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How do I redeem credit card rewards points?

woman in holiday wear using frequent flyer reward card to purchase shopping

Have you been stacking up credit card reward points throughout the pandemic? Are you lost when it comes to getting the most bang for your rewards buck? Well, that’s where this guide comes in.

If you’re not quite sure how to go about redeeming your points from your rewards credit card then you’re not alone. Lots of Aussies have a stockpile of points that aren’t being used because they don’t know how or are afraid to waste them. To help, we’ve broken down some of the main redemption options available to most rewards cardholders:

Reward program online shops

One of the first stops you should consider when spending rewards points is your program’s online shop. These operate like normal multi-brand online stores where you can purchase things like clothes, electronics, kitchen appliances and toys, but you can use your rewards points to pay at check out.

Some rewards programs that allow you to shop online include:

Keep in mind that although this might be one of the easiest ways to redeem points, it’s not always the way to get the best value. The exchange rate can vary widely from merchant to merchant, and it can be hard to find exactly what you want. 

That said, it’s also worth checking out these stores when doing your usual online browsing, as they often have select special offers where you can earn over double the number of points you would earn otherwise at brands such as Myer, JD Sports and LG.

Ready to get find a Rewards Credit Card of your own? Check out these top rewards cards below.

Rewards Credit Card Comparison Table - rates updated daily

Search promoted rewards credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure.
  • placeholder
    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Qantas American Express Ultimate Card within the first 3 months of your approval date. T&Cs apply. Available to new American Express Card Members only.

    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Estimated points earned
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    $450
    60,000
    1.25 points uncapped
    Details
  • placeholder
    NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card

    70,000 Bonus Qantas Points. Offer applies to a new NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card when you spend $2,000 on everyday purchases within 60 days.

    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Estimated points earned
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    $250 $150 in the first year
    70,000
    0.66 points up to $3,000/month, then
    0.33 points up to $6,000/month
  • placeholder
    American Express Qantas Premium Card

    Receive 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2021^.

    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Estimated points earned
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    $249
    30,000
    1 point uncapped
    Details
  • placeholder
    NAB Rewards Signature Card

    Earn up to 160,000 Bonus Points on a new NAB Rewards Signature Card. Min $3,000 spend on everyday purchases in the first 60 days. Up to 44 days interest free on purchases. Enjoy reduced $145 annual fee in the first year (normally $295). T&Cs apply..

    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Estimated points earned
    NAB Rewards
    $295 $145 in the first year
    160,000
    1.25 points uncapped
  • placeholder
    American Express Qantas Discovery Card

    Earn 1.75 Qantas Points on eligible Qantas products and services per $1 spent (T&Cs apply). Enjoy $0 Annual Card Fee. Get the security of Card Refund and Purchase Cover. Up to four additional Cards at no extra fee. Redeem your points for Classic Flight Rewards (T&Cs apply).

    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Estimated points earned
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    $0
    No current offer
    0.75 points uncapped
    Details

In store shopping with credit cards rewards points

If you like to shop in person, you may find your options a lot more limited as far as using rewards points. At the moment, one of the only retail stores where you can use your rewards points instantly at the checkout is Myer. If you’re planning a dream holiday, you can also use points from some credit card providers at brick and mortar Flight Centre locations.

But that’s not to say you can’t use your rewards points to snag products from your favourite shops! Most rewards cards come with a long list of partner businesses you can redeem points with, including David Jones, JB HiFi, Bunnings, Westfield and Target. You just can’t use your points directly at the checkout. Instead, you can trade rewards points for...

Gift cards

Many rewards programs offer discounts on gift cards from major retailers such as ASOS, David Jones and The Iconic. You can do this through your online rewards account and then use your new giftcard in person at any local location. A few things to keep in mind include:

    Minimum point requirements: There may be minimum point requirements, which means you need to redeem a certain amount of points to get a gift card.
  • Delayed delivery: Often, you can choose to have your gift card in physical form and delivered by post, or you can choose an e-gift card and have it emailed to you. If you choose to have it mailed to you, remember that postage time will delay your spending.
  • Conditions apply: Different gift cards might have different conditions attached, such as expiry dates, or redemption conditions, so make sure you read the fine print.

  • Getting cashback with your credit card rewards

    Another redemption option is to trade in your points for cashback. Most of the time, this comes in the form of a credit to your card account, which makes this a great option to help pay down your credit card balance or cover the annual fee. It’s also sometimes known as “Pay with Points.” A few things to remember include:

      You will still need to make your monthly minimum payment - cashback doesn’t contribute toward this payment.
    • It may take a while before the credit shows up in your account - waiting 2-7 days is not unusual.
    • Often, you’ll need to redeem points for cashback in certain amounts, for example, lots of $50, $100, $500 or $1,000.
    • Again, the exchange rate of point value to cashback is not always the best, so double check before cashing in all your rewards.
  • Using rewards points at the supermarket

    Since it’s likely that most of your spending happens in the grocery store, then why not save money and redeem your rewards points there too? The two big supermarket rewards programs in Australia are Coles Flybuys and Woolworths Everyday Rewards. Both are set up so that you can either:

    • Redeem points each time you have enough built up. For example, Woolies Everyday Rewards points need to be redeemed in lots of 2,000, for a $10 discount on your shopping. When you hit 2,000 points, your discount will be applied to your next shop automatically.

    Or

    • Build up points for a bigger discount. With either program, you can opt to “bank” your rewards points and redeem them all at once. This is a great option if you’re planning a big spend, say for Christmas or a party.

    Buying tickets for events and experiences with credit card rewards

    If you want to shop for experiences instead of things, then your rewards points can be redeemed for movie tickets, race car driving, jet boat rides and even skydiving packages.

    These rewards are usually purchased through the online shop and just remember that each one will have certain conditions and requirements you’ll need to meet - especially the more adventurous options!

    Using credit card points for flights

    One of the most popular ways to redeem rewards points is to snag a better deal on your next flight.

    There are a few ways to do this, depending on what kind of card you have and what rewards program it’s attached to. You may be able to book the flight and use your points directly with the airline, or you might have the option to redeem points through travel services like Webjet or Flight Centre.

    Converting rewards points to airline points

    If you want to use your rewards points to book flights or make travel arrangements, you may need to convert them into frequent flyer points first. Some things to keep in mind when doing so include:

    • Minimum transfers: Some cards will require a minimum amount of points to be transferred at a time.
    • Transfer rates: Different cards will have different transfer rates. This could be 1 frequent flyer point for every 1 reward point, or 2 rewards points might convert to 1 frequent flyer point. Make sure you know the conversion rate so you aren’t met with a surprise.
    • Transfer delays: There may be a delay between when you transfer rewards points and when they show up in your frequent flyer account. The transfer time could be up to 14 days.

    Frequent flyers cards

    You can redeem points for flights on most rewards cards, but if you know all your points are going to go toward travel, one way to make the process easier is to opt for a frequent flyer card

    With one of these cards, the points you earn will be funnelled directly into your airline rewards program (the biggest names in Australia are Qantas’ Frequent Flyer and Virgin’s Velocity program) to be used towards buying flights, flight upgrades or booking hotels. This stops you from needing to worry about the points transfer process, or getting caught up on other rewards that aren’t relevant to your travel needs.

    How does the credit card rewards redemption process work?

    You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to redeeming your points, but once you’ve made your decision comes a whole different question: how do you redeem your rewards points? Although the process will be slightly different for each rewards program, we’ve broken down some of the common ways you can redeem your points.

    Online

    One of the easiest and most popular ways to redeem rewards points is to do it online. Whether you’re shopping at the rewards program store, buying flights, or getting cashback to cover your next credit card bill, chances are your credit card provider will have things set up so you can do so online.

    Usually, you’ll need to log into your online banking account and find the rewards section in order to redeem points this way, or to check your points balance.

    Over the phone

    If you find this internet thing all a little too techno, you might prefer to speak to someone over the phone. A number of credit card providers offer the option to redeem points through an old-fashioned phone call, although keep in mind that some may not as this becomes a less popular option.

    Auto-redemption

    Some rewards programs might also have auto-redemption options. These can be set up so that you use your rewards points as you earn them. Supermarket rewards are a good example: you can have auto-redemption set up so that every time you hit a certain number of points, they’re automatically redeemed for a discount on your next grocery shop.

    Ready to start earning rewards?

    Before you can redeem rewards points for lots of goodies, you’ll need to earn them! The first step is snagging an excellent rewards credit card. 

    Head over to our credit card rewards revealer to find a great credit card match for your wallet.

    For some of the best cards in Australia, don't miss our picks for Mozo’s best credit cards.

    Ava Crawford
    Ava Crawford
    Money writer

    Ava is an experienced journalist with a degree in English Literature from New York University. At Mozo, she covers credit cards, personal loans and Buy Now Pay Later platforms.

    Sara Borman
    Sara Borman
    Money writer

    Sara has a Communications degree and has contributed to academic and literary publications in the US and Australia. She aims to bring an accessible point of view to credit cards and loans for Mozo readers.

    ^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Rewards Credit Card Awards

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