How much is a Qantas Frequent Flyer Point worth?

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You’ve earned them, and now you want to use them. Your Qantas Frequent Flyer Points. But just how much are they worth? It is a simple question, with a not so simple answer.

Actually, it can simply be stated in two words – “It depends”. Behind that is a lot of complexity – but it comes down to just what you spend your points on.

Overall though, it can be as low as 0.5 cents per points. It can also be as high as 3 cents per point or more.

How can it vary so widely? Well, let’s look at some of the various ways you can use your points.

Using points for purchases

Over recent times, Qantas has been rolling out the ability to use points when making purchases at various partners. For example, you can use points to buy items at some Rockpool Group restaurants, you can use them at Hoyts, and you can buy Luxury Escapes with them.

Typically, when using points this way you get 0.5 cents per point. For example, you get a $20 discount at Luxury Escapes for 4,000 Points. This rate tends to flow through when using the other partners as well.

Using points in the Qantas Store

Things can improve, or get worse, when you head into the Qantas Store. There’s quite a range of vouchers and goods on offer in the Qantas Store, so I’ll just take a bit of a sample.

Item Points Retail Value Value of 1 Points (cents)
$100 Woolworths eWish Card 19,000 $100 0.526
$25 David Jones Gift Card 4,170 $25 0.599
Weber Baby Q Portable BBQ LPG Gas Only – Q1000AU 52,920 $309 0.583
Bose® QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II 87,150 $499 0.572
Breville the Bit More ┬« Plus – 2 Slice Toaster 13,630 $59.95 0.439
Apple WatchSpace Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band 90,890 $499 0.549

So, a bit of variation there, and we’re still only getting toward the 0.6 cents per point mark.

Flights – Classic Awards

So, now to take a look at flights – it is a Frequent Flyer scheme after all. To do so, we will use the cheapest flights on offer to make the comparison. This is probably not a true reflection of their value, as Frequent Flyer Award flights tend to be more flexible than sale fares. Having said that, people will tend to use the sale, or cheapest fare on offer, as their point of comparison.

Economy

Route Points Best Fare of the day Value of 1 Points (cents)
Melbourne – Sydney One Way 8,000 + $35 $150 1.43
Melbourne – Perth One Way 18,000 + $36 $249 1.18
Melbourne – London Return 120,000 + $751 $1,911 1.02

On domestic economy legs, we get around 1.5 cents per points. On the long haul, it is less impressive – primarily because of the cash co-payment that is expected with the booking.

Business

Business redemptions can often see greater value. When paying a cash fare, they can be three or four times more expensive than an Economy fare. However, redemptions only require twice as many points.

So, selecting some examples in Business gives the following results. Unfortunately, finding a return flight Melbourne – London was proving difficult, so I have used Melbourne-Singapore to get an idea of an international booking

Route Points Best Fare of the day Value of 1 Points (cents)
Melbourne – Sydney One Way 16,000 + $35 $850 5.09
Melbourne – Perth One Way 36,000 + $36 $2,186 5.97
Melbourne – Singapore Return 120,000 + $619 $3,515 2.41

In this case, we see for domestic business we are getting over 5c per point in value. This reflects the fact that cash prices for domestic business flights can be quite expensive.

For international, things drop away, in part due to the sizeable cash component that is required with to be paid.

Flights – Points + Pay

Sometimes Classic Rewards are hard to come by, and so Qantas created the idea of Points + Pay. Under this option, you select a normal cash fare, but are given the option of using Points to part pay the fare.

Let’s take our Melbourne – London fare as an example. As mentioned, this was pricing at $1,911 at the time I was writing this. If you opt to pay in Points and Cash, Qantas give you a handy slider that allows you to choose how many points and how much cash. So, for example, if I wanted to pay $1000 in cash and the rest in points, I would get the following option

 

Qantas Points + Pay Example

Qantas Points + Pay

So, from that, I will be using 135,799 to pay for the remaining $911. That works out to about 0.67 cents per points. In my experience, this is a typical value when using Points + Pay

Upgrades

Many long time frequent flyers suggest the best value is to be found in upgrades – especially in long haul travel.

First a few gotchas with this

  1. On international flights, you can’t upgrade from the cheapest fares
  2. You can only make a request for international flights, and you won’t find out until the week of the flight if you were successful or not.

Putting those two together, means you could be paying for an expensive ticket, and still ending up in Economy.

That aside, let’s take a look at upgrading our Melbourne to London flight. Picking a random date in April 2019, we find that we can buy a Flexible Economy ticket for $1,271, while a ride in Business comes in at $4,816.

The upgrade, if you could get it, comes in at 120,000 points. This works out at 2.96 cents per point.

Wrapping Up

So, back to our initial question – what is a Qantas Frequent Flyer points worth? As can be seen, it varies a lot.

The best value for points comes from using it for flights or upgrades on Qantas services. While the value varies, you get much better value than using your points at a retailer or through the Qantas shop.

I typically use my points on redemptions or upgrades, and generally extract a value of 1.5 – 2 cents a point.

Remember that Qantas Points are designed to reward you, but you do need to do your calculations to understand their value. This then can allow you to work out if that Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card is truly bringing you value.

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About Author

Mark is the founder of FlyStayPoints, and caught the travel bug early in life. He discovered the benefits of travel loyalty programs in 2001, and is always learning how they can make travel better. While work takes him between Perth and Melbourne, he is always plotting his next adventure.