Whether you enjoy your drinks regularly or rarely, alcohol purchases are a great way to boost your points balance.
There are many ways to earn points when buying beer, wine or spirits, and In this guide we’ll cover the best ways to maximise your points earn when making your alcohol purchase.
There are two broad ways to increase the points you earn for alcohol purchases. The first is considering where you shop, and the second is how you shop.
In terms of where, both Qantas and Virgin offer some direct avenues for earning points with your purchases.
But if you’re particularly attached to your local shop (whether it be for range, price or convenience) then chances are that you can still increase your points earn by making sure you’re using the right methods to pay.
Buying wine direct through your frequent flyer program
If you’re not too attached to where you currently buy your alcohol, you may want to consider using one of the following options.
Qantas Epiqure – Qantas Points
Qantas Epiqure Wine membership offers 3 points per dollar spent with free delivery, along with a raft of ongoing bonuses with some specific wines and spirits, some exclusive to Epiqure.
You’ll need to double check prices as sometimes your local shop will have better pricing without bonus points – but Epiqure can still be competitive once you factor in the value of the points earned.
Every month we cover the best deals that Qantas Epiqure has to offer to keep an eye out for.
Qantas Online Mall – Qantas Points
Qantas Online Mall doesn’t have any alcohol specific retailers. That said, David Jones does sell a few Champagnes and speciality offers, alongside all the glasses and other paraphernalia you might need.
Virgin Wines – Velocity Points
Virgin Wines offers 3 Velocity points per dollar to members and offers both paid memberships and purchase of wine by the case. There is also some annual ‘all you can eat’ delivery pricing as well.
Occasionally they also have a signup bonus, but there are no such offers running at the moment that we’re aware of.
There’s no mention of the Velocity point tie-in on the Virgin Wines site, but the Velocity website includes them as a partner.
Laithwaites Wines – Velocity Points
Velocity also list Laithwaites Wines (via the Wine People white label wine business) as a Velocity earn partner. This is a subscription based service, where you’ll usually find a small Velocity bonus for signing up plus 3 points per $ spent.
The current offer has 1,000 Velocity points for signing up.
Velocity eStore – Velocity Points
You can also make wine purchases through the Velocity eStore to add some extra points to your earn.
Gray’s Online is an auction site that sells wine by the box and if you shop through the eStore you will earn 2 points per dollar spent.
Selfridges have some high end wines where you’ll also earn 2 points per dollar, but you’ll need to remember to factor in shipping costs of at least $45 as these will likely come from the UK.
Using the right payment method to make your alcohol purchases in person
If you want to keep shopping in your usual local stores, there may still be some changes you can make to increase your points.
For the purposes of this part, we will be covering the best way to maximize points with these major alcohol retailers:
- Dan Murphy’s
- 1st Choice Liquor
- Vintage Cellars
Using American Express Platinum Edge
American Express’ Platinum Edge card can help you get up to 4 airline points per dollar on alcohol purchases.
You can read our full guide on Platinum Edge here, but the key feature that makes it worth using for alcohol purchases is that it provides bonus points at certain retailers.
2 Membership Rewards points per dollar at Dan Murphy’s
Platinum Edge provides 2 points per dollar at a number of retailers, most of which are petrol stations. Although it is not listed on their website, or in their terms and conditions, it seems that purchases at Dan Murphy’s will also earn the 2 point rate.
It’s unclear whether this bonus rate is intentional or accidental or whether it has a limited timeframe, it’s also unclear why it is not advertised. Regardless, it makes Platinum Edge the card of choice for Dan Murphy’s shoppers.
3 Membership Rewards points per dollar at Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Cellarmasters, LiquorLand, 1st Choice Liquor, and, Vintage Cellars.
The best rate that Platinum Edge provides is 3 points per dollar, but unfortunately none of the retailers that provide that rate sell alcohol.
Fortunately however, gift cards provide the perfect work around that will enable you to earn 3 points on your purchases at the major liquor retailers.
Purchasing a Wish Gift Card from Woolworths with your Platinum Edge will earn the three point rate and can be used for purchases at:
- Dan Murphy’s
- BWS, and
Purchasing a Coles Myer Gift Card at Coles with your Platinum Edge will also earn the three point rate and can be used for purchases at:
- 1st Choice Liquor, and
- Vintage Cellars
The only downside to this method is that it involves the additional step of purchasing the gift card. Luckily, in this day and age, that does not mean you necessarily have to leave the comfort of your chair – these can be done online, and in a future guide, we’ll show you how to earn discounts for gift cards at some of these retailers as well as picking up bonus points.
If you combine this 3 point earning method with one of standalone rewards programs below, you can bump up your earn a little bit more. The maximum would be combining these 3 points with an eligible Woolworths Rewards purchase from BWS to make a total of 4 points earned per dollar spent.
Standalone Rewards Programs
Supermarkets and some retailers have their own standalone rewards programs that can provide additional benefits with your shop.
Woolworths recently revamped their reward program, so that you can now earn ‘Woolworths Dollars’ on certain purchases. While you can’t yet convert Woolworths Dollars to Qantas Points, you will be able to soon, so shopping at BWS on Woolworths Rewards bonused products in future will pick up more Qantas Points.
If you’re shopping at either 1st Choice Liquor or Liquorland then you can also add one Flybuys point per dollar to your earn on top of whatever you’re getting with the credit card you use.
Flybuys points can now be exchanged for Etihad Guest points. Each Flybuys point is equal to 0.4 Etihad Guest points.
If you’re not already a flybuys member, you can join flybuys here.
Dan Murphy’s Loyalty Program
Unfortunately, the Dan Murphy’s loyalty program does not earn you any additional points.
It does however provide you with monthly discounts and entries into competitions. It doesn’t cost anything to join so I have found it worth joining just for the discounts.
Vintage Cellars Wine Club
The Vintage Cellars rewards program does earn points, however these can only be used to save you money on future purchases.
Spend $500 at Vintage Cellars and they will give you a $25 gift card. Not a very compelling scheme, but if this is where you normally shop anyway you might want to consider it.
Using ebay and an Airline Store
A great way that I have recently been using to increase the points I earn on alcohol purchases is to go through eBay and the Online Mall or the Virgin eStore.
You may not have known that there are a number of retailers who sell alcohol on eBay, including Dan Murphy’s! If you’re like me and you prefer your wine delivered, this might be the option for you.
Using PayPal also means that you can use your Amex card to receive max points!
Summing up – earning points for Alcohol purchases
Like most points-earning activities, with a bit of planning you can easily multiply the number of points you earn from your day to day spend with a bit of planning and lateral thinking about where and how you will be buying your products.
Generally wine and beer are commodities, in the sense that the same products can be bought at a variety of different retailers making it easy to compare pricing. You should absolutely compare price before you consider points earn, and then factor in any bonus points in your purchase decision.