Skip to Content

How to use frequent fliers to save thousands of dollars

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Two years ago my family of four flew from Sydney to Tokyo for nothing, thanks to frequent flier points. This year we paid for 10 nights accommodation in China with frequent flier points. 

Frequent flier points

Our flights to Japan for this family ski holiday were covered by frequent flier points. Picture: Alison Godfrey

We have saved thousands of dollars on accommodation and flights by using frequent flier points in the past few years.

But I am not a frequent flier. I am more a collector of frequent flier points.

So how do you do it?

Here are a few tips that could save you thousands on your next family holiday.

Use your credit card

The most useful thing for collecting frequent flier points is a credit card. You will want to find one with a serious load of bonus points. Check the annual fee – some are higher than others. The trick here is to find the card with the highest bonus points and the lowest annual fee. Some offer no annual fee for the first year – grab that deal while you can.

Swap it

After a year or more of holding one credit card, you can often see better deals on the market. So switch. Ditch your old credit card and sign up for a new one. That way you get more bonus sign on points and get to your goal faster.

Get your partner involved

Do not sign your partner up for a shared credit card. Make them get their own. That way you double the bonus point sign up. A 90,000 point sign up bonus can then net your family 180,000 points. Do that twice a year and you have a great free holiday.

Supermarket Rewards

Sign up to Woolworths Rewards if you go with Qantas or Coles if you go with Virgin. Ask for a rewards card that goes onto your keyring – that way you always have it when you go shopping. Swipe that thing every time you shop and you will get a boost to your points.

Get flying faster by collecting frequent flier points. Picture: Shutterstock

Movie tickets

Many people don’t know that you can actually earn reward points through Hoyts. Get a Hoyts card. Link it to your frequent flier card. Book tickets online. Every time you see a movie – it adds to your frequent fliers.

Online shopping

It takes a few seconds longer to sign onto the Iconic through Qantas. But you earn points for every dollar you spend if you do. Same goes for shopping at David Jones, Ebay and Net-a-porter.

Be the dinner organiser

This is one of my favourite tips. I like to organise dinners out with my friends. If you book the restaurant through Qantas restaurants you get 100 points per diner. 10 friends = 1000 points. Pay for it on your credit card. Double points. 

Bonus Partners – My card offers

Qantas has a section on their website called My Card Offers. Sign up for the shops you frequent and you can receive bonus points every time you shop. Current offers include Country Road, David Jones, Sephora, Caltex, T2 and Barbecues Galore. Check this section for new offers each month.


Check Qantas hotels to see if the rates are close to those offered online. If they are, book through them – you will get bonus points.

frequent flier points

On this trip to Xian China we used our frequent fliers to pay for two hotel rooms. Picture: Alison Godfrey


If you need Petrol, try to make your stop at Caltex. Every time you buy petrol, scan your rewards card and you will get frequent flier points.

Phone plans

If you are with Vodafone, you can also earn more points. I’m not because they don’t have reception at my house. But this could be a nice little earner if you are with them anyway.

Be wise about points collection – not everything is worth it.

You should always think about the cost per point. Don’t pay more for something because it earns points. For example, an Aldi pre-pay phone pre-pay costs far less for than a Vodafone contract deal. You are better off saving the cash to go towards your holiday. 

The same goes for wine. You can get bonus points for buying wine through Qantas Epicure. I never have for the simple reason that I prefer to buy cheaper bottles of wine from our local bottle shop. Don’t pay more, just for the points. BWS is a retail partner of Qantas. So if that’s your local – even better.

The golden rule

The key to saving the most points is just to remember to use your card. Every little scrap of points does add up in the long run. Play the long game – have a holiday in mind and know how many frequent flier points you need to get there – that way it’s easier to stay on target.

Keep reading

Rules for frequent flier points do change. New deals come out regularly. Follow Points hacks websites and read about how you can earn more frequent flier points.


Family Travel’s Friday flight sale wrap

In-flight hacks for economy class comfort

You need to know these family camping hacks

Travel insider tips to find cheap flights online

The top 20 family adventures – short haul editions[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

* Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links provided, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting the work we put into!