There’s no denying that Business Class is a great way to spend your Qantas Points. But at the same time, and in every respect, seats in Economy Class are far more plentiful. They’re also more affordable, not just when buying a ticket, but when redeeming points.

In fact, using Qantas Points to fly Economy can provide some excellent value. That’s especially true right now, where airfares seem to get more and more expensive – yet the number of points needed to book remains the same.

Here’s a look at where it makes sense to fly Economy using Qantas Points, and how to decide whether it’s the right move for you.

The basics: calculating the value per Qantas Point

At Point Hacks, we regularly publish valuations of various frequent flyer and hotel loyalty points. At the time of writing, we value Qantas Points at 1.90 cents each.

Now, value is always subjective – and how far your points can go depends on how they’re spent. But that valuation is still handy as a baseline. If your chosen Economy reward provides more value per point, you’re likely onto a winner. If it provides less, then you could be spending your points more effectively.

When looking to spend points, it’s easy to determine what value those points could provide.

Start by taking the cash price of an equivalent airfare, and subtract the amount you’d still need to pay for the taxes, fees and charges when booking that same flight using Qantas Points.

For example, if a flight sells for $239, but you can book the same for 8,000 Qantas Points plus $50, subtract that $50 from the $239 fare price. The answer, $189, is how much ‘value’ those 8,000 Qantas Points are providing for that particular redemption.

In other words, by parting with 8,000 Qantas Points, you’re saving $189.

Then, it’s super easy to work out how much value you’re getting per point. Just divide that difference – $189, in this case – by the number of points required.

For this example, $189 divided by 8,000 gives 0.023625 on the calculator. Think of that figure as being in dollars: $0.023625, which is around 2.37 cents. This means for every Qantas Point spent, you’re getting about 2.37 cents per point in value. Not bad.

Excellent routes to book in Economy using Qantas Points

Not much of a ‘numbers’ person? There’s a simple rule you can follow instead. Just use Qantas Points to fly Economy when the cash price of an airfare is too high for your liking.

That’s because Qantas’ Classic Flight Reward rates don’t fluctuate in line with commercial fare prices. Whatever the ticket is selling for, the rate in Qantas Points remains the same. The only thing that varies is whether or not there’s availability to book a Classic Reward.

I’ve crunched the numbers to find some of the best domestic routes in Australia for booking Economy using Qantas Points. Here’s a rundown, based on the best available fare prices for booking in November 2022 for travel until mid-2023.

RouteCash priceQantas Points required for EconomyPlus taxes, fees and charges payableValue per Qantas Point redeemed
Sydney to Lord Howe Island$7578,000$908.3 cents
Brisbane to Canberra$3138,000$693.05 cents
Darwin to Alice Springs$43412,000$673.05 cents
Melbourne to Alice Springs$41612,000$503.05 cents
Perth to Paraburdoo$42512,000$613.03 cents
Brisbane to Mount Isa$41912,000$622.975 cents

Learn more about flying to Lord Howe Island on points →

The figures listed above are all for one-way travel. Fare prices quoted were the lowest available at the time of searching, on flights that also had Economy Classic Reward seats available.

Classic Reward seats can sometimes be available even when flights are more expensive than the fare prices above. That’s when booking Economy using Qantas Points becomes better value yet again!

Spending Qantas Points in Economy to Lord Howe Island.
Would you rather pay $806 for an Economy Red e-Deal, or $90 + 8,000 Qantas Points? [Spoiler alert: that’s almost nine cents per point in value!]
Ad – Scroll down to continue reading.Minimum spend, terms & conditions apply.

Other routes to book in Economy using Qantas Points

Sometimes, booking Economy with Qantas Points is a real no-brainer – such as to Lord Howe Island. But there are many other paths where it can still stack up.

Here are five further routes where the value per point remains above our benchmark of 1.8 cents.

RouteCash priceQantas Points required for EconomyPlus taxes, fees and charges payableValue per Qantas Point redeemed
Canberra to Launceston (via Melbourne)$3138,000$942.74 cents
Sydney to Dubbo$2308,000$452.31 cents
Sydney to Uluru (Ayers Rock Airport)$44318,000$702.07 cents
Adelaide to Kangaroo Island$1988,000$382 cents
Sydney to Perth$39018,000$441.92 cents

Again, all figures above are based on one-way travel aboard Qantas or QantasLink.

When to avoid booking Economy with Qantas Points

Given how far your Qantas Points can get you in our domestic skies, why settle for an Economy Classic Reward that doesn’t measure up?

If you’re not getting at least 1.90 cents cents in value per point, we’d suggest saving those points for another day, and just buying a ticket. Here’s a prime example of where it’s better value to purchase a fare.

Flight: Canberra to Melbourne

  • Cash price: $159
  • Qantas Points required: 8,000
  • Taxes, fees and charges: $62
  • Value per point: 1.21 cents

Of course, buying a ticket also allows you to earn Qantas Points for a future trip, swaying things further into the ‘buy a ticket’ column.

Summing up

Booking flights in Economy using Qantas Points can unlock some surprisingly good value – especially if you’d otherwise be paying a full fare to buy a ticket. But it pays to run the numbers and ensure you’re getting a good deal.

If the airfare is high but the cost in points is low, chances are, you’ve found a bargain. But if the flight you want is quite affordable to buy, it’s often worth saving your hard-earned Qantas Points for a different trip.

There’s no ‘wrong’ way to spend your Qantas Points on flights, but as with any redemption, some routes provide greater value than others.

Also read: Qantas Boeing 737 Economy review (Brisbane – Perth)

Have you uncovered other great-value ways to spend Qantas Points in Domestic Economy? Share your favourites by posting a comment below!

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When it makes sense to book domestic Economy using Qantas Points was last modified: December 14th, 2022 by Chris Chamberlin