How many points you need to upgrade to business class with Qantas and Velocity

Ready to fly business class without forking out extra cash? Here's how many Qantas or Velocity Points it takes to get to the front of the plane.

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From exclusive lounge access to comfy seats, premium meals and complimentary toiletries, there are many perks to flying business class with Qantas, Virgin or any other airline. But these luxuries come at a cost – business class fares can cost twice as much as economy options (and more in some cases).

If you don’t want to pay the full cost of a business class ticket or if you want to change your current booking to get these benefits, you can use frequent flyer points to request an upgrade. Here, we look at the Qantas and Virgin Velocity points you need to fly to business class in Australia and around the world.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

qantas-new-logoThe number of Qantas Points you'll need to book a business flight will depend on your departure and destination. Qantas offers a points calculator that you can use to see how many points you'll need for your preferred flight. To give you an example, you can compare how many Qantas Points you'd need to fly from Australia to popular international destinations below:

  • Sydney to Los Angeles. 108,400 Qantas Points.
  • Sydney to Denpasar (Bali). 57,000 Qantas Points.
  • Melbourne to Auckland. 41,500 Qantas Points.
  • Melbourne to London. 144,600 Qantas Points.
  • Brisbane to Singapore. 68,400 Qantas Points.

Information correct at the time of writing on 10 January 2020.

How many Qantas Points do you need for a domestic upgrade to business class?

If you already have a ticket booked, you can use Qantas Points to upgrade both domestic and international tickets on flights where business class is available. The amount of points you need for an upgrade varies depending on the flight and existing fare type.

The Qantas Classic Rewards Upgrade service allows you to request an Australian domestic upgrade to business class on eligible Australian domestic flights. Your existing ticket must have a QF flight number and be one of the following classes:

  • Classic Flight Reward Economy. These economy tickets are booked using Qantas frequent flyer points.
  • Discount Economy. This type of fare covers Red e-Deal fares booked in E, L, N, O, Q, S and V classes, as well as Group fares booked in G class.
  • Economy. This type of fare includes Flexi fares booked in B, H, K, M and Y classes.
Example routeClassic Flight Reward fare (Economy)Discount Economy ticketsFlexible Economy tickets
Melbourne to Sydney13,00010,9005,400
Sydney to Brisbane13,00010,9005,400
Brisbane to Melbourne19,60019,0008,100
Sydney to Perth28,30027,20010,900

Information correct at the time of writing on 10 January 2020.
Note that if you request a Classic Upgrade Reward for an itinerary that includes an international and a domestic leg with the same flight number, this will be treated as an international Classic Upgrade Reward.

How many Qantas Points do you need for an international upgrade to business class?

Qantas offers international Classic Upgrade Rewards for services with a QF flight number from 1 to 199. You can request the upgrade any time after you have paid for your ticket and received confirmation, up to 24 hours before your flight leaves. The types of fares you can upgrade to business class are:

  • Classic Flight Reward Economy. This type of fare applies to economy tickets that are booked using Qantas frequent flyer points.
  • Economy. For international flights, these fares are defined as fare classes G, K, L, M, S and V. Note that discount economy E, N, O and Q classes are excluded from this option.
  • Flexible Economy. This includes classes B, H and Y for international flights.
  • Classic Flight Reward Premium Economy. This type of fare is a premium economy option booked using points.
  • Premium Economy or Flexible Premium Economy. This category applies to premium economy tickets booked and paid for with cash. Premium economy is available on all Qantas A380 aircraft and selected B747-400 aircraft.

The following table shows how many points you need to upgrade to business class based on example routes and ticket classes.

Example routeClassic Flight Reward - EconomyEconomyFlexible EconomyClassic Flight Reward - Premium EconomyPremium Economy
Melbourne to Los Angeles109,00098,10054,00073,50049,100
Perth to Singapore38,10032,70017,90024,50016,300
Sydney to Hong Kong58,80054,40029,90039,20027,200

Information correct at the time of writing on 10 January 2020.

Bid Now Upgrades

Qantas also has an invitation-only option for ticket upgrades. With Bid Now Upgrades, you could receive an invitation within seven days of your flight.

You then have the opportunity to make an upgrade offer to business class using a combination of Qantas Points and money (or just with money). A minimum amount of money is required depending on the ticket and flight.

Bid Now Upgrades are available up to 24 hours before your flight’s departure. Approval of upgrades through this service is at Qantas’s discretion, and you’ll know of the outcome of your bid between 24 and 12 hours before your flight.

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Virgin Australia Velocity

Similar to Qantas, the number of Velocity Points you'll need to book a business class flight will depend on your travel route. You can use the points tables on the Velocity website to see how many points you'll need to book your flight, but it can range between 15,500 and 127,500 Velocity Points.

Virgin’s Velocity frequent flyer program has several options for business class upgrades using points. The minimum amount of points required varies based on the upgrade option, the miles flown and the type of fare. The following tables cover some of your different options.

Domestic flight upgrades to business class with Velocity points

You can request an upgrade to business class for domestic Virgin Australia flights with a VA flight number when you’ve booked on a Getaway, Elevate or Freedom fare. You can do this through the UpgradeMe Points service, which applies the following point rates depending on where you are flying and the type of ticket you have.

One-Way MilesUpgrade from Getaway fareUpgrade from Elevate fareUpgrade from Freedom here

Information correct at the time of writing on 10 January 2020.

Velocity also provides two other ways to request seat upgrades to business class on domestic flights.

  1. UpgradeMe Premium Bid. If you’re a Virgin Australia guest travelling on an eligible flight but don’t have enough points for a business upgrade, you can use dollars to place a “bid” for the chance to upgrade to business class.
  2. UpgradeMe Platinum Member Offer. Velocity Platinum members get four complimentary fare upgrades as part of their membership, which you can choose to use for any eligible flight. Note that you can only upgrade from Freedom fares using this option.

International short haul flights

All Velocity members booked on a Freedom fare can request an upgrade to business class on eligible international short-haul flights (when business class is offered). The flight must be operated by Virgin Australia or Virgin Samoa and have a VA flight number.

One-Way MilesUpgrade from Getaway fareUpgrade from Elevate fareUpgrade from Freedom here

Information correct at the time of writing on 10 January 2020.

International long-haul flights

If you're a Gold or Platinum Velocity member, you can also request an upgrade to business on international long haul flights to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi operated by Virgin Australia with a VA flight number. You'll need to already be booked on a Freedom, Premium Saver or Premium fare to use this option, as reflected in the table below.

Fare bookedPoints required to upgrade to business
Freedom (Y, B, H, K)45,000
Premium saver (O)45,000
Premium (R or W)25,000

Information correct at the time of writing on 10 January 2020

Tips to get enough points to upgrade

  • Book business class using “points plus pay”. Virgin Australia also allows you to use a combination of points and cash to pay for business class tickets. For example, a Rewards Business Class ticket from Sydney to Melbourne could cost 18,800 points outright, while “points plus pay” options start from 15,500 points and $21.11. Note that “points plus pay” is not available for all flights and additional fees may apply.
  • Consider a frequent flyer credit card with a signup bonus. Many reward credit cards offer bonus points for customers when you sign up and spend a certain amount of money in the first few months. You’ll also earn points for every $1 spent on the account. If you want to get enough points for a business class upgrade and are considering a new credit card, browse the Qantas or Velocity frequent flyer options to see if you can also boost your point balance. Just remember to consider all the features of these cards so that you choose one that will work for you in the long term.
  • Shop with frequent flyer program partners. Both Qantas and Velocity have a wide range of program partners that earn you points for your travel and everyday spending. You can maximise your reward earnings by shopping with as many program partners as possible.
  • Fly with just one airline. While you may want to get the best fare for all your flights, you’ll get more frequent flyer rewards if you only book tickets through Qantas or Virgin (depending on which frequent flyer program you prefer).
  • Consider only upgrading part of your flight. If your travel plans involve connecting flights, you might be able to upgrade to business class using points for just one part of the trip. For example, if you’re travelling from Melbourne to Los Angeles and have a stopover in Sydney, you might be able to fly economy for the domestic flight, but then upgrade to business for the longer, international leg of your journey.
  • Pay for a business class ticket. While it’s more expensive to book a business class fare than a standard economy or premium economy fare, you’ll have the chance to earn more frequent flyer points and status credits. That could pay off in the future when you want to upgrade airfares with Qantas or Virgin using points, and may help you achieve gold, silver or platinum status in the frequent flyer program.

Using frequent flyer points to travel in business class with Qantas or Virgin is a great way to get all the perks without the high dollar price. Now you know exactly how many Qantas and Velocity points you need to upgrade your ticket, you can save your points and use them on flights where business class will make all the difference to your trip.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DonnaMarch 4, 2019

    I have 560,000 Qantas points and I want to fly from Sydney to London business class. What is the best way to do this?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 6, 2019Staff

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      Upon checking, you would need 256,000 Qantas Points to fly business class from Sydney to London with Qantas. However, this figure could vary based on factors such as on the fees and taxes, as well as whether you fly with Qantas or a partner airline. You can check the exact points you need by logging into the official website of Qantas. That is also the best way to book your flight using your points.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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