Welcome to the wonderful world of rewards points! Personally, I feel that they are a great lifehack and in my case I don’t actively seek to gain them.
As I was searching through my life for areas to declutter, I came across rewards programme statements and since I’m not flying anywhere soon I may as well cash in the points for something useful.
As part of 3 rewards programs at the moment and I’m going to give a brief overview of my experiences with each.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
I joined this programme in 2007 when I was touring a lot more. To join, you need to pay a fee of about $89.50 unless you to take Point Hacks’ advice (link below) and find a way to circumvent this membership fee. I encourage you to be thrifty about it. I was a sucker and paid the fee. Don’t be a sucker like me! Based on the article in my recommended reading appendix, a Qantas Frequent flyer point is worth approximately AUD $0.66.
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Unlike Qantas, Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer has no joining fee. They have also recently linked up with Fly Buys to reward members with status credits for everyday shopping. This is an easier way to boost your membership status if you don’t fly as often. They are also linked to BP petrol stations and many other partners. Based on the article in my recommended reading appendix, a Qantas Frequent flyer point is worth approximately AUD $0.55.
Flybuys is also a free programme. In fact from memory I just received a card in the mail about 4 years ago as part of their promotion. I find that I scan this card most often as I use it every time I buy the groceries or shop at department stores that are Flybuys partners. Unfortunately, I get the least value for money here with each Flybuy point worth approximately AUD $0.005 because it takes 2000 points to cash in $10 at Coles.
How did I use my points?
I ended up cashing my Qantas points for $200 worth of Westfield gift cards, and $25 at Woolworths. I used my Flybuys points for a $50 Coles gift card. Finally, I used my Velocity points for $70 worth of Coles gift cards.
There were many choices in the online stores for each rewards programme but in the end I wanted to be practical. I figured gift cards would be more useful in my day-to-day life. I chose Westfield because it has a lot of participating retailers so it seemed like a versatile way of using my gift card dollars.
My Westfield gift cards arrived the other day and I must admit I got a little buzz out of the prospect of shopping on money I have already spent elsewhere; namely, flights, accommodation, and groceries over the years. In this case, double dipping is good. These days, I don’t jetset as often so I accumulate rewards points through grocery purchases weekly though I wish I was earning them via a tropical island somewhere.
However, feeling pampered for free is fun. So far I received a free manicure and pedicure with spa and shellac nails through a nail salon. I look forward to spending the rest over time.
If you want to learn more about the Australian rewards programmes see the links below for some expert advice. Happy lifehacking!