May 28, 2019

Imagine building your dream home and flying to Europe in business class. In the same year. Sounds impossible right? Wrong!

Most people think that business or first-class tickets are just too expensive; they will never be able to sit in the pointy end of the plane. I used to think that too, until I discovered a way to strategically combine all of my points in a manner that ensures I only fly business class, along with my wife and daughter.

My family and I on a business class flight to Singapore
My family and I on a business class flight to Singapore

I often get asked how I manage to afford to fly this way. In truth, flying business class costs me the same as an economy ticket. The way I do this is by paying all my business and personal expenses with credit cards. Further to this, I pool all of my reward programs, including flybuys, BP, Everyday Rewards and Red Energy into my frequent flyer accounts.

I am a self-confessed points addict, always on the lookout for ways to add points to my tally. Even when entities charge fees to use credit cards, in most circumstances I am happy to absorb the fees knowing that the points earned outweigh this cost.

The caveat here is never to redeem points for gift cards or other items. You can only use them to redeem business class seats. When I explain this to other I often hear things like "I don't make enough payments to warrant a credit card" or "I have a credit card but it earns me a minimal amount of points because I only make a certain amount of payments per year" or better yet "I like to use my points on gift vouchers".

Points advocate, guru and influencer Steve Hui from iflyflat says this is the worst way to use your points. What Steve explains is that most people don't know that they are swapping $700 worth of business class flights for a $100 gift voucher.

What most people don't realise is a business class seat from Melbourne to Sydney costs around $1000 and only requires 16,000 points (the equivalent of just over $10,000 in expenses). You would easily make enough payments to earn the points needed for a domestic business class trip such as this.

I still deem this worth the trouble, particularly if you're flying to Perth from the east coast, when domestic flights are around four hours long. It is true that I am fortunate to have a company that makes large payments. At any one time, one supplier may earn me 50,000 points from a single payment, which brings me to my next point, pun intended, and the crux of this blog.

Say for arguments sake you're building your dream home for $500,000. Over the course of your home being built, you could earn up to 375,000 points, as long as your builder accepts credit card payments, which Milara Building and Development do!

Assuming your builder charges a fee of 1.2% on these payments, it will cost an extra $6000 to build your home. This might sound like a lot but if you're a developer, these fees are tax deductible and with the points earned, you'll be able to fly one way from Melbourne to Europe in business class almost three times, at about a tenth of the cost of a normal business class airfare. Not a bad deal if you ask me.