An increasing number of Qantas Frequent Flyers are now carrying the Qantas Cash card in their wallet or purse, but how many people are making the most of it?
The card's main claim to fame is as a prepaid travel money card which stores up to 10 foreign currencies, but it can also be used in Australia and also earns a smattering of Qantas Points.
Here are three quick tips for getting the most from your Qantas Cash card.
(These same tips apply to Virgin Australia's Velocity Global Wallet card, too.)
1. Earn points on an everyday basis
If you don't have a credit card, the Qantas Cash card is an easy way to pick up Qantas Points for purchases in Australia, overseas and even online.
You'll earn one Qantas Point for every $2 spent on the card locally, and one Qantas Point per A$1 dollar spent overseas (or on an international online shopping site which charges in foreign currency).
Get into the habit of using your Qantas cash card for those day-to-day spends – that morning coffee & muffin, quick take-away lunch, buying a magazine to read or renting a DVD to watch.
(Note that for spends under $10 you're better off with the Bankwest Qantas Card, which earns five Qantas Points per transaction. A $5 purchase will earn you five points if you wave your Bankwest card but only 2.5 points using Qantas Cash. For spends of $10 or more, the Qantas Card comes out ahead.)
2. Keep your account topped up
Because you'll be using your Qantas Cash card everyday you'll want to keep a goodly chunk of Aussie dollars loaded onto it.
Set up an automated transfer from your bank account onto your card using BPay. Run it weekly or based on your salary payment cycle.
Even if you don't use the Qantas Cash card in Australia, this makes for a very good holiday savings plan. Deposit $100 each week onto the card and you'll end up with close to $5,000 set aside for your end of year overseas trip.
3. Buy overseas currency at top rates
Another reason to keep the card's balance topped up is to take instant advantage of strong currency exchange rates.
If the Aussie dollar makes a sharp rise against the US greenback you can transfer money right away from your Qantas Cash card's Australian balance to the US 'virtual wallet' well ahead of an overseas trip.
Of course, you run the risk that the exchange rate may rise even further.
But if you make regular trips to a number of specific countries it makes sense to build your foreign currency balance when the time is right, one transaction at a time, rather than wait until your trip is close by and discover the Aussie dollar has slumped down again.
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