Can you buy, sell or transfer Qantas Points?

Qantas is cracking down on illegal buying & selling of frequent flyer points: here’s what you need to know.

By Staff Writers, November 9 2023
Can you buy, sell or transfer Qantas Points?

It’s estimated that hundreds of billions of Qantas Points are in circulation, based on the airline’s own valuation of unredeemed Qantas Points.

And with almost 15 million members in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, there’s no doubt Qantas Points are often considered Australia’s de facto second currency.

Just like real currency there’s substantial turnover as Qantas Points are earned and spent, and there are countless Qantas Points ‘millionaires’ (especially those who earn Qantas Points through their own business’ expenditure) as well as people with a more modest balance who’d happily see more Qantas Points in their account.

Which is why there’s always strong interest in buying, selling and transferring Qantas Points.

Can you buy, sell or transfer Qantas Points?

In short:

  • you can buy points, but only from Qantas
  • you can’t sell Qantas Points to anyone
  • you can only transfer Qantas Points to family members

Break those rules and you could lose all your Qantas Points and see your Qantas Frequent Flyer account closed, leaving you to start from scratch with no points or status.

Be wary of anyone – from individuals advertising on eBay or Gumtree to ‘mileage brokers’ on Facebook – offering to buy or sell Qantas Points.

Qantas cracks down on illegal buying & selling of points

Qantas has a track record of cracking down on people who buy and sell Qantas Points, usually by attempting to hide them as family transfers.

And while Qantas allows a very broad definition of ‘family members’ – through to nephews, nieces and first cousins – illegal transfers can still trigger the radar at Qantas HQ, especially if they involve the same person repeatedly buying or selling Qantas Points.

Qantas can then take swift action by closing the Qantas Frequent Flyer account of both the person selling the points and the person buying them, wiping away all Qantas Points (along with legally-accrued status) in the process.

The airline can even go back through an account’s activity statement to check for previous illegal buying or selling of points and close accounts involved in those earlier illegal transfers as well.

How much is a Qantas Point worth?

Before you even consider any ‘trade’ in Qantas Points, it’s useful to know what a Qantas Point is actually worth.

The trick is that unlike currency, Qantas Points don’t have a fixed value: the value of Qantas Points typically ranges from less than half a cent to as high as 7c, depending on how they are spent or ‘redeemed’.

But as a yardstick, Qantas sells frequent flyer points for topping up an account with anywhere from 1,000 points (for $56) to 150,000 points (for $3,999) – equivalent to a range of between 5.6c and 2.6c, respectively, or an average of about 4c per Qantas Point.

Buying Qantas Points

Buying Qantas Points is a handy way of making up a points shortfall, particularly if you’ve got your eye on booking a seat at low Classic Flight Reward rates or want to upgrade from a paid fare. 

The only way to buy Qantas Points is through Qantas itself, with the airline’s Top-up Points program offering “extra Qantas Points that you can purchase instantly.”

You can buy as little as 1,000 Qantas Points or as many as 150,000 Qantas Points, with as many as four purchase transactions allowed per year.

After logging in to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, hover over the Points dropdown and click Top-up Points, then select the required number of points to see how much they’ll cost.

How to buy Qantas Points online.
How to buy Qantas Points online.

Qantas applies a sliding scale to the purchase price of these top-up points: 1,000 points sells for $56, but 150,000 points sells for $3,999, so the ‘cost per point’ varies between 2.6 and 5 cents – and obviously, the more points you buy the cheaper they become.

Note that Qantas sometimes runs ‘flash sales’ discounts of around 20-50% on purchasing these top-up points, which can make these points purchases a better proposition.

As noted earlier, don’t be taken in by people or businesses offering to sell Qantas Points: if Qantas coles your account due to that fraudulent activity you’ll not only lose the money spent purchasing those points, you’ll stand to lose all of your legitimately-earned Qantas Points should the airline close your account.

But there is an alternative to buying points from Qantas.

With a little forward planning you could get the points needed via a purchase from the online Qantas Wine store for less money than Qantas sells its own points, which almost makes the wine a delightful bonus!

Watch for special deals at the Qantas Wine store where you earn bonus Qantas Points, either on a per-case basis, for mixed dozens, or site-wide ‘double points’ or ‘triple points’ sales.

Just be aware that points from Qantas Wine purchases take up to six weeks to appear in your account, so it’s not an option for when you need those extra points in a hurry.

Selling Qantas Points

The flipside to buying Qantas Points is of course selling Qantas Points.

After all, if people are wanting to buy Qantas Points – either to top-up or turbocharge their account balance – because they can’t earn enough points through flying or purchases, then there’s a market for people keen to sell excess points, right? It’s simply supply and demand.

Not so: selling Qantas Points is explicitly forbidden by Qantas as “unacceptable conduct” (as is “assigning, transferring or acquiring or offering to sell, assign, transfer or acquire” Qantas Points, outside of family transfers).

And as mentioned earlier, parties involved in selling Qantas Points – along with those who’ve purchased points from them – can have their Qantas Frequent Flyer account suspended or  terminated.

Transferring Qantas Points

The only legitimate way to send Qantas Points to somebody isn’t to sell them – it’s by using the Qantas Family Transfer facility.

As the name indicates, this is for transferring Qantas Points between family members, rather than anybody and everybody.

So who counts as a family member? The list is actually quite broad and includes your parents, children and siblings, in-laws, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, even first cousins.

You just need to specify the nature of your relationship to the person receiving the points, and the onus is on you to be able to prove that relationship if called upon by Qantas (so be careful about using or rather abusing the Family Transfer system as a backdoor means of selling points!).

As part of the airline’s ‘pain point reduction’ plan under new CEO Vanessa Hudson, Qantas is introducing some big changes to family transfers from mid-December 2023. This includes:

  • reducing the minimum number of points you transfer from 5,000 to just 1,500
  • removing the maximum transfer limit of 600,000 Qantas Points
  • allowing parents to transfer Qantas Points less than 1,500 points from members under 18 via the Customer Contact Centre.
How to transfer Qantas Points to a family member.
How to transfer Qantas Points to a family member.

How to transfer Qantas Points

To make a transfer, log into your account, hover over the Points dropdown and select Family transfers.

From there it’s a simple matter of specifying the number of points you’d like to transfer, entering the relationship’s name and Qantas Frequent Flyer number, and specifying their relationship to you.

Transferring Qantas Business Rewards points

There’s one more way to share Qantas Points around, and it’s both little-known and far more flexible than anything else Qantas offers.

Points earned through the Qantas Business Rewards program can be transferred to any other Qantas frequent flyer. They don’t need to have any relationship to your business (they don’t have to be an employee, contractor or client, for example), nor do they need to have any family relationship to you personally.

As Qantas puts it: “Points can be transferred to anyone - work colleagues, family or friends - with an individual Qantas Frequent Flyer account.” 

What’s more, apart from a minimum transfer amount of 3,000 Qantas Points, you can transfer as many points as you like and as often as you like, without limit.

You’ll find the Transfer Points option available from the main menu of your Qantas Business Rewards account page.

21 Jul 2021

Total posts 2

As a side note, worth mentioning that QBR points can be transferred to anyone (ie non family members)

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