Many people will associate banks and frequent flyer points with credit cards. While that is one of the easiest ways to pick up a large number of points, did you know you can also earn points (albeit slowly) with debit cards and bank accounts?
There are only a handful of products in the market offering this, but it’s worth checking out if you’re serious about increasing your points-earning potential. We compare a number of products in this guide.
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Most of you may be familiar with the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account, which we have covered extensively in this Point Hacks guide here. The earning rates were lowered in April 2020.
You now get:
- 3 Qantas Points per debit card transaction, regardless of size.
- 0.3 Qantas Points for every $100 in your account each day.
- 5 Qantas Points per overseas ATM withdrawal.
Let’s say you maintained a balance of $12,000 over a month and made 10 small debit card transactions. You would get 30 points from the transactions and 1,080 points from the account after a month (assuming 12,000 ÷ 100 × 0.3 × 30 days). That’s more than 1,100 points a month, on a recurring basis.
So what are the trade-offs? There is a monthly $6 account fee that is waived if you deposit $2,000 a month. But more importantly, by putting your cash in this account, you are forfeiting a cash interest rate that you could be earning from another savings account.
BOQ Specialist Everyday Plus account
BOQ Specialist products are not for everyone. In fact, you have to be a medical, dental or veterinary professional or student, or a qualified accountant to apply.
However, the bank offers an everyday account that can earn Qantas or Velocity Points, and with no ongoing account keeping fees.
You will earn 1 Qantas Point or Velocity Point for every $10 of the average daily balance in your account, calculated at the end of the month. Let’s say you had a flat $12,000 in your account all month. You would earn 1,200 points per month.
For a more complicated scenario with various credits and debits, see the example provided on their website.
If you qualify, the BOQ Specialist Everyday Plus account would be a good one to keep up your sleeve. BOQ Specialist also offer great credit card products sometimes with signup bonus points and even unlimited Priority Pass membership.
Once again, consider the pros and cons of having your savings in a points-earning account rather than an interest-earning account.
Travel Money Cards
While not strictly debit cards, Qantas and Velocity have travel cards that you can preload with AUD and spend within Australia like it was a debit card. The earning rates aren’t great, but it’s worth considering. Read the Point Hacks prepaid travel comparison guide here.
Qantas Travel Money Card
The Qantas Travel Money Card gives 1 point for every $4 AUD spent in Australia or 1.5 points for every $1 spent in foreign currency. Within Australia, this is an effective ‘debit card’ earning rate of 0.25 points per $1.
Read the Point Hacks guide to the Qantas Travel Money Card here.
Velocity Global Wallet
Velocity Global Wallet ceased operating from 31 July 2021.
The Velocity Global Wallet card also now gives 1 point for every $4 AUD spent in Australia or 2 points for every $1 spent in foreign currency. Within Australia, this is an effective ‘debit card’ earning rate of 0.25 points per $1, in line with the Qantas card.
Read the full Point Hacks guide to the Velocity Global Wallet here.
The Bankwest and BOQ Specialist points-earning accounts are innovative products that let you earn points when you keep savings with them. Just be sure to weigh up how much interest you could be earning in a traditional savings account instead, and if it’s worth it for you switching to points instead.
Personally, I would rather keep my savings to earn interest for now, but I would consider temporarily swapping to one of these debit card accounts to earn points if I was just short of a planned flight redemption.