Qantas Fees Warning

For Qantas Top-Up Points, you must have a specific reward in mind and you can not acquire more than 20 percent of the value of this reward. You can not buy up-up points more than twice in a 12-month period, and you can only buy in 500-point blocks.

Buying multiple points gives you a small discount, but it is still not cheap. To get 60,000 points (the maximum you can buy) you pay $ 1,425.




Velocity Points Booster has the two-year rule and no more than 50,000 points (which currently cost you $ 1,172). You do not need to identify a particular reward, but you can not buy more than 50 percent of your existing points balance.

Occasionally, Virgin keeps "sales" where you can add up to discounted prices. Man ran for the month of April offering a discount of 15 percent.

In fact, other point-increasing strategies may work better.

An example makes it clear: Imagine a return economical flight to the UK and you have 110,000 Qantas Points. The flight costs 120,000 points (not including taxes), so you need 10,000 points. Qantas will charge you $ 335 for them.

This $ 335 sum is definitely much lower than the $ 2,200 or more you typically pay for the flight. However, there may be cheaper ways to get the extra points.

A less known but useful method is wine. Yes, really. Qantas Online EpiQure Wine Club offers regular offers where you can buy a case of wine around $ 300 and earn 10,000 bonus Qantas Points. It will increase your total to the required amount and you want the 12 bottles plonk to enjoy too.

Similarly, many frequent flyer credit cards provide 50,000 or more bonus points to new customers that meet the minimum costs and the annual fee may be lower than $ 300. For example, the HSBC Platinum offers the Qantas credit card, which has an annual fee of $ 199, currently 60,000 Qantas points to new customers who spend $ 3,000 on the card in the first 3 months after approval. (Note that the offer only expires until 30 June 2018.)

Getting new credit cards is not a trick you can use repeatedly, but others can be recruited regularly. If you are enrolled in supermarket loyalty schemes, you can convert points from them to frequent flyer points.

The Coles Flight Boys are aligned with Velocity, while Woolworth's Rewards can earn points for Qantas. You still need to buy food and you can get more value than frequent flyer points than from $ 10 supermarket cards.

One last key tip: Do not buy up-points for purchases without purchase. It's simply not worth it.

Here's an example: Qantas Store sells Apple Watch Nike + to 94,480 points. If you wanted a 20 percent on the top of 18,500 points to reach the total amount you would spend $ 530. The clock costs $ 459, so you pay over the odds and blow your points balance as well.

Angus Kidman is chief editor and points guru for comparison site Finder . Fees correct when writing, but may change in the future.

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