family on the beach

Qantas Points – How The Frequent Flyer Program Works

For those starting out in their points journey, the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is one of the first you come across. It’s simple for beginners and allows you to collect points on numerous partnered airlines. You can even collect Qantas points by filling up at BP fuel stations or grocery shopping at Woolworths.

I lived in Sydney for just over two years, and during this time, I collected my fair share of points. It is a no-brainer, especially for those living Down Under and near the Australasia region of the Southern Hemisphere.

In this guide, I’ll provide a balanced introduction to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program and its points system. I’ll also weigh up the pros – and the cons – to help you decide whether this program is the best choice for you.

How To Earn Qantas Points

The best introductions start with explanations. So, how do Qantas Points actually work?

The premise is simple. You collect points by taking flights and engaging with Qantas’ partners, who include businesses like SONY, BP, and Airbnb. You can also apply for a credit card that gives you flexible points.

The points increase the more you spend, averaging around 2 points per Australian dollar spent. You collect points over time, aiming to save enough to cache in rewards. 

Qantas partners with many lifestyle businesses, so it’s easy to collect points – whether you’re traveling or just at home. You can quickly accrue enough for a domestic flight if you redeem points every time you fill up your car or do a weekly food shop.

Once you collect a good amount of points, you can redeem them in exchange for rewards. Your membership dashboard provides an ongoing tally of your Qantas Points so you can easily keep track.

Around 5,000 to 12,000 should be enough points for a budget hotel stay, while 30,000 to 40,000 can bag you a night in a luxury hotel. Domestic flights start at around 8,000 points and rise to 70,000 for an international flight. You can use the Qantas Calculator to see how many points you need or can collect from an eligible flight.

A word of warning: Qantas Points expire after 18 months of inactivity. You must earn or use points at least once every 18 months to avoid this.

Qantas Points vs. Status Credits

The Qantas Frequent Flyer Program offers two reward systems: Status Credits and Qantas Points. While this guide will focus on Qantas Points, it’s important to briefly introduce both so that you understand how they relate to and differentiate from one another.

You can earn Status Credits and Qantas Points simultaneously on eligible flights. However, increasing your Status Credits helps you climb status tiers. In contrast, increasing Qantas Points gives you free rein to shop and redeem rewards. 

There are five status tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Platinum One. Each tier comes with different bonuses – almost like mini membership clubs. For instance, Gold gives you access to over 600 international lounges and fast-track services on each flight.

Status Credits are more about improving your flight experience over time. Qantas Points are shopping-based. You collect and save them to redeem on experiences.

How to Redeem Qantas Points

Spending Qantas Points is super easy. You manage everything from your personal dashboard in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account. It has all the search engines you need internally, like Qantas Hotels, and links to businesses where you can redeem your points. 

When you want to spend your points, head to your account. Having everything in one place is useful, and the website is structured clearly.

There are over 30,000 products you can buy using points on Qantas Marketplace, spread over 1,200 partner brands. Ways to spend your points include:

Flights

You can use Qantas Points to book domestic flights with Jetstar all across Australia. For instance, traveling to Perth or Sydney to Melbourne for the prestigious Melbourne Cup. It’s handy to have a few thousand points up your sleeve. 

Jetstar also connects Australia with New Zealand, Fiji, South Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. It’s a reliable, budget-friendly airline to swap your points for flights to and from South East Asia, the Pacific Islands, and New Zealand. 

You can also exchange Qantas Points for flights on Qantas Airlines. The airline operates domestically, short-haul, and long-haul – so take your pick.

You can redeem flights in three ways:

Classic Flight Rewards: This is where you redeem the exact amount of points needed for a specific flight. 

Points Plus Pay: You pay a certain percentage of a flight using points, giving you a discount. You then pay the rest in cash.

Classic Upgrade Rewards: Using this flight option, you can use points to upgrade your seats on a standard flight booking. You could upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy or Business Class to First Class.

Hotel Stays

Booking hotel stays is another easy way to redeem your points. Qantas partners with hotels worldwide to provide hotel stays in exchange for points. It is really easy, with loads of options in different cities.

A quick search for available hotels today in Paris for two people shows 780 available properties. That’s 780 properties happy to swap points for an overnight stay in just one city. 

Hotel inclusions vary on an individual basis. You may have to pay extra for city tax or breakfast for some stays. Others will include these factors in the upfront points cost. 

Car Hire and Fuel (check)

Yep. You can even redeem points to cover your car hire. Qantas partners with AVIS, BP, and Budget to let you use collected points for car hire and fuel top-ups. 

You can use points at any of these companies by heading to your account and the ‘use points’ section. 

Shopping

Qantas Marketplace is full of shops where you can redeem points, including leading brands like Apple and Pandora. It certainly makes Christmas time and birthdays a little easier. Or you can treat yourself to a purchase.

Again, to use points to purchase anything, open your account dashboard and navigate to the ‘use points’ section. You’ll quickly see a menu item labeled ‘shopping.’

The Pros of Collecting Qantas Points 

Now that you understand how the program works let’s review the positives of collecting Qantas Points. Here’s my take. 

  1. You Can Easily Redeem Points on a Huge Variety of Reward Categories

Redeeming points on things like hotel stays and flights is ideal. And while it might take you a while to save for any international flights, you can easily collect enough to claim domestic flights and hotel stays in a few months.

The variety of reward categories is a huge plus, especially for an avid traveler. I was massively impressed when I learned that you could redeem points for car hire, hotel stays, and flight upgrades. Similarly, it’s great that you can shop for leisure using Qantas Points. 

You can shop for ways to redeem points straight from your membership dashboard, as Qantas has a single integrated system. It’s easy to navigate with thousands of options. The redeeming process is flexible and straightforward, making the whole experience of collecting points much more rewarding.

  1. Collecting Points is Easy 

Collecting Qantas Points is extremely easy. There are thousands of eligible partners, from businesses like Apple to British Airways and China Airlines. You can even accumulate points from BP when you top up your car.

This is a real positive of choosing Qantas Points, as it makes saving enough to redeem high-quality rewards more realistic. The more choices and chances you have to earn points, the more rewards you will get. It’s simple.

  1. Flying With Qantas is a High-Quality Experience

A definite positive of collecting Qantas Points is that the airline offers passengers a high-quality experience. Having primarily flown with Qantas to and from Australia, I personally love the service. 

The checked baggage inclusion with every booking is a particularly nice touch. Whether you fly domestically or internationally, Qantas gives you a minimum of 23kg of complimentary checked luggage.

When choosing an airline rewards program, it’s wise to consider how enjoyable you find flying with the actual airline. Overall, Qantas is a well-respected airline with thoughtful policies and high-quality cabins.

The Cons of Collecting Qantas Points

Despite being a brilliant option overall, there are a few downsides to using Qantas Points. These are the main ones to know before creating a membership.

  1. It’s Only Good Value When Spending on Everyday Purchases

Spending on random buys to collect points isn’t going to give you the best value out of this program. It might go without saying, but it’s worth reiterating. 

You’ll get the best value by collecting points using everyday purchases – like groceries or fuel. The value of 1,000 points is equivalent to around $20. So, it’s something to collect over time to truly get value out of the program.

The value of points isn’t high enough to justify purchasing unnecessary items specifically to collect points.

  1. It’s Easier to Collect Points Living in or Near Australia 

Collecting Qantas Points while living in or near Australia is undeniably easier. Having collected points while living in Sydney for two years and since returning and living in the UK for three years, I can confirm this firsthand.

When surrounded by Qantas partners, it’s much easier to collect points in a sustainable, slow, and steady way. I saw the most value in the program when I was shopping at Woolworths for weekly groceries and collecting points every week. In the UK, I primarily collect points on international flights and am currently considering credit card options.

This more ad hoc collecting of Qantas Points means you must be more mindful of the 18-month expiration period. It is still worthwhile to collect Qantas Points, but you have to be more savvy to accumulate points when living outside Australia. 

My Experience Using Qantas Points 

Collecting and using Qantas Points was a really positive experience. It is easier to collect points when you are living in Australasia, just because that’s where most of their partners are. However, as a whole, it is a great international program – especially if you regularly take long-haul flights with points-eligible airlines like British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates. 

Using your account to earn and use points is easy, and having everything in one place is really user-friendly. Having so many options on things to redeem points on also means you don’t need to save huge numbers of points to benefit from the program. 

For instance, I booked a stay at the Hotel Catalonia Vondel Amsterdam for just 8,313 Qantas Points. The 4-star boutique hotel is ideally located to walk into Amsterdam’s center, and having the points saved me money on a short city break. I was even upgraded on arrival from a single to a premium room. 

The range of partnered hotels available through Qantas Hotels is enormous, and I found it easy to sift through the options and find a match. Qantas Points are realistic to collect and redeem thanks to the number of partners they have. This is my favorite part of the program.

I find Qantas has an easier navigation dashboard than similar rewards programs like British Airways Executive Club. I also found it comparably more beneficial than budget airline rewards programs like Lufthansa’s Miles and More. 

In Summary 

Qantas Points definitely justify signing up for the Qantas Frequent Flyers Program. You can collect points by spending on flights, accommodation, fuel, and shopping with Qantas partners. It’s easy to quickly rack up enough points to redeem a hotel stay or short-haul flight. 

I enjoy collecting and using Qantas Points and find the ease of the experience highly motivating. The only thing to be wary of is the 18-month expiration period. And be prepared to get more creative when collecting outside of Australasia.

Similar Posts