Case study: How I hit Europe, Japan and Hong Kong in Business Class using 280,000 Qantas Points (Part I)

A case study in advanced points redemptions

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: September 13, 2017
UPDATED: September 26, 2017
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer

Sydney-based Point Hacks reader Bevan Smith is an avid traveller and well-versed frequent flyer.

He has just returned from a seven-week holiday to Europe, Japan and Hong Kong, and used only 280,000 Qantas Points + under $1,100 AUD in taxes and fees to fly Business Class the whole way.

Bevan wanted to share how he got hold of the points in the first place, how he booked the flights, and what he thought of some of the flights and lounges.

Over the next couple of days, we’ll be hearing about how he maximised value from his oneworld Classic Flight Reward redemption through Qantas Frequent Flyer with the aim to help you plan your next overseas trip.


Case study: Bevan’s oneworld Classic Flight Reward redemption to Europe and Asia

Part 1: About me and how I accumulate points
Part 2: How I booked my oneworld Classic Flight Reward
Part 3: My experiences of the flights and lounges


Why do I use points?

My partner and I love to travel. This is the fifth oneworld Classic Flight Reward redemption I have used over the past ten years, but is the first time I have used points for Business Class all the way.

I like using the oneworld Classic Flight Reward because:

  • It is the most effective use of points for me
  • We see places we might not go to otherwise, e.g. Iceland, Norway for the northern lights and Russia

Gulfoss in Iceland, just one of the amazing destinations on our trip

I could not afford to travel so extensively and so frequently unless I used points. The retail value of my itinerary runs at over $21,000 plus taxes per person, and this is where Qantas’ oneworld Classic Flight Reward comes in handy, allowing you to mix and match oneworld airlines across multi-stop itineraries.

Accumulating the points

My friends constantly ask ‘How do you do this?’, generally with a tone of disbelief. The answer is: ‘easy, but…’

I operate a small business, so have the huge benefit of paying tax using a credit card (including the GST I collect on behalf of the Australian Tax Office). This is gradually getting more difficult as the card providers continue to wind back from paying points on government transactions.

Two viable options are the American Express Business Accelerator and RewardPay.

In the future, I will redeem Cathay Pacific Asia Miles to secure itineraries like this, as it works out cheaper (more on this in Part 2).

I also picked up a big credit card sign-up bonus by upgrading my David Jones American Express card to an American Express Platinum Charge card. The latter is, along with the Business version of the card, the only American Express card that allows you to transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Qantas Points.

I beefed up my Qantas Points with a sign-up bonus to Qantas Business Rewards, some bonus points for purchases using the Qantas Online Mall, as well as my normal everyday household expenditure.

Like George Clooney says in Up in The Air, ‘I don’t spend a cent unless it profits my frequent flyer account.’

George Clooney schools Anna Kendrick in the finer details of accumulating points

Summing up

I am lucky that I can direct business expenditure to my cards, which increases my frequent flyer balances. However, I also keep my eye out for bonus points promotions to strengthen my accounts.

Flexible points currencies like American Express Membership Rewards points give me the best opportunity to transfer my points for maximum value.

Upcoming Part 2 will detail exactly how I went about researching and booking my individual flights.

Supplementary images courtesy Global Circle Mapper and hotflick.net.

Case study: How I hit Europe, Japan and Hong Kong in Business Class using 280,000 Qantas Points (Part I) was last modified: September 26th, 2017 by Bevan Smith