Sneaky way friends are stealing your upgrade
Think you've got a generous mate when it comes to covering the bill at a restaurant? Turns out their magnanimous public displays may have a more calculated intention.
Qantas has identified a growing trend of "points hogging" among some of its savviest frequent flyers who take advantage of families and friends to cash in on reward flights, upgrades and online shopping sprees.
Does "put the bill on my card and you can give me cash" sound familiar? By paying for points earning products and services they boost their own points balance, often doubling or tripling their share.
"We're seeing members being very strategic in the way they earn and spend their points, whether through "points hogging" or 'double dipping' and getting points by purchasing a product from the frequent flyer program and then earning extra points by putting it on their credit card," says Brian Funston, Qantas Loyalty Executive Manager.
TYPICAL POINTS HOGGING TACTICS
• Put the large group-dinner bill on your Qantas Points-earning credit card in exchange for cash from fellow diners. You'll earn mega-points on the large transaction.
• Volunteer to choose and book the restaurant on behalf of a group of friends, so you can earn 100 Qantas points per person on the booking.
• On behalf of your wine club or friends, choose, order and buy cases of Qantas Points-earning wine, split the bill and the bottles - but keep the points. Super savvy points pinchers will also 'double dip', collecting additional points on the bill by using their Qantas Points-earning credit card.
• Offer to organise birthday gifts on behalf of a group - earning points on the credit card charge while being reimbursed by everyone whose name is on the card and when you shop online.
• Select a points-earning electricity and gas supplier on behalf of flatmates in a share house, pay the bill and get house mates to reimburse you. You'll earn points for every dollar spent on the bill plus for paying on your Qantas Points-earning credit card.
• Heading to the movies with friends? Put your hand up to book the Hoyts tickets and earn points for every $2 spent. Double down on points by buying it on your Qantas Points-earning credit card and collect the cash from your fellow movie buffs.
• If you're going away for the weekend, offer to book the hotel and car hire and earn points on your trip to help cover the cost of the next one.
So what do these points addicts use their stash on? Of the 12 million Qantas frequent flyer members, 11 per cent use their points for upgrades, 14 per cent visit the Qantas Store for shopping, 32 per cent redeem reward flights and 43 per cent save up their points.
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