How frugal gift-givers can use rewards points to buy a Valentine's Day present

Senior News Journalist · 11 February 2021
Flirting with sending a Valentine’s Day gift but wondering how to fund it? If you have a healthy bank of rewards points sitting unused while travel options are limited, a savvy gift idea could be to cash in those points for a present.
Frugal gift for Valentine's Day
Could you buy this year’s Valentine’s Day gift using rewards points? Image source: Gonzalo Aragon,

This year, Australians are keeping Valentine’s Day costs low after the financial impacts of last year, Canstar’s Love and Money Report, released on Thursday, revealed.

The survey of 1,049 Australian adults showed 30% of people did not plan to spend any money on the holiday because they had decided against celebrating it. Of those who said they would be participating in the tradition of expressing their affection on 14 February, 15% declared they would be doing it frugally, organising a free date or gift for their loved one.

Almost 20% said they wouldn’t be taking part because they didn’t have a partner to share the love.

For those planning to spend, the findings showed 22% of people surveyed intended to spend between $1-$100 on a gift for their significant other, 8% would spend between $101-200, 7% would splash out between $201-$500 and 2% said they would spend more than $500.

Frugal gift-givers with excess reward points may be interested to know that analysis by Canstar showed a variety of gifting options were available via the Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Velocity stores.

Canstar money expert Effie Zahos said while international travel was off the cards and domestic travel plans were frequently being interrupted by state-based COVID-19 restrictions, rewards points did not have to sit idly by just because they could not be used to buy flights.

“When it comes to rewards points there is more value in travel, though if you’ve amassed a tonne of points and don’t intend to fly anywhere anytime soon, it could be worth looking at whether you can be using them on other items,” Ms Zahos said.

“When cash flow is tight, it’s far better to preserve your cash and use your points rather than have them sitting somewhere doing nothing for you.”

Canstar research found that points holders could outlay between 6,000 and 10,000 points for a gift valued at up to $50, while those wanting to buy an item valued at up to $100 may have to hand over between 14,000 and 22,000 points.

For those wanting to spend big on their significant other, items of up to $500 in value from the Qantas and Virgin stores could include a hot air balloon experience, a hotel stay, or electronics like Airpods, though these will set buyers back between 42,000 to 100,000 points.

Valentine’s Day gifts to purchase with rewards points

Gifts under $50

Gift Points Required Rewards Program
Bodum PAVINA 250mL Small Double Wall Glass Set, Twin Pack 6,070 Qantas
Bodum 500ml Kenya French Press Coffee Maker Black 6,752 Velocity
Big Sky Te Muna Road Martinborough Pinot Noir 2017 7,200 Velocity
Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 7,308 Qantas
Endota Spa Intense Moisture Mask 60ml 10,673 Velocity

Gifts under $100

Gift Points Required Rewards Program
Rosé Wine Trio 10,079 Velocity
Adrenaline – XXXX Brewery Tour with Beer and Tapas Taster Plate 13,390 Qantas
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette 50ml 15,650 Qantas
Ecoya Madison Candle (400g) & Diffuser Set (200ml) 16,000 Qantas
MOR Emporium Classics Candle (380g) & Reed Diffuser Set (180ml) 21,673 Velocity

Gifts under $200

Gift Points Required Rewards Program
Penfolds Tribute Gift Triple Case 18,265 Qantas
Champagne Twin Set 24,000 Velocity
Thomas Sabo Sterling Silver ‘Together’ bracelet 24,218 Velocity
Adrenaline – Yarra Valley Wine Tour 25,210 Qantas
Hugo Boss Bottled Eau De Toilette Spray 100ml 25,878 Velocity
Swarovski Sunshine Pierced Earrings 25,910 Qantas
Rydges Sydney Harbour – 1 night stay (Double Queen Bed) 28,900 Velocity
Kailis Cufflinks Titanium Carbon Fibre 32,170 Qantas
NEXT Hotel Brisbane – 1 night stay – Superior Queen Room 32,900 Velocity
PANDORA Rose Hearts of Necklace Collier w CZ 34,600 Qantas

Gifts under $500

Gift Points Required Rewards Program
Art Series – The Fantauzzo – 1 night stay – Studio Suite 1 King Bed 42,500 Velocity
Adrenaline – Hot air ballooning Hunter Valley 45,040 Qantas
Apple – Airpods with Wireless Charging Case 55,470 Velocity
Apple – Airpods with Wireless Charging Case 56,865 Qantas
The Calile Hotel – 1 night stay – Urban King 64,108 Qantas
Fossil Gents Townsman Automatic Blue Dial with Brown Leather Strap Chronograph 69,390 Qantas
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – 1 night stay – Deluxe Room, 1 King Bed (Partial Harbour) 74,048 Qantas
Seiko Men’s Conceptual Series Analogue Quartz Dress Watch 84,950 Velocity
Fitbit Sense Advanced Health Watch 86,780 Velocity
Fitbit Sense Advanced Health Watch 99,763 Qantas

Source: – 27/01/2021. Points required based on advertised points on the Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards Store and Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards Store obtained on 27/01/2021. Gift value based on RRPs obtained on 27/01/2021. Table sorted by gift value category, followed by points required in ascending order, followed by gift in alphabetical order.

This article was reviewed by our Digital Editor Amanda Horswill before it was published, as part of our fact-checking process.

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