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How business owner bought five Macs without spending any money

Karen Edbrooke found a clever way around cash flow problems. Images: Getty
Karen Edbrooke found a clever way around cash flow problems. Images: Getty

When Covid-19 hit, Karen Edbrooke met an unusual challenge: her bra business was booming, but her lines of credit had dried up.

Her company, Big Girls Don’t Cry Anymore, had seen sales nearly double as its virtual fitting rooms became more relevant for Australian women stuck at home.

A promotion targeting essential workers also didn’t hurt: the company had delivered $30 vouchers to essential workers who were finding they needed more underwear as they were washing their scrubs and clothes more often.

Soon, Edbrooke was hiring an additional 20 staff – all of whom needed equipment.

But her lines of credit had dried up, and she preferred to spend her cash on stock.


“I was struggling and trying to balance everything,” she told Yahoo Finance. Where she previously had 90-, 60- or 30-day accounts with her suppliers, Covid-19 saw that cut to seven days, she explained.

However, soon Edbrooke realised she was forgetting about another way she could purchase the items she needed.

“I just happened to be doing something and I got a Qantas statement that said I had 3.8 million Qantas points ... You can buy an Apple computer using Qantas points.”

She headed to Kogan and snapped up five Macs, five keypads, a laptop computer and some monitors using only her points.

Karen Edbrooke in store. Image: Supplied
Karen Edbrooke in store. Image: Supplied

“I’m sure there are thousands of people in Australia with Qantas points and they’re not going to fly for a while. So why not use them, even just to buy a Visa card or something for your kitchen or around the house?” she said.

“It was a fluke that I found it but it helped my cash flow because my credit terms were cut. It was just a brilliant stroke, we were very lucky to stumble across it.”

How can business owners maximise their points? founder Roland Bleyer said Kogan was a great way for businesses to redeem points if they couldn’t be spent on flights, noting that Qantas has over 8,000 products.

But he also warned business owners against “wasting points” and being mindful of the way they’re spending and accruing them.

“The key for businesses is to really calculate how much they are capable of spending each month. Most businesses don’t spend on their card when they can – most people aren’t researching,” he said.

As a business owner, it’s worth considering if the points card you’ve chosen is the right one for your spending habits.

Bleyer said most business cards will have points caps on them, with AMEX considered the only unlimited business card where you can earn unlimited points.

“It’s a little bit harder for businesses to maximise their bonus points, but I do know of some businesses that are smashing out so many more points than a consumer could,” Bleyer said.

Businesses should be aware of sign up offers where card members automatically get points upon signing up, he added.

“That’s a big way to get started,” he said.

Similarly, it’s worth considering taking out two cards to score points in different ways. Many cards will only accrue points, or a certain amount of points on different purchases.

Then, when it comes to spending, business owners should always consider the dollar value of spending those points; that is, just how much are they getting out of that particular spending decision.

Spending points on flights is considered the best value for money, so Bleyer said it’s good to weigh up the pros and cons of spending on other items.

“You’ve just got to be careful not to redeem them just for the sake of redeeming them; these points aren’t going to expire,” he said.

Want to take control of your finances and your future? Join the Women’s Money Movement on LinkedIn and follow Yahoo Finance Australia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.