My friends will tell you, I am the Points Queen! My main points systems I use are Flybuys and Virgin Australia. Some of my international personal finance bloggers have comprehensively covered how they have utilised credit cards or coupons but being in Australia things are somewhat different. In this post I will document how to more effectively use your points to cash into vouchers. I managed to get $950 worth of supermarket vouchers free with my points in 2017 as well as a cash payment from my bank so I must be doing something right!
Flybuys are my favourite, I used to call them my wine buys and buy wine with them, this year I have cashed up all my points for Coles vouchers. The usual value of these points are:
- 10,000 points = $50 Coles Voucher
- $1 spent at Coles/Kmart/Target/Liquorland/First Choice Liquor = 1 point
Last year I was one of the top 4% of Flybuys earners in Australia!
Flybuys members get paper vouchers posted out to them every few months, these allow for extra points on grocery shooping at Coles such as triple points some weeks and extra points some weeks if a certain amount is spent.
All Coles supermarket receipts have deals at the bottom for money off petrol, wine and beer deals at Liquorland and Flybuys points or other Coles deals.
Bonus tip – did you know you can combine together your email offers, docket vouchers and paper vouchers at Coles to get even more points from your grocery shop? Some weeks I scan through two vouchers as well as activate an online voucher for many points!
Flybuys members get email deals sent to them weekly. Activate all deals just in case and keep your eyes open for good deals.
Case study – I was already having to book flights to Europe in 2017 for my best friend’s wedding. I happened to be sent a deal from Flybuys offering 15 x the amount of points if I booked through Etihad using their link. The Etihad flight happened to be the best priced flight at 1363.20 and I got 20448 points through Flbuys and another additional 681 Virgin points through my credit card I used to pay for the tickets. This ended up coming through as about $100 worth of Coles vouchers. Do you know what put the cherry on the top of the cake, just before I flew to Europe Flybuys offered to upgrade my Velocity from Silver to Gold so I got to use all the Etihad lounges including the exclusive Etihad lounge in London where I had silver service breakfast, a shower and a massage before my flight back to Australia.
I love being a Velocity member! The usual value of these points are:
- 10,000 points = $50 Coles voucher
Because of my regular trips to New Zealand to see my family I am currently Silver and I always purchase my lounge access each year for $300 (plus I salary sacrifice this saving a further 30% on this subscription). This works out being about $200 after my savings which means I end up paying about $20 each time I utilise the lounge when I go back and forth from Hawkes Bay. Lounge access is king, I can use Virgin or Air New Zealand lounges and the food, drinks, magazines and wifi are awesome!
You can get Velocity points from BP, Virgin flights, Virgin partner flights, credit cards and Velocity Global Wallet (this is where I access the most value so read on friends).
The Velocity Global Wallet is essentially a debit card that allows you to load up your own money. It gives you one point per $2 spent in Australia and one point per $1 spent internationally. This card was particularly useful for me with the travel I do. It allows you to switch currency quickly in the app and back again if you do not spend it all on your trip. I use it regularly in New Zealand and have also used it in Hawaii, England, Scotland and Spain.
I do not use my Virgin points for flights, I cash them in for Coles vouchers. Why? I can never seem to book the flights that I want on points, they are booked out very quickly by high earners and often you have to add in extra money.
How else can you get these points. Any Dave Ramsey follower will read the following statement and hear a Dave Rant in their head….
For some context I signed up to a free American Express Velocity escape credit card, I pay this off in full each month and I receive one point per $2 spent on the card. The card is used majority for my Uber trips, although I use it from time to time on other items too. I whole heartedly agree with Dave, when I use my debit card it makes me stick to my budget and sometimes when using the credit card psychologically it does not feel like I am spending my own money (as a side point Come on Uber Australia, when are you going to allow us to link our debit cards like the rest of the world!).
- 4750 points = $25 Woolworths voucher
- $1 spent in Woolworths = 1 Woolworths point
- 2000 Woolworths points = $10 Woolworths voucher
- $10 Woolworths Voucher = 870 Qantas Points
I find Qantas points extremely hard to earn. Woolworths rewards seem to not stack up as well as the Flybuys Rewards that you collect through grocery shopping with Coles. They do not seem to get a lot of bonus offers.
I recently got an offer from Qantas to convert my Everyday rewards into points for an additional 1000 Qantas points which I took so I could utilise some old points into a $50 Woolworths voucher.
Last but not least is my favourite bank, ING where I get no fees for my cash withdrawals, a good rate for my savings
Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor, is also a fan.
Even better ING give you cash for referring your friends! If you use my promo code below when you sign up and follow their instructions before the 28 February 2018 both you and I will get $100!
What tips can you provide for your fellow Aussies?
The Economiss is a single, female, millennial on a mission to buy her first home in Australia. A Kiwi by birth, she jumped over the ditch after she finished her tertiary qualifications in search of employment. The narratives quite often showing up online overshadowed her thoughts of buying a house alone changed in 2017 The Economiss started super charging her finances and saved over 30% of her after tax income towards her house deposit as well as cash flowing four overseas trips. In 2018 The Economiss decided to create a new narrative and share her journey saving 36% of her after tax income for a $60,000 house deposit by December 2018. Do you have some tips to share or want to be featured on the blog, please get in touch!