I got my latest FlyBuys statement in the post (or in my inbox at least), and was duly impressed to see that it had passed the 12000 mark. I registered for one almost as soon as I arrived in Australia, some 2.5 years ago. Apparently, with that 12000 points, I can redeem them all for a $100 gift card.
Well colour me excited.
A few months after arriving and with a job lined up, I was able to apply for a credit card, and in one of my more astute moves, I got a NAB VISA card which was linked to the Velocity reward program, and came with 20000 points out-of-the-box. Velocity is the reward system used by Virgin Blue and its friends, so when we went to Japan last year with Malaysian Airlines, I was able to convert all those miles into points, and with next week's trip to England with Virgin, I'll be able to convert all those miles to points; oh yes, and our car rentals during that holiday are with Europcar, and guess which reward scheme they subscribe to.
On top of that, all of the improvements that have been done to our house in the past year (flooring, solar heating, decking, new bedroom, laundry renovation) are all being paid for on the credit card, which adds yet more points to the pot. Those points just keep flooding in.
And these points can be traded in for something more useful then a lousy gift card - I've already used some for a rather nice Audi hire car while my Saab was in the garage, and a bunch more to send a group of church friends to a conference in Tasmania (although not to bring them back again, *grin*).
Just think how much marketing data FlyBuys is getting every time you swipe that card, and after two years of populating their datawarehouses, what do you get? One of the most pathetic rewards I've ever seen.