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New Qantas frequent flyer program: Double the points to fly to Europe


We compare the number of points you need under the new Classic Plus to fly to Europe, compared to Qantas's existing Classic Rewards program.

In March, I was lucky enough to fly first class to New York with Emirates.

I booked the flight using Qantas frequent flyer points: I handed over 209,000 Qantas points for the Classic Reward fare, and paid a massive $2,500 in taxes and fees.

Interestingly, taxes on an economy fare were as low as $200. But still, this represented a massive discount, as the one-way fare is normally priced at up to $25,000 when paying the full fare.

The flight was extraordinary and I can't wait to fly up the pointy end of the plane again one day.

Emirates first class

Although, as I wrote in my op-ed for, the new Qantas frequent flyer program may make that less likely than more.

I am pleased to confirm that the current Classic Rewards program is staying exactly as it is, thank goodness – it will run alongside the new Classic Plus program. So, we can still attempt to redeem those fares. I say attempt, because there's often much more demand for fares than there is availability!

But I explain all the rest of the details of the new program in my op-ed – both the benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, there are going to be 20 million flights available for redemption with Classic Plus. This is a massive increase on the 5 million fares currently available each year via Classic Rewards.

However, you can't book codeshare or partner flights on other airlines, like I did with Emirates, in the new Classic Plus program. Also, in most cases, it's likely to require more points to book a flight using Classic Plus. The way the system works, fares are priced dynamically, meaning you'll spend more points during peak season and less points during lower seasons. (Something to look out for: Qantas says you may be able to book Classic Plus fares on sale.)

Which brings me to the actual points breakdown. I think this is really helpful in understanding exactly how the new Classic Plus program compares to the existing Classic Rewards program.

Economy class

Existing Classic Rewards Classic Plus - Low SeasonClassic Plus - High Season
Taxes and fees$714$714$714

Business class

Existing Classic Rewards Classic Plus - Low SeasonClassic Plus - High Season
Taxes and fees$1346$1696$1696

Whether you can snag a great value classic reward or you need to pony up for a more expensive Classic Plus fare, frequent flyer rewards programs are an excellent way of paying less when you travel.

I use my Qantas Rewards credit card to not only earn loads of points, but also to get free international travel insurance for my entire family when we go overseas. This alone saves us several hundred dollars a year.

If you supercharge your points earnings with a credit card bonus offer of 80k points, that's enough to redeem 10 one-way economy flights or 4 one-way business flights between Sydney and Melbourne. Compare a range of Qantas credit cards today

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