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Smarter Ways to Travel: Miles, Points, Rewards

At the beginning of this year, I was planning my trip from Brisbane to Dubai. I had always been a loyal flyer, maintaining my allegiance to my home-based airlines. This had earned me enough points to attain the Silver status, allowing me access to the “elite” lounges and occasional business class upgrades. In general, I was having a pretty decent transit and travel experience. I was one international trip away from attaining Gold status.

But as I was booking my flight to Dubai, I saw that I had lost 19,000 points and my Silver status, because I hadn’t taken any trips for 8 months.

I realized my major mistake; my only way to earning miles was by booking a flight with that respective airline. And that’s when I learned that there are more ways than one to earn travel rewards.

Here’s a list of smart ways to travel so you can avoid making the same mistakes as me!

1. Alliance Airlines

One of the simplest and easiest ways to earn rewards is through the airlines themselves. When you book your flight directly through the airline’s website, you are eligible to earn frequent flyer points or miles. The more you fly, the more you earn, the higher your status. But did you know you needn’t always fly through the same airlines?

Airlines partner to form alliances, meaning you earn miles when you fly with any of the partnered airlines. For example, Qantas is part of 'oneworld alliance' that allows you to earn Qantas frequent flyer points, even when you book your flights with JetStar, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, British Airways, and more.

2. Co-branded Credit Cards

Another way to earn airline and hotel rewards is with co-branded credit cards. This is when an airline or hotel partners up with a credit card issuer that will earn you rewards towards that specific airline or hotel with other exclusive offers.

For example: Qantas and American Express have a co-branded credit card called ‘Qantas American Express Ultimate Card’, which rewards its users 1.25 Qantas points for every dollar spent, in addition to other perks.

Marriott and Chase also have a co-branded credit card named the ‘Marriott Bonvoy Boundless’, which gives 3X points for every dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and much more.

There are many other partnerships that you could take advantage of; in general, it’s best to choose an airline or hotel chain that you frequent the most to maximise your rewards.

3. Loyalty Programs

Apart from earning with your co-branded credit card, you can also earn points when you shop for your everyday groceries! One of the most popular loyalty programs in Australia, flybuys, lets you earn flyer points when you shop at any of their participating retail outlets, such as Coles, Target and Kmart. They are also partnered with Virgin’s frequent flyer program, Velocity. This double-dip program lets you use your flybuys to book flights and hotels through their booking platform, or convert the flybuys to velocity points.

4. Bitcoin Travel Rewards

Have you ever been curious about bitcoin or heard the word ‘cryptocurrency’ in the news, but were too skeptical to invest? If so, you should take advantage of TravelbyBit's bitcoin rewards program!

TravelbyBit is an online travel booking platform that allows you to earn bitcoin while you travel. Offered exclusively to TravelbyBit customers, you can earn up to 5% rewards in bitcoin regardless of whether you pay with cryptocurrency or credit card.

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But wait, that’s not all!

Along with bitcoin rewards, the program also allows you to earn your regular airline miles and credit card points, effectively allowing you to maximise on a number of different programs in one go.

Why Should I Care About Bitcoin Rewards?

You may be wondering, "But why is bitcoin such a big deal?"

There are many reasons why this rewards program holds more value when compared to others, including the following:

  • Tradeable: In every other rewards program, you are earning rewards that can only be traded for discounts. You earn miles or hotel points that can only be used for travel purposes, like receiving a discount on a flight or a free stay at a hotel. But with bitcoin rewards, you can use it for essentially anything since bitcoin has a genuine live market value.

  • Valuable & Sole Ownership: Like I mentioned in my travel experience, losing your rewards is one of the most frustrating feelings. But with bitcoin, it's yours to keep forever! Thanks to blockchain technology, bitcoin doesn't have a centralized entity that can reset your balance and it doesn't have an expiration date. At the time of writing, the current value of 1 bitcoin is US$8,365.

  • Free: If you are new to the world of cryptocurrency, it can seem daunting to invest or buy bitcoin. TravelbyBit rewards give you the perfect opportunity to try out bitcoin without having to invest in it yourself. All you have to do is travel!

If that isn’t enough inspiration for you to travel, check out the top 10 staycations spots in Australia.

Earn rewards in bitcoin and book your flights and hotels with TravelbyBit today.

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About the Author Anusha G is a creative guest writer for TravelbyBit. Other than cryptocurrency and travel related articles, she mainly focuses on interpersonal relationships and topics regarding mental health in her personal blog. Connect with her on Linkedin here.