Australia's largest airline, Qantas, offers a loyalty program called Qantas Frequent Flyer. Learn everything you need to know about the program in this guide.
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While it may be a relatively unknown name to many U.S. travelers, Qantas is the flag carrier of Australia and the country’s largest airline by fleet size, number of international flights and number of international destinations. It’s also the only airline in the world that regularly operates flights to all seven continents as it operates regular sightseeing flights to Antarctica. Plus, the airline’s frequent flyer program (simply named Qantas Frequent Flyer) is definitely worth paying attention to even if you don’t plan on going to Australia.
First of all, Qantas is a founding member of Oneworld Alliance, meaning that you can both earn and redeem Qantas Points can be earned and redeemed on all other airlines that are members of Oneworld. Plus, Qantas Frequent Flyer is a transfer partner of several major credit card rewards programs, including American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. So, Qantas Points are a pretty easy currency to accumulate even if you don’t fly with Qantas very often.
Plus, when it comes time to redeem those points, you can find some excellent value through the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. In particular, this is one of the best programs for booking business class award flights to Israel on El Al. You can also find some excellent deals on Qantas-operated flights in first class between the United States and Australia. Or, if you don’t want to travel very far, you can find solid value in short-haul American Airlines flights.
If you have a bunch of Qantas Points and a lot of free time, you might want to consider booking an “Oneworld Classic Flight Reward,” which is similar to a round-the-world award. Qantas Points aren’t the best currency to book this type of award with. However, it may be worth considering booking an Oneworld Classic Flight Reward if you already have a lot of points in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
All in all, Qantas Frequent Flyer should be on your radar regardless of whether or not you plan on traveling to Australia in the future. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this program, including elite status tiers, how to earn Qantas Points, how to redeem Qantas points and which redemption options provide the most value.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Program Overview
Formed in 1920, “Qantas” is an acronym of the airline’s original name “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. The airline commenced operations two years later in 1922, making Qantas over 100 years old. Since its early days, it’s played an important role in Australian domestic travel, transporting people across the vast Australian Outback.
Today, Qantas has expanded its domestic network to serve 55 destinations in Australia through its own flights as well as flights provided by three carriers under the QantasLink brand. Qantas also owns a low-cost subsidiary called Jetstar that operates mostly domestic flights around Australia and some routes to East Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and even Hawaii.
In 1998, Qantas co-founded Oneworld Alliance alongside American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines (which ceased operations in 2001) and Cathay Pacific. Since then, many other airlines have joined the alliance. Here are all of the current member airlines of Oneworld Alliance:
|Alaska Airlines||Malaysian Airlines|
|British Airways||Qatar Airways|
|Cathay Pacific||Royal Air Maroc|
Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn or redeem Qantas Points on any of the previously listed Oneworld Alliance members. On top of that, Qantas also has several other airline partners with which you can earn and redeem Qantas Points. These airlines include:
|Air France||China Southern|
|Air New Zealand||El Al|
|Air Tahiti Nui||Emirates|
|Air Vanuatu||Fiji Airways|
|China Airlines||Solomon Airlines|
Some of the partner airlines listed above don’t allow you to earn Qantas Points on their flights. These airlines include Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, Aircalin, China Airlines, China Southern, IndiGo and Solomon Airlines. However, Qantas Points can be used to book award flights on all of Qantas’s airline partners if award space is available.
Additionally, some of these partners allow you to earn Status Credits (the metric used for earning Qantas elite status) while others don’t.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Elite Status
Like most frequent flyer programs, Qantas Frequent Flyer has its own elite status program that offers certain benefits to members who are able to rack up a certain number of Status Credits in a membership year. This program has five elite status tiers: Bronze (which you’ll earn as soon as you join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program), Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One. Within each elite status tier, you can earn Loyalty Bonuses for reaching certain milestones
Plus, by earning a certain number of Lifetime Status Credits, you can earn Lifetime Silver, Lifetime Gold or Lifetime Platinum status. Lifetime Status Credits are just all of the Status Credits that you’ve earned since you joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, even the ones that have expired.
You’ll earn a minimum of 10 Status Credits for taking any flight operated by Qantas or Jetstar, and certain long-haul flights on Qantas will reward you with as many as 420 Status Credits. The number of Status Credits you’ll earn on a specific flight with Qantas or Jetstar is based on your origin, destination, and cabin class. If you want to see how many Status Credits you’d earn on a specific flight, you can refer to the Qantas and Jetstar earning tables from the Qantas website.
The Qantas website also includes partner airline earning tables that work in a similar fashion. These tables can tell you how many Qantas Points and Status Credits you could earn on any flight with any eligible partner airline, based on the origin, destination, and cabin class. However, as previously mentioned, not all partner airlines are eligible to earn Qantas Points and/or Status Credits.
To make things easier, Qantas has a calculator tool on its website that allows you to enter your origin, destination and cabin class and see how many Qantas Points and Status Credits you could earn.
Once you earn enough Status Credits to achieve an elite status tier, you’ll enjoy that status for the rest of the current Membership Year as well as the full following Membership Year. Your Membership Year is based on the date that you first joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Your Status Credits balance resets to zero at the start of every Membership Year.
Here is a breakdown of each elite status tier and their benefits as well as the Loyalty Bonus milestones that you can reach within status tiers:
|Status Credits required||Status milestone||Benefits|
|300 Status Credits (plus a minimum of four eligible flights taken with Qantas or Jetstar flight numbers)||Silver elite status||• 50% bonus Qantas Points when flying with Qantas, Jetstar or American Airlines|
• One complimentary lounge visit to Qantas Club or international Qantas Business lounge
• Preferential access over Bronze members to Classic Flight Reward seats and Classic Upgrade Reward requests
• Complimentary seat selection on Qantas-operated flights
• Priority check-in
• Extra baggage allowance
|500 Status Credits earned on Qantas or Jetstar||Loyalty Bonus||• 8,000 Qantas Points or 50 Status Credits|
• Automatic Oneworld Ruby status
|700 Status Credits (plus a minimum of four eligible flights taken with Qantas or Jetstar flight numbers)||Gold elite status||• All benefits included with Silver elite status|
• 75% bonus Qantas Points when flying with Qantas, Jetstar or American Airlines
• Unlimited complimentary access to over 600 lounges worldwide when you fly with Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates, China Eastern or a Oneworld Alliance member
• Preferential access over Bronze and Silver members to Classic Flight Reward seats and Classic Upgrade Reward requests
• Priority baggage, priority boarding, priority waitlist and standby and fast track security lanes
• Fast track to Accor Live Limitless (ALL) Silver status after one eligible stay
• Automatic Oneworld Sapphire status
|1,000 Status Credits earned on Qantas or Jetstar||Loyalty Bonus||• 8,000 Qantas Points or 50 Status Credits|
|1,400 Status Credits (plus a minimum of four eligible flights taken with Qantas or Jetstar flight numbers)||Platinum elite status||• All benefits included with Gold elite status|
• 100% bonus Qantas Points when flying with Qantas, Jetstar or American Airlines
• Unlimited complimentary access to international Qantas and Emirates First Class lounges
• Unlimited complimentary access to domestic Qantas Business lounges
• Preferential access over Bronze, Silver and Gold members to Classic Flight Reward seats and Classic Upgrade Reward requests
• Automatic Oneworld Emerald status
|1,500 Status Credits earned on Qantas or Jetstar||Loyalty Bonus||• 8,000 Qantas Points or 50 Status Credits|
|2,000 Status Credits earned on Qantas or Jetstar||Loyalty Bonus||• 8,000 Qantas Points or 50 Status Credits|
|2,400 Status Credits||Platinum Bonus Reward||• 50,000 Qantas Points or complimentary Gold elite status membership for a friend or family member|
|3,600 Status Credits (with at least 2,700 earned on Qantas-marketed flights)||Platinum One elite status||• All benefits included with Platinum elite status|
• Access to Qantas VIP Service Team
• The highest preferential access to Classic Flight Reward seats and Classic Upgrade Reward requests
• Waived Booking Fees, Flight Reward Assistance Fees and Family Transfer Service Fees
• Complimentary Extra Legroom seating (when available)
• Ability to gift Platinum elite status to a friend or family member
• Option to take an earlier flight on eligible Qantas domestic fares
|5,000 Status Credits earned on Qantas or Jetstar||Platinum One bonus||• 75,000 Qantas Points|
|7,000 Status Credits earned on Qantas or Jetstar||Platinum One bonus||• 100,000 Qantas Points|
As you can see from the chart above, the Qantas elite status program is fairly complicated. To earn Silver, Gold or Platinum elite status, you must take at least four flights with Qantas or Jetstar flight numbers within the Membership Year. In order to earn Platinum One elite status, you must have earned at least 2,700 Status Credits on Qantas-marketed flights.
On top of that, all of the milestone bonuses except one are based on how many Status Credits you’ve earned on Qantas and Jetstar flights alone. The one exception here is the Platinum Bonus Reward, which you’ll earn once you accumulate 2,400 Status Credits from flights on any airline.
Even though your Status Credits reset to zero at the beginning of each Membership Year, Qantas keeps track of how many total Status Credits you’ve earned since you joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. If you earn a certain number of Status Credits over your lifetime, you can achieve Lifetime Silver, Lifetime Gold or Lifetime Platinum status. Here’s how many total Status Credits you need to achieve each Lifetime tier:
- Lifetime Silver – 7,000 Status Credits
- Lifetime Gold – 14,000 Status Credits
- Lifetime Platinum – 75,000 Status Credits
When you achieve Lifetime status, you’ll enjoy all of the benefits of that status for the rest of your life with no expiration date (even if you never earn another Status Credit).
While the Qantas elite status program is certainly complicated, it’s also very rewarding, especially for those who routinely fly with Qantas or Jetstar. The many milestone bonuses between status and the fact that you can earn up to 100% bonus Qantas Points with Platinum elite status can help you earn award flights quickly. Plus, other benefits such as airport lounge access and priority check-in and boarding can make your flying experience much more comfortable.
How to Earn Qantas Points
There’s a wide variety of ways to earn Qantas Points from flying with Qantas or one of its partner airlines to taking cultural tours around New Zealand and Australia. And, while some of these activities will earn you far more Qantas Points than others, we’re going to cover all of the different ways that you can boost your Qantas Points balance and get closer to that next award flight.
Flying with Qantas and Jetstar
The number of Qantas Points you’ll earn on a specific flight with Qantas or Jetstar depends on your origin, destination and cabin class. And, just as with Status Credits, you can find out how many Qantas Points you can earn on any flight with Qantas or Jetstar by referencing the Qantas and Jetstar earning tables.
These earning tables can get rather complicated, though, as there are separate tables for flights leaving from Dallas, flights leaving from New Zealand and many more very specific tables. So, the easiest way to find out how many Qantas Points you could earn for a specific flight with Qantas or Jetstar is to use the calculator tool on the Qantas website.
This calculator tool removes the hassle of having to search through the many earning tables. Instead, you can just plug in your origin, destination, cabin class and elite status tier and it tells you how many Qantas Points you’ll earn on a specific flight.
Flying with Partner Airlines
You can also earn Qantas Points for taking flights with most of Qantas’s airline partners. However, there are a few airline partners on which you can’t earn Qantas Points, including:
- Air New Zealand
- Air Tahiti Nui
- China Airlines
- China Southern
- Solomon Airlines
All of Qantas’s other partner airlines (including all members of Oneworld Alliance) give you the option to earn Qantas Points on their flights. However, it should be noted that, if you elect to earn Qantas Points on a partner flight, you’ll forfeit the opportunity to earn that airline’s native rewards currency.
If you’d like to earn Qantas Points on a partner-operated flight, you’ll need to select Qantas Frequent Flyer as your rewards program of choice when booking your flight.
To learn how many Qantas Points you could earn on a specific partner flight, you can refer to the partner airline earning tables on the Qantas website. The tables displayed on that page apply to all partner flights that are eligible to earn Qantas Points. Alternatively, you can also learn how many Qantas Points you could earn for a partner flight using the calculator tool on the Qantas website.
One of the best ways to boost your balance of Qantas Points is to transfer points into the Qantas Frequent Flyer program from one of its transfer partners. Qantas is partnered with several major credit card rewards programs, including American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. All of these rewards currencies transfer to Qantas Points at a 1:1 ratio.
Additionally, there are also several hotel rewards currencies that can be transferred to Qantas Frequent Flyer. Here are the different hotel rewards programs from which you can transfer points and their respective transfer ratios:
- Accor Live Limitless (ALL): 1:1 transfer ratio
- Choice Privileges: 5:2 transfer ratio
- Hilton Honors: 10:1.5 transfer ratio
- IHG One Rewards: 5:1 transfer ratio
- Marriott Bonvoy: 3:1 transfer ratio (plus a bonus of 5,000 Qantas Points for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred)
- World of Hyatt: 5:2 transfer ratio
As you can see, none of these hotel rewards programs offer very good transfer ratios except Accor Live Limitless (ALL), which allows transfers to Qantas Frequent Flyer at a 1:1 ratio. While ALL points are typically considered slightly more valuable than Qantas Points, it might be a good idea to convert ALL points to Qantas Points if you have a specific redemption through Qantas Frequent Flyer in your sights. For all of the other hotel rewards programs mentioned above, it’s probably best to keep your points in their native program.
Booking Hotel Stays
In addition to converting hotel points to Qantas points, you can also elect to earn Qantas points directly on hotel stays with certain companies. The following table includes all hotel chains that allow you to earn Qantas Points for stays and their respective earnings rates:
|Hotel partner||Qantas Points earnings rate|
|Accor Live Limitless (ALL)||• Earn 3X Qantas Points per 1 Australian dollar spent|
• All Qantas Points earned on stays at ALL properties are in addition to any ALL points earned
|Choice Privileges||• Earn 3X Qantas Points per 1 Australian dollar spent on stays in Australia|
• Earn 600 Qantas Points per stay outside of Australia
|Hilton Honors||• Earn 3X Qantas Points per 1 Australian dollar spent|
|IHG One Rewards||• Earn 5X Qantas Points per 1 Australian dollar spent on stays in Australia|
• Earn up to 500 Qantas Points per stay outside of Australia
|Marriott Bonvoy||• Earn 2X Qantas Points per $1 at certain hotel brands|
• Earn 1X Qantas Points per $1 at other hotel brands
|Swiss-Belhotel International||• Earn 3X Qantas Points per 1 Australian dollar spent on stays in Australia|
• Earn 1X Qantas Points per $1 spent on stays outside of Australia
|TFE Hotels||• Earn 3X Qantas Points per $1 spent on stays in Australia|
• Earn 1,000 Qantas Points per stay in New Zealand
|World of Hyatt||• Earn 1,000 Qantas Points per stay in Australia and New Zealand|
• Earn 600 Qantas Points per stay outside of Australia and New Zealand
With most of the hotel chains listed above, if you choose to earn Qantas Points on your stay, you’ll be forfeiting the opportunity to earn that hotel chain’s native rewards currency for that stay. The exception here, though, is Accor Live Limitless (ALL). Qantas has a special partnership with Accor that allows members of both programs to earn both ALL points and Qantas Points on stays. So, if you plan on staying at an Accor Live Limitless property, you may as well connect your Qantas Frequent Flyer account and earn some Qantas Points while you’re at it.
With all of the other hotel chains, you’ll want to consider whether you’d be better off earning Qantas Points or that hotel’s native rewards currency.
Qantas also has several partnerships with car rental companies, some of which will reward you with Qantas Points for booking rental cars and others that won’t. If you book a rental car with Avis or Budget, you’ll earn 4X Qantas Points per 1 Australian dollar spent on rentals within Australia. You’ll also earn 700 Qantas Points per rental outside of Australia.
Qantas also has partnerships with Hertz and Thrifty and you can rent cars from these companies through the car rental booking portal on the Qantas website. However, you won’t earn any Qantas Points for booking rentals with Hertz or Thrifty.
Qantas also has its own experience booking portal called Qantas Activities that allows you to earn 1 Qantas Point per 1 Australian dollar spent. This portal gives you access to over 10,000 tours and activities all around the world, some of which you can do right from your home.
Qantas Activities is a great tool to use if you’re staying in a foreign city and you’re looking for things to do. Many of the activities are very affordable and you can earn some Qantas Points for booking them.
Like most other frequent flyer programs, Qantas Frequent Flyer has its own shopping portal that allows you to earn Qantas Points for buying merchandise from their partnered merchants. The amount of Qantas Points that you’ll earn depends on the specific merchant that you’re shopping with.
Qantas Shopping allows you to shop from hundreds of popular merchants online, some of which offer up to 40 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Plus, if you link your Mastercard or Visa card to your Qantas Shopping account, you can earn points while shopping in-store at eligible retailers as well.
Some of the brands that you can shop through Qantas Shopping include:
|Alexander Wang||Dr. Martens||Microsoft Store|
Between these brands and the hundreds of other brands listed on Qantas Shopping, you can earn Qantas Points whenever you buy pretty much anything. You may as well do your online shopping through Qantas Shopping and watch your points balance grow.
Other Ways to Earn Qantas Points
The Qantas Frequent Flyer program offers you many other ways to earn Qantas Points from watching TV to exercising. If Qantas Frequent Flyer is your rewards program of choice, it’s definitely worth paying attention to all of these obscure ways that you can earn Qantas Points as they could help you boost your points balance by thousands. Here are some of the other ways that you can earn Qantas Points:
- Earn 1,000 Qantas Points for signing up as a new subscriber with BINGE, an Australian streaming service. You’ll also earn 50 Qantas Points for every month you stay subscribed (for a total of 600 additional points per year).
- Earn 1,500 Qantas Points for signing up as a new subscriber with Kayo Sports, an Australian sports streaming service.
- Earn 1X Qantas Point per $1 spent on Airbnb vacation rentals. First-time customers can also earn 500 bonus Qantas Points for their first rental.
- Earn 1X Qantas Point per $1 spent on Uber rides to or from any eligible Australian airport by linking your Qantas Frequent Flyer account with the Uber app.
- Earn up to 1,000 Qantas Points in the first 28 days when you sign up for the Qantas Wellbeing App, an exercise tracking app.
- Earn 1X Qantas Point per $1 spent through Qantas Wine, a wine delivery service.
- Earn a bonus of up to 15,000 Qantas Points when you switch your gas and electricity to Red Energy on a Qantas Red Saver plan. Plus, earn 2X Qantas Points per $1 spent on energy bills paid on time.
- Earn 2,000 Qantas Points on each of your first 10 boxes ordered from HelloFresh (for a possible total of 20,000 points), a meal kit delivery service.
- Earn 2X Qantas Points per liter of BP Ultimate Unleaded purchased at BP gas stations. Plus, earn 1X Qantas Point per liter of all other fuels and earn 1X Qantas Point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases at BP gas stations.
It’s also worth noting that one of the best ways to earn Qantas Points is to sign up for one of Qantas’s co-branded credit cards. Unfortunately, these cards are only available to consumers in Australia.
How to Redeem Qantas Points
Now that you’re an expert on all of the different ways to earn Qantas Points, let’s discuss why you might want to do so in the first place. There are also many ways to redeem Qantas Points, but not all redemption methods offer the same value per point. So, you’ll probably want to save your hard-earned Qantas Points for the redemptions that offer the most value and avoid redemptions that offer poor value.
In general, the best way to maximize the value of your Qantas Points is to redeem them for award flights with Qantas or one of its partner airlines. However, not all award flights offer the same value.
Let’s take a look at all of the different ways to redeem Qantas Points and a few sweet spots in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
Flying with Qantas and Jetstar
The most obvious way to redeem Qantas Points is for Qantas-operated award flights. Simply log in to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account and search for flights on your desired dates.
Qantas offers four types of award flight fares: Sale, Saver, Flex and Classic Flight Rewards. Sale, Saver and Flex fares are all calculated using a dynamic pricing model that closely tracks the cash price of the flight. Sale and Saver fares are cheaper than Flex fares. However, Flex fares are fully refundable when canceled within 24 hours of ticketing when the purchase is one week or more prior to the departure of the flight.
With Sale, Saver and Flex award fares, it’s nearly impossible to find outsized value redemptions because they mirror cash prices so closely. However, Classic Flight Rewards, Qantas’s other type of award fare, are priced using an award chart. Thus, these are the types of awards you want to look for if you want to maximize the value of your Qantas Points. Unfortunately, Classic Flight Rewards are much more difficult to find than the three other types of award fares. Luckily, Qantas’s website gives you the option to search for only Class Flight Rewards.
Qantas uses a zone-based award chart to price its own Classic Flight Rewards. This same award chart is also used to price award flights operated by Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu and American Airlines. All other partner award flights are priced using the partner award chart (which you can find later in this article). Here is the award chart for all Classic Flight Rewards operated by Qantas as well as Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu and American Airlines:
|Zone||Flight distance||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First|
|1||0 - 600||8,000||13,800||18,400||27,600|
|2||601 - 1,200||12,000||20,600||27,600||41,500|
|3||1,201 - 2,400||18,000||31,000||41,500||62,200|
|4||2,401 - 3,600||20,300||42,200||57,000||85,500|
|5||3,601 - 4,800||25,200||51,300||68,400||102,600|
|6||4,801 - 5,800||31,500||61,500||82,000||123,100|
|7||5,801 - 7,000||37,600||71,100||94,900||142,300|
|8||7,001 - 8,400||41,900||81,300||108,400||162,800|
|9||8,401 - 9,600||51,200||94,900||126,500||189,800|
|10||9,601 - 15,000||55,200||108,400||144,600||216,900|
To clarify, the award prices listed above are for one-way flights operated by Qantas. To calculate the price of a round-trip award flight, you can simply double the one-way price listed above.
Qantas also publishes a separate award chart for flights operated by Jetstar, the airline’s low-cost carrier that mostly operates domestic routes around Australia but also has several routes to East Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Hawaii. Here is the award chart for one-way Jetstar flights:
|1||0 - 600||6,400||13,800|
|2||601 - 1,200||9,600||20,600|
|3||1,201 - 2,400||14,400||31,000|
|4||2,401 - 3,600||18,000||42,200|
|5||3,601 - 4,800||21,500||51,300|
|6||4,801 - 5,800||26,000||61,500|
|7||5,801 - 7,000||32,000||71,100|
|8||7,001 - 8,400||35,600||81,300|
|9||8,401 - 9,600||43,500||94,900|
|10||9,601 - 15,000||46,900||108,400|
When it comes to booking Qantas-operated award flights with Qantas Points, you can typically find decent value on flights between Australia and the U.S. West Coast. Most of these flights fall into zone 8, which includes flights between 7,001 miles and 8,400 miles in distance. That means that you can book these flights for 41,900 points in economy class or 108,400 points in Business class.
For instance, we found a one-way Class Flight Reward from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney on Qantas for 41,900 points (plus $88 in taxes and fees) in Economy class.
As you can see, if you were to book this same award flight with a Sale, Saver or Flex fare, it would cost you at least seven times as much. So, you really only want to use your Qantas Points to book Classic Flight Rewards.
If you were to book this same flight with cash, it would cost you at least $1,256 with a Sale fare (the cheapest option).
Thus, this redemption would yield a value of about 2.7 cents per point (factoring in the $88 in taxes and fees), which is very good for an award flight in Economy class.
You can find even more value per point by booking Qantas-operated Classic Flight Rewards from the U.S. West Coast to Australia in Business class. Unfortunately, Classic Flight Rewards in Business class are notoriously hard to find availability for. But, if you’re flexible with your travel dates, you should be able to find a Business class Classic Flight Reward on Qantas.
For instance, we found a Classic Reward flight itinerary in Business class from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney for 108,400 points (plus $193 in taxes and fees).
While the specific flight above was not available to be booked with cash, we found a similar flight in Business class on the same date that was available for $12,164 in cash with a Business Flex fare.
So, the award flight above would have a value of about 11 cents per point (factoring in the $193 in taxes and fees), which is fantastic.
In general, if you’re looking to fly from the U.S. West Coast to Australia, booking a Classic Flight Reward with Qantas is a great way to get there affordably regardless of what class you plan on flying in.
Flying with Partner Airlines
Just as with Qantas-operated award flights, partner award flights available through Qantas Frequent Flyer are available with four different fares: Sale, Saver, Flex and Classic Flight Rewards. Likewise, the only award flight redemptions that will provide outsized value per point are Classic Flight Rewards, so these are the awards that you should look for.
You can use your Qantas points to purchase award flights operated by most of Qantas’s airline partners. However, there are some exceptions, including Airnorth, IndiGo and others.
Qantas publishes a partner award chart for Classic Flight Rewards with Air France, Alaska Airlines, Bangkok Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern, El Al, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, KLM, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines and WestJet.
|Zone||Flight distance||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First|
|1||0 - 600||10,000||15,800||20,000||29,000|
|2||601 - 1,200||14,000||23,700||30,000||43,500|
|3||1,201 - 2,400||20,000||34,500||43,800||64,500|
|4||2,401 - 3,600||24,500||48,500||61,200||89,800|
|5||3,601 - 4,800||30,200||59,000||75,000||107,700|
|6||4,801 - 5,800||37,800||70,800||90,000||129,300|
|7||5,801 - 7,000||45,000||81,800||104,500||149,800|
|8||7,001 - 8,400||50,300||93,500||119,200||170,800|
|9||8,401 - 9,600||61,500||109,000||139,200||199,300|
|10||9,601 - 15,000||66,200||124,800||159,000||227,500|
It’s worth noting that there are other partner airlines with which you can book Classic Flight Rewards that don’t follow the rates in the award chart above. As previously mentioned, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu and American Airlines use the same award chart as Qantas-operated award flights.
Booking partner award flights is one of the best ways to maximize the value of your Qantas Points. You can also fly almost anywhere in the world with Qantas Points because of Qantas’s extensive list of airline partners. However, not all partner award flights offer the same value per point. Let’s take a look at a few partner sweet spots within the Qantas Frequent Flyer program:
Oneworld Classic Flight Rewards
Qantas doesn’t offer a true “round-the-world” award. However, you can come pretty close by booking an Oneworld Classic Flight Reward. With these awards, you can only fly on Oneworld airlines (and not other Qantas partners that aren’t members of Oneworld Alliance) and you must fly with at least two Oneworld airlines that aren’t Qantas during your trip.
Qantas also publishes a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward chart, which is based on round-trip flight distances and prices:
|Zone||Flight distance||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First|
|1||1 - 1,200||20,000||31,600||40,000||58,000|
|2||1,201 - 2,400||28,000||47,500||60,000||87,000|
|3||2,401 - 4,800||40,000||69,000||87,600||129,000|
|4||4,801 - 7,200||49,000||97,000||122,400||179,600|
|5||7,201 - 9,600||60,400||118,000||150,000||215,500|
|6||9,601 - 11,600||75,600||141,600||180,000||258,600|
|7||11,601 - 14,000||90,000||163,600||209,000||299,600|
|8||14,001 - 16,800||100,600||187,000||238,400||341,600|
|9||16,801 - 19,200||123,000||218,000||278,400||398,600|
|10||19,201 - 35,000||132,400||249,600||318,000||455,000|
There are a few other interesting rules that you should be aware of if you want to try to book a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, including:
- Your itinerary must include at least two different Oneworld airlines, three if flying with Qantas.
- Maximum of five stopovers
- Maximum total flight distance of 35,000 miles
- Only one stopover is allowed in any one city (meaning that you can’t stopover in the same city twice).
- A maximum of two connections are allowed in any one city in one itinerary.
- If your destination city is different from your origin, you’ll be charged based on the distance to return directly from your destination to your origin.
- Ground transfers are allowed but you’ll be charged based on the distance between the two cities.
- Backtracking is permitted in most cases.
If you want to book a round-the-world award on Oneworld Alliance airlines by transferring credit card points, then you’re probably better off booking through the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program as its award chart is a bit more generous. However, if you already have a large balance of points in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, then it’s definitely worth considering a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward.
It’s also worth noting that, if you want to book a round-the-world award in first class, then Oneworld Alliance is one of the best alliances to do so with because they have more airlines with true first-class products than any other airline alliance. American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and several other Oneworld airlines have excellent first-class products.
Short-Haul Domestic Flights on American Airlines
While American Airlines uses a dynamic pricing model for its own award flights purchased with AAdvantage miles, Qantas Frequent Flyer uses their fixed partner award chart to price American Airlines-operated award flights, starting at just 8,000 Qantas Points for one-way flights under 600 miles.
Plus, the Qantas award chart is based on the total distance of a one-way flight, regardless of how many segments you fly. So, for example, if you were to take a one-way flight consisting of two segments with a total distance between 601 miles and 1,200 miles, it would only cost you 12,000 points, which is an excellent deal.
For instance, we found a one-way award flight between Portland, Maine, and New York City (JFK) with a layover in Washington, D.C. in Economy class for 12,000 Qantas Points (plus $6 in taxes and fees). Both segments are operated by American Airlines. The total flight distance of both segments combined would be 695 miles.
If you were to purchase this same flight on the same date with cash through the American Airlines website, it would cost you $259.
So, by booking this flight with Qantas Points, you’d be getting a value of about 2.1 cents per point (factoring in the $6 in taxes and fees), which is very solid for an Economy class award.
Plus, while you may be able to get more value by redeeming Qantas Points for premium cabin flights to exotic destinations, booking short-haul American Airlines flights is far more practical for most U.S. citizens. So, it’s nice to know that you can use your Qantas Points for practical purposes while still getting solid value per point.
Fly from the U.S. to Israel on El Al
Israel’s flag carrier El Al does have its own frequent flyer program, known as El Al Matmid Frequent Flyer. However, it’s not a very highly regarded program as its currency isn’t very valuable and it lacks transfer partners. Luckily, one of the best ways to book El Al award flights is with Qantas Points.
In particular, for U.S.-based travelers, one of the best ways to redeem your Qantas Points is for flights between the U.S. and Israel on El Al. You can find certain one-way flights from the U.S. East Coast to Tel Aviv that are under 5,800 miles, meaning that you’d pay 37,800 Qantas Points in Economy class and 90,000 points in Business class.
For instance, we found an El Al-operated one-way award flight from Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv for 37,800 Qantas Points (plus $31 in taxes and fees) in Economy class and 70,800 (plus $31 in taxes and fees) in Premium Economy class.
If you were to book this same flight on El Al-s website with cash, you’d pay $602 in Economy class or $1,322 in Premium Economy class.
Thus, if you were to book the Economy class award, you’d be getting about 1.5 cents per point in value (factoring in the $31 in taxes and fees), which is solid for an Economy class award. If you were to book this award in Premium Economy class, you’d be getting 1.8 cents per point in value (factoring in the $31 in taxes and fees), which is also fairly good.
Fly to Fiji on Fiji Airways
Award flights operated by Fiji Airways are priced using the same award chart as Qantas’s own award flights, which is more generous than the award chart used for most other partner-operated award flights. Because of this, you can find great value on flights from the U.S. to Fiji’s Nadi International Airport, particularly if you book premium cabin awards.
For example, we found a Fiji Airways-operated one-way Business class flight from San Francisco to Nadi for 82,000 Qantas Points (plus $27 in taxes and fees).
If you were to book this same flight through the Fiji Airways website on the same date, it would cost you $4,289.20.
So, if you were to make this redemption, you’d be getting about 5.2 cents per point in value, which is outstanding.
Booking Hotel Stays
You can also use your Qantas Points to book hotel stays through the Qantas Hotels portal. Simply visit qantas.com/hotels and select the “Use Points” option instead of the “Use Cash” option.
Then, you can enter your destination, desired travel dates and number of guests and you’ll be presented with a list of options that match your search query once you hit the “Search Hotels” button.
Unfortunately, redeeming your Qantas Points this way typically yields fairly poor value. For instance, we found a single-night stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton New York Times Square South for 50,400 points.
If you were to book the same single-night stay with cash through the Qantas Hotels portal, it would cost you $419.
That means that you’d be getting a redemption value of about 0.8 cents per point, which is pretty lacking.
On top of that, the cash rates on Qantas Hotels are often considerably higher than the rates you might find on a hotel’s website or through a different third-party booking engine. For instance, that same room at the DoubleTree by Hilton New York Times Square South costs only $227 for the same single-night stay when booked through the Hilton website.
So, if we use Hilton’s cash price as the basis, the redemption value here is actually only about 0.4 cents per point, which is horrible.
All in all, you should avoid booking hotel stays through Qantas Hotels regardless of whether you’re paying with cash or points.
Buying Merchandise, Gift Cards, Experiences and More Through the Qantas Marketplace
Qantas gives Frequent Flyer members the option to spend their points on merchandise through the Qantas Marketplace portal. Qantas Marketplace contains over 20,000 products across many different categories from a wide variety of vendors, all of which can be purchased with Qantas Points, cash or a combination of the two using the “Points Plus Pay” feature.
Unfortunately, redeeming your Qantas Points for merchandise yields a very low value per point. For instance, through the Qantas Marketplace, you could buy a Seiko Men’s Presage GMT Automatic ‘Aitetsue’ Watch for 373,920 Qantas Points or $2,150 in cash.
Thus, this redemption would yield a value of about 0.6 cents per point, which is very low.
You can also use the “Points Plus Pay” slider to pay with a combination of Qantas Points and cash.
Unfortunately, doing so will yield equally dismal value.
However, if you have no desire to travel and you have a balance of Qantas Points that are going to expire soon, you may want to consider redeeming them through the Qantas Marketplace shopping portal.
On top of buying merchandise, you can also redeem your Qantas Points for gift cards, experiences, magazine subscriptions, vouchers and more. None of these redemptions will yield very good value per point, but there are some interesting options such as badges for South by Southwest, carbon offsets for home and car and digital gift cards.
Donate Your Qantas Points
Another option when redeeming your Qantas Points through the Qantas Marketplace is to donate your points to one of Qantas’s partner charities. Unfortunately, you’ll get pretty poor value per point when redeeming your Qantas Points this way.
For instance, if you want to donate $25 to UNICEF, you’ll need to redeem 3,200 points.
Thus, this redemption would yield a value of slightly under 0.8 cents per point, which is pretty poor. However, if you want to use your points for a good cause, then donating them might be a good option.
The Bottom Line
For any points and miles enthusiasts that are based in Australia, Qantas Frequent Flyer is definitely a program you want to be familiar with as Qantas is the country’s largest airline by fleet size, number of international flights and number of international destinations.
If you’re a U.S.-based travel enthusiast, Qantas Frequent Flyer is still worth paying attention to due to the airline’s position as a member of Oneworld Alliance, as a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards and as one of the best programs through which to book both Oneworld round-the-world awards as well as American Airlines award tickets.
And, while Qantas Frequent Flyer elite status program is fairly complicated, it’s also pretty easy to earn elite status. Silver elite status requires just 300 Status Credits and certain long-haul flights on Qantas could earn you as many as 420 Status Credits, instantly granting you access to benefits such as 50% bonus Qantas Points on Qantas, Jetstar and American Airlines. Plus, the Qantas elite status program has many milestone rewards in between status tiers that help you accumulate Qantas Points quickly.
Then, once you have racked up some Qantas Points, you can get great value by redeeming them for Qantas flights between the U.S. and Australia, El Al flights between the U.S. and Israel, short-haul American Airlines flights around the U.S., and Oneworld Classic Flight Rewards (which are very similar to round-the-world awards).
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Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.