Unfortunately, there’s no single answer to this question. Qantas Points don’t have a set value, so their worth will depend on how they’re redeemed. To give you an idea, according to travel website Australian Frequent Flyer, Qantas Points can be worth as little as half a cent if spent on a supermarket gift card and as much as about 5.8 cents if spent on an upgrade from Business to First Class on an international flight.
To help your points go further, we’ve crunched the numbers to find out how much a Qantas Point is worth in dollars, depending on how it is spent:
Using points for Qantas flight upgrades
You can use Qantas Points to upgrade your cabin class on domestic and international flights. According to Australian Frequent Flyer, if upgrading from Economy to Premium Economy on an international flight, your points will be worth about 1.6 cents each. If upgrading from Economy to Business on an international flight, your points are generally worth about 3.1 cents each. And if upgrading from Business to First class on an international flight, your points can be worth about 5.8 cents each.
For a domestic upgrade from Economy to Business class, Australian Frequent Flyer says your points are typically worth about 4.9 cents each. For example, a Discount Economy class ticket from Melbourne to Sydney can currently be bought for about $160. A Business class ticket on the same flight can be bought for $715. According to Qantas, it will cost 10,900 Qantas Points to upgrade this Discount Economy seat to a Business seat, meaning your points are worth about 5.09 cents each.
Your upgrade will be immediate for domestic flights if there’s a seat available on your chosen flight. However, for international flights, upgrades can be a bit more complicated to secure – so much so that they are often likened to a lottery. This is because Qantas will apply various priority rules to decide who gets given the upgrade. For example, according to Points Hacks, those with a high Qantas Status (Platinum One is the highest status and you currently need 3,600 Status Credits to reach this) will be approved ahead of those with a lower Qantas Status. Therefore, Australian Frequent Flyer recommends redeeming your points for a seat in the cabin you want to travel in, if possible, rather than trying to upgrade your seat.
Using points for Qantas flights
There are two main ways to buy flights with Qantas – Classic Flight Rewards and Points Plus Pay.
Classic Flight Rewards
Through Classic Flight Rewards, you pay a set number of points for a flight. The number of points required will vary depending on how far you are travelling and cabin you choose (Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First Class) however, it is not influenced by the actual price of the fare.
According to Australian Frequent Flyer, you’ll generally get the best value for your points if you redeem them for a seat in Premium Economy, Business or First class. These can be good value because you’ll typically only need about double the points for a Business class seat compared with an Economy class seat, however, the commercial price difference can be much more, it says.
For example, Qantas currently sells Economy class return tickets from Melbourne to Sydney for about $320 or 16,000 points (plus $76 in carrier charges, taxes and fees) for an award ticket. This means your points are worth two cents each (not factoring in charges, taxes and fees). By comparison, a Business class return ticket from Melbourne to Sydney comes in about $1,430 or 36,800 (plus $76 in carrier charges, taxes and fees). This pumps up the value of your points to about 3.89 cents each.
Here’s what Qantas Points are worth on some other popular domestic travel routes:
|Qantas Flight||Lowest fare||Points||$ value per points|
|Brisbane to Sydney (return) – Economy||$284||16,000||$0.0178|
|Brisbane to Sydney (return) – Business||$1,798||36,800||$0.0489|
|Brisbane to Melbourne (return) – Economy||$400||24,000||$0.0167|
|Brisbane to Melbourne (return) – Business||$1,634||55,200||$0.0296|
Source: Qantas, based on flight travel from 30 March, 2020, to 2 April, 2020, lowest fare as at 25 February 2020
It’s important to keep in mind that award seats are subject to availability. This may be limited for long-haul international flights and premium cabins. According to Point Hacks, it’s easiest to get an award seat when travelling with Qantas within the Asia-Pacific region (for example, flying to Singapore and Hong Kong) and it’s the most difficult to get a premium cabin award seat for flights to North and South America, Europe and South Africa (which are Qantas’ longest flights).
Points Plus Pay
The other way to redeem your points for flights is by using Points Plus Pay. Points Plus Pay converts the normal price of a fare into Qantas Points. Because this is based on the commercial price of the seat, this is typically at a lower conversion rate compared with award bookings. For example, using the Melbourne to Sydney example above, if you were to buy return Economy class tickets using Points Plus Pay, the lowest fare would cost you $320 or 50,000 points. This drops the value of your points down to just 0.64 cents each, which is significantly lower compared with the award option where your points are worth two cents each.
Using points for hotels
Qantas Points appear to be worth about 0.6 cents each if you use them to pay for hotel accommodation. For example, Qantas is currently selling one night’s accommodation at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne from $299 or 49,712 points. This means one point is valued at about 0.6 cents.
Points seem to have around the same value whether the hotel is in Australia or overseas and regardless of whether it is a three-, four- or five-star hotel. For example, to stay at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, Qantas currently charges from $1,245 per night or 197,504 points, so points are worth about 0.63 cents each.
Using points to shop at the Qantas Rewards Store
You can also use Qantas Points to buy products or gift vouchers via the Qantas Rewards Store. In terms of points-to-dollar value, this is one of the worst ways to spend your points. However, it might be worth doing if your points are about to expire (they expire if you don’t earn or redeem at least one point every 18 months) or if you don’t intend on using your points for flights.
For example, through the Qantas Rewards Store you can currently redeem 58,950 points for a Fitbit Versa 2. If you buy this directly from Fitbit, it’ll cost you $329.95. This means your points are traded in at a rate of about 0.56 cents apiece. Some retail stores do sell Fitbit Versa 2’s for less. For example, JB HI-FI currently sells them for $290, which means your points are worth even less at 0.49 cents each.
Here’s what your Qantas Points are worth if spent on some other products Qantas says are are some of Qantas’ bestselling products):
|Qantas Rewards Store product||RRP||Points||$ Value Per Point|
|Apple iPad 10.2-inch Wi-Fi 128GB (7th-Generation)||$689.00||119,830||$0.0057|
|Apple Watch Series 5 GPS, 44mm||$699.00||121,570||$0.0057|
|Breville the Toast Control 4 Slice Long Toaster||$119.95||17,740||$0.0068|
|Dyson V8 Animal||$799.00||92,380 (sale price)||$0.0086|
|KitchenAid Deluxe Hand Blender||$239.00||39,660||$0.0060|
|Samsung Galaxy A30||$379.00||67,310||$0.0056|
Source: Qantas Rewards Store, prices as at 4 March 2020
Compared to flights and upgrades, you also won’t get much value if you redeem your points for gift cards. For example, Qantas sells $100 David Jones gift cards for 18,010 points, meaning your points are worth about 0.56 cents each. You can also get a $100 Woolworths gift card for 19,650 points, which drops your point purchasing power down to just 0.51 cents apiece.
Other ways to redeem your points
There are a number of other ways to redeem your points. For example, you can use your points to purchase or renew a Qantas Club Membership or to partly pay for Qantas Insurance premiums such as for Qantas health insurance and Qantas travel insurance.
Points can also be used for hire cars and to buy alcohol through Qantas Wine. However, according to Australian Frequent Flyer, your points will only be worth an average of 0.6 cents if you redeem them this way. For example, with Qantas’ Classic Wine Rewards you can currently buy a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Star of Bombay Gin for 9,000 points. This retails for $74.99, which means your points are traded in at a rate of 0.83 cents each. But this conversion rate will vary depending on the product you go for.
How to earn more Qantas Points
If you’re keen to earn more Qantas Points, here are some tips that could help you top up your balance:
- If you currently have a credit card that earns Qantas Points, it can be a good idea to compare it with other cards on the market and see whether it’s offering you good value. Consider the earn rate and any sign-up bonuses against factors such as the interest rate and annual fee. Bear in mind that frequent flyer cards tend to have a higher interest rate and annual fee compared with other types of cards.
- You can also earn points by shopping with retailers through the Qantas Shopping website. Partner retailers include Apple, David Jones and Woolworths online. These points come on top of any points you earn from a points-earning credit card.
- Another option is to buy Qantas Points however, keep in mind that this may not be great value depending on what you intend to buy. Points can be bought in blocks of 1,000 and range from about 5.6 cents per point when buying 1,000 points to about 2.67 cents per point when buying 150,000 points.
There are several different ways to earn points with Qantas, including through a Woolworths Rewards Card or by using platforms such as Airbnb and Deliveroo. If you’re after more tips to help your points go further, read our article on credit card point hacks.
Main image source: Jordan Comley (Shutterstock)