Qantas Green explained: Easiest ways to get 10,000 Qantas Points

Posted: 9 March 2022 10:15 am
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Want to score bonus frequent flyer points and help save the planet? Here's what to do.

Qantas has launched its new frequent flyer tier, Qantas Green.

Qantas Green offers bonus Qantas Points or Status Credits for green activities.

"This program makes it easier for frequent flyers to make more sustainable choices, at home and when they travel, and rewards them when they do," said Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.

It's quite separate from the regular Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers. It won't score you lounge access or upgrades either.

If you qualify, you may get 10,000 extra Qantas Points – enough for a one-way economy flight between Sydney and Brisbane.

But just how hard is that to achieve? Here's the breakdown.

How to qualify for Qantas Green

To earn Qantas Green, you have to complete 5 separate green "activities" out of 6 possible categories during your membership year.

Green tier screenshot

Here they are, ranked by degree of difficulty and overall appeal.

  • Complete a sustainability quiz in the Qantas Wellbeing app. Easy and 100% free. Just finish the 9-question quiz and you'll get 100 bonus Qantas Points and tick off 1 activity. (You may well have already installed the app since it also earns Qantas Points for reaching exercise goals.)
  • Offset your emissions from at least 1 flight. Easy and not expensive. A domestic carbon offset will typically cost you well under $5. I routinely do this with all my flight bookings.
  • Pay for a carbon-neutral delivery from Qantas Wine or the Rewards Store, or buy an eco-friendly wine through Qantas Wine. Here's where it gets a little trickier for a careful frequent flyer. If you're buying from Qantas Wine anyway (it's a solid way of earning bonus points), then adding the carbon-neutral delivery only costs $1. If 1 of the 200 eco-friendly wines appeals, that's also a good path (and a case of 6 will score an additional 250 Qantas Points). But Rewards Store purchases are basically always a low-value use of points, so that's not such an appealing option.
    Qantas Wine bonuses
  • Offset your home and car, or buy solar power products through Solargain. These are worthy but more expensive choices. Offsetting my 1-person home with no car through Qantas' partner would cost $65. A 4-person, 2-car family would be $220. You wouldn't install solar panels just to qualify for Qantas Green, though again if you're doing it anyway, it's a handy small bonus.
  • Donate Qantas Points to a planet-friendly charity or project. Organisations on Qantas' approved list include OzHarvest, the Kimberley Land Council, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and UNICEF. Donating to any of those charities is a fantastic thing to do, but points hunters note: the minimum donation is 3,200 Qantas Points (for a $25 donation). In other words, you might have to spend Qantas Points to earn the bonus Qantas Points you get for being green.
  • Book a green hotel through Qantas Hotels. Qantas has a choice of over 30 "eco-accredited" hotels you can book through Qantas Hotels. As well as being a qualifying activity, those score an extra 150 Qantas Points per night. The downside? These are generally expensive hotels. The Melbourne example Qantas quotes in its launch announcement is $410 a night, way out of my normal range. The bonus points you can earn likely aren't worth the extra cost of the hotel, so it doesn't make sense to do this just to score the tier. If you're staying there anyway, great!

Qantas is backdating some activities. For instance, I've taken flights with a carbon offset during my current membership year and I've been credited for those already.

What benefits can I get from Qantas Green?

Once you qualify, you can choose 1 of 2 Frequent Flyer benefits: either 10,000 bonus Qantas Points or 50 bonus Status Credits. I suspect most people will go for the bonus points. The Status Credits would be useful if you're trying to move to the next status tier, but with Qantas recently extending most members' status anyway, that's unlikely to be an immediate goal.

If you don't want the Qantas Points or Status Credits, there's also an option to provide an extra 3 tonnes of carbon offset credits. That's worthy, but I'm guessing it won't be the one most frequent flyers choose.

Is Qantas Green worth trying for?

Byron eco-hotel
Let's be real: flying is never going to be a highly green activity, and there are much bigger changes you can make than just aiming for Qantas Green status. But recognition of the issue by airlines is at least progress of a sort.

I'd always encourage frequent flyers to choose green options when possible. I already pay for carbon offsetting on my flights (including reward flights), the quiz is a free no-brainer and I'll definitely be buying from Qantas Wine again this year anyway. So I'll easily hit 3 of the required 5 categories.

But picking another 2 qualifying categories is going to be a struggle for me, and I suspect many others will be in the same boat.

The most likely option for me would be to offset my home emissions (which will actually earn me 650 extra Qantas Points) and make a charity donation with points. But the end result of that (from a frequent flyer perspective) will be a net gain of 7,450 Qantas Points for an additional expenditure of $66 I wasn't already planning. That means when I spend those points, they'll need to be valued at $30 per 1,000 Qantas Points, well above my usual benchmark of $20.

That's certainly not impossible, but it highlights that it's (still) not always easy being green.

Want to keep your frequent flyer points balance growing? Check out the latest credit card sign-up deals.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.

Note: This story was updated on 10 March 2022 to add extra details about points earned through personal carbon offsets and adjust calculations to reflect that.

Pictures: Qantas, Angus Kidman

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