Stop thinking about toasters, iPads or TVs – Qantas Points are still very usable for a range of great flight redemptions.
This is how I would be looking to use a balance of 80,000 Qantas Points.
About this guide
It’s important to understand that to get the most from your points, you will usually be looking to use them for Premium Economy, Business or First Class flights.
I have intentionally not looked at upgrades in this post, instead focusing on the itineraries you could book outright using a balance of around 80,000 Qantas Points.
I am also focusing on Qantas’ preferred airline partners who offer redemptions at the same price level as Qantas themselves; other oneworld partners are priced at a slightly higher level, offering lesser value if you’re gunning to get the most from the points you have in your frequent flyer account.
It’s also important to note that availability for these redemptions can be limited. While a few of these opportunities are really hard to get, most can be had with a little planning and persistence when it comes to searching for award seats.
Important note: the redemptions below will get up to 15% more expensive from 18 September 2019.
Qantas Domestic and Trans-Tasman Business Class
We’re lucky to have Qantas’ modern A330 Business Class, which is one of the best domestic products in the world.
A decent use of your Qantas Points balance is for a return trip on one of the longer Qantas routes that cut across the continent or The Tasman.
- 36,000 Qantas Points: Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth one-way in Qantas Business Class
- 72,000 Qantas Points: Sydney to Auckland return in Qantas Business Class
Example taxes and fees: $70 Melbourne to Perth in Qantas Business Class
Many people understandably wouldn’t want to ‘waste’ their points on an outright redemption on a shorter route than this.
Having said that, you could redeem 16,000 Qantas Points for Qantas’ shortest routes in Business Class, one-way, such as Brisbane to Sydney, usually operated by their 737 fleet.
- 80,000 Qantas Points: five one-way flights under 600 miles in Qantas Business Class
- 72,000 Qantas Points: three one-way flights between 600 and 1,200 miles in Qantas Business Class
Qantas International Premium Economy and Business Class to Asia and the US
Long-haul Premium Economy and Business Class redemptions are also possible using 80,000 Qantas Points, mostly on a one-way basis.
- 45,000 Qantas Points: Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong/Singapore/Manila one-way in Qantas Premium Economy/Business Class
- 60,000 Qantas Points: same routes in Business Class
- 72,000 Qantas Points: Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Los Angeles/San Francisco in Qantas Premium Economy
Example taxes and fees: $351 Sydney to Singapore in Business Class; $386 Melbourne to Los Angeles in Premium Economy
Emirates Business or First Class to New Zealand
Emirates flights are one of the best, and most exclusive, ways to redeem your Qantas Points.
Many frequent flyers are now used to how easy (and cost effective) it is to redeem Qantas Points for Emirates flights, but others around the world aren’t so lucky.
Qantas is one of Emirates’ only global partners that can access Emirates Business or First Class flight award redemptions and, as a preferred Qantas partner, flight redemptions are priced the same as if you were travelling with Qantas, so take advantage of that when you come to use your Qantas Points.
However, do note that Emirates is cutting the majority of its Trans-Tasman flights between July 2017 and March 2018.
- 36,000 Qantas Points: Sydney to Christchurch one-way in Emirates A380 Business Class
- 54,000 Qantas Points: Melbourne/Brisbane to Auckland one-way in Emirates A380 First Class
Example taxes and fees: $128 Melbourne to Auckland in Emirates First or Business Class
Fiji Airways Business Class to Fiji and the US
Fiji Airways are another key Qantas partner for flights to Fiji, of course, and also onward to the US.
Fiji Airways operate a fleet a small fleet of Airbus A330s, along with smaller Boeing 737s. Try to look for an A330-operated flight for the most space and comfort.
- 36,000 Qantas Points: Sydney/Brisbane to Nadi one-way in Fiji Airways Business Class
- 50,000 Qantas Points: Melbourne/Adelaide to Nadi or Nadi to Honolulu one-way in Fiji Airways Business Class
- 50,000 Qantas Points: Nadi to Honolulu one-way in Fiji Airways Business Class
- 72,000 Qantas Points: Nadi to Los Angeles/San Francisco in Fiji Airways Business Class
Example taxes and fees: $87 Sydney to Nadi in Fiji Airways Business Class
American Airlines Business Class within the US
American Airlines are Qantas’ other major international business partner alongside Emirates.
One of the best things about this redemption is that the taxes and surcharges that accompany a Qantas Points booking on American Airlines are minimal.
AA’s 777-300ER Business Class seat is superior to Qantas’ A380 product
- 36,000 Qantas Points: Los Angeles to Miami one-way in American Airlines Business Class
- 50,000 Qantas Points: San Francisco to New York one-way in American Airlines Business Class
- 50,000 Qantas Points: US East Coast to Western Europe, e.g. New York to London in American Airlines Business Business Class
Example taxes and fees: $8 USD Los Angeles to Miami in American Airlines Business Class
Jetstar Business Class to tropical destinations
While a Jetstar flight is not a special experience to really aspire to take, Business Class offers a comfortable way to get to many international leisure destinations.
Pricing is around the Qantas Premium Economy mark – it’s actually 20% fewer points than an equivalent-length Qantas Business Class redemption.
- 40,000 Qantas Points: Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Bali one-way in Jetstar Business Class
- 57,600 Qantas Points: Sydney/Melbourne to Honolulu one-way in Jetstar Business Class
Example taxes and fees: $250 Sydney to Honolulu in Jetstar Business Class
You have to have some confidence that using points will save you money, as Jetstar Business Class can go on sale at competitive prices which might eat up the value in using Qantas Points versus paying cash for a ticket.
If you don’t have any inspiration for flights worth redeeming your Qantas Points for now, I think I can give up!
There are plenty of ways of using your Qantas Points for flights on Qantas and their preferred partner airlines.
You could, of course, also choose to hold on to your Qantas Points and use them for a round-the-world Business or First Class redemption, one of the best, big bang, big value ways to redeem them.
Three key things to bear in mind:
- Plan ahead: availability is usually best when searching 9+ months in advance; or
- Be prepared to be flexible and travel last-minute: reward seats can open up close to departure as people cancel their travel plans (releasing their reward seats) or airlines make more seats available to fill planes; and
- Remember the tax co-payment that comes with using points: then you won’t suffer bill-shock when you come to book
Good luck! What are your plans for your Qantas Points balance? Share below!
Looking for more inspiration for how to spend your hard-earned frequent flyer points?
Here is a comprehensive list of all of our Best Uses of Points guides. There may be some overlap but each guide has its own twist.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Best uses of Qantas Points
- ‘Ultimate’ uses of Qantas Points
- Best uses of 60,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 80,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 100,000 Qantas Points
- When it makes sense to use your Qantas Points for domestic travel in Economy (and when it doesn’t)
- Best uses of Qantas Points from the East Coast
- Best uses of Qantas Points from Perth
- Reader responses: what is the best use of Qantas Points?
- Seven of the cheapest Qantas Points redemptions for luxurious Emirates flights
- The cheapest ways to fly Cathay Pacific First Class with Qantas Points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Best uses of Velocity Points
- Best uses of 40,000 Velocity Points
- Best uses of 80,000 Velocity Points
- Best uses of 100,000 Velocity Points
- Five flight redemptions that maximise your Velocity points balance
American Express Membership Rewards
- Best uses of Etihad Guest miles
- Etihad Guest vs Velocity for Virgin Australia flights comparison guide