Earning more points when travelling on Public Transport…

I’m always on the lookout for ways to slowly increase my points balances, and just this evening stumbled across a new way to bring in points from public transport tickets, specifically at least in the Sydney CBD.

I’m no stranger to buying Bus or Ferry tickets using my credit cards – that’s not rocket science, most of the state transport outlets in Sydney let you do that with no surcharge, and many newsagents do so with a 50c or similar fee. I’d normally earn 1 point per $ spent on my Qantas linked Bankwest MasterCard.

However, I just called into the Town Hall Woolworths in the centre of Sydney’s CBD which is connected directly to Town Hall Station. When I got to the check out I realised they sell the standard range of My Multi/Bus/Ferry tickets. I don’t know if this is a standard thing at supermarkets but I’m sure it’s the first place I’ve seen recently selling them.

Given that, I picked up my usual weekly bus ticket at $37, and paid using my Platinum Charge card which earns 3 points per $ at supermarkets, and equally could have paid with my David Jones Amex which earns 2.25 points per $ for the same.

Of course at Woolworths you can also double dip with Everyday Rewards / Qantas Frequent Flyer points for transactions over $30, so this would have earnt just an extra 7 points worth. But given I know I will use these passes, they are worth buying in bulk to maximise the Qantas point earn.

The Opportunity

Hypothetically, buying 12 weeks of passes at once (if Woolworths would let me) would cost $456 and earn me 436 Qantas Frequent Flyer points, as well as 1368 Membership Rewards points – total of 1804 points all up. Compared to purchasing from a regular outlet yielding just 456 points, this would yield a noticeable increase.

More points earnt on the bus vs a plane?!

For fun, my commute is 12km, and getting to/from work would each day for 12 weeks would hit 1220km. This is an effective earn rate of 1.48 points per km, or 2.34 points per mile travelled.

Compare this to earning points flying with Qantas, and you’ll find that even First Class travel earns at 2 points per mile in comparison, and given the bus or train is comparable to Economy at best, you’re earning more than twice as many points this way than if you stepped on a plane. That comparison is just for fun, of course, and doesn’t consider cost per point in any way which is probably going to be lower when travelling in the air.

So, have I been missing this all along? Do many supermarkets sell public transport tickets? Why didn’t I notice sooner if so!

Earning more points when travelling on Public Transport… was last modified: July 25th, 2013 by Keith