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The best ways to use 50,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points

From flight upgrades to gift cards, compare the best* ways to spend 50,000 Qantas Points.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members regularly have access to a range of bonus point promotions with program partners. In particular, there are many frequent flyer credit cards that come with introductory offers such as 50,000 Qantas bonus points when you sign up and meet spending requirements in the first few months.

But the real value of these points depends on how you use them. We look at the best* ways to use 50,000 (or more) bonus Qantas Points based on the convenience and the value-for-points of each reward. Some of the examples you can compare include flight upgrades, flight redemptions and other rewards such as merchandise or gift cards from the Qantas Store. We’ve also included a section on important factors to consider when redeeming a reward and a comparison to other reward programs.

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Generally, on a per-point basis, redeeming frequent flyer points for flights or flight upgrades offers the greatest value. While flight prices can vary significantly based on how and when you book, Qantas reward seats and upgrades have set point values based on miles flown and fare class.

The advantage to upgrades is that they require fewer points compared to redeeming full fares. Using points for upgrades can also give you more flexibility when it comes to flight dates and can enhance the benefits of fares you’ve already booked.

As a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can use points to upgrade to premium economy, business or first class depending on your original fare class and flight, with point requirements based on miles flown. To give you an idea of different ways to use your 50,000 Qantas Points, we’ve included options for various fare class upgrades below.

Upgrades from business to first class

If you have a business class fare you want to upgrade to first class and 50,000 points to burn, you could use them to your advantage on the following long-haul international flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Destination Points for upgrades before 20 February 2017 Points for upgrades from 20 February 2017
Dubai All business fares: 45,000 points
  • Business Saver or Business Sale tickets: 56,000 points
  • Flexible Business: 45,000 points
Los Angeles All business fares: 45,000 points
  • Business Saver or Business Sale tickets: 56,000 points
  • Flexible Business: 45,000 points
Dallas All business fares: 50,000 points
  • Business Saver or Business Sale tickets: 62,500 points
  • Flexible Business: 50,000 points

The following are some of the other business-to-first upgrades you can enjoy for less than 50,000 points:

  • Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane to Singapore. 31,500 points (from Business) or 25,000 points (Flexible Business).
  • Perth to Bangkok. 44,000 points (from Business) or 35,000 points (Flexible Business).
  • Darwin to Johannesburg: 50,000 points for an upgrade from Flexible Business.

Upgrades to business class

While business class doesn’t offer as many luxuries as a first class flight, it is still a comfortable way to travel compared to Economy or Premium Economy fares. With a bonus 50,000 Qantas Points, you’ve a number of options for upgrading from Economy and Premium Economy fares to business class.

Here are some examples of different upgrade options, including points required to upgrade a range of existing economy fares.

Route Points for upgrades before
20 February 2017
Points for upgrades from
20 February 2017
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Hong Kong
  • Economy: 40,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 25,000 points
  • Economy: 50,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 25,000 points
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Phuket
  • Economy: 40,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 25,000 points
  • Economy: 50,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 25,000 points
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Bali
  • Economy: 24,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 15,000 points
  • Economy: 30,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 15,000 points
Brisbane to Tokyo
  • Economy: 40,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 25,000 points
  • Economy: 50,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 25,000 points
Perth to Singapore
  • Economy: 24,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 15,000 points
  • Economy: 30,000 points
  • Premium Economy: 15,000 points

Upgrades from economy to premium economy

If you’re going beyond Asia on an economy fare, you could use your 50,000 Qantas Points for an upgrade to premium economy. This will give you some preferential services and extra comfort when compared to standard Economy, which could help make your flight more enjoyable.

The longer the flight, the greater you’ll appreciate the extra comfort. To make the most of your points, you can upgrade flexible economy fares from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to London for 24,000 points each or for 48,000 points on a return fare.

Unfortunately, if you have a regular economy fare, you’d need at least 60,000 points to upgrade to Premium Economy for this flight route. We’ve outlined many other options for one-way upgrades from standard to Premium Economy below.

Route Points for upgrades before
20 February 2017
Points for upgrades from
20 February 2017
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Honolulu 30,000 points 37,500 points
Perth to Athens 45,000 points 56,500 points
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Johannesburg 45,000 points 56,500 points
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Athens 50,000 points 62,500 points
Perth to Paris 50,000 points 62,500 points

What about domestic flight upgrades?

You could also use your points for multiple upgrades on domestic flights. This could be convenient if you’re flying across the country, or if you’re booked on a specific fare class for work. Here are a few examples of your options:

  • Perth to Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. You could upgrade a standard Economy fare to business class for 16,000 points prior to 20 February 2017 and 20,000 points after this date. So your 50,000 points could get you between 2-3 flight upgrades depending on when you redeem them.
  • Between Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Direct flights between these cities can be upgraded to Business for 10,000 points each if you’re on a discount economy fare or 5,000 each on a Flexible Economy fare. This reward rate remains the same after 20 February 2017 and would allow you to upgrade between 5-10 flights if you had 50,000 points on hand.

Flight redemptions

With 50,000 Qantas Points to your name, there are a variety of flight redemption options you can consider. The Qantas Frequent Flyer website outlines the cost of flight rewards, which are calculated based on fare class, miles flown and airline. Here, we’ve included some examples of popular flights you can redeem with 50,000 points.

One-way flights

Route Fare class Points
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Los Angeles Economy 45,000 points
Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Vancouver Economy 45,000 points
Perth to Beijing Economy 45,000 points
Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to Auckland Business 36,000 points
Perth to Auckland Business 50,000 points

Return flights

Route Fare class Points
Brisbane or Melbourne to Bali (Denpasar) Economy 40,000 points (20,000 points per flight)
Sydney to Bali (Denpasar) Economy 45,000 points (22,500 points per flight)
Perth to Singapore Economy 45,000 points (22,500 points per flight)

These tables show that most of the international reward flights you can get with 50,000 points will be in economy class, unless they’re shorter routes, such as those to Auckland. If you usually book Economy flights, it could be a way to save on your airfare costs. But if you’d prefer a higher fare class, then you may want to consider buying Economy fares outright and then using your points to request an upgrade or looking at Points + Pay options.

Merchandise, gift cards and other rewards

While flight upgrades and reward seats usually offer the biggest bang for your buck (or points in this case), you may still want to consider what other rewards you can get for 50,000 points. Here are some examples of the options available on the Qantas Store, with estimated retail values to help you see how much they’re worth in dollars.

Reward item Points Estimated retail value
$250 Sofitel hotel gift card 41,250 points $250
$250 Myer Digital eGift Card 41,500 points $250
Mr Aristotle Great Barrier Reef Cruise and Flight 46,160 points $299
Karcher MV 5 Premium Vacuum 48,740 points $299 – $319
De'Longhi Dedica Silver EC 680.M Pump Espresso Machine 49,180 points $299

Basically, your 50,000 points will translate into roughly $250-$300 when redeemed for rewards through the Qantas Store. Most international flights cost more than this, which is why you should use your Qantas Points on flights or flight upgrades. But if there’s something you really want or need to buy, using 50,000 points to get it could still help you keep around $300 in the bank.

What is the best* way to use even more bonus Qantas Points?

Occasionally Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards or partner offers will allow you to get even more bonus points. If you shop around, you could get up to 100,000 Qantas Points when you meet the requirements of one of these offers. When that’s the case, some competitive ways to use the points include:

  • Flight upgrades. From 20 February, you can upgrade to business class on a one-way flexible Economy flight from Sydney to London for 66,000 points. If you’re already flying business class, you could upgrade to first for 75,000 points.
  • Flight rewards. A one-way Premium Economy flight from Sydney to London would cost 96,000 points. A return Economy flight from Perth to Honolulu, on the other hand, costs 90,000 points.
  • Other rewards. For 90,240 points, you could get a 128GB Apple iPod Touch, and for 98,630 you could get a Chappelli 3 Speed Vintage Style bicycle, among many other items.

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What else should I consider?

If you’re thinking of taking advantage of an offer for 50,000 bonus Qantas Points (or more), make sure you also consider the following factors:

  • Eligibility. Bonus Qantas Point offers all come with specific terms and conditions you’ll need to meet in order to get the reward. For example, with a Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card, you usually need to apply within a set timeframe and then spend a specific amount of money in the first few months you have the card. Check the details of each offer carefully so you don’t miss out on these extra points.
  • Dollar value of rewards. The value of Qantas Points varies based on how you use them. In some cases, a bonus 50,000 points could save you over $1,000 (particularly for flight and upgrades). In other cases, you may only end up $300 better off.
  • Additional costs. Most Qantas bonus point offers require you to sign up for a service or meet spending requirements. If there are additional costs attached, such as a credit card annual fee or interest charges, make sure you weigh them up against the value of the points to decide if it’s worth it in the short- and long-term.
  • Points + Pay. The Qantas Frequent Flyer program has many rewards that allow you to use a combination of points and cash if you don’t have enough points in your account.
  • Buying Qantas Points. If you don’t have enough points for a flight or flight upgrade, you can also buy Qantas Points to cover the shortfall. But there are strict conditions around this option, and it’s usually ideal to earn more points instead.
  • Point expiry. Qantas Frequent Flyer points won’t expire if you use or redeem them at least once every 18 months. That applies to any bonus points you get through the program as well.
  • Point sharing. As Qantas allows you to transfer points to an eligible family member’s frequent flyer account, a bonus 50,000 points could also make a great gift for someone.

Other rewards programs

Another major factor to consider is the potential value you could get from reward points through another program. As a comparison, here are a few examples of what 50,000 points would get you with other reward programs:

  • Velocity Frequent Flyer. An upgrade to The Business when flying from Sydney to Los Angeles or Abu Dhabi on a Freedom flexible economy fare or Premium Saver premium economy ticket costs 45,000 points. A $250 Myer or David Jones gift card also costs 45,000 points.
  • flybuys. With 50,000 points, you could get $250 worth of travel through flybuys travel or $250 off your shopping at Coles.
  • American Express Membership Rewards. You could redeem 50,000 points for $500 worth of travel with Webjet. You could also get $350 worth of Coles Group and Myer gift cards (a $100 card and a $250 card) for 47,250 points.
  • CommBank Awards. A $250 gift card costs 50,000 points. You can also redeem points instantly for travel bookings with Flight Centre, but the actual amount of points required varies and is only available during the redemption process.

These examples show that the value of points used for travel can be similar across a range of reward programs. But it’s useful to consider different options to decide what bonus point offers and what rewards programs will provide value and convenience for you.

Credit card point offers and program partner promotions can be a great way to get more Qantas Points quickly. But the value of these points still depends on the terms and conditions of these offers, as well as how you choose to use them.

Pictures: Shutterstock

*The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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