Pre-paid EFTPOS & Visa gift card promos are an excellent Qantas points booster

Looking to bump up your Qantas frequent flyer points balance with minimal effort? Load up on pre-paid Visa or EFTPOS gift cards whenever Woolworths has a promotion, using your American Express Platinum card, and use these pre-paid cards wherever AMEX isn’t accepted.

The promos are usually 10x Everyday Rewards points for every dollar spent, you can put a max of $500 on the card, and the card has an activation fee of $7.95 - which normally would be a bad idea but it’s worth spending that $7.95 in this situation because the points on offer are so good.

Take this example:

  • Buy $500 pre-paid Visa for $507.95 at Woolworths during promo period
  • Pay for it with AMEX (2.25pt per dollar) and you’ll get 1,142 AMEX points, which is 571 QF points
  • Scan your Everyday Rewards card and you’ll get 5000 EDR points, which is 2,500 QF points
  • Total QF points earned is 3,071

Compare this to simply using a good Visa that has 1 QF point per dollar (rare to find without some sort of monthly cap these days!)

  • Spend $500 on whatever, earn 500 QF points

So even though you’re spending $7.95 more by buying the gift card versus just putting it through the Visa, you’re earning 2,571 more points. You’re spending $7.95 to “buy” 2,571 points - or 323.4 points per dollar.

One of the best bang for buck QFF point redemption is a Classic Award business class international flight. For example a MEL-HKG return business class ticket on a QF flight is 136,800 + $300 fees, or if I buy the same ticket in cash, $4,400.

To get enough points for that flight, I’d need 45x $500 gift cards. That would cost me $357.75 in card fees, but I’d have 138,195 points. All up I’d be out of pocket $657.75 once I pay for taxes & fees for the Classic Awards redemption via Qantas, but in return I get a $4,400 business class airfare. I’m getting a business class return flight to Hong Kong for just $660.

You probably don’t want to buy 45 gift cards all at once, as you’d be left with $22,500 of cards lying around which is a pain in the arse, but Woolworths runs this promo at least once a month so you can buy one or two cards each time you need them. It’s also part of your overall points earning strategy, it doesn’t need to be the only way you earn points. Ideally you’d be earning points without spending any extra money at all!

If you’re unimaginative and unsure how to use these Visa or EFTPOS pre-paid cards, here’s some ideas:

  • Pay your bills - water, rates, gas, electricity, home/car insurance, rego, health insurance, etc.
  • Pay the ATO - if pay your income tax and/or GST each quarter, you can pay part of it with a pre-paid Visa and the rest with BPay or a normal Visa/MC card
  • Use at Aldi - which doesn’t take AMEX and charges a 0.5% fee for Visa/MC.
  • Donate to charity - if you’re going to make a donation anyways, may as well do it like this and earn some extra points.
  • Use where AMEX isn’t accepted or there’s an extra fee - for me it’s the dentist & GP, smaller resturants/cafes, some online retailers and so on.
  • Part pay for big purchases - buying something expensive in-person? Slap $500 on the pre-paid and the rest on your usual card.
  • Paying for “dodgy” stuff - I top up my NZB indexer accounts with pre-paid cards, donate to torrent trackers, etc.

One downside of using pre-paid cards regularly is you end up with lots of cards with little balances that are difficult to use.

Would be awesome if there was a website that let me enter the card numbers and do a bulk donation to charity or something just to use these up (even better if there’s a tax deduction for it).