How to earn free frequent flyer points

It has been said that you can never be too thin or too rich with frequent flyer points. OK, perhaps my recollection of that quote isn't absolutely right, but you get the idea.

Earlier this year, High Flyer revealed the easiest ways to maximise your frequent flyer points, from simple things such as using your credit card for everyday spending through to paying your tax bill with points-earning plastic.

However, savvy frequent flyers keep their eyes open for opportunities to add even more points to the pile, at little or sometimes no cost.

Here are two current deals that'll top up your Qantas Frequent Flyer balance by at least 40,000 points.

That's enough for a 'free' return economy flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth (although you'll also need to pony up $68 in taxes), or a one-way upgrade from economy to business class from those east coast cities to Singapore.

It's also just 20,000 points shy of an upgrade from business class to first class flying all the way from Sydney or Melbourne to London on the Qantas Airbus A380.

Wondering why we've singled out Qantas? With more than 10 million members it's easily Australia's biggest frequent flyer scheme, and challenger Virgin Australia isn't currently offering deals of a similar scale.

Join the club

The first step on this short journey to pocketing an extra 40,000 points involves joining the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme.


Since you're probably already a member, the trick is to find a family member who's yet to sign up – a sibling, child or in-law, for example.

That's because a current Qantas promotion offers not only free membership using the 'FAMILYFREE' code (it's officially $90, although almost nobody ever pays that) but a 10,000 point bonus if you earn 10,000 points within three months of joining.

The deal runs through to December 31, 2014.

Those 10,000 points don't have to come from flying – a points-earning credit card can do just as well.

Go shopping

But my tip would be to do your Christmas shopping via the Qantas Points Online Mall website, which links up to more than a dozen partners including Apple, David Jones, The Iconic, Net-a-Porter, Macy's, Selfridges and Booktopia.

Each of these sees you earn a handful Qantas points per dollar spent, and until December 31, Qantas has doubled that points-per-dollar rate.

The highest earner is David Jones, where you can hoover up 10 points per dollar.

(If you're thinking of buying Apple gear, DJs is actually the better bet, because it sells Apple desktops, laptops and tablets but you'll earn earning 10 points per dollar over the Apple Store's five points per dollar.)

It's dead easy to rustle up at least $1000 in Christmas shopping, which that newly-minted Qantas Frequent Flyer member can do through their account while you cover the cost.

That $1000 spend translates into 10,000 points earned, putting them in line for Qantas's bonus serve of another 10,000 points on top.

Then, with the permission of that new member, of course, their 20,000 points can be transferred to your account under the Family Transfer provision of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme.

Sign up to Qantas Aquire

Now you're halfway to your 40,000 point haul. Stage two involves signing up to Qantas' recently-launched Aquire small business rewards scheme.

It's open to anybody with an ABN (Australian Business Number) and lets you earn  Aquire points by flying with Qantas or spending money at a range of business-oriented partners.

The good news is that Aquire points convert to Qantas frequent flyer points at a direct 1:1 ratio.

The better news is that a promotion running to November 16 will see new members score 10,000 Aquire points just for signing up (which costs $50).

Your points tally will be doubled with a 10,000 Aquire point bonus after you earn just one Aquire point with any partner.

That roster includes Staples, Snap Printing, Secure Parking and Budget car rentals.

Staples is the low-hanging fruit in this points orchard, with an earning rate of two Aquire points per dollar plus free shipping throughout November.

This means that any of your regular office supplies – from a ream of A4 paper through to a box of eponymous staples – will land those 10,000 extra Aquire points.

Just make sure you register your Aquire membership with Staples before you start shopping.

Now it's time to convert those Aquire points to Qantas points by sending them to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account (a task easily done at the Aquire website).

And that's done – a handy 40,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points are now parked in your account, ready for your next free flight or upgrade.

David Flynn is a business travel expert and editor of Australian Business Traveller.

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