Qantas Classic Rewards versus Points Plus Pay


When you go to book a flight using your points, you sometimes see results that suggest it’s going to cost over one million points. But you’ve read that you only need 100,000 points or so.

How can this be? The Reward charts have much smaller numbers. How come it is quoting such a large number of points?

The answer lies in the different ways you can use points. For example, consider the following search for a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles in Business.

Here, you can see that on 14 July you can get a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, in Business, for 108,400 points. But look at the days around it. They are all showing over 1,000,000 points required. What’s going on?

It comes down to the fact that Qantas can let you use your points for flights in two different ways. In this article, I am going to take a look at these alternatives. Along the way, we’ll see why sometimes we get some eye-watering quotes.

Using your points for flights

But first, we have to look at the ways you can use your points to purchase tickets. Qantas (and for that matter Velocity) offer you two ways to redeem your points for tickets for one of their flights. The first of these, and the one that has been around longest is the Classic Reward Flight. When you see people referring to their redemptions,  these are usually the type of tickets they are referring to.

On the other hand, you can also use your points for what are known as Points Plus Pay flights. In this case, you are basically using your points to buy a normal revenue fare. When you see comments about flights costing over a million points, it is likely to be one of these fares.

Classic Reward Flights

Classic Flight Rewards are a type of reward available on eligible flights with Qantas and their partner airlines. These airlines include Jetstar, oneworld® Member Airlines, and other partner airlines.

These types of Rewards have limited availability, and some flights may not have any Classic Flight Reward seats available at all. However, the price is determined by a Rewards table. You can work out the number of points required simply by knowing the airline, the class of travel, and the distance travelled.

In the above example, this was the flight showing 108,400 points.

Points Plus Pay Flights

The alternative option is that Qantas allows you to put your points toward paying for a cash fare. Basically, Qantas looks at the cash fare, assigns a value to the Qantas Points, then calculates how many points you need to pay for that fare.

Roughly speaking, Qantas will let you use points at the rate of 1 point is 0.6 cents. This rate does vary though, and with a 30% discount on Points Plus Pay at times, this can change things a bit. So, if you consider that a one-way business ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles is $10,000 or so, you can easily get to over 1 million points needed.

Final Words

While Points Plus Pay are usually more expensive than Classic Rewards, it is not always the case. It is also worth noting that they do have some advantages over Classic Rewards. The obvious one is that if a seat is available on a flight, you can always get it on Points Plus Pay. Classic Rewards are tightly controlled, so you may not always be able to get one.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Points Plus Pay will give you points and status credits when you take the flight. They really are just like a normal ticket.

Overall, in most cases, you would want to look at Classic Rewards to get the best bang for your buck (or points).


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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.