We asked our Facebook community the following question:

What is the worst-value points redemption that you have ever made? Don’t be shy

Gift cards and coffee machines featured prominently:

I’m ashamed to admit it was a Nespresso Pixie coffee machine. It was before I began the points game in earnest, and it is a great coffee machine but I still feel the shame. Luckily they were Qantas Points, my least favoured currency – Daniel D.

W Hotel Hollywood Nespresso Coffee Machine

Using points for coffee machines, toasters and gift cards might not be giving you as much value as you hope

However, Daniel has literally redeemed himself:

I’ve since redeemed Business Class flights to Europe on Singapore Airlines for my wife, daughter and me, as well as to the US in Cathay Pacific Business Class – Daniel D.

as has Nicole after her trip to Hong Kong:

Points and Pay to Hong Kong in Qantas Economy. Needless to say, I quickly learnt from my mistake (thanks to Point Hacks) and my next redemption was in Emirates First Class on the A380! – Nicole L.

Emirates A380 First Class lie-flat bed

Sleep easier knowing your points are being put to good use

Buying a $25 gift voucher from the Qantas online store for over 4,000 points in order to stop my son’s balance from expiring – Sharon B.

For readers in a similar situation, you can keep your Qantas Points from expiring and increase your balance by buying wine through Qantas Wine or purchasing something through the Qantas Online Mall. A longer-term solution is to sign up to Qantas Insurance.

Does letting a six-digit number of Qantas Points from a family member expire count as well? – Melle S.

If your Qantas Points do expire, here is a way you can get them back.

The following reader must have gotten confused between searching for a saver seat instead of a standard seat:

Blowing 70,000 points on a crappy Business Class flight from Melbourne to Brisbane – Shaun G.

Whilst other readers were disappointed with specific airlines:

San Francisco to Miami in American Airlines First Class. Terrible value – Isaac R.

It is a long trek between the US East and West Coasts but American Airlines often has substandard service and, unfortunately, lie-flat beds are uncommon.

One of our Point Hacks contributors, Brandon, even piped in, showing you have to start from somewhere!

Jetstar Business Class from Cairns to Osaka – Brandon L.

Jetstar Business Class

Jetstar Business Class may not be the best use of your hard-earned points

This reader summed up exactly why we posted the question in the first place:

This feed is making me feel better about my previous mistakes—it’s a learning curve! – Julie M.

It certainly is!

If you have not had the chance to yet, you may consider signing up to our free introduction to the world of frequent flyer points email course to understand concepts like:

  • why you get more value from redeeming points for premium cabin travel rather than Economy
  • how to search for award space most efficiently
  • why it is probably worth just forking out the cash for a ticket rather than using your Qantas Points to fly Economy Class to the US

How have you learnt from an experience of not using your points to their maximum value? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Reader responses: what is the worst-value points redemption that you have ever made? was last modified: June 5th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt