Friday, June 17, 2016

Day 2437 - Frequent Flyer Miles

Do you have a Frequent Flyer system in place?

Just having a cuppa and blogging about frequent flyer points at the Virgin Lounge while we await our flight to Vegas

We have not paid for a domestic flight for years.  For a long time we've had a credit card system where we pay for absolutely everything (groceries, bills, school fees, the lot) and we rack up frequent flyer points which gives us at least one family trip a year, plus the odd Leanne author flight or a Canberra/Sydney connection for an international escape.

The trick is to pay off the credit card immediately to avoid interest and unnecessary charges.

The other trick is to use the points wisely which often means still needing to cough up the cash for taxes.

Of course we also fly overseas from time to time and if the price is right we often get to fly with our frequent flyer preferred airline.  Which racks up even more points to stick in the kitty.

We're saving these points for an upgrade from cattle class to something fancier down the track.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about frequent flyer points and if there are any big ticket stories about using a credit card simply to acquire flights.

My research has found that YES, one dude spent $170.4 million dollars in a single transaction on his credit card (no, that is not a typo) and will never have to pay for a first class ticket again for the rest of his life.

His name is Lie Yiqian and is a 52 year old Chinese billionaire who bought Modigliani's 1917 oil on canvas "Nu Couche" for the $170.4 million price tag.  Interestingly enough his wife admitted that they would take all year to pay off the credit card.  Really? Only a year?

Imagine the interest on that!

What type of credit card allows for such enormous purchases?  Well this one was an American Express Centurion card which is AmEx's most elite offering.

It's not the first time Lie Yiqian has used his card to buy collectibles.  Two years ago he also bought some old Ming Dynasty cup and saucer for $36 million.  According to Bloomberg, that little purchase netted him 28 million frequent flyer miles.

Isn't that interesting!

I found that very interesting.

My monthly bills are not going to net me any first class family travel anytime soon, but they do help us jet around a little bit from time to time.

Do you have a frequent flyer system in place?

What's the biggest purchase you've ever made on your credit card?

How many flights would the purchase of a cup and saucer net you?

Information source: Fortune Magazine June 15, 2016

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  1. No frequent flyers points because I'm a very infrequent flyer these days- and no credit card either!

  2. I'm interested to hear an Australian perspective on this. I've certainly heard of it in the US "travel hacking" circles but all the deals and information on cards are US based, so I've never been sure if any Australian card offers the same type of benefit.

  3. I don't have a credit card but I have signed up with a few airlines flyer programmes but haven't had any freebies as yet :( Other than flybys I get a few magazine subscriptions from them for my points. I am very tempted to get a credit card now :)

  4. I heard of someone buying a car once because the interest rate on the credit card was about the same as the car loan. I thought it was crazy at the time but they probably got a great holiday out of it!

  5. Yes we do the same Leanne, we buy pretty much everything on our credit cards and pay them off every month. We just booked a trip to Singapore and Penang with the Q airline and saved 30% off the fare by using Pay plus points.


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