Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn five frequent flyer points per dollar spent on Qantas flight vouchers this December, whether given as a Christmas gift to others or purchased by savvy travellers for their own flight plans.
Similar to any other types of gift cards, Qantas flight vouchers are bought with money up-front, giving you that same amount in credit to spend on domestic and international flights over the coming year.
For business owners, it's also a great way to keep travel budgets in check: writing off the expense in this quarter to reduce your travel expenditure in the next.
Whether you're shopping for business or leisure, here's what you need to know about buying Qantas flight vouchers and netting a great serve of bonus frequent flyer points.
Qantas gift vouchers: what you need to know
Before stocking up on vouchers, it's important to know exactly how they can be spent.
Firstly, they can be used to book all Australian domestic flights, plus international one-way or return journeys where the first flight on the ticket departs from an Australian city.
For example, you could use a voucher to make a one-way or round-trip booking from Sydney to Los Angeles, but you can't use vouchers to book an itinerary that commences outside Australia, such as a one-way Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Sydney.
Vouchers also can't be applied to multi-city itineraries, round-the-world fares or Aquire Flight Deals booked via the Qantas website, nor can they be used towards seat selection fees, excess baggage charges or the cash component of Frequent Flyer reward bookings.
They're instead simply for flights, and you can only use one voucher per booking.
When buying Qantas flight vouchers, you'll also need to indicate how many passengers will eventually fly on the reservation. If you're unsure, it's best to choose 'one passenger', as you can always make two separate bookings later if two people will be travelling.
Spending less than the voucher's face value – such as using a $1,000 voucher to pay for a $200 flight – results in a new voucher being issued for the difference, so you're free to keep using that pre-paid value until it's gone or it expires one year after the original purchase, whichever comes sooner.
If the price of your flights instead exceeds the voucher's value, you'll be prompted to cover the difference by credit card when making your booking.
Finally, note that Qantas waives its usual credit card surcharge when buying gift vouchers and also when paying any price difference when spending the voucher, making this a great way to save on credit card fees while piling up on points.
Qantas gift vouchers: should you buy?
With all those conditions and caveats, does it make sense to buy Qantas flight vouchers for your own use?
For businesses budging beyond Saver fares and buying premium economy, business class or even flexible economy tickets, a better price may be had via Aquire Flight Deals, even when paying the credit card surcharge.
That's because members of Qantas' Aquire program for businesses routinely save up to 10% on the cost of more expensive fares when booking via its dedicated business portal.
For example, a $749 business class flight from Sydney and Melbourne could be booked for precisely $749 using a Qantas gift voucher, or for around $676 with Aquire's ~10% discount, plus a credit card fee of $8.79 for an all-out cost of $684.79.
However, Aquire Flight Deals aren't available to everybody, and with the promise of five Qantas Points per dollar spent on flight vouchers this December, it's a great way to triple-up on points.
For instance, if you bought yourself 3x $2,000 flight vouchers to cover your Qantas travels for the coming year, that's an easy bonus of 30,000 Qantas Points before you've even left home.
Buy those vouchers using your Qantas-earning credit card and you'd get an extra serve of points. On the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card which earns three points per dollar spent with Qantas, that's a further 18,000 Qantas Points coming your way.
Then, there are the points the traveller earns from flying, calculated at the same rates as for any other paid ticket – and if that traveller happens to be you, there's your third serve of Qantas Points from this single purchase.
Heck, if you're also a member of Qantas' Aquire program for businesses, you could earn Aquire Points on these flights too when travelling for work, which can be converted into Qantas Points on a 1:1 basis.
Qantas flight vouchers can be bought via the Qantas website, with five Qantas Points per dollar awarded on flight voucher purchases made until 11:59pm Sydney time on December 31 2016.
Connect with other business travellers in our Qantas discussion group