Millions of Aussies aren’t making the most of their rewards points, meaning they’re missing out on claiming perks like free flights.
According to new research from Finder, 91 per cent of Australians (equivalent to 17.2 million people) are part of at least one rewards program.
The nationally representative survey of 1,010 respondents found the majority of rewards members were after freebies, with 67 per cent saying they primarily used their points to get cash back off groceries.
About one in eight used their points to buy products outright, while only 13 per cent converted them to Qantas or Velocity points.
That’s just 2.2 million people using their points for travel – leaving 15 million missing out on potential frequent flyer points.
Finder credit card expert Amy Bradney-George said using your points for travel would give you the best bang for your buck.
“You can spend your points in store but, in most cases, you won’t get very good value compared to flight rewards,” Bradney-George said.
“For instance, if you used 16,000 Everyday Rewards points to get cash off your shop, you’d get $80 value.
“But if you transferred those points to Qantas Frequent Flyer, you’d get 8,000 points – often enough for a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane, worth well above $80.”
However, Bradney-George said if you were not planning a trip, using points for anything in store was a way to get more value from money you were already spending.
She added that many Aussies were using rewards programs to get the most out of their shop, as inflation continued to drive up prices.
“People are searching for ways to save money in every area of their lives and, if you’re going to buy groceries anyway, you might as well get something for it,” Bradney-George said.
“That said, if you are planning to travel in the next year, even just domestically, it’s worth looking at using your points to cover the cost of flights.”
What are the most popular rewards programs?
The research found Woolworths Everyday Rewards (75 per cent) was slightly more popular than Coles Flybuys (68 per cent).
Bradney-George said the only major difference between Flybuys and Everyday Rewards was where you could earn and spend your points.
“Everyday Rewards partners include Woolworths, Big W, BWS and participating partnered service stations, and you can redeem points for cash off your shop or convert them to Qantas Points,” she said,
“Flybuys partners include Coles, Kmart, Bunnings and partnered service stations. You can redeem points for cash off your shop, retail items, travel bookings or point transfers to Velocity Frequent Flyer.”