How many points do you need to upgrade to business class with Qantas and Velocity?
Want 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.
Flying in the luxury of business class can be twice as much as an economy fare – or more in some cases. But you can use frequent flyer points to book new business class flights or request an upgrade to an existing flight.
So, let's take a look at how many points you need with Qantas and Velocity (the 2 biggest frequent flyer programs in Australia).
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Classic Flight Rewards give you a way to book a new business class flight using points. To give you an idea, here's how many Qantas Points you need to fly one way from Australia to popular international destinations:
- Melbourne to London: 144,600 Qantas Points
- Melbourne to Auckland: 41,500 Qantas Points
- Sydney to Los Angeles: 108,400 Qantas Points
- Sydney to Denpasar (Bali): 57,000 Qantas Points
- Adelaide to Delhi: 94,900 Qantas Points
- Brisbane to Queenstown: 41,500 Qantas Points
Source: Qantas Points Calculators, accessed 13 July 2022.
If you're flying domestically, business class reward flights range from 18,400 to 41,500 Qantas Points:
- Sydney to Melbourne: 18,400 Qantas Points
- Sydney to Brisbane: 18,400 Qantas Points
- Melbourne to Perth: 41,500 Qantas Points
The distance travelled and whether it's a Qantas or partner flight are 2 big factors for the number of points needed for a Classic Flight Reward.
As with most flight rewards, there is limited availability. So the earlier you look, the better your chances of getting a business class reward.
How many Qantas Points do you need for an international upgrade to business class?
If you've paid for an overseas flight with Qantas, you can request the upgrade any time after it's confirmed, up to 10 hours before your flight leaves. This table shows how many points you need to upgrade to business class based on example routes and ticket classes.
|Example route (one-way)||Economy to Business Upgrade||Flexible Economy to Business Upgrade||Premium Economy to Business Upgrade|
|Melbourne to London||130,800 Qantas Points||71,900 Qantas Points||65,400 Qantas Points|
|Melbourne to Los Angeles||98,100 Qantas Points||54,000 Qantas Points||49,100 Qantas Points|
|Perth to London||109,000 Qantas Points||60,000 Qantas Points||54,500 Qantas Points|
|Sydney to New York||130,800 Qantas Points||71,900 Qantas Points||65,400 Qantas Points|
|Sydney to Delhi||76,300 Qantas Points||42,000 Qantas Points||38,200 Qantas Points|
Source: Qantas Points Calculators, accessed 13 July 2022.
You can request an international Classic Upgrade Reward for Qantas flights with a QF number from 1-299 and QF350-389. Upgrades are subject to availability and preference is given to frequent flyer members with Platinum and Gold status.
Qantas economy and premium economy fares can typically be upgraded to business class. But you can't usually get an upgrade from the following:
- Codeshare flights that have a QF flight number (unless this option is made available through Qantas Loyalty).
- Discounted Qantas international airfares, including Points Plus Pay flights booked in E, N, O and Q.
- Business class Classic Reward Flights if there are other flights on your booking that are not Classic Reward Flights.
How many Qantas Points do you need for a domestic upgrade to business class?
The Qantas Classic Rewards Upgrade service also lets you request an upgrade from economy class to business class on eligible Australian domestic flights with a QF flight number.
|Example route (one-way)||Classic Flight Reward fare (Economy) to Business Upgrade||Discount Economy to Business Upgrade||Flexible Economy to Business Upgrade|
|Melbourne to Sydney||13,000 Qantas Points||10,900 Qantas Points||5,400 Qantas Points|
|Sydney to Brisbane||13,000 Qantas Points||10,900 Qantas Points||5,400 Qantas Points|
|Brisbane to Melbourne||19,600 Qantas Points||19,000 Qantas Points||8,100 Qantas Points|
|Sydney to Perth||28,300 Qantas Points||27,200 Qantas Points||10,900 Qantas Points|
Source: Qantas Points Calculators, accessed 13 July 2022.
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.
Bid Now Upgrades
Bid Now Upgrades let you choose how much you want to pay for an upgrade on an eligible flight. You can use cash or a combination of points and cash, with a minimum amount set by Qantas.
Qantas sends out email invitations when your flight is eligible for a Bid Now Upgrade. You can also check eligibility on the Qantas website.
Bid Now Upgrades are available up to 5 hours before your flight’s departure. Approval is at Qantas’s discretion, and you’ll know the outcome of your bid between 24 and 4.5 hours before your flight.
Velocity Frequent Flyer
You can book Velocity Business Reward Seats for flights with Virgin Australia and select airline partners – including United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada. Here are some examples of how many points you'd need for an international flight:
- Melbourne to London: 139,000 Velocity Points (flying with partner Etihad)
- Melbourne to Queenstown: 35,500 Velocity Points (with Virgin Australia)
- Sydney to Los Angeles: 95,500 Velocity Points (with Virgin Australia/United)
- Sydney to Fiji (Nadi): 35,500 Velocity Points (with Virgin Australia)
- Adelaide to Delhi: 92,000 Velocity Points (flying with partner Singapore Airlines)
- Brisbane to Queenstown: 35,500 Velocity Points (with Virgin Australia)
Source: Velocity website, accessed 13 July 2022
As Virgin Australia currently has a smaller international network, we've included details about which partner airlines the international Business Reward Seats would be booked with based on flight searches in July 2022.
The network in Australia is much larger, and the points you'd need for Virgin Australia Business Reward Seats range from 15,500 to 35,500 Velocity Points:
- Sydney to Melbourne: 15,500 Velocity Points
- Brisbane to Perth: 35,500 Velocity Points
- Hobart to Brisbane: 23,500 Velocity Points
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.
International flight upgrades with Velocity Points
Currently, Velocity only offers business class upgrades on eligible trans-Tasman and international short-haul flights. For example, Sydney to Fiji or Melbourne to Queenstown.
These upgrades are only available for Platinum Velocity members, who get 4 complimentary upgrade credits as part of their membership. This means you don't need points for an upgrade, but you would need to have a Flex fare class on the flight to request an upgrade.
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 Choice or Flex 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 Miles||Upgrade from Choice fare||Upgrade from Flex fare|
|0-600 (e.g. Sydney to Melbourne)||10,000 Velocity Points||4,900 Velocity Points|
|601-1,200 (e.g. Melbourne to Sunshine Coast)||17,500 Velocity Points||7,400 Velocity Points|
|1,201-2,400 (e.g. Brisbane to Perth)||30,000 Velocity Points||9,900 Velocity Points|
|2,401-3,600||35,000 Velocity Points||14,900 Velocity Points|
Source: Velocity Redeem points to upgrade flights, accessed 13 July 2022.
Velocity also provides 2 other ways to request business class upgrades on domestic flights.
- 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.
- UpgradeMe Platinum Member Offer. Velocity Platinum members can use their 4 complimentary fare upgrades for eligible domestic flights as well as trans-Tasman and international short-haul flights. Note that you can only upgrade from Flex fares.
5 tips to get enough points for business class
1. Plan ahead
Business class reward seats are limited and sell out quickly. You can typically book up to 11 months in advance, so planning for flights within the next year gives you a better chance of scoring a business class seat with points.
It also means you'll know how many points you need to get the business class flight, giving you time to earn more if you don't have enough yet.
2. Consider a frequent flyer credit card with a sign-up bonus
Many reward credit cards offer bonus points for new customers, usually when you spend a set amount in the first few months. Some cards offer 100,000 bonus frequent flyer points (or more), so it could even be enough to cover a business class reward flight or upgrade.
When you're looking at frequent flyer credit cards with sign-up offers, make sure you check the fine print for the offer – including how long it takes to get the points once you meet the requirements. And check that the rest of the card's features will work for you.
3. Only upgrade 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. This requires fewer points and can sometimes offer better availability than trying to upgrade or book an entire trip in business class.
4. Check out 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'll also be able to earn points with airline partners to help boost your balance for a future business class trip.
5. 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.
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