Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Stories that caught my eye this week

I read so many interesting news stories each week, but very few become a topic for one of my blog posts. With so much great content out there worth sharing, I thought I’d start a regular weekend post highlighting some of the stories that caught my eye, and which you may find useful or entertaining. This is the first of such posts, and I hope you enjoy it.

  • Meet three small business owners who are point-hacking gurus. Learn from and be inspired by three Australian SME owners, who share their experiences and strategies for earning points through business purchases. This can be very lucrative source of points if you know how to leverage your business spending.
  • The ATO warns business owners over loyalty points. This story is actually a few weeks old, but it ties in nicely with the one above. There are rumours the ATO wants to tax business owners who earn large quantities of points through business spending. I think this is unlikely, because it would be extremely hard to develop a fair methodology for valuing points and redemptions, but then again, I also wouldn’t put anything past the ATO. This article is behind a paywall, but you can google “ATO warns business owners over loyalty points” to get around it.
  • Virgin Australia reveals research that shows credit card use is motivated by loyalty rewards. That’s not big news, but some of the stats are interesting – including that more people prefer using points for vouchers rather than flights (crazy!) and Gen Y (20 to 35 years) is the most points-hungry age group.
  • The Qantas Frequent Flyer program is the airline’s biggest money spinner. We’ve known this for a while, and now Qantas has said it wants to double revenue by 2022 by selling even more points to companies, from credit-card operators to supermarkets. That’s great for Qantas but not so much for those of us who already struggle to find award seats. Let’s hope they all opt for vouchers instead!
  • Malaysia Airlines massively devalues its frequent flyer points. Yes, massively. If you hold some Enrich miles, I suggest you start spending them. You have until 10 June to lock in the current redemption rates.
  • Star Alliance Is Working On A Shared Award Flight System. The world’s biggest airline alliance is reportedly working on a new IT system that will make searching and booking awards across the whole alliance much easier. This is pretty ambitious when you consider how antiquated many airlines’ booking systems are. I’ll be very impressed if they can pull it off – and apparently they want to have it ready by the end of the year.
  • Cathay Pacific announces big job cuts as it struggles to remain competitive. This is the first step in the Hong Kong carrier’s three-year reorganisation plan. With so much competition in the region, Cathay Pacific needs to make serious changes to turn its fortunes around. Let’s hope it’s successful, because it’s one of Asia’s best airlines and a key Qantas partner.

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