If you spend enough time in Facebook travel groups, sooner or later you will hear people talk about point hacking.
I used to think it only really worked for Americans, but I’ve decided this year I’m going to make it work for me as I want to fly business class more often and this seems the way to do it!
I have discovered that it certainly can work for Australians too.
What Is Point Hacking?
Point hacking is basically using airline frequent flier programs to maximum advantage and usually involves using credit cards which can help you earn these points. That is what I am doing.
Many credit cards offer a sign up bonus of points, which can be quite high, and then points ongoing with your spending. The idea is that you can end up with free or upgraded flights without even spending any extra money, it’s just about making sure you have the right card.
This is what I have been focusing on.
How Many Points Can You Get?
A lot! In the last month, I have signed up for two cards and, between them, I will get 190,000 bonus points. This is on top of any points I get from using the cards.
To give you an idea of what that is worth, on Qantas, it’s 90,000 points to fly to LA return. So that’s two flights to LA! Or one flight in business class.
Shorter Australian flights are 8,000 points each so that is a lot of free flights!
I want to go to New York for my big 40th birthday next year so I plan to use my points for flying that in business class.
The best credit card for frequent flyer points will also give you a good amount of points for using your card as well. I’m getting 0.75 – 2 points for every dollar so that is already adding up as well for not doing anything different.
Best Credit Cards For Points?
I did a lot of research and am very happy with what I have found.
Note that you usually do have to pay an annual fee to access the high point cards so you need to make sure this is worth it for you. Given the annual fee is still a lot less than the point bonus, I think it is worth it for anyone who would be paying for flights anyway.
My best credit card for frequent flier points for Australians is the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card.
Qantas offers tons of options and the points are great! At the moment you can get 100,000 bonus points and 1.5 points per dollar spent. There’s also $450 of Qantas credit and lounge passes if you use your card to purchase anything from Qantas.
The annual fee is $450, but I think worth it especially as we needed to spend that much on Qantas anyway and the points are far more valuable than that.
There is, of course, a whole lot of conditions. You can read them all here.
Enjoying Melbourne’s Qantas Club Lounge
Amex can’t be used for everything so I also got an Amplify Signature Visa card.
I get 0.75 points per dollar spent and 90,000 points for signing up. You can also choose between two Qantas Club passes or Priority Lounge Passes.
A cool extra they offer is a 10% birthday bonus – so you get 10% of all the points you’ve earned over the last year as a bonus on your birthday. So really you are getting 0.83 points per dollar spent.
This card doesn’t just work with Qantas and it’s the best credit card for points if you want a more flexible option. It’s currently $279 a year.
You can read all about it here.
Note that getting the bonus amount of points on sign up does require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card first.
How To Hack For Beginners
It’s really quite simple.
- Get a credit card with a good bonus on sign up offer and good ongoing points
- Spend like you normally would
- Make sure you pay off your credit card every month so you don’t have high-interest payments
- Use your points for your next trip!
- Consider switching cards every year or two for new sign up offers
So far, I am very happy with my two cards. I love all the extras and knowing I am on my way to flying business to New York return for very little money!
If you are someone who uses credit cards, I really recommend getting smart and finding one that can help you get free flights as well.
Note that my Amex links do earn me a point bonus if you use them to sign up. Don’t worry, you get one too!