Life as a digital nomad: boost your rewards

We’ve all seen the photos. Suntanned millennials with a MacBook in tow. They sit quaffing food and wine, casually working from poolside at a resort in Pago Pago. Or sip cocktails in Reykjavik, dashing off emails on their smartphone. Your Instagram feed is probably full of photos from these digital nomads, living the high life as they jet around the globe, working remotely.

But is remote work really as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be? What is it really like to work on the road? To have the local co-working space as your office?

While working remotely can be alluring, coping with time zones, jet lag, and a lack of routine can all take their toll, according to Natasha McNamara, a business coach who spends many a week transiting the nation and the globe.

McNamara tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) to combat the pressures, no matter where she is, she likes to maintain some semblance of her regular routine.

“I always get to the airport early,” McNamara explains. “I like to take advantage of the lounge perks. The Qantas Lounge in Sydney is one of my favourites.

“I use the time to de-stress, catch up on any emails and focus on what’s ahead – whether that’s a presentation or delivering a workshop.”

McNamara has been a sought-after voice coach and inspirational speaker for over a decade and says technology has vastly improved since she first began working in the field.

“I had Wi-Fi on my Qantas flight to Melbourne the other day. That would have been unheard of even a couple of years ago. It really is becoming possible to work any place any time,” McNamara marvels.

Indeed, Intel recently predicted more than 75 per cent of SMBs will have one or more employees working remotely by 2020[1]. With life as a digital nomad as the new normal, McNamara suggests it’s important to know the tricks of the trade.

“We’ve all heard of point hacking to help upgrade yourself on a flight status. But if you run your own business it’s a great way to get additional perks.”

By charging expenses to a card with a rewards feature, you can earn points that can be utilised later for additional travel or other services. Almost every dollar you spend on your rewards card can earn you points.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time in the sky, the American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card provides a number of travel benefits – including two complimentary passes to the Qantas Club Lounge~ and travel insurance for you, your staff or family members^, plus complimentary Qantas Business Rewards membership enrolment** when you apply and are approved for the Card.

This is great news for digital nomads who fly Qantas as Qantas Business Rewards members have access to base fare savings of up to 8 per cent on eligible flights#. And when you book eligible Qantas flights with your American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card, your business will earn triple Qantas Points+

Points earned can also be transferred to other staff members if they are a Qantas Frequent Flyer member or used to put towards travel, which could help take the pressure off cash flow. For McNamara, who can sometimes wait months at a time for global corporations to process her invoices, the benefits to cash flow are immense.

“I pay off all my expenses with my card,” McNamara says, suggesting it’s a win-win.

“The extra time it affords me, helps me to get over cash-flow hiccups plus I’m earning more points as I go, which gets me closer to another trip or an upgrade.”

If you’re a frequent flyer, having a card that links to a rewards program such as Qantas Business Rewards makes sense. It allows you to build up points faster, which you can use for your next holiday or offset business expenses,  plus, you’ll also receive additional perks such as lounge access and travel insurance  – winning features for digital nomads everywhere.

For a limited time, you’ll also receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points* when you apply for the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card by 4 February 2019 and spend $3,000 in the first 2 months. T&Cs apply.

Find out more about the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card here

American Express approval criteria applies. Subject to Terms and Conditions. Fees and charges apply. All information is correct as at 27 September 2018 and is subject to change. This offer is only available to those who reside in Australia. Cards are offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 108 952 085). A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points for business. Membership and the earning of Qantas Points as a business are subject to the Qantas Business Rewards Terms and Conditions. Points are earned in accordance with and subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions

# Savings are available exclusively to Qantas Business Rewards Members on selected fares only and do not apply to taxes, fees and carrier charges. Availability is limited. Advance purchase and other conditions may apply. Savings are subject to and defined in the Qantas Business Rewards as Member Savings.

* Offer only available to new American Express Card Members who apply by 4th February 2019, are approved and spend $3,000 on their new Card in the first 2 months from the Card approval date. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion Card Members are eligible for this offer (cards issued by: Australia New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation). 100,000 bonus Qantas Points will be awarded to the eligible Card Member’s Account 8-10 weeks after the spend criteria has been met. This advertised offer is not applicable or valid in conjunction with any other advertised or promotional offer. Subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions.

~ Provided the Basic Card Member is a Qantas Frequent Flyer and has registered their Qantas Frequent Flyer number with your business’ American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card, your business is eligible to receive two Qantas Club Lounge Invitations each anniversary year of Card Membership once your business makes an Eligible Qantas Purchase on your American Express Card during that year. Eligible Qantas Purchases are Qantas passenger airfares with a QF flight number purchased directly from Qantas Australia that appear on your Card statement, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Business Rewards or Qantas Club membership, joining or annual fees. Excludes purchases from Jetstar. Within 1-2 weeks of the Eligible Qantas Purchase, two Qantas Club Lounge Invitations will be assigned to the Qantas Frequent Flyer account nominated by the business. Visit the Complimentary Invitations Portal to access invitations, link it with an eligible Qantas flight booking or find out more information. Qantas Club Lounge Invitations are valid for a single visit by one guest to a Qantas Club Lounge and must be used prior to their expiry. Invitations are subject to the Qantas Club terms and conditions and are not valid for Qantas International First Class Lounges, the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge, Qantas Domestic Business and or oneworld® alliance partner or associated lounges. Qantas Club Invitations cannot be carried forward to any subsequent year and must not be sold, they may only be transferred as allowed by Qantas. Invitations may be revoked or withheld if your business’ American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card account is not in good standing, if the Eligible Qantas Purchase is refunded in full or if you have not complied with these Qantas Club Invitation Conditions, the Credit Card Terms and Conditions or the Qantas Club Lounge Access Terms and Conditions.

^ American Express Card Insurances are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions. The complimentary travel insurance cover is also subject maximum age limits, pre-existing medical conditions and limits and is available when you use your American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card to pay for return domestic or international travel. American Express Card Insurances are underwritten by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (ABN 23 001 642 020, AFSL No. 239687) (“Chubb”) and are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the American Express Card insurances policy of insurance between American Express International, Inc. (ABN 15 000 618 208, AFSL No. 237996) (“AEII”) of 12 Shelley Street, Sydney 2000 and Chubb.

** A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points. A one-off joining fee of $89.50 usually applies, however this will be waived for any business that has an existing American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card. Membership of the program and the earning of Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Business Rewards Terms and Conditions.

+ A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn triple Qantas Points for business. Triple Qantas Points for business are only available for American Express Qantas Card Member when the Card is used to make an eligible Qantas flight booking. An eligible flight means a domestic or international flight which has a Qantas ‘QF’ flight number on the ticket that is purchased in Australia; is operated by Qantas, Emirates or American Airlines; has a ticket number commencing with ‘081’; and is booked and travelled for business on or after the date the business registers for Qantas Business Rewards. A Member’s ABN and traveller’s Qantas Frequent Flyer number must be quoted at the time of booking to earn Qantas Points for both the business and the traveller. Qantas will allocate 3 times the number of Qantas Points to the business under the Qantas Business Rewards Airline Reward Scheme terms and conditions. The maximum number of Qantas Points that can be earned from flying by a business with the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card is 4,000,000 per membership year as per the Triple Qantas Points for business benefit terms and conditions.

[1] The Dell Intel Future Workforce study conducted by PSB in 2016.

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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