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The best uses of Qantas Points in 2024

Qantas Points are so popular in Australia that they’re often referred to as the nation’s “second currency”.

With more than 14 million Qantas Frequent Flyer members and hundreds of billions of Qantas Points in circulation, it’s easy to understand why. 

During the pandemic, Qantas Points became even more sought-after when arch-rival Virgin Australia went into voluntary administration, putting Velocity Points holdings at risk and motivating people to transfer their loyalty to Qantas. 

So the situation now is that we have more Qantas Frequent Flyers members than ever, more Qantas Points than ever, and huge demand for travel – all of which has increased competition for reward seats and forced Qantas to take steps to make it easier to use points for travel.

It remains the case that using Qantas Points to secure reward seats or upgrades gives you the most ‘bang’ for your points ‘buck’.

Qantas continues to tempt members with a growing list of other redemption options: hotel stays, car hire, insurances, gift vouchers, household goods … the list goes on. But these almost always provide less value that spending the equivalent number of points on flights.

However, it’s much easier to spend points on non-flight redemptions, so many people do.

As always, it pays to compare the actual value of points redemption options.

In 2024, here are some great ways to put your Qantas Points to use. 

Just fly – anywhere, in any class

Everyone wants to travel right now, and airfares can be eye-wateringly high – even in economy.

Previously, we discouraged Qantas Points holders from using points to fly economy, but now this can be a worthwhile choice. 

If you can find a reward seat, chances are it will save you a lot of money. 

In terms of finding seats, we’ve written a separate article on this topic – but in short, while it’s not that hard to find domestic reward seats, international seats are a bit trickier to secure, and your best bet is to look out for one of Qantas’ batch releases.

Before you book, make sure to compare the cost of the reward seat (plus taxes and fees) and paying for the fare outright. 

Aim to get at least 1.5 cents of value per point redeemed, otherwise it’s probably worth saving your points for a future trip. (The only exception is if you’re desperate to travel and have no other way to afford it. In that case, you get a pass – because after everything we’ve gone through the last few years, everyone deserves a holiday.)

The ultimate use of Qantas Points – fly round the world in business class

The oneworld award is hands-down the best way to redeem Qantas Points, in my opinion. It allows you to fly up to 35,000 miles with five “stopovers” using any of the airlines in the oneworld alliance.

Since a total of 16 flight and land segments are permitted, you can actually visit more than five destinations by making land segments on your own.

You don’t need to fly round-the-world if you don’t want to – it’s not required under the rules – which means you can loop or zig-zag anywhere you like.

The cost in business class is 318,000 Qantas Points plus taxes and fees, which is on par with some return flights from Australia to Europe or the USA – so this is a fantastic deal.

Booking this award can be tricky, so I’ve written a separate article with tips on how to go about it.

Book a premium economy, business or first class reward seat with Qantas

Qantas provides an excellent business class product across its fleet, with the cabin available on all destinations except some lower-capacity domestic flights.

Premium economy and first class are only available on select international routes operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A380s.

Domestic and short-haul international business class is always a great use of points, especially on the Airbus A330s which feature the first-generation ‘Business Suite’ on board. It’s a superior option to business class on the smaller Boeing 737s or 717s – though even that’s a comfortable choice and a good use of points.

Qantas A330 business suite
Qantas A330 Business Class
Qantas 737 Business Class

On long-haul international routes, premium economy and business class are also excellent products and a fantastic use of points.

Qantas A380 Premium Economy
Qantas A380 Business Class
Qantas A380 First Class

Qantas prices reward seats based on distance. For example, domestic business class starts at 18,400 points for short flights like Sydney-Melbourne and tops out at 41,500 for longer flights like Sydney-Perth (plus taxes and fees).

Overseas flights top out at 108,400 points in premium economy, 144,600 in business class and 216,900 in first class one-way, plus taxes and fees. All the pricing can be viewed on Qantas’ site here.

Upgrade a Qantas flight

Qantas Points can be used to upgrade from one class to another on Qantas flights.

Qantas Points cannot be used to upgrade on a partner airline flight.

On domestic flights, you can upgrade from any fare class, including the cheapest economy fares.

However, on international flights, restrictions are in place, meaning not all economy fares are upgradeable. You can only upgrade from economy classic flight rewards and the paid fare classes G, K, L, M, S and V (“Economy”) and B, H and Y (“Flexible Economy”). The cheapest sale fares are not eligible.

In addition, upgrades to first class are restricted to passengers flying on paid business class fares.

More information, including all the costs, is on Qantas’ website here.

Fly in a premium cabin with Qantas partners

Qantas is a member of the oneworld alliance which includes airlines like Japan Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.

Qantas also has one-on-one partnerships with airlines like Emirates.

You can use points to fly with these partners, meaning your points can take you virtually anywhere in the world.

Be aware that you cannot use Qantas Points to upgrade on a partner flight. Your only option is to book a reward seat outright.

To get a feel for what you can expect, I’ve reviewed a number of Qantas partners.

For example, Japan Airlines 787 business class is a fantastic way to fly. While the layout is 2-2-2, everyone has direct aisle access due to the staggered configuration. The service, food and drinks (sake!) are also top-notch.

Japan Airlines 787 Business Class

Malaysia Airlines A350 business class is also a good use of Qantas Points.

Many people regard Qatas Airways’ Qsuites as the world’s best business class product, and it’s another great option for Qantas Points holders – but has been severely limited lately due to a decision by Qatar Airways to restrict access for most partners.

Qatar Airways Qsuites

Emirates’ business and first class have also been very popular choices for Qantas Points holders, but reward seats are hard to find right now, again due to a conscious choice by the carrier to limit access.

Plus, Emirates has jacked up the additional charges payable, so that they can add up to thousands of dollars on some routes. That has substantially reduced the value of Emirates reward seat redemptions.

Emirates First Class

I’ve written a separate guide to using Qantas Points to fly Emirates business and first class, which you can read here.

Qantas partners have varying taxes and charges they levy on reward fares. Airlines with lower charges include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and Japan Airlines. On the other hand, high charges are most often found with Emirates, British Airways, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian.

Book a tour or holiday package via Qantas Holidays

If you don’t want to (or can’t) use Qantas Points for reward seats or upgrades, your best option is to book a holiday via Qantas Holidays.

Qantas has partnered with TripAdeal to sell holiday packages (which combine airfares and accommodation) and, separately, premium small group tours.

All of these ready-made holidays can now be booked using Qantas Points.

For tours, it appears you get around 1 cent of value per point used (e.g. you can cover $5000 with 500,000 points) while for holiday packages, you get around 0.85 cents of value per point (e.g. you can cover $5000 with around 584,000 points).

That is much better value than using points for gift cards or purchases on the Qantas Markeplace, where you typically get 0.5 cents for each point redeemed.

Summing up

The best use of Qantas Points is flying in a premium cabin, whether that’s a reward seat or an upgrade.

The value you get from spending Qantas Points this way is much higher than with any other redemption, plus it can be an amazing experience.

While premium reward seats and upgrades can be tricky to secure, with a little planning and effort you can make it work.

Alternatively, economy reward seats can also be good value, especially when paid economy fares are very high.

And if none of that works for you, the holiday packages and tours Qantas offers via Qantas Holidays are worth considering.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Does Qantas ever offer reward seat bookings in Premium Economy or Business Class.

    I only ever see economy reward seats.
    Sydney to Los Angeles return is 83,800 points.
    I can use points to book that same flight in Business class but it’s 2,140,000 points!

  2. Hi Kris: I have nearly 30,000 Qantas Rewards Points; is it possible to use them Selecting Extra Legroom seats on Malaysian Airlines tickets already bought? The seat selection costs about $165 pp x 2 return. So the actual cost involved would be around $660Au.

  3. Hello Kris; I have 29,000+ Qantas Rewards points. Am I able to use them for Seat Selection on a booked Malaysian Airlines flight? Can’t seem to find where to do this. Thanks

  4. Hi Kris, are tickets booked through partner airlines better rather than booked through Qantas website as a QF flight? Thanks

    • Hi Craig, not sure what you mean. You can only use Qantas Points on the Qantas’ website/call centre (including for booking seats with partner airlines).

  5. Hi Kris, can you address the issue of taxes and charges when looking for classic rewards seats. I looked at using points for Sydney to London return but the fees and charges totalled $1090. Instead, I booked Emirates for $1400 and so still have all my points to use on some other flight if I can find one that doesn’t cost the earth in fees. Thanks, Julie

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