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How to get the most value out of your Qantas Frequent Flyer points

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Want to get the greatest value from your Qantas Points when making a redemption? Here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) do.

If you’re a loyal Qantas customer, the Qantas Frequent Flyer program could be a clever way to pick up some extra perks when spending with the airline. Once you've earned enough points through this program, you can redeem them for a wide range of rewards.

But not all redemption options offer the same value so you need to compare them carefully if you want your points to take you as far as possible. We’ve made things easy by highlighting the best and worst ways you can spend your points to help you get the most from your Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

How you can spend your Qantas Pointsqantas-flights-300x263

  • Flights. Flight prices often vary depending on the time of day and week. For instance, it's cheaper to fly Sydney-Melbourne in the middle of the day on Wednesday (where you can usually score a Qantas flight for around $160) than at 6pm on a Friday (where you might pay $400 or more). Using your points to pay for flights at busy times can save you hundreds of dollars.
  • Flight upgrades. Who wouldn’t like to escape cramped economy for the luxury of a business class flight? While you can only see what upgrades you can take advantage of and how much they’ll cost you in points or cash after you’ve booked your flights, generally speaking upgrades are a good way to spend your points. Given a one-way Economy trip from Sydney to Los Angeles will cost you 1,055,300 points (or $9,003 if you pay in cash) or 133,100 ($1,180 in cash) for a one-way Business trip, using your points to upgrade from Economy to Business rather than forking out the points or cash in total could work out cheaper. Check your flight booking to see whether this is the case for you.
  • Points Plus Pay. If you don’t have enough points to fund your entire flight or chosen reward, you can use Points Plus Pay. This option allows you to fund any remaining costs you can’t cover with points, meaning you won’t have to miss out on your dream reward when your points balance is running low.
  • Flying with partners. Just because you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to fly with other airlines occasionally. If you’re flying with one of Qantas’ airline partners in the Oneworld alliance, you can use your points to cut costs off flight and upgrade fees.

How you should avoid spending Qantas Points

Shopping at the Qantas Store

While you can redeem your points for rewards at the Qantas store, it doesn’t offer the best exchange rates. For example, a Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, priced in store at approximately $69.00, would cost you 12,350 Qantas Frequent Flyer points. This is almost the same amount of Qantas Points (12,400) you’d need for a Jetstar Starter flight from Sydney to Melbourne). This means that each of your points would have a real-world value of $0.56.

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How can I calculate how much my points are worth?

How can I calculate how much my points are worth?

Step 1: Divide the cost of the Qantas store item by the number of points you’ll need to redeem the reward times 100

69/12350*100 = 0.56

This answer is how much your points are worth per dollar.

Flying economy

Although Qantas recently lowered the number of points you’ll need to redeem economy flights by around 10%, using your points to upgrade your flights still holds more value. Redeeming your points for a Classic Rewards economy return trip from Sydney to London would cost you 120,000 Qantas Points in total. On the other hand, you could book a sale economy flight from Sydney to London for $804, giving your points a real-world value of $0.67. So if you booked your flights with cash rather than redeeming it with points, you could stand to save $396.

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How can I calculate how much my points are worth?

How can I calculate how much my points are worth?

Step 1: Divide the cost of the flights by the number of points you’ll need to redeem the flights

804/120000 = 0.67

This answer is how much your points are worth per dollar in this case. This will vary depending on when you fly.

Step 2: To see how much this puts you out of pocket, divide the cost of the flights by the dollar value of the points.

804/0.67 = 1200

This means that you’ll need to spend $1,200 to earn the points you’ll need to redeem the reward that’s worth $804.

Step 3: To calculate how much you’ll lose out, you’ll need to subtract the cost of the flight from the cost you’ll need to spend to earn the points to redeem the reward.

1200 - 804 = 396

So as you can see, you’ll lose $396 if you use your Qantas rewards points to book

Accommodation

Using your points to book hotel stays offers less benefit than if you were to use them for flights. While a one-night stay at the Rydges Kensington London would cost you $305, you’d give up 48574 points for the same stay. This gives your points a $0.63 value, putting you $179.13 out of pocket.

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How can I calculate how much my points are worth?

How can I calculate how much my points are worth?

Step 1: Divide the cost of the accommodation by the number of points you’ll need to redeem the hotel stay times 100

305/48574*100 = 0.63

This answer is how much your points are worth per dollar.

Step 2: To calculate how much you’d need to spend to earn the points you’ll need to redeem the reward, divide the cost of the accommodation by the dollar value of the points.

305/0.63 = 484.13

So you’ll need to spend $484.13 to earn enough points to redeem the reward that’s worth $305.

Step 3: To calculate how much you’ll lose out, you’ll need to subtract the cost of the accommodation from the cost you’ll need to spend to earn the points to redeem the reward.

484.13-305 = 179.13

So in this case, you will lose $179.13 if you use your Qantas Points to book your next hotel stay.

While the most valuable way to spend your Qantas Points will always depend on what you want to get out of your rewards, some options offer better monetary value than others. Before spending your points, take some time to compare your options to guarantee that your loyalty to Qantas is rewarded as much as possible.

Discover how you can earn rewards with the Qantas Frequent Flyer program

Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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