Addicted to freebies? Chances are, you’ll love what bonus point rewards cards can offer you too.
Even though it may be tempting to jump at the first deal advertised, some points incentives will live up to the hype, while others won’t. So whether it’s a points bounty you’re after, or hacks to double your stash, this is the guide for you.
Read on for the best ways to plump up your points. Let’s get started!
What type of bonus point offers are out there?
Bonus points when you sign up
You know the drill, these are sweeteners designed to attract new credit card customers, and they can work your points balance a treat. For instance, at the time of writing one provider is offering 75k bonus Qantas Points points for new cardholders, while another will give you the option to earn either 100k Qantas or Altitude points.
But...with many deals like these, you can easily miss out on accruing the bonus points you were promised when you signed up. Why? You may need to spend a certain amount on your card in the first few months first to unlock the offer.
Let's go back to that example of the credit card with the 75k bonus Qantas Points point offer. To actually get those points credited to your loyalty program account, you'll need to spend $1,500 on your card in the first 90 days.
Bonus point per $1 spent at partner networks
Another way to rack up points is through simply shopping within your card’s partner network.
For instance, if you shop at Woolies or Coles, with some credit cards you can earn extra Qantas Points or Velocity Frequent Flyer points on each grocery shop respectively (after connecting your account via the supermarket’s site first). This is just one example, but there are plenty more, like shopping at affiliated online retailers and dining in certain restaurants.
Credit card providers are also known for offering customers incentives to earn a chunk of points when they pay for sponsored products. Best way to keep track of these is to stay on the mailing list. But of course, only purchase items that you actually need in the first place.
Bonus point per $1 spent overseas
Wanderlust traveller? Look out for a rewards program that offers bonus points when you use your card overseas.
For example, your card may give you one point for each dollar you spend, but a whopping 2.5 per dollar spent outside Australia!
What are the benefits of bonus points?
So those are the varying ways you can nab yourself some bonus points using your credit card. Now onto the key benefits, which include:
Plump up your points sooner: If you want to climb the points ladder, bonus points will fasten the pace. Just make sure you are spending within your means to make the redemption value worth it.
Redeem sooner than planned: Some cardholders plod along and grow their points gradually. But if you play it smart by keeping an eye out for offers and incentives, you’ll secure that flight upgrade or free airline ticket in no time.
More bang for your buck: Sometimes, earning bonus points through shopping within a partnered network can be more valuable than if you shopped elsewhere. This is because your dollar spend is helping you accrue more points than you normally would.
Other things to look for:
Free features: We know you’re here to read about bonus points, but don’t forget that rewards cards can also come with freebies too. Depending on the provider you’re with, you may be given complimentary travel insurance to cover trips abroad, or even free visits to plush airline lounges around the world. Whichever card you opt for, make sure it comes with features you’ll actually use, as there’s no point paying high annual fees for a piece of plastic that comes with a complimentary flight, if flying isn’t your thing!
Generous interest free days: Most rewards cards in the market come with interest free days, which usually range from 44 days to the 55 day mark. When given the choice, always go for the card with the higher number. You never know when you’ll need that extra day to avoid being charged at a steep purchase rate.
What should I watch out for?
Missing out on bonus points: There’s nothing worse than choosing a fabulous rewards card promising 50k points, only to forget about the spend criteria in order to access them! Don’t make that mistake and always read the fine print first. If you do need to spend a certain amount within a set time, mark the due date in your calendar, and plan your spending habits around it too.
Cards with caps on points: Did you know that some card providers place caps on the number of points you can earn? If you’re a big spender, perhaps a card with no limits will be more suitable.
Expiry dates: It’s highly likely that your precious stash of points has a use by date. Note it down and set a reminder, so you never miss out redeeming rewards.
Overspending: Don’t spend more than you normally would just to build up bonus points. If you can’t afford to keep up with your credit card bills, it might be time to wave goodbye and switch over to a balance transfer card.
Credit card “tarting”: Ever thought of signing up for multiple cards in your name, just to score bonus points? Be careful, as it could potentially compromise your credit score, which is important to protect for the larger purchases in life, like buying a home with a mortgage from the bank.
Annual fees: We’re not going to lie...some rewards card annual fees can be pricey in comparison to standard plastic. But that won’t matter if you’ll get more than your money’s worth out of it!
Missing payments: Look after your credit history, as it’s hard to clean up once your name has debt written all over it. If you’re at risk of not meeting your financial commitments, consider opting for a standard credit card, or at least one with more interest free days to give you the leeway.
4 bonus points hacks:
1. Use your rewards card for everyday purchases to maximise the number of points to your name. Just remember, some retailers surcharge, so always ask before whipping your card out. Travel much? Choose a card that is recognised and widely accepted around the world.
2. Stay on your provider’s mailing list to be in the loop when bonus point offers come your way. Tweak your inbox settings so those emails don’t go to the spam folder.
3. Utilise partner networks where you can and when it makes sense to financially. To make a hypothetical point, it may be more expensive to hire the Hertz car when you travel interstate, but the 30k points incentive could make it well worth your while!
4. Add another cardholder to your account, so you can maximise your bonus points buildup together. Just keep in mind, you may be charged a small fee for it.
Ready for a new rewards credit card with optimal bonus point potential? Check out our top picks in the market at our comparison hub!