It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas – and the festive season is the perfect time to cash in on some of the hard earned rewards points you’ve stocked up over the last year.
If you’re unsure of how to really make your rewards points count, don’t worry, you’re not alone as American Express research shows 27% of Aussie credit cardholders haven’t claimed anything in the last two years, for that exact reason.
To point you in the right redemption direction, here are four ways your rewards card can give you a merry (and affordable) Christmas this year.
Your rewards points can…
1. Buy the gift (card)s
Buying gifts for family, friends, extended family, pets, neighbours, the office Kris Kringle and that one barista who always remembers how you like your coffee can quickly get expensive. Well, there are a few ways rewards points can take the strain off your gift-giving budget.
First, you can redeem points for pressies bought directly from your rewards program store. This is pretty easy, but not always the best way to get good value from your points – plus, how many toasters and luggage tag sets can you really give as gifts before it starts looking suspicious? Instead, try trading your points for gift cards.
Not only will you often get better value for your points this way, but you can also either hit the shops yourself and use the gift cards to whittle down your shopping list, or just give the gift cards themselves as pressies.
How many points do you need for a $100 gift card?
- 17,250 Qantas Points
- 18,000 Velocity Points
- 13,500 AMEX Membership Rewards Points
2. Fly you home for the holidays
Wondering how you’re going to get home to join in on Christmas celebrations? If you’ve got a rewards card worth its salt, you should be able to redeem points for a free – or discounted – flight. And if you’re packing premium rewards plastic, you may even snag a free domestic flight as one of the perks, without using up any points at all.
And the really good news is that Mozo research has found flights and flight upgrades are some of the best value options for redeeming rewards points – so you know you’re getting great bang for your buck!
A one way Sydney to Melbourne flight would set you back…
- 8,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points
- 7,800 Velocity Frequent Flyer points
3. Shout Christmas lunch
If you’ve got a supermarket rewards card, you’ve got a free lunch! Or at least a very affordable one. So before you hit the shops to pick up your ham, prawns and pavlova, tally up your rewards points, be they Coles Flybuys or Woolworths Everyday Rewards, and see how much you can save on your grocery bill. Just remember to check the conditions – some schemes will only allow you to redeem a certain amount of points at a time.
|Woolworths Everyday Rewards||Coles Flybuys|
|$1 = 1 point||$1 = 1 point|
|2,000 points = $10 off you next shop||2,000 points = $10 gift voucher for Coles or Shell petrol|
|How to use them:||How to use them:|
|Instead of claiming your $10 discount each time you hit 2,000 points, change your redemption settings to “bank” your points and use them all in one go to save on your Christmas grocery shop.||Convert your points into Flybuys dollars, and use them at the checkout next time you shop. Just remember, points need to be converted into Flybuys dollars in groups of 2,000.|
4. Deck the halls – with cold, hard cash
But what about all the other little costs of Christmas? From Christmas lights, to tinsel, to reindeer antlers for your car, getting in the holiday spirit doesn’t always come cheap. The solution is easy – let your rewards card cover the bill by giving you cashback in your hand.
If you’re signing up for a new card, check out the introductory cashback offers around before you choose. If you’re sticking with a card you’ve been using for a while now, see if cashback is one of the rewards options it offers.
And once you have the cash in hand, you can spend it on whatever you like – whether it’s presents, food, a Christmas tree, or the bottle of wine you need to de-stress after the in-laws leave.
Top credit card cashback offers now
- Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Credit Card – $250 cashback when you spend $500 before 31 March 2017
- Suncorp Clear Options Platinum – 5% cashback on retail purchases for the first 3 months (up to $250)
- ANZ Low Rate Platinum – $250 back within 2 months of account activation
- Citibank Simplicity – 5% cashback on up to $2,000 spend within the first 90 days of approval
- Virgin Money No Annual Fee Card – $100 cashback when you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of approval
Like these ideas but don’t have a stack of rewards points saved up? Then get ready for next Christmas instead by finding an awesome rewards card to use throughout the year. This year’s Xmas spending could be next year’s saving!