For those who know how to use rewards points effectively, buying them outright can be an option to secure cheaper travel — as long as the cost of the points is less than otherwise paying for the flight or hotel.
To buy points, you have to know what price points offers good value. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the different ways you can buy Qantas Points — specifically, to top up your account — and if it is ever worth it.
Note: Qantas Points expire after 18 months of inactivity in your account, make sure to keep your account active by earning or redeeming points regularly.
When might I want to buy Qantas Points?
We cover the basics of buying and points and miles in some detail in our beginner’s guide. There are two distinct scenarios for buying points that we encounter most often:
- Top-ups: buying points to top up your account when you don’t quite have enough points to make your desired reward booking, but have found the flight or hotel availability, and are ready to book; or
- Outright purchases: buying enough points in one hit to redeem for the total cost of your travel immediately
When it comes to buying Qantas Points, it is rare to be able to leverage the purchase into an outright booking — the cost per point is usually not low enough, combined with Qantas reward pricing usually being quite high. So our focus here is how to buy enough points for a top-up.
We currently value Qantas Points at 1.80 cents per point, and when it comes to topping up, you may be willing to pay substantially more given that the number of points needed should not be that high. And if that means it will help to secure a specific reward that might otherwise be lost, then paying a high price for a small number of points should still see you coming out on top.
Therefore, we will set a target acquisition cost of no more than 2.5c per Qantas Point to add a filter.
Buying points from the source: Qantas Top-Ups
Qantas offer direct purchase of points via the points top-ups page but it is not cheap. If it were, this article probably would not need to exist! You start off paying 5.6c per point, with 1,000 Qantas Points on offer for A$56. At the top end of the scale, the price per point comes down to 2.7c, with 150,000 Qantas Points going for A$3,999.
Generally, we wouldn’t recommend you go down this path unless you urgently (and instantly) need those points to secure an important booking, such as a round-the-world trip in Business or First Class once we’re able to travel again.
If you have a Visa, Mastercard or American Express card, you can top up online. If you have a Diners Card or JCB card, you will need to phone Qantas and incur a flat A$35 fee for processing the purchase over the phone.
Note this other important information:
- Points may be purchased in blocks of 1,000
- Minimum 1,000 to maximum 150,000 points per purchase
- Top-up points can be purchased four times per member in a 12-month period
- You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member for at least 30 days before purchasing top-up points online
- After your top-up points purchase, you’ll need to log out of your account then log back in again to see your updated points balance
How do I buy Qantas Points?
- Go to the top-up points page on the Qantas website
- Log in to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account
- Choose how many points would you like to purchase
- Use a credit or debit card to complete payment
A summary on buying Qantas Points can be found in the video below.
Buying Qantas Points from American Express as a Platinum Charge Card Member
American Express Platinum Charge Card Members can transfer their Membership Rewards points to Qantas Frequent Flyer. It is a unique benefit but the card comes with a high annual fee, so it is only useful to a small number of Qantas Frequent Flyer members.
If you are a Platinum Card Member, you can pick up Membership Rewards points directly from American Express for 2.5c per point, which need to be transferred to a partner immediately. For Qantas, they transfer at a 2:1 ratio, so you would be paying 5c per Qantas Point — not such a great deal anymore.
Consider buying points from Qantas Wine
There is a reason we round up Qantas Wine’s deals — it can be pretty lucrative when it comes to earning Qantas Points, plus you get some wine on top. Take this example offer: six bottles of Balnaves The Tally varieties for $480, plus 20,000 bonus Qantas Points on top. As a Premium member, you would also earn 3 points per A$1 spent, which is 1,440 Qantas Points.
This offer would yield 21,440 Qantas Points at a cost of 2.24c per Qantas Point — and that is without factoring in the value of the wine! This is an offer at the higher end of the value scale but it does come up fairly frequently.
Qantas Wine also meets one of the other criteria for a successful top-up — the points credit quickly, often the same day but sometimes within 3-5 business days. On top of that, Qantas Wine posts as a ‘travel’ transaction with American Express, so holders of the Qantas American Express Ultimate or American Express Platinum Card would earn additional points for Qantas spend.
Buying Qantas Points through Choice Privileges
Choice Privileges is a smaller hotel chain that is partners with Qantas Frequent Flyer. You can buy Choice Privileges points and then send it over to your Qantas account!
The usual transfer rate is 2,000 Choice Privileges Points to 800 Qantas Points. You can buy up to 100,000 Choice Privileges points a year, for US$999 (~A$1,290). At full price, you could net up to 40,000 Qantas Points at this price, meaning you pay about 3.23 cents per point – pretty average.
But if your stars align, there can be some great deals indeed. Back in March 2021, Choice Privileges launched two concurrent promotions: double points on transfer to Qantas Frequent Flyer, plus a 40% bonus when you purchase Choice Privileges points.
This means that for the same ~A$1,290 spend, you could potentially net 140,000 Choice Privileges points which could transfer to 112,000 Qantas Points – working out to an excellent 1.15 cents per point.
Other options for earning points relatively quickly and easily by paying for them
You could also consider paying your tax bill using the right points-earning credit card as a means to earn points. Using a service such as pay.com.au could help maximise your points earn on these bills, especially if the card doesn’t usually offer points for the ATO and so on.
More generally, you could also consider bringing forward purchases you would be making anyway on your points-earning credit card—think insurance, utilities, and other general household costs. Whilst the points may take a few weeks to flow through from your credit card but it is worth remembering as an option.
And, finally, for other partners, if you run your own business it may also be worth looking at the Qantas Business Rewards program to see if there are any bonus offers running there which you might be able to use.
Consider booking Qantas flights with other frequent flyer programs
For those willing to explore the advanced side of points hacking, consider buying points and miles of other partner programs to use on Qantas flights. For example, there are sometimes great deal with buying miles with American Airlines AAdvantage or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. British Airways Avios are also very good, with discounts of up to 80% on Qantas Business Class flights when you buy Avios.
A word of warning: buying points from others
Qantas offer Qantas Family Transfers which allow transfers between frequent flyer members with very few immediate checks and balances.
Qantas’ terms and conditions specifically forbid you from selling points—even between family members who would otherwise be eligible for family transfers—and if you abuse family transfers of points by using it as a tool to buy and sell points from all and sundry, recent reports are that Qantas is fairly quickly looking at accounts that look suspicious.
For accounts they find suspicious and that cannot prove the transfer was legitimate, they will either cancel the transfer, the flights you booked with the points, and/or your frequent flyer membership entirely, along with your remaining balance. Don’t do it, folks!
Buying Qantas Points to top up an account is a useful way to reach that flight redemption more quickly, if you are willing to trade off spending a little in order to increase your balance and secure a flight when you find it.
To do this effectively you need to know how much you are willing to pay for points to reach that redemption goal, and how urgent the purchase is. Once you have that in mind, it makes figuring out which options might suit your circumstances a lot easier.
Frequently asked questions
Directly through Qantas Top Ups, it costs $54 to buy 1,000 points, up to a maximum of $3,999 for 150,000 points. The more points you buy, the cheaper the per-point cost.
No, you cannot buy Qantas Status Credits to increase your status level within the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. The quickest way to upgrade your status is to do a status run during a bonus points promotion.
Absolutely! You can use your Qantas Points both for Qantas flights as well as travel on partner airlines, such as Emirates, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines. Here are some of the best uses of Qantas Points.
You can check how many points are in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account by logging in on the Qantas website. Your points balance will be listed after your name and before your status tier in the right-hand column.
Have you used any of these methods to purchase Qantas Points? Share your experience in the comments below!
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This article was originally written by Keith Mason.