5 Weird Things I Do To Earn Frequent Flyer Points (which you could easily incorporate into your life too)

There are literally thousands of ways to earn air miles or frequent flyer points.

While I am not as crazy as the pudding guy (although he’s kind of a genius to have worked out how to earn over a million points through buying pudding!) and I don’t have too many super inventive stories, I do have some… quirks… when it comes to how I earn Qantas points. Some weirder than others.

Most of these are things you too can do to earn more frequent flyer points without flying.

I shop at my rival

I’m sorry Woolworths, it’s me not you. I’ve wandered your aisles many times and I do like you, especially since I can find French lentils and a tofu that doesn’t taste like rubber with ease, but growing up I was brainwashed.

You see, my name is Nicole. Cole. Coles. Your rivals name. The red signage posted outside the shopping centre, my Dad would point at it and say “hey Cole, it’s your shop.” It got ingrained within my brain and stuck. Despite never having working there nor owning stock options, Coles became mine. Plus, that ‘Down, Down’ jingle is damn catchy.

I was loyal to Coles until you partnered with Qantas. This begun an internal war on where I would shop. I would take the bus 20 minutes just to shop with you when I was in college, but still I found my way to Coles for something you didn’t stock. What can I say: I’m brand loyal.

While today I try to shop with you. I do my click-and-collect orders, I swipe my card at the supermarket and the Woolworths Caltex fuel stations, still I only just like you for your rewards program. The bright red lights of your competitor, the company that shares part of my name, still beckons me with their Lilydale chicken breast that you don’t stock.

I’m trying Woolworths, I am but I fear much like Batman and the Joker we will just never truly be friends.

Image credit: Qantas

Walk 10,000 steps every.damn.day

I am not lazy per se. I practice martial arts, go to the gym almost every day, and take pilates classes a few times a week; but there is one thing I just can’t seem to muster doing more of when I’m at home in Melbourne.


It’s how I grew up. My family drove everywhere (you kind of had to when my high school was a 45-minute drive away!) and I adopted the bad habit despite living in a place where I literally have a tram outside my front gate.

But when Qantas offered points simply for walking through their Wellbeing app, I knew I had to get onto it.

I earn 19 Qantas points every day just for taking 10,000 steps. If I complete 70,000 steps in a week I get a bonus 85 points. (The number of steps is adjustable. If you can only walk 1,000 steps per day, you can still earn 4 points. Or even change it to a cycling or swimming goal.)

It doesn’t seem like much when a Business Class flight one-way from Australia to Asia is 60,000 points (that’s about 7-years of walking 10,000 steps daily!) but it all adds up when you combine it with other purchases you may need to make.

At the moment, through the Qantas Wellbeing app here’s a breakdown of what I’m earning:

  • 10 points each day for sleeping (that’s right. Sleeping!),
  • 10 points for being Master of Rings (that is completing my Move, Exercise and Stand goal on my Apple watch)
  • 19 points per day for taking 10,000 steps
  • 85 points per week for completing my step challenge daily.

That’s 358 Qantas Points weekly just for activity I should be doing already. Boom!

*Note: you’ll earn these rates during the trail phase and if you purchase an eligible Qantas Insurance product which may or may not be right for you. Please read the T&C’s to decide. You can continue using the app after the trail is over but earn a lower rate of points.*

Image credit: Envirobank

I Recycle

Growing up in South Australia I was lucky to have container deposit schemes near where I lived. For every bottle or can I recycled, I would earn 5c, which has since been raised to 10c since 2008. It very quickly added up.

While the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and – in 2020 – Western Australia will follow suit, there is still work to be done in Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Envirobank is a company who want to encourage recycling by making it sexy incentivising it

If you sign up to Crunch, Envirobank’s rewards program, and recycle your eligible bottles and cans, your Crunch credit can be turned into Virgin Velocity Points at a rate of 5 Velocity Points for 15 Crunch credits. (1 container = 15 crunch credits = 5 Velocity points).

Your Crunch credits will be added to your account within 48-hours of dropping off your recycling and then you can either grow your balance or redeem them. Turn your Crunch credits into Gift Cards, PayPal cash, or donate to your favourite charity.

At the moment, Envirobank locations are mainly found in NSW, Queensland (including one in Townsville!), and the NT; but there are plans for more.

Most of my shopping is done online

I love that feeling of being given a bag by the cashier with my new purchase gift wrapped in tissue paper to carry home. But I’ve begun to be smarter with how I shop and, when possible, prefer to do it online.

Why? Points of course.

By shopping through the Qantas Shopping portal or the Virgin Velocity eStore, I earn frequent flyer points that I wouldn’t if I shopped in-store.

At the time of writing, my favourite retailers are offering the current bonus point promotions:

Qantas Shopping Portal offers:

  • Adairs – 6 points per $1 spent
  • Country Road – 5 points per $1 spend
  • Woolworths – 2 points per $1 spent
  • Under Armour – 5 points per $1 spent
  • Estee Lauder – 7 points per $1 spent

(See current Qantas bonus point offers)

Virgin Velocity eStore:

  • GroupOn – 10 points per $1 spent
  • Sephora – 10 pints per $1 spent
  • Bonds – 10 points per $1 spent
  • Estee Lauder – 10 points per $1 spent

(See current Virgin bonus point offers)

What I’ve found is that overall Qantas offers a better dollar-spend value (Velocity tend to have a $1 = 2 points conversion) but if Velocity is having a promotion they tend to offer 10 points per $1 spent, so make sure to check both portals before you shop.

If you don’t like online shopping, there are ways to earn in-store. Check ‘card offers‘ in the Qantas Shopping portal. At the time of writing, you can earn bonus points with Caltex, Sephora, Zambero, Kathmandu, and Dymocks.

At select times of the year, particularly around Christmas, you can earn double points. From memory, the most I’ve earned was 12 points per dollar spent at David Jones with Qantas Shopping.

I broke up with UberEats

Hello, my name’s Nicole and I’m a reformed UberEats user.

Today, I use Deliveroo. Deliver-hoo?

Much like Menulog (who you can earn Virgin Points with) and UberEats, Deliveroo is a online food delivery company. While they don’t have the breadth of options that UberEats has, they do have a lot of the cool boutique restaurants that everyone are talking about (like Gelato Messina!)

Qantas Points aside, one reason I was willing to make the switch from UberEats to Deliveroo is that they often do great special offers. Right now they are partnering with restaurants like Hanoi Hannah, Huxtaburger, and even Uncle (a well-known Vietnamese restaurant) to offer $10 dishes. It’s an incentive for you to try new dishes instead of sticking to the same old burrito every time you eat out.

I’ll admit the points offer isn’t great. You earn 1,000 Qantas Points on your first order through the app, and then 200 per month when you have a minimum of 4 deliveries.

If you are a person who enjoys Friday night takeaway, then this may be the perfect way to earn a few thousand extra points each year, but it’s more of a slog than an easy earn.

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  • Reply
    Beverley Malzard
    March 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for the info – all earned points are good to stash away. Nice research and I’m with you re Woolies and Coles – if only Aldi had a loyalty scheme . . .

  • Reply
    Qantas Frequent Flyer Points: A Beginners Guide to earning, using & more [2020] – Hey Jetsetter by Nicole Smith
    September 26, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    […] 5 Weird Things I Do To Earn Frequent Flyer Points […]

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