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Aussie's genius Qantas plot for $11,000 payback after 'pimple' leads to awful diagnosis

When a blind pimple turned out to be genetic melanoma, Jane decided to earn points on her cancer costs.

Jane is looking forward to a post-treatment Euro summer with credit card points.
Jane is looking forward to a post-treatment Euro summer with credit card points. Source: supplied. (Supplied.)

With social media awash with tales of business class flights paid for with credit card points, we all want a slice of the free travel action, and earning frequent flyer points on your essential spending is a smart way to rack up your miles faster.

But one Aussie has an even bigger points-earning mission on her hands. Jane* plans to rack up points towards a business class flight to Europe in 2025, and she’s doing it by earning points on her cancer-related costs.

When a blind pimple turned out to be genetic melanoma, the 35-year-old from New South Wales was faced with a series of expensive specialist appointments, surgeries, supplements and remedies that, despite private health insurance and Medicare support, added up quickly.

Jane’s diagnosis meant missing out on two weddings in Europe, which she says left her feeling very sorry for herself. It was at this point that she saw someone on Instagram who had paid for a free ‘babymoon’ by putting all their pregnancy-related costs on a points-earning credit card.


“I had the idea to see how many points I could get using my credit card to pay for everything cancer-related,” Jane said, adding that she also started paying for everyday essentials on her card, too.

“I pay for things on my credit card and then immediately transfer [the] money,” she said. “My short and mid-term savings have taken a massive hit in terms of paying the cancer-related expenses.”

Jane explained that her melanoma diagnosis means she now has to see a dermatologist every 3 months.

She is also undergoing immunotherapy, which meant she was “strongly encouraged” to freeze her eggs. She said this was the “biggest hit” to her savings, and left her $4,000 out of pocket, despite being subsidised.


“There are lots of little things,” Jane explained. “Vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter medication to ensure that I stay comfortable and healthy enough to continue on the immunotherapy schedule.”

“There’s also the management of side effects, such as remedial massage to help manage the muscle and joint aches and pains, prescription ointments for rashes, and inhalers when I'm short of breath,” she said.

Jane also explained that her petrol cost has also increased from around $40 per week to $80 per week. “I drive a lot more now because I get so out of breath so quickly.”

Jane’s Visa and Amex cards are linked to her Qantas Frequent Flyers account, allowing her to rack up points on many of her direct and indirect cancer costs.

Having previously used points-earning cards for larger, occasional online purchases, Jane now accrues points wherever she can to try and hit her goal of exceeding 100,000 points.

A business-class flight to London next May could cost in excess of $11,000. But with points, she'd be able to fly for around $600 with 300,000 points.

She could fly economy for around 66,00, plus a $166 payment, or premium economy for 152,400 and a contribution of $341.

Jane has six more months of immunotherapy to complete, as well as further dermatologist appointments and two further facial surgeries.

“I'm halfway through the immunotherapy schedule and have just under 50,000 points [so] I’m pretty confident in reaching the 100,000 points.”

Jane warns others to be careful of the points-earning hype, especially if they’re not disciplined or experienced with credit.

“I wouldn't recommend what I'm doing to people who don't have a good relationship with credit cards,” she said. “I can see how the appeal of points for something bigger could see people end up in debt if they don't have the funds to be able to stay on top of the debt.”

*name changed for privacy