With increasing restrictions on our movement and directives to stay at home where possible during the coronavirus COVID-19, one rightly might not have frequent flyer points at the front of their mind.

However, whilst we are grounded, there are still a number of ways that you can be building up your points balances. This is a great time to do so in preparation for when travel restrictions are reduced and you can start redeeming your points for trips again.

So here is the Point Hacks strategy to earn points whilst you stay at home during COVID-19.

COVID-19: A guide to route cancellations by key airlines flying to and from Australia
Airports may be emptying out but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still many ways to be earning points

1. Swipe your flybuys or Woolworths Rewards card at the supermarket

Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean that we’re not still purchasing groceries. In fact, demand at supermarkets has gone up.

Earn flybuys/Velocity Points at Coles

If you shop at Coles, be sure to swipe your flybuys card at the checkout. You’ll earn 1 point per $ spent not only at Coles but also First Choice Liquor, Liquorland, Kmart and Target. On top of that, you’ll earn 1 Velocity Status Credit for every $100 spent.

Coles truck and store

If you’d rather get home delivery or do Click&Collect, you can also earn flybuys points when you shop through Coles Online. Just make sure to add your flybuys number via the account menu or during checkout. If you haven’t tried it before, you can sign up and get free delivery on your first order of $100 or more.

You can also boost your flybuys earn by using the Coles Rewards Mastercard, earning 2 points per $ spent, or Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard, earning 0.5 points per $ spent.

Earn Qantas Points at Woolworths

If you shop at Woolworths, then make sure to scan your Woolworths Rewards card at checkout. You’ll earn the equivalent of 0.5 Qantas Points per $ spent at Woolworths (both in-store and online), BWS and Caltex.

Guide to Woolworths Rewards promotions

Unfortunately, ‘due to an overwhelming demand for online shopping’, Qantas has temporarily suspended the ability to earn Qantas Points on online Woolworths purchases when clicking through the Qantas Shopping portal.

You can boost your earning by using one of these highest Qantas Point-earning credit cards.

Best credit cards for groceries

You can maximise your points earn at supermarkets by using one of these credit cards.

If you are in the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem, then the Platinum Edge will earn you an unrivalled 3 points per $ spent. For Qantas Points collectors, the American Express David Jones cards will earn you 1.5 points per $ spent.

2. Be strategic about where you purchase petrol from

Even though you’ll be spending more time at home, you’ll still need to get around for essential services like going to the supermarket and potentially commuting to and from work. There are three points-earning partnerships that you can take advantage of when purchasing petrol.

Earn Qantas Points at BP or Caltex

If you earn Qantas Points, then you have two options. The first is to take advantage of Qantas’ new partnership with BP, earning 1 point per litre of most fuel (2 for BP Ultimate 98) and 1 point per $ spent in-store.

BP - Qantas logo

The second option for Qantas Points collectors is to shop at Caltex. Through the Woolworths Rewards program, you’ll earn the equivalent of 0.5 Qantas Points per $ spent only on fuel (not in-store purchases). This is half of the rate of the BP partnership.

Earn flybuys/Velocity Points at Shell

Finally, if you are a flybuys (or Velocity Points) collector, then you’ll earn 0.5 flybuys points per $ spent at Shell-Coles Express.

coles-express fuel outlet

However, if you spend $30 or more at Coles Express, then you’ll receive 8 bonus points, making this the most attractive option of the three. You can read more in our Point Hacks fuel comparison guide.

Best credit cards for fuel purchases

The two credit cards that are best to use at supermarkets are the same ones that will earn you the most at petrol stations. The American Express Platinum Edge earns you 3 Membership Rewards points per $ spent, whilst the American Express David Jones cards earn you 1.5 points per $ spent.

3. Order food delivery with a side of frequent flyer points

If you’re stuck at home and spending (what is usually a high amount) on getting food delivered, then you might as well be earning points on it.

Menulog is by far the winner in terms of the number of points earned per dollar (2 Velocity Points per $ spent). It offers almost 10 times the number of frequent flyer points to its nearest rival, Uber Eats (~0.25 Qantas Points per $ spent).

Velocity Menulog Logos | Point Hacks
If ordering through Menulog, be sure to click through the Velocity eStore first

You can learn more in our Point Hacks guide to earning points on food delivery.

4. Purchase wine online

Qantas Wine

Buying alcohol through Qantas Wine is one of the simplest ways to earn Qantas Points if you enjoy a beverage. The base rate is 1 Qantas Point per $ spent.

Qantas Wine screenshot
Look out for bonus points offers on selected wines—they can greatly boost your Qantas balance

However, Qantas also has a $99 paid Premium membership on offer, which will boost your earning to 3 points per $ spent. Holders of the Qantas American Express Ultimate card and Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum One status holders get a complimentary Premium membership.

Virgin Wines

For Velocity Points collectors, Virgin Wines is an online wine retailer that offers up a healthy serve of 3 points per $ spent. It differs slightly from Qantas Wine in that it does not have a premium membership tier.

Velocity Wines

5. Click through an online shopping portal

This is one of the easiest ways to earn points without much effort. Say you are purchasing home sports equipment online through rebel. You could go straight to rebel’s website or you could earn 3 Qantas Points per $ spent on your purchase just by clicking through the Qantas Shopping portal first.

Qantas Shopping | Point Hacks

Your choice will depend on your allegiance to a particular program. Point Hacks has comprehensive guides to the following popular online shopping portals:

Which one should you click through? Point Hacks has a comparison tool to see which shopping portal offers the most bonus points at online retailers.

It’s also worth comparing your points-earning options to getting cashback through Cashrewards. (Note that you cannot double-dip to earn both cashback and points.)

6. Earn points on rideshares

Those of us without a car may still need to access essential services and therefore call a rideshare.

Earn Velocity Points with Ola

I personally rate Ola as the best rideshare app overall, given its lower prices, lack of surges and simple points-earning structure. You’ll earn 1 Velocity Point per $ spent on rides. Plus, first-time riders get:

  • 1,000 bonus points on their first ride
  • 30% off their rides (maximum $10 discount per ride) in the first two weeks from when they sign up
How to earn Velocity Points with Ola rideshares

Earn Qantas Points with Uber or ingogo

If you’re after Qantas Points, then Uber and ingogo are your go-tos. However, whilst, anyone can earn Qantas Points on eligible airport rides with Uber (which not many people are taking right now), only members of Uber Rewards can earn Qantas Points on non-airport rides as well as UberEats orders.

Qantas-Uber partnership
The new Uber Rewards-Qantas tie-up does not offer very good value

ingogo taxi rides offer a much simpler earning opportunity of 1 Qantas Point per $ spent.

To make an informed decision about which rideshare service is best for you, check out the Point Hacks guide to earning points rideshares.

7. Sign up for a new credit card

Whilst you may not be in the air anytime soon, now is a good time to earn some points by signing up for a new credit card with a big sign-up bonus.

There are a number of cards currently offering over 100,000 points for signing up. Check out the Point Hacks guide to the best frequent flyer card deals currently on offer.

8. Brush up on your frequent flyer program knowledge

This is a good time to take stock and make sure your up-to-date on the best value you can get from your points. We have beginner’s guides on the five most useful frequent flyer programs for travellers in Australia:

A guide to earning bonus points with KrisFlyer
Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program is a popular choice amongst intermediate and advanced points-collectors in Australia

9. Follow Point Hacks on social media for updates

We’re constantly updating our website and social media channels with new information not only on travel restrictions and route cancellations but also with opportunities to boost your frequent flyer points balances. You can follow:

Summing up

Even whilst you’re stuck at home, you can maximise your points-earning strategy to build up your balance for a redemption in the future.

Start by making sure that you’re swiping your Woolworths Rewards or flybuys card at the supermarket. Also choose your petrol station according to the program you’re trying to build your balance with. If you use rideshares, Ola offers the best return.

Next, when ordering food, clicking through the Velocity portal to the Menulog will net you the most points. When ordering through an online retailer, check our bonus points comparison tool first. If you’re purchasing wine, do so through Qantas Wine or Virgin Wines.

Finally, it’s worth following our site to see if there are any new credit card bonuses that interest you. This is also a good time to make sure you’re up-to-date with your frequent flyer program knowledge. Be sure to be following Point Hacks for all the latest information on earning and redemption opportunities.

And if you have a question, you can post it on the Point Hacks Community page and a member of our team or another reader will do their best to answer it.

Are there any other ways you are maximising your points earn during this period? Share them in the comments below!

Supplementary images courtesy respective brands.

9 ways to earn points whilst you stay at home during COVID-19 was last modified: April 4th, 2020 by Matt Moffitt