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Qantas frequent flyer reveals how to turbocharge points to fly (almost) free

By making your purchases through Qantas Shopping, you also earn frequent flyer points.

Like every Aussie, my economising is in overdrive as we continue to battle this cost-of-living crisis. So, I’m determined that when I do have to spend money, I get the largest amount back possible.

This is where Qantas Shopping comes in. It’s a dedicated channel that acts as the third party between shoppers and more than 450 retailers online. You must go to the Qantas Shopping site first, and then click from there to an affiliate merchant.

You might be thinking, 'That’s great, but why would I bother?' What many people don’t know is that, by making your purchases through Qantas Shopping, you earn Qantas frequent flyer points at the same time. For example, right now there are deals where you can earn two Qantas points per dollar spent on Dell computer products, five Qantas points per dollar spent at Adairs, and seven Qantas points per dollar spent on Asics.

Compilation split image of Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon on a plane and Qantas symbols on airfcrafts.
Qantas offers as much as seven points per $1 spent with some retailers. (Source: Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon/Getty) (Samantha Menzies)

Warning: always shop around first

While Qantas Shopping and the ability to earn points is very attractive, there are some circumstances where you should skip it.

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It pays to shop around before you buy, and this is true even when there are discounts and points to be had.

There is an alternative style of third-party purchasing, which I’ve discussed in some of my other articles - cashback. And it’s possible that the amount you can earn there outweighs how many points you could earn with Qantas Shopping. My point is to make sure you look at both and weigh up your savings vs frequent flyer point earnings.

Also by Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon:

When there is a boosted frequent flyer point offer – like those where you can earn five or seven times on your dollar – it may well be worth keeping with the 'flying kangaroo'.

Of course, you can access the general sites of merchants, whether you go through Qantas’s platform or a cashback provider’s. You’ll be able to take advantage of the regular discounts too. But there is an opportunity, using Qantas Shopping and Woolworths’ Everyday Rewards, to take your points ‘stratospheric’.

My strategy to supercharge your points

Did you know that Woolworths shoppers have access to Qantas points with each purchase? You can choose to either redeem points as money back or at Qantas.

Finder research reveals 75 per cent of Aussies use the Woolworths Everyday Rewards program and, of all supermarket rewards program members, 13 per cent swap points into a frequent flyer scheme. That’s a small number when you realise the conversion metric makes the Qantas points far more valuable in terms of savings.

With Everyday Rewards, 2,000 points can either be redeemed for $10 off a shop or 1,000 frequent flyer points. Crunching those numbers: for 16,000 Everyday Rewards points, you get 8,000 frequent flyer points or an $80 cash discount. But 8,000 frequent flyer points might get you a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne, which could set you back a couple of hundred dollars.

And here’s how you can earn far more points – buy gift cards from Woolworths or its umbrella companies, which are usually sold for boosted points.

At the moment, there is a six-times-points offer on selected gift cards valued at over $150 and bought online (or in the app). There is a limit of five gift cards online that add to a total value of $2,500 (maximum value of $500 each) for 15,000 points.

So, it would be worthwhile using these gift cards for each purchase in the near term, potentially changing what you would usually spend anyway into a chunk to go towards Qantas frequent flyer points.

And here’s the even more beautiful thing: you could then turbocharge your points by redeeming those same gift cards on Qantas Shopping to earn even more points.

What does all this mean? Despite the tight economic time, you could still fly - almost - free.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is the author of How to Get Mortgage-Free Like Me, available at www.nicolessmartmoney.com. Follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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