Frequent flyers will now need more Qantas Points for cabin upgrades

Sally McMullen 17 February 2017

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Qantas Frequent Flyers will now need more points to redeem cabin upgrades, but is it still the best way to spend your points?

In March 2016, we reported that Qantas Frequent Flyers now had the choice to use their points to upgrade their flights to Business Class. However, in November, it was announced that Qantas would be changing how many points frequent flyers need to redeem such upgrades in the New Year. So, as of 20 February 2017, Qantas loyalty members will need more points to upgrade their flight fares.

From this Monday onwards, frequent flyers will require an extra 24,000 points to redeem a Classic Upgrade Reward on an international flight and approximately 2,500 more points for a domestic upgrade. The exact number of points needed to upgrade will vary between routes, but passengers on Economy Saver fares will need 25% more points for a business class upgrade. Meanwhile, Economy Flex and Premium Economy Sale fares will require 10% more points to bump up to business. Essentially, the cheaper your flight, the more points you’ll need to move up to premium economy, business class or first class.

Qantas has defended the changes on the grounds that the points prices are more reflective of the value of the commercial fare Frequent Flyer members would’ve paid for flights. According to the airline, when requesting upgrades on bookings, it made more sense that more Qantas Points would be required to upgrade up cheaper fares.

Even after the changes, though, redeeming a flight upgrade is still the most valuable way to spend your Qantas Points. For example, if you purchase a flexi-fare ticket, you’ll generally earn more points on the flight and need fewer points to upgrade than if you were to purchase the flight with points outright. Plus, you can book outside of peak travel periods such as school holidays and public holiday weekends to get more mileage out of your points. Or if you already have a flight booked and are considering an upgrade, you can get in quick and spend your points this weekend to take advantage of the more competitive upgrade points prices before the changes apply this Monday.

See our guide on how to get more out of your frequent flyer points for more strategies on how to get maximum value from your Qantas Points.

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