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This Australian has racked up nearly 10 million frequent flyer points – here are his tips

Sharon Masige
  • Tasmanian Matthews Tyson has earned around 10 million points through all the frequent flyer programs he has signed up to.
  • Tyson has been a member of several frequent flyer programs for more than 40 years, including Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Air New Zealand Airpoints and Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer.
  • One of his biggest tips for earning points is using Velocity’s Family Points Pooling.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Tasmanian Matthews Tyson accumulated around 10 million points through all the frequent flyer programs he has signed up to, and shares his tips for earning them.

Tyson, 64, is the founder of St Cecilia School of Music in Launceston and travels both nationally and internationally at least once a month in his role as a music examiner.

He began earning points in the 1980s. And for nearly 40 years, he has been a member of several frequent flyer programs including Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Air New Zealand Airpoints and Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer. He later joined Point Hacks, a platform that provides tips for getting more frequent flyer points.

Tyson gets most of his points from flying, but also nabs them from loyalty program promotions and flybuys bonus offers when shopping.

He told Business Insider Australia in an email he has earned around 10 million points across all his frequent flyer programs.

The most useful frequent flyer program

Tyson has reached platinum status with Virgin's Velocity program, which gives you upgrades to business class, secured a Lifetime Silver Qantas membership – which gives you an extra checked bag allowance on most Qantas flights, and Gold with Air New Zealand Airpoints, which rewards members with hotel and rental car vouchers.

He said Velocity Frequent Flyer has been the most useful to him as Virgin Australia gives him the option of business class. Tyson also finds Virgin Carriers more comfortable and enjoys how Velocity lets you gift your membership to someone else.

"If you’re on Platinum membership and have 1,300+ status credits, you can gift a Gold membership to someone else to use for the next 12 months," he said via email.

Tips for earning more frequent flyer points

Tyson highlighted his tips for earning more frequent flyer points, beginning with a focus on a few frequent flyer programs.

"You can’t spread too thinly across the schemes or you won’t get many benefits," Tyson told Business Insider Australia in an email. "Ideally, you want to have 1 or 2 frequent flyer programs but 3 would be the maximum."

He also suggested leveraging your everyday spending through shopping programs like flybuys as you can convert those points into Velocity Points, and using airline partners to earn points. For example, you can earn Velocity points when you book a ride through Ola.

In addition, Tyson suggested using a credit card to earn points and taking up specials.

"Put your expenses on a points-earning credit card as you’re essentially earning ‘free’ points on things you’re already paying for," he said. "However, this could be a trap – don’t spend money just to earn points.

"[And] take up specials or bargains. I sign up to many newsletters including Point Hacks’ weekly newsletter and read all the content so I’m across all the frequent flyer news and ways to earn points."

Tyson added that one of the best ways for him to secure points is through Velocity’s Family Points Pooling. This lets members pool points and credits with family members living at the same address.

"This is advantageous for me, as my partner would often fly without me, but I would still get the points,” Tyson said.

And what does he do with the points? Puts them right back into flights. Tyson takes approximately 20 flights a year in premium classes. His biggest redemption to date was a return Etihad Business Class flight from Launceston to London which cost 280,000 Velocity Points.

A final note from Tyson, is to actually use your frequent flyer points.

"One thing to remember is that frequent flyer points aren’t like a bank account – you don’t accumulate interest, so there is no value having them sit there."

Climb the status ladder more easily by focusing on a few programs

Point Hacks’ spokesperson and frequent flyer expert Daniel Sciberras said in a statement the best way to secure points is to earn them through every opportunity possible. “Focusing on a handful of programs the way Matthews has done is generally considered best practice, as this allows you to climb the status ladder more easily," he said.

"The higher your status, the more travel benefits you can unlock, including priority boarding, check-in and security screening, as well as lounge access.”

In terms of redeeming your points, Sciberras advised being flexible with your travel dates and flying on alternative routes.

"For instance, an award flight from Sydney to London may not be a direct one – you might have to consider getting there via Singapore or other layover destinations," Sciberras added. "You should also book seats as far in advance as possible as they quickly disappear, with most programs opening their calendar 350 days before departure.”