Your new Qantas card will be bronze to reflect the entry level to their frequent flyer program and red for Virgin.
Qantas has 5 levels starting with bronze, followed by silver, gold, platinum and platinum one.
Virgin has 4 levels, red, silver, gold and platinum.
Both cards have debit facilities on the reverse side of the card.
#Please note Qantas FF card shown is for Platinum membership not bronze.
QANTAS FREQUENT FLYER
On the front of the card is your membership number and the month you joined, this is very important to remember when we talk status credits later. Your card is issued for one year from that month.
Go to www.qantas.com and look up your membership/account and make sure everything is correct.
# The website is fairly easy to navigate though, care should be taken when booking flights, more on that later)
You can then go to YOUR PROFILE and update your details, which will save you doing it when booking a flight or checking in
- MOBILE details
- PERSONAL INFORMATION
- OTHER INFORMATION
Go to this section and tick yes to receiving the various Qantas Frequent Flyer Email Subscription, this will ensure you receive all the different offers to earn extra points and status credits.
On the reverse of the card is a Qantas Cash / Mastercard debit card.
I recommend you activate this facility straight away, which you can do online at www.Qantascash.com or via phone, this costs nothing and there are no fees but you will be earning points both in Australia and overseas every time the card is used, 1.5 points per $1.00 spent in foreign currency and 1 point per $4.00 spent in AUD.
Once activated you can load cash in 11 different currencies, including AUD, however unless you are travelling straight away I recommend you wait until you receive an email offer of bonus points, typically up to 5000 bonus points are offered on a fairly regular basis when you upload cash, so if you are in no rush wait for one of these offer, just don’t forget to activate the offer.
VIRGIN – VELOCITY FREQUENT FLYER
As with your Qantas FF you need to add your information to your account and sign up for all the latest offers and rewards information, www.velocityfrequentflyer.com .Your Velocity card is also a prepaid visa card, www.velocityglobalwallet.com .
I recommend you activate this facility as well, again there are no fees or extra charges and you can load up to 11 currencies.
So far I’ve yet to receive an offer of bonus points for loading cash, like Qantas cash offers but Velocity global pays 2 points for every spent overseas rather than Qantas cash 1.5 and in Australia you earn 1 point for every $3.00 spent, instead of Qantas 1 point per $4.00.
The exchange rates for both cards are usually about the same.
Both fix your exchange rate at time of loading cash.
Once cash is loaded they do not charge to swap from currency to currency. This is ideal if you have a stopover, you can swap AUD to say Singapore dollars and then when you leave you can swap your balance to currency of next destination. At the end of your trip either leave as is or change back AUD and spend at home.
Velocity send you SMS and email alerts every time you spend funds with a record of your transaction and your balance ,at this stage Qantas doesn’t so be mindful you are not over spending.
If you run out of funds in the currency you are using it will default to AUD and if no AUD it will take from whatever currency you have available, this is the only time you will be charged a currency conversion fee.
The other thing to be aware of is that some merchants overseas will give you the option of either paying in the local currency OR AUD, either is fine as long as you have the funds in each currency to cover purchase.
Both these cards are ideal for making bookings direct with a hotel website because you can pay for your booking in the local currency, earn points and pay no conversion fees. Additionally if you book a hotel that is affiliated with either Qantas or Velocity you are doubling up on points, sometimes more.
If you already have a debit card unless its earning you points it’s time to cut it up and replace with both these cards…get activating .
Stay tuned for next post
3. EARNING POINTS WITHOUT FLYING