How to buy and use a Qantas flight gift voucher

By David Flynn, December 24 2017

Over the Christmas / New Year break, Australian Business Traveller will be revisiting some of our most popular articles of 2017. We’re still around to report on any breaking news during this time, otherwise our regular publishing schedule will resume on Monday January 8, 2018.

Qantas gift vouchers – also sometimes called Qantas flight vouchers or Qantas travel vouchers – are a small but smart way to trim your travel costs and earn extra frequent flyer points.

They'll reduce the cost of your flight because Qantas bookings made using a travel voucher even as a part-payment don't attract the usual credit card booking fee.

For example, a Sydney-Singapore business class return flight comes with a $70 booking fee (as do most other international business class fares) – but apply even a $50 Qantas travel voucher and that booking fee is waived, putting a handy $70 back into your pocket or purse.

You can buy a Qantas gift voucher at any time but many business travellers stock up on them in December each year, when Qantas rolls out a regular bonus of earning five frequent flyer points per dollar spent on Qantas flight vouchers. (Similar promotions can pop up during the year, too.)

Buying a handful of $50 vouchers covers you for bookings throughout the next 12 months, with extra points thrown in for good measure.

And don't be fooled by the name: just because it's a gift voucher it doesn't have to be given to somebody else.

You can buy these vouchers for yourself, but you can also change the name of the recipient later on if you want to use your voucher to book travel for somebody else.

Where you can use Qantas flight vouchers

Qantas gift vouchers can be used to book domestic and international Qantas flights, provided the flight departs from Australia.

For example, if you use your frequent flyer points to book a one-way business class trip from Sydney to Hong Kong, you can't use the travel voucher in booking the necessary one-way Qantas flight from Hong Kong back to Sydney.

You can use only one voucher per booking, but that makes sense if you're relying on the voucher simply to waive the booking fees.

How to buy Qantas flight vouchers

Head to the Qantas gift vouchers website and click the Buy button.

You can purchase Qantas flight vouchers in values from $50 to $2,000.

If you buy an high-priced voucher and use this to purchase a fare at a lower price – such as a $1,000 gift voucher against a $300 flight – Qantas will issue you a new voucher valued at the difference In that case, $700).

But if your main aim is to eliminate those pesky credit card booking fees, keep your voucher purchases at the $50 minimum.

You'll also need to indicate how many passengers will fly on the reservation. If you're unsure, it's best to choose 'one passenger' – if two people end up travelling you can always make two separate bookings.

The next step is pretty straightforward; you can enter own name as recipient and change that later on if need be.

You have to choose an image for creating the voucher, and if this is a gift voucher for somebody else you'll want to add a message and click the Preview button to see how it looks...

Hmmmm, not too shabby at all – and I do deserve a holiday!

Scroll down to click Review and Payment – after confirming the details, paying for your Qantas travel voucher with the right credit card is of course another opportunity to earn Qantas points.

The final screen shows the unique reference number for your Qantas gift voucher (blacked out here, so you can't go and book a flight with my voucher!) and its expiry date. 

To make a flight booking with your voucher, start by going to the same Qantas gift vouchers website and selecting Redeem instead of Buy.

Note that each voucher expires one year after the date of purchase – so don't forget about it and let that money go to waste!

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

walterong

walterong

QF

15 Apr 2015

Total posts 15

Are airfares bought with the QF gift voucher redemption site differently priced from the main QF website?

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2337

No, exactly the same price.

Steve987

Steve987

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 255

This guide is really helpful, thanks David.

That said, that a guide is required at all is evidence enough that qantas make this process way too complex. Vouchers should just be like a Myer voucher, with flexibility to use as and how the person likes (happy for the when to be restricted, based on an expiration date). The fact that vouchers can't be aggregated on one booking is one of many stupid features.

Steve987

Steve987

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 255

Would love to understand the negative votes here. Presumably by people who like and use the vouchers - I'd love to understand what I am missing here and why they are a good option beyond the credit card fee avoidance :)

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2337

Not sure why the downvotes either, Steve – admittedly the process isn't very complex, perhaps some people don't see the need to aggregate vouchers towards a single booking. The idea behind this article was just to make it easier for people to understand these vouchers and how to take advantage of them.

Steve987

Steve987

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 255

Thanks David, agreed the process isn't complex once you understand the restrictions that come with the vouchers and this article is really helpful in terms of outlining them.

I do think, however, that Qantas would see an uplift in voucher take up if they took those restrictions away.

wdeguara

wdeguara

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 89

I wasn't actually aware that the Qantas gift vouchers could only be used to book flights originating from Australia until I read this article. This does not seem to be a limitation of the Virgin gift vouchers.

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 261

You really have to wonder don't you, who comes up with these ideas. You can hear the marketing department right now saying "oh no...we'll only let them use it FROM Australia, oh and we'll make them book through a completely separate portal, oh and we won't let them use it if they book through a travel agent, oh and blah blah blah to make it annoying and hard to use with Frequent Flyer...". 

AlexTravAddict

AlexTravAddict

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 72

I generally book all my Qantas flights using gift vouchers (and generally stock up on vouchers when they run the December bonus points offer), however I find the process of redeeming vouchers so cumbersome that I am at the point where I think I would just rather pay the credit card fees and forego any bonus point promotions.


David, I would have included some more cons.

Firstly, the fares can be different which I found out during the recent double status credits offer. I had a voucher for $350 and I wanted to book a one way flight to Perth. The fares on the Qantas website were $225 but the fares through the voucher portal were $295 for the exact same flight and fare type. The same discrepancy also existed for a number of other domestic destinations. I contacted Qantas about this and they said they would investigate the discrepancies but I never heard anything further (which is pretty typical of Qantas’ very average support services).

Secondly, if you need to book for two passengers but use two vouchers there is the chance that the fair will go up before you have made your second booking. This has happened to me before.

Thirdly, on at least a dozen occasions I have had an IT glitch with my voucher booking whereby when you go into ‘View My Booking’ the itinerary doesn’t show and it instead takes you to ‘Find My Flights’. The only way to fix this is to contact Qantas (it appears to be a known glitch).

Fourthly, if you redeem a voucher during a bonus points or bonus status credits offer then the offer won’t trigger if the voucher was bought before the bonus offer commenced. That is because the booking will pick up the date the voucher was created rather than the date the voucher was redeemed. This has happened to me several times and missing bonus points take months to chase up with Qantas.

Fifthly, not all flight options available through the Qantas website are available through the voucher redemption portal (in particular many Jetstar flights don’t appear).


I agree with the other comments that Qantas urgently need to update their voucher interface. I appreciate that IT systems are extremely difficult and expensive to update, but their current interface is 15 years out of date and has too many limitations.

walterong

walterong

QF

15 Apr 2015

Total posts 15

Yes, I did find that the fare was different on the normal website vs the Voucher redemption site.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

The change appears to be that QANTAS has recently started using E class for some paid economy Red E-Deal fares yet the voucher redeeming process doesn't allow vouchers to be used for E class.

You could of course ring up to try and book at the cheaper price anyway but if you don't have WP or above status you could have a long wait on the phone before speaking to anyone.

AussieintheUSA

AussieintheUSA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Nov 2017

Total posts 14

Only booking flights From Australia is more than likely to do with the vouchers and the booking currency both being in AUD. Way too hard and complex to use multiple currencies for what is probably a very small part of their overall business.

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