The 2019 release of Apple’s new suite of iPhones provides a great opportunity to highlight the different ways you can earn frequent flyer points when you go to purchase one.
Remember, it is worth shopping around different retailers for the best price. Apple is currently advertising the latest iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro for a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) starting from $1,149 and $1,749 respectively.
The older-generation iPhone XR (RRP $1,049) and iPhone 8 (RRP $779) remain on sale at the Apple website as relatively budget-friendly options.
How many points or miles can you earn?
All four major online shopping portals offer points on purchases from Apple Australia. These include:
Qantas Online Mall
You can earn 2 Qantas points per AUD spent directly with Apple Australia through the Qantas Online Mall.
For a base model iPhone 11, that’s 2,298 Qantas Points on a $1,149 purchase.
You can earn 2 Velocity points per AUD spent directly with Apple Australia through the Velocity eStore.
For a base model iPhone 11, that’s also 2,298 Velocity Points on a $1,149 purchase.
Asia Miles iShop
You can earn 1.5 Asia Mile per USD spent through the Asia Miles iShop. On a base model iPhone 11, that’s roughly 1,175 Asia Miles on an AUD $1,149 purchase (converted to USD $783).
Make sure you choose the correct Apple region to earn the correct rewards.
You earn 15 KrisFlyer miles per 10 USD spent directly with Apple through KrisFlyer Spree. On a base model iPhone 11, that’s roughly 1,170 KrisFlyer miles on an AUD $1,149 purchase (converted to USD $783).
Once again, be sure to select the correct Apple region for your purchase.
ANZ Bonus Points Mall
All cardholders of credit cards linked to ANZ Rewards are eligible to use the ANZ Bonus Points Mall, which will reward you with 3 ANZ Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases with Apple.
On the iPhone 11 at RRP, you would earn 3,447 ANZ Rewards Points which could then be transferred to 1,723 Velocity Points at standard rates (less than buying through the Velocity e-Store direct).
So if you were to purchase a base iPhone 11 from one of the above stores, you could collect the following points or miles based on the RRP:
- 2,298 Qantas or Velocity Points
- ~1,175 Asia Miles or KrisFlyer miles
- 3,447 ANZ Rewards points
Note that KrisFlyer Miles and Asia Miles are calculated based on the AUD:USD exchange rate as at 19 November 2019.
Purchasing through Qantas Shopping or Velocity e-Store will yield the most points, which Point Hacks value as being worth approximately $45 when being redeemed at 2 cents per point.
However, the number of points you can earn is not necessarily the sole consideration in terms of which points currency you choose to earn points on for your online purchases.
Other factors you should consider are:
- How often you fly a particular program’s airline.
- How easily you can redeem your points for your intended travels.
Also, be aware that these online shops periodically run bonus points promotions for specific retailers, so keep an eye on their pages and emails.
Apple iPhone pricing is usually fairly strict, with very little variances across different shops. However, if a third-party shop has the new iPhone 11 series at a discount (e.g. 10% off), then those cash savings may offset the value of the points you’d get if you bought the phone at full price through an online mall.
Be sure to do your research before purchasing, and have cookies turned on so that the frequent flyer program can track your purchase in order to award the points.
Sign up for a plan with Optus
Optus and Velocity now have a partnership where you can earn points when signing up for a new phone or SIM-only plan.
The iPhone 11 series is available, with more Velocity Points on offer if you get a bigger plan. Up to 40,000 Velocity Points are available for the highest-priced plan, however, this current offer is only valid for a limited time.
Cashrewards is free to join and offers 1.5% cashback on purchases made with Apple Australia when clicking through their site, worth $17.23 in the case of the iPhone 11 and $26.23 for the iPhone 11 Pro (both base models at Australian RRP).
Stack with a high points-earning credit card
No matter which avenue you take, it is best to use a high points-earning credit card, with highlights for this purchase being the:
- American Express Explorer: 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 AUD
- American Express Velocity Platinum: 1.25 Velocity Points per $1 AUD
- Westpac Altitude Black: 1.25 Qantas or Velocity Points, or 3 Altitude Points per $1 AUD
Get complimentary smartphone screen insurance with the right American Express card
To activate the insurance, you must purchase your iPhone outright in a single transaction and put the cost of the phone onto the American Express card. Alternatively, coverage is also offered for a phone purchased on a monthly contract using the card.
If you obtain this card partway through your smartphone contract, you are still eligible for coverage as long as you change your monthly payments to one of the eligible cards and wait 30 days from the date of the first monthly payment to be covered.
Buy a gift card
You can purchase a gift card for Big W (at Woolworths only) or JB Hi-Fi (at either Coles or Woolworths) and use that gift card towards your new iPhone.
If you use a credit card that earns bonus points at supermarkets, then that will apply to your gift card purchase. For example, the American Express Platinum Edge card will earn you 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 AUD spent on gift card purchases at supermarkets.
When you are looking to make a large purchase, especially for electronics, it is worth having a look to see if your preferred frequent flyer program’s online shopping portal will offer you bonus points for clicking through their site. Then using a high points-earning credit card can maximise your points-earn.
For example, if you clicked through Qantas Shopping or the Velocity e-Store and completed your purchase with the American Express Explorer card, you could amass 2,298 Qantas or Velocity Points, plus 2,298 American Express points when buying the base iPhone 11, with little extra effort.
Other avenues include clicking through Cashrewards or buying a gift card at a supermarket to use at a store that sells the product you are after.
And then how to use those points? Here are some ideas.
Supplementary images courtesy Apple.