Frequent flyer cards not going the distance

By By David Blight | 30 August 2011

It can take the average person up to nine years to earn a one-way trip to London on an Australian frequent flyer card, according to a report by comparison website WhistleOut.

The study has found that frequent flyer cards, which are key marketing components of major airlines like Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia, can take a significant amount of time to earn enough points for a one-way flight.

Out of 29 cards analysed by WhistleOut, only nine would take less than three years to accumulate enough points for a single person to fly one-way to London. Most cards take more than three years, while some take up to nine years.

The total spends required vary from $42,673 to $130,000, depending on the card. 

WhistleOut director Cameron Craig said: “Frequent flyer points are the most advertised feature on new credit cards, yet their benefit is very subjective. A spend of fifteen thousand dollars per year is not going to bring you miracles on the average card … On a low spend, you’re hardly going to London.”

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