Qantas frequent flyer points expired? Here’s how to get them back

Discover how the Qantas Points Challenge makes it easy to recover all of your missing points.

By David Flynn, September 10 2021
Qantas frequent flyer points expired? Here’s how to get them back

“Help, I’ve lost all my Qantas points!” is a plaintive cry too often heard from friends, family and colleagues of the point-savvy Executive Traveller readership, along with the more emotive but totally inaccurate claim of “Qantas has stolen my points!”

Why do Qantas points expire, when do they expire, and more importantly, how can you get back those expired Qantas points? And how can you stop those Qantas points from expiring in the first place? Read on.

 

Why and when do Qantas points expire?

Qantas sets an 18-month expiry period on all the frequent flyer points in your Qantas account.

This is measured against the most recent ‘activity’ on your account – an activity being either spending or earning Qantas points.

As long as you’ve spent or earned any Qantas points in the past 18 months, all of your Qantas points will remain safe in your account.

And every time there’s any activity on your account, that ‘countdown clock’ is reset and the 18- month timeframe starts all over again.

But if your account has been inactive for 18 months, without any Qantas points being spent or earned, then your account will be tragically and automatically emptied.

(Qantas sends a dedicated email to Qantas Frequent Flyer members once their account has been dormant for 12 months, with a follow-up 45 days before the points expire.)

How to recover expired Qantas points

Assuming your account has been inactive for 18 months, and you log in one day to find that all your Qantas points have vanished, is there a way to get them back?

Fortunately, Qantas offers a mechanism for returning all of your missing points: it’s called the Qantas Points Challenge.

As long as you contact Qantas within six months of your points expiring, the Qantas Points Challenge will reinstate all of your expired Qantas points provided you earn 2,500 Qantas points within three months.

That’s not a hard ask: you can easily rack up 2,500 Qantas points by shopping and paying bills with your Qantas credit card, onine shopping with Qantas partners or even buying a half-dozen bottles from Qantas Wine.

We’ve heard of instances where those points must be earned from at least two different sources, in which case you’ll want to spread the love and think a little strategically.

But with a whole three months to earn just 2,500 Qantas points, that’s really no ‘challenge’ at all (even if it means earning most of your points with say Qantas Wine, and then topping up your tank with Qantas’ petrol parter BP).

How to keep your Qantas points from expiring

Of course, the ideal scenario is to keep your account active and keep those Qantas points ticking over so they don't expire in the first place.

Even earning just a handful of points every 18 months is all it takes – although he more points you earn, the closer you get to that next flight or business class upgrade.

Click here to learn five easy ways to stop Qantas Frequent Flyer points from expiring without evening flying.

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.

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 153

To stop them expiring best to get the Qantas health app. You get points each week for walking and sleeping.

This way you will never reach 18 months with no activity..

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

Indeed, and we have that included in our list of five easy ways to stop Qantas Points from expiring in the first place.

I can add a data point to this challenge. My aunt had maybe 100,000 Qantas Points earned over the years, lost due to inactivity, I rang on her behalf and QFF extended the same "2,500 points within 6 months" challenge. Easy to accomplish!

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 316

This is one of those things which Qantas doesn't like to talk about, but I can vouch that it exists under the same 2500pts/6m parameters as outlined in the article.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 66

Another simple way is to link a Woolworths rewards card to the account.

It's not hard to get it rolling over regular points from getting the weekly groceries

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 153

Yep that is a good one as well.

P1
P1

24 Apr 2017

Total posts 77

Like "gift cards" the government needs to put some customer protections in place, so these big companies can't just unilaterally declare your points/card invalid.

Personally I think the law should be changed to allow these points/card to expire, BUT the value needs to be refunded to the customer who OWNS when that happens, rather than the value just getting sucked back up into the corporate coffers for free.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2018

Total posts 36

Yes, when is something that you worked hard for ,no longer yours? When they reckon it is, apparently. Why is this situation still tolerated? This happens with most store vouchers too and it makes no sense other than adding to their bottom line.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2012

Total posts 58

Thank you for this timely article. I'm now living in the UK caring for elderly family and I'd hate to see my Qantas points simply disappear because I'm not using my AU credit card and my arse isn't sitting in Qantas metal.


If I'm on a BA flight, or on a OneWorld member, does that count towards keeping the clock ticking?

British Airways - Executive Club

28 Mar 2014

Total posts 75

You will earn QF points if you have set your account thus. Otherwise they may go to your BA account (if you have one)

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 316

Yes, you won't earn a lot of Qantas points on BA or another OneWorld member but you'll earn something, and that will keep your account active.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 97

It is true! Sold a house, looked around for four months, bought a townhouse, had two hip replacement operations and wasted 2 years not travelling and poof, points gone. After some very, very fruitful phone discussions with QFF the secret was to re activate my account in the most pleasurable way ( bought a case of wine) and voila: 200,000 points returned. Never got their address to send them a bottle which they deserved.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2016

Total posts 2

Some might ask the question: if you didn't earn/spend a single point in 18 months, are you really a frequent flyer?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

04 Jul 2019

Total posts 1

Based on my experience, it's not as easy as the article makes out. My wife lost almost half a million points accrued over nearly 20 years. We had to be extremely vigilant and persistent before finally getting the "points challenge".

Both myself and my wife peppered away at Qantas for weeks via email, phone, live chat and as a last resort even took to shaming them on their own FB site. The answer was the same every time. Stiff cheese. I even played the platinum flyer/Qantas shareholder card every time but I may as well have been a bronze nobody. I would have to review the whole sordid saga to know the final count, but I estimate that we were rejected no less than 10 times, possibly 15.
In the end I found Alan Joyce's email address on the internet and sent an email to him. I didn't get a response from him but someone from customer service rang us (that was a first!!) and made the points challenge offer.

So good luck!!

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 67

My mother, who travelled overseas every couple of years always in First, or Business in F wasn't available, fell very ill at the age of 92, and her account was therefore inactive for 18 months. She swears she never received any notification of points expiry, but whatever the case, Qantas stole 178.000 points. When we protested, QF said that as a special gesture of goodwill they would give her *half* the points back provided she earned at least 2,500 points at three different affiliated businesses in the following six months. She now says she would rather walk to where she's going than fly Qantas. And this shabby treatment was for someone who has been flying Qantas or its forebears (Australian Airlines, TAA) for about 75 years (as I did point out to QF). As blaz rightly says - you've worked for the points, paid for the points in airfares, so how is it fair they be stolen back again?


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